(Russian, proizvodstvennaia praktika), at special schools in the USSR and a number of other countries, an integral part of the training of specialists, with the purpose of giving students in secondary and higher schools practical knowledge, skills, and habits in their chosen specialties. Work practice helps reinforce and check on theoretical knowledge. It also promotes the mastery of progressive technological processes, as well as adaptation to actual production conditions, and it strengthens ties between educational institutions and production.
In the 1860’s and 1870’s the Moscow Technical School (now the N. E. Bauman Moscow Higher Technical School) developed a system of training specialists (including skilled workers) that provided for an integral link between theoretical studies and practical training in a specialty. This system, which was known as the Russian school of practical training, was later adopted by leading technical schools in the USA and in Western Europe.
The Soviet system of higher and secondary specialized and vocational and technical education combines “theory and practice in a single educational process designed so that each stage of work practice is subordinated to passing the corresponding part of the theoretical course” (Sept. 19, 1932, decree of the Central Executive Committee of the USSR, entitled Curricula and Schedules in Higher Schools and Technicums).
Work practice is organized at enterprises equipped with modern equipment and at sovkhozes, kolkhozes, schools, and hospitals. The scope, content, and duration of work practice are established in the schools’ curricula and syllabi, which take into account the special characteristics of each specialized field. During work practice students from secondary and higher schools usually spend their time at places of work, taking paid positions in their specialties. Work practice is offered for six to seven months of the period of study at institutions of higher learning and for up to nine months at secondary schools.
There are three types of work practice: general training, technological work practice, and pregraduation work practice. At technicums, work practice includes production training toward a rating in a particular vocation. About 50 percent of study time is allocated to production training and pregraduation work practice, which constitute the foundation of the vocational training of skilled workers in the vocational and technical education system.
In many foreign countries, students in secondary schools become acquainted with production work during vacations. Young specialists become familiar with production after completing their studies, by working in their fields of specialization.
I. A. BELOGLAZOV