The educational effect of the teaching conditions

“The race school, and dedication social “, Pierre Bourdieu, Acts of Research in Social Sciences, 1981

From a survey conducted in the preparatory classes for the Grandes schools (khâgnes, moles) and in Large schools (in particular the École normale supérieure and Ecole polytechnique), Bourdieu has analyzed the technical effects exercised by the educational organization of these institutions.

Here is an excerpt p. 7 of article

“What distinguishes the preparatory classes of all the other institutions of higher education is the system of the institutional capacity incentives constraints and controls that are implemented to reduce the whole existence of those that we still call here the students an uninterrupted succession of school activities intensive, strictly regulated and controlled both in their time and in their own pace. The important, from the point of view of the educational effect, is less what is taught than what is taught through the conditions in which teaching : the essence of what is transmitted is not in the apparent content (programs, courses etc) but in the organization of pedagogical action “

“This pedagogy has its extreme force to the fact that, like all the teaching tradi operating it ignores essential imposed as self-evident without examination and doomed escape the taken to the discus sion and the critical conscious” p. 8

For Bourdieu, the educational action produces not only the effects of technical (knowledge and know-how inculcated) ; it also has an efficacy strictly magical initiation and consecration which are more particularly seen in the case of large schools.

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