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Cook, Alice Hanson / Workers' education in the U.S. Zone of Germany
(1947)

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


Page 6


:'T'-'The child of a German' w6rkeA- in 19947  still goe6 to"'schbo
 only unt'ti
h& its fourteen years old, anh is, b'heri'apprenticed at a fe' marks
a month
'usually  for three 'years, '"du''ring whoh, h3 receives one day's schobling
'a
w;bk in oubjects'closely roldtel to his trad;> eaucation.'   The chief
Qdacatiorn ;1 influenc..:.s which play upon him are thkosa inhderent in an
apprentica relationship to a skilleda wolkzan -- at best a paternalism,
at worst threc years of onslvovment and exploitation.    The positive val-
ues which inhere in this relationship are a pride in craftsmanship and a
:A3eply in     ained work-discipline.
The  trade union 'and'the labor party historically'bfiamo the cducationa:
';rAgonciis which influenc d the further deTelopment of the 'wor'&e'r
as a ration
and cultural being.
W'lhen labor had. something to say .about the raorganization of the state
under the Weimar constitution, it is inteiresting that the fundamental
organization of the. schools wals not chan.gedi but that ithe'. pattern bf
elementary school-apprenticeship-vocat~o lal sohool-uniloi eduoation program
remained essentially what it was. To be sure, the eleentary school', was
strengthened, and a somewhat bIroader educational program through the
8th school year ias'set iipAt the vocational school curriculum'iDncluded
4                                             ..
1L- 44U jLp  Una tne 'trade union schools .sore gr;atly extended 'and in
many
cases got direct and indird~t 'state support. JiPd the iwhole position of
'the
unions and of organized, workers in the statWe vwas set. down axd greatly
s8I/Onlh.On'ed by :ta'w, p  .hapg sP.81 the surest 'uarantee' against the
anti-labor
laws which had previously ecieted.'
' So far as youth 'as 'concerned, t he labor movement aimed 'to set up as
'extecsiv& a welfara and protecti've program as posIible and much of
this was
even extended and strengthened under the, Nazis beoause they too saew in
youtl
the strength and bulwark of the future state9   The Nazis however completely
Ywreked the unmiDLs. and With them their educational program which had been
the, one free, non-s'tate controlled element in th.e education development
of e
young woiker.
*   .                                        in F  - ;-        ..
The problems of workersI education today begin in thQ public.school
are felt in every kind of educational undertaking vihich ie available to
workers or which they organize.
but
VOCicTIONIIJ EDUCG"TIOCN
One serious charge of whioh the Nis We      gui'lty wag a persiWtent
breaking down of. th:. educational opportuaities for youth. Military services
air raid service, I"voluntary oer "'emeirgencyl-waork, the year
's labor servico,
eto. all represented interruptions or-complete breaking off of school and
apprenticeship. Today the general experiience is tilat young people are not
able to meet the former standards for the journeyments examinations either
in theoretical or praccal subjects.


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