The history nineteenth century education is known for the profound changes in its government organization ; and these changes affected the influence it had. Fundamental laws went into effect and new teaching methods were implemented, many of which had been thought over in the eighteenth century. Protestants were involved in those changes as they had their own specific requirements with regards to education.
|An education system for Protestants|
The Protestants wished to create Protestant schools with the help of various Biblical organizations in order to give every Protestant the opportunity of having a personal relationship with the Scriptures. The Secretary of the Society for the Promotion of primary education among French Protestants (SEIPF), founded in 1829, wrote in 1830 that "all Protestants must have the opportunity to read the Gospel, meditate and judge by themselves the sublime truth and the divine teachings that it contains" (chaque protestant puisse lui-même lire l'Evangile, méditer et juger par lui-même les sublimes vérités et les divins enseignements qu'il renferme) ; but this effort "breaks itself today against the boundless ignorance of a large section of the population" (se briser aujourd'hui contre l'ignorance absolue d'une grande partie de notre population) (J.-Cl. Vinard, les écoles primaires protestantes en France de 1815 à1885, Montpellier, 2000)
|School education policies|
Below is a reminder of the successive legal steps taken concerning education throughout the nineteenth century and that form the background of the action taken by Protestants.
Many private initiatives were taken in areas that were not covered by the public system of education, such as kindergarten schools and vocational schools. These often noteworthy experiments widely contributed to the development of public education.