ERIC Number: ED173194
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Apr-9
Reference Count: 0
Experiential Learning in Revolutionary and Post-Revolutionary China.
Kraft, Richard J.
Experience-based learning has been evident in the Chinese educational system since the 1930s. Following the Long March in 1934-35, the Chinese Communists introduced a nonformal, experience-based educational system in North Shensi province. This system included drama groups in the countryside to educate peasants, classes in factories, and discussion groups in the fields. At the same time, Mao Tse-Tung wrote his essay "On Practice" in which he stated that practice takes precedence over theory. In 1949 a temporary Chinese constitution included a continued emphasis on experience-based learning by stressing practical technical and agricultural education. Mass literacy campaigns in the early 1950s encouraged rural farmers to read and to create their own textbooks for farming. With the Great Leap Forward in 1958 came decentralization of education, development of local curriculum, criticism of professional teachers, and opening of work-study schools. In the early 1960s revisionists attacked the economic failures of the Great Leap Forward and consequently experience-based learning suffered a setback. But in 1966 the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution reaffirmed the closing of universities, and students and teachers were sent to the country to learn productive labor. Some schools formed their own factories, and May 7 cadre schools combined manual labor with political study. In 1976 changes were made in the educational system to reinstate professional teachers, upgrade standards, and limit admission. Experience-based learning continues to persist in China, but not as comprehensively as it was during the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. (AV)
Descriptors: Adult Education, Area Studies, Comparative Education, Developing Nations, Educational Change, Educational History, Educational Philosophy, Educational Trends, Elementary Secondary Education, Experiential Learning, Foreign Countries, Higher Education, Literacy, Political Influences, Relevance (Education), Rural Education, Speeches
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented to American Educational Research Association (San Francisco, California, April 9, 1979)