page contents

Work People's College is a labor college which evolved from a Finnish immigrant folk seminary established in 1903, through a socialist college in 1907, and eventually to a training school for the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW).

"The overall purpose was to get people doing things that led them to hunt up information; have people put on skits, have them practice soap-boxing. I tried to get it so they were doing and I was the instigator, rather than the lecturer. I found that one of the best ways to get people actually to use their noodle and find something else was to get them into teams for a debate. We would debate all kinds of subjects. Topics would come up, somebody would say, 'Let's debate this thing.' In general, while we had classes that were named various subjects, I would say as far as I was concerned, the whole thrust of the thing was to get people interested in finding something else and then getting on their hind legs and talking about it. I'll admit that every once in a while I would find that it was degrading into lectures, because the easiest way [is] you tell it to them and put some things on the blackboard. But I found that was the poorest way that you could devise to transmit information, a very poor way."—Fred Thompson, Principal, Work People's College

Sons of Toil and Danger

Leave a comment:



Serving Working Folk Since 2010