Who am I ?

Margaret Lanzenberg, Education advisor

I encountered the French educational system when my first son started school at age three. I had never been in a French classroom myself, though a few years later I attended the Sorbonne at Paris VI, and I was in for a surprise. My husband, a Frenchman, and I didn't always share the same ideas about learning and education. Our older son disliked school so much that it almost became a phobia. That's when I began to read books and ask questions in hopes of understanding this perplexing system. In the meantime, reassuringly enough, our youngest never had a problem in his "bac + 6" years of school!

It is only as a teacher that I have really come to understand and in many respects appreciate the French approach to learning and education. Working in a school environment, I often come into contact with parents who are unfamiliar with the system and who are asking the same questions I had asked a few years ago:

   * Which schools will suit my child's needs best?
   * How can I understand what is going on?
   * How can I help make this experience an enriching one for my child?

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