A la Table de Rousseau: What Is Progressive About Education Today?


Is an intensive education essential to a child’s development? How does nature fit into high-tech education? Are innate abilities and learned skills in conflict?

Part novel, part treatise, Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Emile, or On Education profoundly influenced modern philosophies of education by laying the foundation for a system emphasizing human goodness, learning by doing, and a return to nature. To celebrate the tricentennial of the birth of the Geneva-born philosopher, the City of Geneva has revived the Banquet tradition, bringing citizens together to debate issues of the day. Join theorists and practitioners for a discussion, led by Adam Gopnik, on the relevance of Rousseau’s ideas in contemporary pedagogy. Delicacies from Geneva will be served.

Panelists: Michel Butor (writer; former Professor of the Faculty of Letters, University of Geneva), Megan Laverty (Associate Professor, Philosophy and Education Program, Arts and Humanities, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York), Jean-Michel Olivier (Professor; winner of 2010 Prix Interallié for L’Amour Nègre), Shimon Waronker (Headmaster, the New American Academy; Presidential Fellow, Harvard Urban Superintendents Doctoral Program)

Moderator: Adam Gopnik (The New Yorker)

Followed by a 30-minute roundtable, How to Read Rousseau in the 21st Century, led by François Jacob (Director, Voltaire Institute and Museum, Geneva).

In partnership with the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF)

Event Date & Time

Friday, March 9, 12:30P.M.


The Skyroom
French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF)
22 East 60th Street (between Park and Madison Avenues)


Tickets (includes lunch): $35/$25 FIAF Members
(800) 982-2787, www.fiaf.org or www.ticketmaster.com