RE: [xmca] LV Quote on the importance of meaningful work in learning and development

From: David Kellogg <vaughndogblack who-is-at>
Date: Sat Jan 12 2008 - 11:22:29 PST

Thanks, Helena, for the heads-up on an incoming terminological confusion. In China, anyway, it wasn't really vocational training; it was a course called "laodong ke" (labor class), mandatory in elementary schools, and it involved going to factories or farms to help the workers or farmers.
  Bella mentions the GENDER specification of skills in Soviet education-through-labour. An even bigger bifurcation in China is town and country. My brother in law did his "laodong ke" in a textile factory, winding up waste thread from bobbins for re-use (and was almost severely hurt one day). My wife went to the countryside--they didn't have threshing machines, and the usual means of threshing grain was to put it on the road and let trucks run over it, so they used children to pick up the leftover grain that farmers had left.
  I remember touring a prison in Hubei Province with an inmate and being told proudly that he was deemed intelligent enough to work in the prison glass factory instead of on the farm. I asked if he didn't wonder at this, since glasswork can be very repetitive and mindless, while farming requires all kinds of scientific skills, from climatology to astronomy (the lunar calendar) to genetics to (market) economics. He didn't, though.
  Neither does my wife, actually. That's what SHE learned in "laodong ke"!
  David Kellogg
  Seoul National University of Education

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Received on Sat Jan 12 11:24 PST 2008

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