Celestin Freinet

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Célestin Freinet [ seləsˈtɛ̃ fʀeˈnɛ ] (born October 15, 1896 in Gars , Provence , France , † October 8, 1966 in Vence ) was a French reform pedagogue and the founder of Freinet pedagogy .


Célestin Freinet - the fifth of eight children - experienced his school days as a torment that would later influence his treatises. In 1913 Freinet entered a teacher training college. However, he was recruited as a soldier in 1915. During the First World War , Freinet suffered a serious lung injury; this war experience made Freinet a staunch pacifist . Furthermore, Freinet was a laicist and represented an attitude critical of capitalism. In 1920 he started his first job as a teacher in a small village school in Bar-sur-Loup ( Côte d'Azur ). In this school the Freinet pedagogy was born.

Célestin Freinet teamed up with his colleagues and tried to change the way school was taught. In 1923, Freinet acquired a printing press in order to be able to publish the students' texts. In this way a school newspaper was created . Little by little, these free texts replaced the conventional school books. The press itself became a symbol of Freinet education. As early as 1924, Freinet and like-minded people founded a teachers 'cooperative at a trade union congress, the CEL (Coopérative de l'Enseignement Laïc), from which the French teachers' movement École Moderne emerged . The aim of this association was to change the school system from within. The cooperation of teachers was a principle of the movement. The CEL broke away from the union and became an independent union.

In 1926 Freinet developed a printing press for schools, which he improved technically in the following years and was able to sell in large numbers. In the same year Célestin Freinet and Elise Lagier married Bruno , who also became his closest collaborator. Freinet was active in a trade union and a member of the French Communist Party . He left the party in 1948 because his pedagogical intentions and those of the party could not be brought into line.

In 1930, as a result of the poor structural and hygienic condition of the class, which was overcrowded with 47 students, a conflict arose between the school supervisory authority, the mayor and Célestin Freinet. A second class was opened, but Élise Freinet did not get the teaching post, she came to the Saint-Paul girls' school. Célestin Freinet introduced the record into his teaching.

In 1933 the couple bought a plot of land in the Le Pioulier district of Vence , where they built a boarding school. L'École Moderne school officially opened on October 1, 1935. In 1935, Celestin Freinet applied for a pension.

In 1940 Célestin Freinet was arrested and taken to the internment camp, where he was nevertheless able to write basic educational work, which he published in 1946 under the title L 'École Moderne Francaise . The Vichy regime ordered the school to be closed and reopened in 1946. The Freinets now lived in Cannes at the headquarters of the CEL Freinet devoted themselves entirely to the cooperative.

In 1947 the pedagogical cooperative ICEM (Institut Coopératif de l'École Moderne) and in 1957 the international association of the Freinet movement FIMEM (Fédération Internationale des Mouvements de l'École Moderne) was founded.


  • Educational works . 2 volumes. Translated from the French by Hans Jörg. Schöningh, Paderborn, Vol. 1: 1998, ISBN 3-506-72714-1 Vol. 2: 2000, ISBN 3-506-72715-X .
  • Célestin Freinet: Pedagogical texts, with examples from practical work according to Freinet. Edited by H. Boehncke u. Chr. Hennig, Rowohlt 7367, Reinbek 1980, ISBN 3-499-173670 .


  • Ingrid Dietrich (Ed.): Handbook of Freinet Pedagogy. A practical introduction. Beltz, Weinheim 1995, ISBN 3-407-25160-2 .
  • G. Glück, R. Wagner (Ed.): Dear Célestin Freinet. What I always wanted to tell you ... Schneider, Baltmannsweiler 2006, ISBN 3-8340-0062-0 .
  • Herbert Hagstedt: Célestin Freinet (1896-1966). Ateliers as research workshops. Biographical and historical ideas. In: Astrid Kaiser, Detlef Pech: History and historical conceptions of general teaching. Schneider, Baltmannsweiler 2002, pp. 139-142.
  • Inge Hansen-Schaberg , Bruno Schoning (ed.): Basic knowledge of pedagogy, reform pedagogical school concepts. Vol. 5, Freinet pedagogy. Schneider, Baltmannsweiler 2002, ISBN 3-89676-502-7 .
  • Achim Hellmich, Peter Teigeler (ed.): Montessori, Freinet, Waldorf education. Conception and current practice. Beltz, Weinheim 1995, ISBN 3-407-25140-8 .
  • Bettelheim, Freinet, Geheeb, Korczak, Montessori, Neill, Petersen, Zulliger. In: Friedrich Koch : The departure of pedagogy. Worlds in your head. Rotbuch, Hamburg 2000, ISBN 3-434-53026-6 .
  • Renate Kock (Ed.): Celestin Freinet. Methods of emancipation and techniques of teaching. Educational writings with contributions from La Gerbe . Lang, Frankfurt am Main a. a. O., 1999, ISBN 978-3-631-35201-4 .
  • Gerhard Rabensteiner, Pia-Maria Rabensteiner (ed.): Cooperative teaching and learning culture. Starting point for changes and new paths in teacher training. Schneider, Baltmannsweiler 2005, ISBN 3-89676-975-8 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Freinet, Célestin: The wisdom of the shepherd Mathieu - Les dits de Mathieu. In: Jörg, Hans (Hrsg.): Pedagogical works. Part 1. Schöning Paderborn 1998. pp. 50f; 61f; 97f.
  2. Freinet, Célestin: The secular morality. In: Kock, Renate (ed.): Liberating people education. Early texts. Klinkhardt Bad Heilbrunn 1996. pp. 29-34.
  3. Freinet, Célestin: The last stage of the capitalist school. In: Kock, Renate (ed.): Liberating people education. Early texts. Klinkhardt Bad Heilbrunn 1996. pp. 43-47.
  4. Jörg, Hans: The modern French school. Schöningh Paderborn 1979. pp. 190-196.