Fundació Jaume Bofill Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC)

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Bottom of the Class

About the speaker

Daniel Pennac

22/09/08 07.30 pm

French writer, former secondary school teacher and author of Chagrin d'école

Daniel Pennac was a student with a disability known as dysorthographia which hindered his ability to remember information and he had difficulties when it came to learning languages, both his mother tongue and foreign languages. In other words, he was not top of the class, quite the contrary.

Thanks to the education he received and the support of his teachers, he was able to overcome these difficulties and he ended up becoming a teacher and writer.

This lecture, which explains the plot of his book Chagrin d'école, narrated from his own experience, pays homage to the teachers and children who have always been bottom of the class.

Pennac blends autobiographical memories and his reflections on pedagogy and the disfunctions of schools, on the pain of being bottom of the class and the desire to learn, on feeling excluded and the love of teaching. With humour and tenderness, critical analysis and effective formulae, he offers a brilliant and enticing lesson on intelligence.

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