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Dialogues and Addresses$
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Madame de Maintenon

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780226502410

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226502403.001.0001

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Addresses to Faculty

Addresses to Faculty

(p.135) Addresses to Faculty
Dialogues and Addresses
University of Chicago Press

This chapter describes Dames de Saint-Louis (Maintenon)'s philosophy of education. The primary objective of education is moral, with religious piety serving as the foundation of the virtues to be cultivated. Rather than focusing on the details of curriculum, Maintenon emphasizes the moral character of the teacher. A teacher's successful modeling of the virtues and her capacity to draw moral lessons from academic and nonacademic subjects fosters success in her students' ethical progress. The addresses to the faculty also focus on the dialogical method to be used at Saint-Cyr. The conscientious teacher must participate in several types of conversations with her pupils: regularly scheduled interviews; informal discussions before and after class; and confidences shared during recreation. Only through multileveled interviews can the teacher accurately gauge the student's moral temperament and her distinctive blend of virtues and vices. Only with this psychological knowledge can the teacher properly encourage the student by counsel and by example.

Keywords:   Saint-Cyr, Dames de Saint-Louis, philosophy of education, multileveled interviews

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