The “Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers”: Preserving Industry
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In this chapter, we present a different institution than we have previously examined in this work: the Conservatoire national des arts et métiers. The Conservatoire inherited the outcomes of the industrious eighteenth century, and its curriculum followed the technical developments of the nineteenth and twentieth century: mechanics, electricity, electronics, computer science, and so on. The school was not as selective and aimed at disseminating all industrial discoveries to the wider majority of the population. Situated in the heart of Paris in a medieval Abbey, it embodied (and still embodies) the educational idea envisioned by Condorcet of a popular vocational education school. The wealth of the nation is enhanced by the large diffusion of technical knowledge and the technical “knowhow” this school produces in its graduates.
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