From Hope to Harris: The Reshaping of Ontario's Schools

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University of Toronto Press, 1999 - Education - 362 pages
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In the late 1990s, Ontario's schools are in turmoil. Under the Harris government, sweeping changes in governance, finance, and curriculum have produced unprecedented conflict and deep divisions. From Hope to Harris sets these developments in a broad historical context.

Beginning with a portrait of the school system in 1950, the year the Hope Commission offered its own blueprint for Ontario's schools, Gidney describes the expansion of the system, changing purposes, conflicts over curriculum and pedagogy, the reorganization of governance and finance, and new departures in provision for Roman Catholic and francophone education. He highlights the struggles over other forms of equitable treatment for children and young people, and the impact of larger social changes on the schools. The politics of education under successive Ontario governments is a major theme, including an extended discussion of the origins, events, and immediate aftermath of the Harris government's 'common sense' revolution in education.

From Hope to Harris charts the major landmarks, the paths taken or not taken, and the debates that have washed over the educational landscape from the 1950s to the end of the century. Given the current unrest over educational issues, this book will be of interest to teachers and parents alike, and to all those concerned about the future of public education in Ontario.

 

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Contents

The Education System at MidCentury 19451960
9
Restructuring and Refinancing Education in the Sixties
37
The Reorientation of Curriculum and Pedagogy
63
A New Philosophy or Snivelling Drivel?
87
Demography Economics and the Revolting Teachers 19711984
110
The Completion of the Separate School System 19601987
124
Broadening the Mandate
155
The Contexts for PolicyMaking 19852000
165
The Pedagogy of Joy Meets Mental Might
199
The NDP and a Royal Commission 19901995
217
The Common Sense Revolution 19951998
235
Disarray
254
Retrospect
276
Bibliographic Note
299
Notes
305
Index
357

The Crisis in Finance and Governance 19851995
187

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About the author (1999)

R.D. GIDNEY is Professor Emeritus, Faculty of Education, University of Western Ontario.

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