Citizenship Education and Laïcité in France

France is a secular state. Inspired by the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen (1789), Article 1 of France's current Constitution declares the nation to be an “indivisible, secular, democratic and social Republic.” A powerful bond exists between citizenship and a secular philosophy and ethic known as laïcité. As the site responsible for educating future French citizens, the state's public school system is based on secular principles, as are all public institutions. This means that public schools are free from any religious authority. To respect the principle of laïcité means that the secular public school system grants everyone the right to an education and to develop his or her identity, free from religious influence. Nevertheless, the application of such a ...

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