1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Buisson, Ferdinand

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BUISSON, FERDINAND (1841- ), French educationalist, was born at Paris on the 20th of December 1841. In 1868, when attached to the teaching staff of the Academy of Geneva, he obtained a philosophical fellowship. In 1870 he settled in Paris, and in the following year was nominated an inspector of primary education. His appointment was, however, strongly opposed by the bishop of Orleans (who saw danger to clerical influence over the schools), and the nomination was cancelled. But the bishop's action only served to draw attention to Buisson's abilities. He was appointed secretary of the statistical commission on primary education, and sent as a delegate to the Vienna exhibition of 1873, and the Philadelphia exhibition of 1876. In 1878 he was instructed to report on the educational section of the Paris exhibition, and in the same year was appointed inspector-general of primary education. In 1879 he was promoted to the directorship of primary education, a post which he occupied until 1896, when he became professor of education at the Sorbonne. At the general election of 1902 he was returned to the chamber of deputies as a radical socialist by the XIIIme arrondissement of Paris. He supported the policy of M. Combes, and presided over the commission for the separation of church and state.