Children of Mao: Personality Development and Political by Anita Chan

By Anita Chan

Booklet through Chan, Anita

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Extra resources for Children of Mao: Personality Development and Political Activism in the Red Guard Generation

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Teachers showed more sympathy towards the students. The atmosphere was one of serious learning , with the children's manual work interspersed with organized recreation. But from Bai's description, the students were provided with much more freedom than in Ao's school. Bai developed skills in marbles and snake-catching and went swimming with friends, pursuits condemned and prohibited in regular schools. For instance, that boy cadre who attended an ordinary primary school had not dared to play marbles in school, and only did so 'naughtily' after school.

Political Education, Character Formation in Primary School 29 Ao held the red scarf as sacred . For it, she was prepared to defy authority for the first and only time while in primary school , out of a strong conviction that she had already justly atoned for her sin through feelings of contrition . By the upper years of primary school , not all pupils - especially boys - took the red scarf so seriously. It was allowed to stay dirty, was crumpled up and stuffed inside pockets. By the fifth and sixth grades , when almost all the children were Young Pioneers, belonging no longer seemed to hold any great value.

To become a model student, Ao had to be more than a good pupil. She also needed to succeed as a political activist. As a good pupil, she 24 Children of Mao had worked at her studies diligently, had been obedient, quiet and respectful to teachers, had observed school regulations, and had performed duties such as cleaning the floor or wiping the blackboards when her turn came . An activist had to take the initiative to do more. When asked how children could become activists, Ao took herself as an example : Organize something for the class.

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