Jean-Michel Blanquer

The School of Life Publication date : September 3, 2014

Jean-Michel Blanquer was formerly chief education officer for French Guiana and for the school district of Créteil, in the Paris suburbs, deputy chief of staff in the French Ministry of Education and director general for schools. He is the current CEO for the ESSEC group.

Education is the bedrock of society and the source of its principles and vitality. Predictably, schooling is the subject of numerous debates. Unfortunately, these debates are often fruitless and produce only artificial divisions: traditionalists vs. progressives, excellence vs. equality, etc.
But education should rise above such considerations because it is first and foremost the ‘school of life’, simultaneously tied to what is most profoundly human and critically open to changes in the world around us. Education unjustly suffers from the prevailing pessimism. Yet progress is possible as the numerous examples and experiences described and explained by the author demonstrate.
From French Guiana to the Paris suburbs, the author offers a highly pertinent study of the challenges facing education across the board (from kindergartens and schools in disadvantaged neighbourhoods to the corridors of the Ministry of Education).

• A unique approach to education: the philosophy of the ‘school of life’.
• A timely work on the current debate about the ‘true’ value of education.