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Worker Education Classes Emphasize Outcomes

Traditional educators always understood the notion of learning for its own sake as one of their vocation’s guiding principles. One learns a language or logical system because it stimulates the mind, they thought. Measurements of intellectual development prevailed. However, from the beginning, architects of South Africa’s sophisticated worker education classes program insisted growth rates and numerical indices of students’ achievement never would document the effectiveness of or prove the value of their instruction and activities. Workers and their employers had to see meaningful results. If a skill did not contribute to work, or if an alumnus of worker education could not apply a skill at work, the whole enterprise was worthless. Workers and managers demanded performance prove instruction’s effectiveness. All the collaborators in the nation’s system of worker education classesagreed, “The immediate value of the training program must be observable.” A principle so patently clear to businessmen revolutionized worker education classes.