Education: Scholars of Life

Down and out in Paris, grimly poking through garbage cans for rubbish to swap for food, Science Student Jean-Claude Rebours. 20, often thought with irony of the tough philanthropist whose ideas had goaded him into studying the city's clochards—its beggars and bums. It was the notion of Millionaire Jean Walter, who died two years ago at 74, that French lycées placed too much emphasis on book learning. "Our educational system fails to prepare French youth for the tasks to be faced as men," he wrote sternly. "There is not enough contact with life." Jean...

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