Education Civique: A Case Study of Third Year Collège Classes in Paris, France Open Access

Shapiro, Anna Katherine (2012)

Permanent URL:


Education Civique: A Case Study of Third Year Collège Classes in Paris, France

This case study provides insight into how civic education, both as a separate discipline and as a component of history education, is practiced and experienced by teachers and students in three culturally diverse French middle schools. As a historically valued discipline within the national education system, civic education is an important tool for political socialization and immigrant integration. This study uses three data sources -- interviews of three teachers, observation of 10 hours of class in third year history, civic education, and geography lessons, and an analysis of the three textbooks used in the school sites-- to explore how civic education is affected by student diversity in France. The findings show that although civic education continues to be highly valued as a discipline in diverse classrooms, teachers and students are challenged by the complexity and limitations on time posed by the curriculum. Furthermore, teachers report tensions between the curriculum and the cultural or religious knowledge that some immigrant children learn in their homes and communities. The findings from this study highlight the growing necessity of revising the civic education curriculum to act as a more effective tool for political socialization, and to improve the experiences that minority students and their teachers may have when learning the prescribed curriculum.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Statement of the Problem...1

Chapter 2: Review of the Literature...6

History of Civic Education...8

Goals of Civic Education...13

History and Civic Education...15

Background of Immigration in France...17

Chapter 3: Methodology...22


School Sites...23

Classroom Observation...23

Teacher Interviews...24



Chapter 4: Findings...28

How Teachers Experience and Practice Civic Education...30

How Students Experience Civic Education...46

How Teachers Experience Civic Education in Multicultural Classrooms...50

History, Geography, and Civic Education as Co-Disciplines...58

Emergent Themes...62


Chapter 5: Discussion...67



Appendix A: Values, Principles and Symbols in Civic Education...76

Appendix B: Observation Guide...78

Appendix C: Interview Guides...80

Interview Guide (English Version)...80

Interview Guide (French Version)...81

Appendix D: Sample Code Sheets

Sample Interview and Observation Codes...83

Sample Textbook Codes...85

List of Tables

Table 1: Role of Education System...34
Table 2: Incorporation of Civic Education Goals...43
Table 3: Distribution of Entries by Concept Themes...46
Table 4: Themes of Diversity...58
Table 5: Distribution of Entries by Subject Matter...60
Table 6: Distribution of Entries by Method...61
Table 7: Distribution of Values by Method...62

About this Honors Thesis

Rights statement
  • Permission granted by the author to include this thesis or dissertation in this repository. All rights reserved by the author. Please contact the author for information regarding the reproduction and use of this thesis or dissertation.
  • English
Research field
Committee Chair / Thesis Advisor
Committee Members
Last modified

Primary PDF

Supplemental Files