Savoir c’est pouvoir: Integral Education in the Novels of André Léo


André Léo (1824–1900), best known as a participant in the Commune, also published over twenty socially conscious novels. Her works not only provide a critique of the educational practices of the second half of the nineteenth century, but also advocate the secularization of public schools, the expansion of education for workers and for women, co-education, and the development of new libertarian methods of teaching. These reforms resemble theories of "integral education" developed by such key figures in nineteenth-century socialism and anarchism as Fourier, Proudhon and Bakunin. In this article, after a brief introduction to theories of "integral education," Beach explores how André Léo used the novel to criticize the French school system and to promote radical educational reform. (CB)

Beach, Cecilia.
Release Year:
Project MUSE: 
2008 Spring-Summer; 36(3-4): 270-85.