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The development of work-study and school enterprises in China`s schools

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Throughout much of their history the Chinese have made a clear distinction between the role in society to be fulfilled by those with formal education and those without. During this century this distinction has become blurred, particularly during the Mao years. Since the Revolution, a heavy emphasis has been placed on the importance of labour; its introduction into the schools as part of the curriculum was an attempt to bring an end to the privileged role held by the educated in Chinese society. The inclusion of labour into the school curriculum was based on an ideological position held by the Communists, and that ideology ran contrary to traditional Chinese educational thought and practice. During the past 40 years the work-study programmes in Chinese schools have evolved into a variety of school enterprises which now serve not only an ideological purpose but also the vocational needs of the students, while at the same time providing much needed financing for Chinese schools. This paper explores this historical development and looks at several examples of how it has effected school curricula in Guangdong Province.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1997-01-01

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