Cook, Alice Hanson / Bavarian trade union youth
Leadership training problems, p. 10 PDF (411.0 KB)
- 10 - LEADERSHIP TRAINING PROBLEMS In each city I had the opportunity of working with youth leaders in a week-end conference and in a number of special meetings, as well as observing their work with a variety of groups in evening club meetings, in factories, and in classes. Time did not permit working out a formal training program, but some of the most pressing problems were discussed. A summary of these discussions and some of my recommendations based on them, follow. YOUTH AND AUTHORITY Under the present form of social organization in Germany, young people have little opportunity of experiment in self-government. The family tends to be an authoritarian institution in which the father makes many decisions and has a very strong power of veto. (One unsettling social factor is that so many fathers were war casualties or are still kept as prisoners of war. The family suffers from the lack of control which he would normally exert, as well as from the personal and financial loss which his deatho or absence represents.) In school, the teacher's word is law, and most reaching is done excathedra. Grammar schools are not equipped with laboratiories or workshops where pupils can learn by doing. Learning is almost entirely a matter of being told, learning by rote, testing the learned material in examinations, and, where a auestion is in dispute or doubt, of taking the teacher's word. The 14-year old who leaves school to become an apprentice has an even more drastic experience with authority when he is bound over to a master for three or four years. Although he receives practical experience and learns by doing, he has little chance to experiment with methods or materials, and is constantly under orders and directione. He learns in fact to be guided solely by thelexperience and wisdom of his elders.
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