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L’éducation à la citoyenneté : dressage ou libération ?

Abstract : From 1990 to 2004 I held various posts of responsibility within the National Education sector in Cameroon. Firstly, as principal of a College and, subsequently, as principal of a High School. Consequently, I understand the difficulties inherent then in meeting the current education requirements, in a context not only characterized by the utter confusion of a population torn between modernization and tradition but also the technical progress and unification of the world. With the help of the experience of ancient philosophers, and with regard to these issues, I undertook in this work to question what, in Plato, Aristotle, Rousseau and Kant, enables us to maintain or even improve human values laid down during the Greek miracle. Plato teaches pedagogy geared towards political transformation, or policy aimed at new pedagogy: he wants to build a new man, a complete man. With him begins the great political and pedagogical utopias, utopias no doubt, but which show that man exists insofar as he strives towards an ideal self, even if the Republic thinks of the cyclical construction and destruction of the political system (and of pedagogy), it unveils to mankind the unpredictable nature of history. Aristotle refrains from dreaming; he observes the societies of his time, describes them, criticizes them, and appreciates them. Unable to build an ideal society, he defends the less bad: a mix of oligarchy and democracy, marked by the domination of the middle class. But for Aristotle as for Plato, access to full citizenship and education is reserved only for "free" men; excluded from citizenship are not only slaves but labourers as well. We are in the Greek city: the citizen runs his home and the Republic; he defends it at war, but does not defile himself with dirty work. Rousseau reflects in the context of a declining monarchy, marked by an awakening strong need for freedom and equality. Pessimistic with respect to human progress, though, he believes that cultural progress has no turning back; it is necessary therefore to find a political system that allows humanity, drawn into history by the adventure thereof, with an unpredictable destiny, to fulfill itself in the best way possible. The Social Contract is the basis for a legitimate political system. Emile outlines the pedagogical reform that will establish it, based on the original goodness of human nature. Kant is convinced that history is leading humanity, which has attained adulthood, towards its unification. The ages of war and oppression will come to an end. But Kant does not share the optimism of Rousseau regarding human nature: what is good in man is his duty consciousness, but one can say no to duty. It is from duty that education can train people capable of managing a new humanity in peace. This new humanity was been created by the phenomenal development of technology since the mid-nineteenth century, but not exactly as dreamed of: two terrible world wars have caused the belief in progress to decline. It is in this confused, hesitant context that this work was designed and carried out. Technical progress and the attendant new ways of life raise many more questions and worries than certainties. The reflections of the great thinkers of the past must help us to tackle the problems of today. Beyond their differences, Plato, Aristotle, Rousseau and Kant do agree on the mutual involvement of politics, government of men, and education, training of tomorrow's citizens; as Aristotle states explicitly, each type of political system has its specific pedagogy...
Keywords : Education Citizenship
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Submitted on : Thursday, April 26, 2012 - 2:42:44 PM
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Magloire Kede Onana. L’éducation à la citoyenneté : dressage ou libération ?. Philosophie. Université Paris-Est, 2011. Français. ⟨NNT : 2011PEST0020⟩. ⟨tel-00691525⟩



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