17 February, 2010

Education and Discipline

After sleeping 24 hours, I now feel pretty much back to normal. And tomorrow I am going to class with all my bells on. I am not one to obsess much about why I was ill, but I do think it was the meat I ate. I had no fever, no other symptoms whatsoever. So bacterial it could not have been. Anyway enough of that and today I want to talk about the children in Paris.

For weeks I have been walking everywhere, and twice I have heard a baby cry. Everywhere there are strollers. For awhile I thought these strollers must be empty or maybe a dog was enjoying the ride. But no, when the sun came out and the plastic rain protectors were pulled away there were the smiling faces of little ones.


On Sunday, Montorgueil is full of families, mother, father and all of their children. Now the normal number of children in the French family is 3, but these children are so well behaved: no shouting, no pushing through the streets, even on scooters they are polite and carefully weave their way through the crowd. The one time three little girls were shouting and laughing, mother and father turned around and quickly told them to knock it off. Absolute silence reigned therein.


As one book I read on discipline here states that the French may spoil their dogs, but not their children. Schools are made for learning. There are no sports, no art and no music. That is furnished by the families. Instead the children are expected to learn literature, grammar(wow that's a shock), philosophy, history, geography, science and above all mathematics. Many go to school as long as 40 hours a week, longer than the legal work day here.

The central government decides the curriculum and every child in France is on the same page.( Yes, it's tough, but maybe we should look at the testing internationally and see where the French stand. I couldn't find it)What was once a ruling nation may very well be again. They believe in the education of their youth.

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