British lecturer Peter Gumbel attacks French education culture


A British teacher at one of the leading universities in Paris has produced a great indictment of France’s sought after faculties, pronouncing they humiliate students and could examine a good deal from other nations, such as Britain.

In an e-book to be published this week, Peter Gumbel, a lecturer on the Institute of Political Technology – known as Sciences Po – attacks a classroom tradition that manufacturers students “nugatory” and that he says is counterproductive and opposite to France’s republican ideals. On achève bien les écoliers? (They Shoot Schoolchildren, Don’t They?) has already provoked a storm.

“Why is France the most effective united states within the international that daunts children due to what they can’t do, rather than encouraging them to do what they could?” Gumbel writes. “I believe France is lacking a key detail of what is incorrect with the school device, an element that is at once obvious to any foreigner who comes into contact with it: the harshness of the study room lifestyle.

“It is a culture you could sum up as T’es nul (You are worthless). You hear these words all the time in France.”

Peter-Gumbel-006Gumbel says research by way of international Fitness Enterprise organizations and the Organisation for Monetary Co-operation and Development in Europe display that, in France, more than six out of 10 schoolchildren complain of being stressful, 4 in 10 have trouble drowsing, and greater than in 10 have a belly or headache at least once per week. “These studies display that, at the same time as French youngsters rating pretty noticeably in Ecu research on their potential and overall performance, while asked they feel themselves beneath countries with low degrees of literacy,” he stated. “So even if they have got the potential, there has been knocked out of them.”

Gumbel’s ebook praises British faculties, which might also wonder Uk dad and mom accustomed to having them as compared unfavourably with those across the channel. He informed the Observer: “Even though the French with their country wide curriculum have maintained standards and prevented being dumbed down, their system makes a speciality of the transmission of understanding and would not even remotely deal with the child or their health.

“There is greater to high school than getting properly marks, and in Britain colleges are not only an approximately your brain but approximately recreation and arts and finding masses of various methods of excelling. The British machine may also consciousness much less on consequences, but it nurtures, character and person, that is something definitely missing from the French machine and this is tragic.”


Gumbel’s assault has touched a nerve in France. On radio speak shows, his views have had overwhelming assist from mother and father; his book become additionally given a six-web page review in the reputable news mag Le Nouvel Observateur.

Philippe Meirieu, a professor in training Science, admitted: “Our manner of checking out and comparing [pupils] discourages creativity and the private involvement of the pupils. This is the motive of the relative passivity they show and that Peter Gumbel deplores. If scholars infrequently ask questions in elegance It’s because they Do not honestly sense troubled approximately what they’re being informed or worry being stigmatised by their classmates.”

Patrick Gonthier, secretary- widespread of France’s 2nd-biggest coaching union, U.S. education, stated: “Our coaching team of workers ought to take this as an attack, however they’re not being blamed. It is the whole French faculty machine this is cussed to exchange and remains profoundly elitist and dedicated to the grading and the choice of the exceptional. For this to trade and other teaching methods to be brought into training there must be a robust consensus among professors, mother and father and politicians to mission this elitism and recognition on the fulfillment of all and sundry at school, and we are some distance from having that.”

Gumbel, fifty-two, who additionally works as a journalist, has lived in Paris since 2002 and was induced to criticise French faculties, colleges and universities after setting his daughters, now aged 10 and 13, into the schooling system.

“There are 16,000 new instructors getting into French faculties this time period who are surely very smart but have not the slightest concept approximately the way to teach, and this is scandalous,” he stated. “The key to precise colleges, as different international locations have located, is having excellent teachers.”

Carol P. Middleton
Student. Alcohol ninja. Entrepreneur. Professional travel enthusiast. Zombie fan. Practiced in the art of donating rocking horses for the underprivileged. Crossed the country researching hula hoops in Deltona, FL. Won several awards for supervising the production of etch-a-sketches in Nigeria. Uniquely-equipped for investing in bathtub gin in the financial sector. Spent a year building g.i. joes worldwide. Earned praise for deploying childrens books in Africa.