Le destin socioéducatif des héritiers Kergomard (1914-1983)

While mobilizing themselves for education by active methods and at the same time pursuing social change, the descendants of Pauline Kergomard, the founder of the French maternal educational system, were to continue her work by their militant activity throughout the twentieth century. These men – her son Jean Kergomard (1870-1954), her grandson Pierre Kergomard (1897-1981), and later her great-grandson Jean-René Kergomard (1926-2020) –perpetuated her legacy at a time when the complementary activities to state schools were flourishing: Art at school, the French Scouting movement, Training Centres for the Promotion of Progressive Education (CEMEA), and the so-called Youth Outside (JPA). Like Pauline Kergomard, these three generations had little interest in political engagement. Their involvement with the church was geared more towards a cultural than a religious Protestantism. Their close friendships with Protestant families like the François, the Steegs, and the Seydoux resembled a deconfessionalized Protestant religiosity marked by a form of lay spirituality. Their relationship to the world was governed by education, keeping the hierarchy between fundamental knowledge and early childhood education at a distance. They saw private initiatives as being very useful to public schools, as a laboratory to prepare the terrain for the Reformed of the future—which was why these younger Kergomards became involved with the famous “Maison pour tous rue Mouffetard” and the summer camps of the  “Château de Cappy.” The dream of pedagogical and social unity nevertheless did not prevent the Kergomard family from splitting over its response to the colonialism of the Republic, and in particular the Algerian question.