Clichés transmitted by professors of maths/physics undergraduates in France

episodic thoughts

The latest issue of Gazette des Mathématiciens, published by SMF, is out today.

Many interesting articles there, but I’d like to mention for now the one (pages 53 to 58) by Arnaud Pierrel, a PhD student in Sociology, who writes in the Parité column.

He studies students who are attending Classes Prépa Scientifiques (in short CPGE, that’s 2 years of very intensive undergraduate courses just after high school at the end of which students attempt various competitive exams to enter a variety of Schools, mainly in engineering but also in Math or Computer Science like the École Normale Supérieure in Paris, ÉNS).

One stunning statistic from Pierrel’s article, which underlines the sociological clichés that teachers are (subconsciously?) transmitting to their students,  is the following (I’ve cut some inessential details, translation below):

Dans le cadre de notre recherche sur les CPGE scientifiques, nous avons suivi une promotion…

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