Teachers and Humanism

Sophie Devineau

Abstract


Following the large investigation in the labor universe, teachers give a good illustration for “Working to be happy” (Christian Baudelot, Michel Gollac, 2003). But the question is about the reasons: what are the anthropological needs that profession answer through its sociological organization? This article investigates the cohesion of the French teachers of all grades, from pre-school level to university, manifest in the last social movement, and which can be understood as an expression of values and educational background. As one of a number of social strategies, the quest for a certain standard of living may outline the main side of this professional choice: a humanist career resolution for women and men as well.
At the first level, the study provides evidences of the public-private and republican-liberal cleavage, which against all expectations, actually cuts through the male-female divide. So, if we go back to the analyses of Alain Chenu and Nicolas Herpin (2006), we cannot make conclusions on behalf of this professional category, which has shown strong, compact or homogeneous resistance to the restructuring of the order of civic priorities between equality and freedom.
However, the study finds in a second level, that the humanism of the majority of teachers is based on equality of the sexes, security and respect in their work, modest material needs and the importance of time for themselves and their families. This category has found that teaching offers the conditions in which they may uphold values founded on human rights. The cohesion of the French teachers can be understood as an expression against indivudual competition.

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Review of European Studies   ISSN 1918-7173 (Print)   ISSN 1918-7181 (Online)

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