The article deals with an important problem facing the reconstruction of Czechoslovak education — viz. the problem of linking up classroom instruction with productive work. On the basis of an analysis of economico-social conditions, the author demon strates why the idea of using work in education, preached by progressive thinkers of the past, did not penetrate into the school earlier and why today we are striving to put this idea into practice.
He proceeds from the idea of work being the fundamental condition of human life and the source of upbringing. He analyses the views of ancient philosophers on the significance of work in education, the standpoint of medieval scholasticism on this question, he appraises the progressive ideas of utopian socialists, of J. A. Comenius, John Bellers, of the French thinkers of the Age of Enlightenment, of J. J. Pestalozzi, Robert Owen, and of the classics of Marxism. He compares them with the reactionary educational trends of German Idealism, leading to Herbartian Intellectualist school, to an incessant deepening of the contradiction between mental and physical work. He explains the origin of technical and vocational schools as well as the attempts to build up a working school in the conditions of capitalist society. He recalls the experiences gained in building up a uniform working school in the period of transition to socialism In the Soviet Union, as they appear in the works of V. I. Lenin, N. K. Krupskaya and in the educational practice of A. S. Makarenko.
The study concludes by pointing out what conditions are necessary for this educational idea to be put into practice and what tasks this problem involves.