Harvard Educational Review
  1. Winter 1997 Issue »

    Conflicted Progress

    Coeducation and Gender Equityin Twentieth-Century French School Reforms

    Marilyn Mavrinac
    Since the Third French Republic was established in 1875, French education has operated under a mandate to provide compulsory citizenship training to all children and to select an elite group of talented students who will receive a more rigorous form of schooling. In the twentieth century, France has experienced two major education reform movements aimed at democratizing this mandate - one between 1920 and 1930, and the other between 1960 and 1980. Both reform waves concentrated on changing the selection process for this elite group, which had almost exclusively included middle-- and upper--class males. In these waves of change, which resulted in the standardization and centralization of France's schools, much attention was paid to issues of class, but little was paid to issues of gender equity. Mavrinac examines the effects of these reforms on gender equity and the effects of increased school centralization on girls' access to equitable education. She concludes by highlighting the lack of connection between movements for school reform and gender equity proposals and suggests that, despite its modification in recent years, the patriarchal structure of the educational bureaucracy remains powerfully in place.

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    Winter 1997 Issue


    The History of Women in Education
    Christine A. Woyshner, Bonnie Hao Kuo Tai
    Reflections on Writing a History of Women Teachers
    Kathleen Weiler
    Women and Education in Eritrea
    A Historical and Contemporary Analysis
    Asgedet Stefanos
    Reconsidering a Classic
    Assessing the History of Women's Higher Education a Dozen Years after Barbara Solomon
    Linda Eisenmann
    The African American Female Elite
    The Early History of African American Women in the Seven Sister Colleges, 1880-1960
    Linda M. Perkins
    The Hidden Half
    A History of Native American Women's Education
    Deirdre A. Almeida
    Conflicted Progress
    Coeducation and Gender Equityin Twentieth-Century French School Reforms
    Marilyn Mavrinac
    The Road to College
    Hmong American Women's Pursuit of Higher Education
    Stacey J. Lee

    Book Notes

    We Can't Eat Prestige
    By John Hoerr

    The Seed Is Mine
    By Charles van Onselen

    The Essential Piaget
    Edited by Howard E. Gruber and J. Jacques Vonëche

    Journey With Children
    By Frances P. Lothrop Hawkins

    Guided Reading
    By Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell

    One Child, Two Languages
    By Patton O. Tabors

    Taking Note
    By Brenda Miller Power

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