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Reformation of Canada's Schools

Reformation of Canada's Schools: Breaking the Barriers to Parental Choice

Copyright Date: 1998
Pages: 308
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  • Book Info
    Reformation of Canada's Schools
    Book Description:

    Holmes presents a textured picture of the difficulties facing schools in Canada. He examines the social background of students and the competing goals of parents, teachers, and governments. He criticizes progressivism, or child-centred education, and speaks out against the closed-mindedness of the educational establishment. He also looks at current research on effective and ineffective schools, as well as on education achievement in national and international terms. His findings show that the difficulties facing Canadian schools are not caused by a lack of money but by a poor allocation of funds.

    eISBN: 978-0-7735-6730-6
    Subjects: Education

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Tables
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Preface
    (pp. ix-xii)
  5. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xiii-2)
  6. Introduction
    (pp. 3-15)

    Does Canadian education require fundamental, structural reform? Certainly not, if one believes most employees of the systems of public education. I was one of them for sixteen years. They are, for the most part, sincere and hard-working people who know that they are doing their best for the students. Most recognize that there are problems in education, as in every other sphere of life, but they believe, unlike many parents, that the essential causes lie outside the school.

    The situation is not so simple. In 1993 my wife (a public school teacher) and I (a professor working in educational policy)...

  7. 1 The Funding of Elementary and Secondary Education
    (pp. 16-50)

    Money is not the most important problem facing Canadian schools, even if readers in some provinces, hearing the screams coming from school boards and teachers’ unions, may think so. Even where money is a part of the issue, increased overall spending is unlikely to contribute to the solution. Moreover, most provinces are either holding the line or cutting back. What we cannot do any more is to identify problems and throw money at them. That is just as well. Profligate spending has not produced educational excellence, but it has created a well of bad feeling in taxpayers.

    Too many administrators...

  8. 2 The Social Context of the School
    (pp. 51-84)

    Critics of education often blame the schools for all sorts of things over which schools themselves have no control, according to defenders of the status quo. Such defensiveness is often justifiable because schools are just one factor, and not the most important one, in determining what young people are when they leave. For that reason, schools are better off concentrating on the things that they can demonstrably do, rather than on trying to do all kinds of things that they either cannot do at all or can only influence very slightly. School people weaken their position when they make public...

  9. 3 What Do Canadian Schools Do?
    (pp. 85-151)

    This chapter is concerned with what goes on in schools and the changes that are brought about by them in students. A short overview cannot possibly provide a detailed picture; rather, the major contested policy issues are emphasized. The commentary should be seen in context. It is clear that for the most part money is not the crucial problem. Most Canadian public schools are on the whole well funded, even though the distribution of money is wasteful and unfair. It is equally clear that the Canadian social context is not one that is likely to contribute to an effective and...

  10. 4 Theory and Practice in Canadian Schools: Research and Teachers
    (pp. 152-196)

    The last chapter provided a sketch of the purposes, programs, and outcomes of Canadian schools. Some readers will conclude that the school is simply a reflection of Canadian society, and there is truth in that view, as chapters 2 and 3 taken together attest. One could equally observe that if Canada is the best country in the world in which to live, it is not the best one in which to be schooled. Certainly, there are many Canadians who are poorly or not at all served by the public system. Irrespective of the overall quality of Canadian schools, which reasonable...

  11. 5 Problems and Solutions
    (pp. 197-276)

    A picture has been drawn of elementary and secondary education in Canada within its social context; it is not factually comprehensive. The purpose of this book is the advocacy of educational reform, not a bland, non-judgmental prescription that everyone will accept. While I have tried to be fair to Canadian schools, which have been a major part of my life, I am convinced that the system is out of kilter. There is too much dissatisfaction, not only on the part of parents, the public, and employers, but also among teachers, and it is substantially warranted. I have tried to avoid...

  12. APPENDIX: A List of Recommended Educational Policies
    (pp. 277-286)
  13. References and Further Reading
    (pp. 287-290)
  14. Index
    (pp. 291-293)