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Cook, Alice Hanson / Workers' education in the U.S. Zone of Germany

Labor education,   pp. 5-15 PDF (6.4 MB)

Page 8

the' field'of vocational educationh Partlibecaus.o.. they.,want to insure
tinaihing' in-the crafts,pa~tly because they can reach unorganized Dr ,anintereste
wvrk;_rs t- -'-h vo6ation1 courses, partly .bocatise a real naed exists which
not (and-perhaps'for the :time being cannot) .be met by the sch0ool; the
t-1[fl's6vcs are spe'nding a great deal of .time and.effort on strictly-
The uai-ns and military. gvernment ought to scrutini7,e this development
from a number of 'important,:points of views -Is th-is.vocational training
re al needs 'of the labor market? Should and could, public educational agencies
-- voceatioial schools or Fachschulen or Volkshochschulen handle this kind
training as wd or better? Granted that the unions are justified in using
cational training as a means of' demonstrating thevunionsi keen interest
in a
pressing educational problem, should it continue to be an important union
function? Can the unions show their interest ina.the whole problem in an
capacity to public vocational education and in school;reform by working on
school boards and advisor comnittees?.
Tracde unions have been included in the list of organizations which can sel
up their own youth groups. Their special interest in youth groups is in workinE
youth whom they want to reach with a consciousness of their position in
society as workeors' Trade union youth groups necessarily carry many of the
prograt that other groups 'do because all young people are interested in
music, singing, drcamtics, cl Ifs, hikes,' trips.  But the special fetuare
these sgreups is to ground these young people in the significance and purpose
of the labor movement end 'to.prepar., ther for fiuture leadership in th4is
historically labor youth groups in Jermany have sought t.O givp their
young people in some degreb6 a Funeral -ducation, something which it was
for 'granted they had missed as 'worker children, In conscious opposition
to the
position taken by society in general that culture was a monopoly of the
6ducationally and financially privileged, labor wanted to awaken appeoite
the arts and to feed that appetite. Before'33 there was:a movement among
workers to develop a: workers' culture - labor dramatics, music, art, etc.,
well as to make available to workers the classic German art forms.
While this  movement rose from a real need and a real isolation of worker
from the main intellectual strew. in Germany, it tended to increase. the
isolation of workers and their hostility to other classes and groups. By
accepting the universities as a monopoly of the upper classes add by offering
a distinct workitig class culture to workers, lab-or tended to be cut off
other sections 'of society, and no intercourse 1;edt'wen the many levels
interests of society, cultural and economic, w'as possible.
.,Today, the attempts wihich are be ia  nade in certain cities to establish
a Lulturring or to organize a cultural section of the unions is in this tra-
dition, stimulated by the dire need of hungry an d weary people to have some
genuine artistic Il4asures: thtatre, opera, music, lectures, atc,
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