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Revue française de pédagogie, n°189/2014

L'internat et ses usages, d'hier à aujourd'hui

Revue française de pédagogie - Recherches en éducation

The function of boarding schools past and present

Boarding schools (or state boarding schools as well) have been restored to their former glory in the past fifteen years. Parents now see them as worthy educational establishments to teach students academic and social skills. The state and local authorities waver between regarding them as a means of making secondary schools and professional training more accessible and a way to keep the peace. This essay addresses how parents and students have been using boarding schools past and present. From their expectations of boarding schools, to what they project onto them and the strategies they tend to develop to make the most of them. Boarding schools are very different today from what they used to be: lodging and taking care of teenagers is not what it was in the 50s. Teenagers have changed too and are less controlled by the school; but most of them accept the boarding school spirit, although they may not follow all the rules.