This DesperateAngloHousewife would go to further extremes and add constipated, draconian and jurassic to the list.
Knowing well that I shouldn't criticise my host country I am nonetheless at a loss when it comes to the French education system. I have watched my own French children, France's future, being battered psychologically by a system and its teachers who belong more in the 18th century than today.
My negative experience with inhuman teachers started when my daughter was 3...I was called up to school by her kindergarten teacher for a "very serious matter"...she couldn't trace a " w!!" I kid you not!! The same teacher continued to tell me that my daughter would be " handicapped" ( her word, not mine) as she was English!! My daughter was born in France and her mother is a kiwi!
My son, an A grade student, coped well in the system until his first year at Lycée/High School.
He was accepted into an elite accelerated maths programme. At 15, for the first time in his life, his grades took a major tumble. The spiral continued throughout the year. He told me stories about other class mates whose parents punished them for grades below 16/20.
The teachers didn't seem to support the students, there was little communication. At the first mid-term break, 6 weeks into the school year, the school had already started to chuck out the "failing" students. A school with 15 classes at 2nd/5th Form level, the failing, otherwise brilliant, students were asked to leave the school. They were not even allowed to integrate into a regular, normal academic level class. At the end of the school year my son was also "invited" to leave the school with no opening into a mainstream class the following year. It was really a case of...you are the top students, you can come into the top class but the bottom 40% of you will be considered as total losers and can go elsewhere!
My son is now in "normal" high school. He is happy, relaxed and his grades have never been better.
Why is it that the system is even tougher for the brightest students? How can you crush the self esteem of any school child let alone the top students.
Until I placed my daughter into a private school I can honestly say that I NEVER experienced either of my children being encouraged at school. The attitude seems to be...let me tell you everything that is bad and useless/"nul" without praising any good work at all. How many times have I seen a perfect piece of work coming back with the word " vu"/seen scribbled at the bottom in the absence of any encouraging praise to continue the good work. As for originality, forget it! No wonder students have no curiosity, it's simply not encouraged!! They are simply forced to regurgitate information - memorised and rarely understood or analysed.
I look back to my own education in New Zealand. I LOVED school, I was HAPPY there..I cried when I left school. We were treated as individuals, praised for good work and, where necesssary, encouraged to improve. We had prize-giving ( where there was always a "best improved" prize), sports days, music and drama evenings, clubs, houses and, above all, teachers we absolutely worshipped.
France needs to catch up with the rest of the world. And fast!
2 stalks of celery
creme fraiche to serve
|* Pushing the mixture through a sieve/chinois|