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Girls’ Secondary Education in the Western WorldCulture and Catholicism: France

Girls’ Secondary Education in the Western World: Culture and Catholicism: France [France has long been recognized as a country where cultivated women pen elegant letters, write romantic novels, or converse wittily in a salon. This tradition of the cultured woman has produced the likes of the scientist Emilie de Châtelet in the eighteenth century, the novelist George Sand in the nineteenth century, or the philosopher Simone de Beauvoir in the twentieth century. That women could achieve fame and recognition through their learning and knowledge suggests a special relationship to education, culture, and femininity, which is by now well researched. In the late 1960s, the new social history tackled the history of education via the Church-State conflict and literacy. While girls were not absent from the narrative that unfolded, they were mainly presented as the objects of a struggle between religious and secular forces. In this narrative, serious education for girls really only emerged in the late nineteenth century when the State created a public secondary system for girls that echoed—with a difference—what Napoleon Bonaparte had set up for boys in 1802. This chapter builds on existing scholarship to argue that this vision of “serious education” sorely underestimates earlier achievements, while rendering invisible thousands of religious and lay women teachers, who opened schools, wrote textbooks, and sought to promote a certain model of the cultured French woman who, while not afemme savante, could nonetheless talk about history and literature, converse in foreign languages, and play the piano.] http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png

Girls’ Secondary Education in the Western WorldCulture and Catholicism: France

Editors: Albisetti, James C.; Goodman, Joyce; Rogers, Rebecca

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References (18)

Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan US
Copyright
© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Nature America Inc. 2010
ISBN
978-1-349-38225-5
Pages
25 –39
DOI
10.1057/9780230106710_3
Publisher site
See Chapter on Publisher Site

Abstract

[France has long been recognized as a country where cultivated women pen elegant letters, write romantic novels, or converse wittily in a salon. This tradition of the cultured woman has produced the likes of the scientist Emilie de Châtelet in the eighteenth century, the novelist George Sand in the nineteenth century, or the philosopher Simone de Beauvoir in the twentieth century. That women could achieve fame and recognition through their learning and knowledge suggests a special relationship to education, culture, and femininity, which is by now well researched. In the late 1960s, the new social history tackled the history of education via the Church-State conflict and literacy. While girls were not absent from the narrative that unfolded, they were mainly presented as the objects of a struggle between religious and secular forces. In this narrative, serious education for girls really only emerged in the late nineteenth century when the State created a public secondary system for girls that echoed—with a difference—what Napoleon Bonaparte had set up for boys in 1802. This chapter builds on existing scholarship to argue that this vision of “serious education” sorely underestimates earlier achievements, while rendering invisible thousands of religious and lay women teachers, who opened schools, wrote textbooks, and sought to promote a certain model of the cultured French woman who, while not afemme savante, could nonetheless talk about history and literature, converse in foreign languages, and play the piano.]

Published: Nov 30, 2015

Keywords: Secondary Education; Eighteenth Century; Religious Order; Secondary System; Religious School

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