A spiritual structure for the apprentices
The Protestant church financed numerous trade schools, supported by patronage committees. Boarding schools were created in the vicinity of the vocational schools in order to provide for the material and spiritual needs of the apprentices. The Paris Protestant Home was founded in 1857.
In 1876 pastor Eugène Bersier opened the girls’ primary school of the Etoile parish in Paris. This inter-denominational school prepared its pupils for a variety of professional crafts, particularly dressmaking.
Adult schools were opened in Mazamet, Nîmes and Paris. They operated by night in the children’s schools, technical teaching thus being a close neighbour to elementary primary education. In a speech delivered in 1866 at the General Assembly of the SEIPF, pastor Ch. Gaudard made a description of the situation : “here a teacher was teaching physics, in the next room students were practiced drawing of machines ; however, what deeply moved me was to see some sixty workers of all ages, young and old, who were learning how to read… A few efforts more and France, Protestant France in particular, will have no reason to envy its neighbours.” (ici un professeur donnait une leçon de physique, dans la sale voisine on s’exerçait au dessin des machines ; mais ce qui m’émut profondément ce fut de voir une soixantaine d’ouvriers de tout âge, jeunes ou vieux, qui apprenaient à lire… Encore quelques efforts et la France, spécialement la France protestante, n’aura rien à envier à ses voisins – J-Cl. Vinard, Les écoles primaires protestantes en France de 1815 à 1885, op.cit.)
Eugène Bersier (1831-1889)Pastor Eugène Bersier was to be a man of action : he founded of the Evangelical Church of l’Etoile and wrote a new liturgy. He was likewise a man of peace,...
The training of school teachersFrom early on, the Protestant community took the initiative to train schoolteachers, both at local and national levels.
Ferdinand Buisson (1841-1932)One of the main inspirers of school legislation of the third republic, Ferdinand Buisson was a French politician in favour of laity, co-founder and president of the Human Rights League,...
Kindergarten schoolsIn the nineteenth century, the importance of the child’s individual character was first discovered. This was mostly due to the influence of J-J. Rousseau, for whom education at its best...
The vocational schoolsUnder the Second Napoleonic Empire, the Protestants were partly responsible for the growing number of vocational schools.
Protestant educationThe history nineteenth century education is known for the profound changes in its government organization ; and these changes affected the influence it had. Fundamental laws went into effect and new...