“Go, Girls, Go! Expectation and Success in the French Educational System” to be Topic of Lecture on March 31

Talk is Free and Open to the Public

MIDDLEBURY, Vt.-Professor Christian Baudelot of Ècole Normale Supérieure, one of France’s specialized graduate schools known as Grandes Ècoles, will give a talk titled “Go, Girls, Go! Expectation and Success in the French Educational System” at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, March 31 at Middlebury College. The event will take place in the Robert Jones Library in the Geonomics House on Hillcrest Road off College Street (Route 125). The talk is free and open to the public, and will be given in English.

Baudelot has written numerous sociological studies on French education, focusing in particular on issues of social inequality.

According to Baudelot, girls and young women are better students than boys and men at every level of the French education system, and often in a broad range of subjects. “With regard to gender discrimination, our schools have made great progress over other institutions, such as the family or business where bias against women is still very strong,” he said.

“Thus, the school system is the only organization in France where girls and women are treated as equals and where they experience a certain superiority, until a certain point, anyway,” added Baudelot. “This situation is a new one for France―90 years ago, at the very beginning of the century, there were 624 female students in higher education versus 27,000 men.”

If many young French women are successful academically, why do so few of them study science and math―the typical stepping stones to lucrative careers in France today―and why do they not enter the highly competitive universities, or Grandes Ècoles? Baudelot will address these topics and discuss the social consequences of such a small female presence in the fields of science and math.

For more information, contact Mary Duffy in the Women’s Studies department at 802-443-5937.

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