An American observer comments on French politics.
Written in 2012... but still valid
Unsuprising, I can add from experience, that the same is true in most adminstrative schools at all levels.Then again, in my years of study, I don't remember we were ever encouraged to have an original thougt. The elite character of the ENA probably amplifies a general characteristic of the french teaching method.
This says it all (from the article)La crainte de toute initiative, chez les maîtres comme chez les élèves, la négation de toute libre curiosité, le culte du classement ( Bloch dit « succès ») substitué au goût de la connaissance Those I have met that were milled out of the ENA subscribe to this mantra. Those that don't ended up leaving the country or entering le privé of course.
good blog, nice to visit this blog.
I fully agree with the content of this book review. (even if I didn't experience ENA myself — in 2007/2008, reading the content of the entry exam and what was expected from candidates, already discouraged me for the very reasons the author presents).BTW, during the 2007 presidential campaign, candidate Bayrou pushed the suppression of ENA, to be replaced by a MBA-kind training for public servants over 35 y old — which is quite consistent with the columnist's conclusions.
Thank you for sharing this. It's unfortunate that the English translation of "Etrange Defaite" does not include the "Clandestine Writings" the sixth of which (in the histoire/folio edition) is the all-important "Sur la reforme de l'enseignement" where the author calls for elimination of the bac and a simplication of the grading system to x/5 instead of the grotesque x/20, among other sage recommendations. Perhaps a future project for Goldhammer the translator or one of his confreres?
Bloch's l'Etrange defaite is available in its original French text, including the last chapter, "Sur la reforme de l'enseignement," as a FREE Kindle download.
Here's the link: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=marc+bloch+etrange+defaite
Adding a link to a recent interview of a former head of ENA : http://www.marianne.net/Les-elites-francaises-ont-honte-de-la-France_a235106.htmlIt's even sharper!
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