Education Theories

EducationTheories

QuestionOne

Revisionism

Revisionismas thehistoricalviewpointemanatedas an alternativeto whigshistory.Revisionist historiansproposethatearlyCanadian educationalhistoriansof theWhigorientationconcentratedon theworkof individualsinsteadof takinginto accounttheeffectsof thesocialcontext(Ellis 2012). Thisis theprimaryfactorthat propelledrevisionists historianswhosoughtto appraisetheeducationalsystemin thewidersocialcontext,to weighitagainst thesocialandpoliticaleventsandinvestigatetheaspectsof equality,ethnicity andgender.Based on my understandingtheradicalrevisionists viewsare tooglobal. Theyplaceimmenseemphasison theissuesof dominationandpower,buttotallydisregardthedevelopmentof individualitiesandsmallgroups.Theterm‘’revisionism’’ is normallypaintedina badlight-negativemeaning– like itis a falsification of history.

Radicalversus Moderate Revisionist

Moderaterevisionism appearsto be a morelogicalmethod.Historians,whofavormoderaterevisionism, endeavorto presentpast eventsin thewidersocial,economic,religiousandpoliticalenvironmentof theperiodin which theyhappened.Themainreasonrevisionism, especiallymoderaterevisionism appealsto me is solelybecauseof thefactthatitis an optimal methodforthemodernworld(Prentice, 2004). Istoutly believethattheeducationsystemcan not beappraisedandresearchedsolely,in seclusionfrom socialandpoliticalenvironment,butfrom theotherfacet,worldissuesought,notto dominatein thehistoryof education.Themainreasonmoderaterevisionism isparticularly appealingto me is thefactthatitappearsto be immuneto numerousworriesthat appearto erectresistanceandfuelhesitancyto radical revisionist perspectives.

Anexcellentexampleof revisionism is thehistoryof thechurchschools.Itis a knownfactthattheveryfirstschoolin France wererunby thechurch.In 1999,theU.N madea verdictthatthesupportof Catholic schoolsin Canada wasnon-tolerant (Ellis 2012). Itis apparentthehistoryof churchschoolsin thiscountryhas beenrevisedseveraltimesover thecourseof time.Itis alsotooevidentthatWhighistory,regardlessof its merits,is ratheroutdatedandbiased. On theotherhandethnographic history,which isfiguredas theoppositeof radicalrevisionism, is tooconstricted.Itlooksat historicaleventson a platformof ethnos,anditis theimportantpartof thehistoricalsciencethoughitcannot be a suitableuniversalmethod(Prentice, 2004).

Inthe1960s and1970s schoolingwasone of thepublicestablishmentthat underwentthrough massivecriticismfrom theNew left.Theserevolutionariessoughtto sharplycriticizedthebureaucratic, racistsandclass-biased publicschools(Prentice, 2004). Thiscriticismwagedagainst a schoolingsystemthat wasseenas generallyunfitforchildrencameamidst a periodwhenracialtensionhadreachedthehighestlevel in manyurbancentersin Canada andUnited States. Therevisionistperspectivehas particularlycaughtmy attentionbecausetheNew Left criticismof theCanadian schoolingsystemspilledover into theacademicstudyof educationhistory.Proponentsof changesin theschoolingsystemsoughta newformof educationhistorythat would incorporatetheviewsof theNew Left andaddressthemanyshortcomingsof thehitherto(Skilling, 2000).

Someof themostvibrantmemberswhohadformedtheradicalrevisionists movementincludedJoel Spring, Michael Katz,andViolas Paul. Thesescholarspursueddiverselinesof historicalscholarshipthat weredecisivefortheCanadian publicschooling(Ellis 2012). WhileworkingattheOntario Institute forStudies in Education Katz supervisedmanygraduateswhowould latergoon to producerevisionist accountsof Canadian Educational History.ThesescholarswhoincludedPrentice Alison questionedthemotivationsbehind theschoolpromoters in Canada in the19th century.Katz wasone of themostvocalradicalrevisionists whosegroundbreaking analysisreworkedtheliberalcontentionon which thehistoryof Canadian educationwasgrounded(Ellis 2012). Theliberalconstrual of educationhistorywasthatpublicschoolingsystemwaswonin the19th centuryby liberalandenlightenedreformers, from a rancorous classof plutocratsandaristocrats,andfortheobligedworkingclass.Katz contendsthat,to thecontrary,changesin educationwereimposedon theworkingclass-whoopposedit-by self-satisfiedandself-interested liberal,middle-classreformers (Axelrod, 2003). Katzalsocontendsthatliberalscholarshadnot notionthatpublicschoolinghadin effectenhancedandpromotedsocialmobilityandthatithadby farandlargeequalizedopportunitiesforthechildrenof theworkingclasswasoff thebeam(Ellis 2012).

Radicalrevisionists suchas Tyack andKatz hadalsohighlighted bureaucracyin thepublicschoolingsystemas anotherpreceptfortheir argument.Bothhadidentifiedthatpublicschoolingsystemespeciallyin urbanareashadbecometoobureaucratic particularlybetween 1850s and1940s. Thisbureaucracyhadsbecomethemainpremisethatradicalrevisionist haveusedto critique theeducationalhistory.Radicalrevisionists contendthatas theschoolsystembecamemoreandmorebureaucratized, itfellunder totalcontrolof theelite group.Whowerenot sensitiveandconsciousof theneedsof thelocalcommunities.Thisbureaucracyiscitedas themainfactorbehind theeconomic,racialandsocialinequality,andtheelite groupreproducedtheinequalityinsteadof attackingit.

Moderaterevisionists havecometo acceptthefactthatbattlesover educationchangesin thepasthas ledto improvedpubliceducation.However,moderaterevisionists are not uncriticalof themotives,reformsandmethodsandharmfulresultsof themyriad of educationalpolicies.Bothpartsof thedivide agreethatthesocietyhas gainedfrom publiceducationover theyears(Ellis 2012).

QuestionTwo

PublicSchooling in 19thCentury Upper Canada

Inthe19th-centuryeducationin Upper Canada justlike in manypartsoftheWesternWorldwascharacteristically informalandlargelyvoluntary.In thisera,manyof thechildrenin Upper Canada learnedmostof whattheyrequiredfrom their parentsandotheradultsin neighboring families(Di,2012).In placeswherecommercialactivitiesandchurcheshadpenetrated,theyservedas supplementsto theinformaleducationthat childrenreceivedin thefieldsandworkshops(Prentice, 2004). Onlya fewchildrenfrom Upper Canada wereableto receiveformaleducationfromteachersin smallschoolinginstitutionsandotherschoolsthat wererunby womenandmenas privateventures.

Manypeoplewhoresidedin Upper Canada appearedto be satisfiedwith theminimaleducationfortheir children,eitherat thelocalschool,at homeorin at theneighbors.Themostsalientfeaturethat unifiedschoolingwasthebrevityof theformaleducationandtherigidstateof thetraditionalcurriculum (Prentice, 2004). Itis worthstatingthein thiseraallschoolswhetherpublicschoolthat werepartiallysupportedby thecentralgovernmentorprivateschoolsrequiredparentsto payschoolsfees,there wasin realitynodifferencebetween privateandpubliceducation.In his regardsfamiliesthat senttheir childrento schoolsexpectedto paysomeamountforschooling(Prentice, 2004). Itis thisblendof privateandpublicschooling,plus theformalandcasualin theeducationof Upper Canadian leaner’s,that producedthea primaryliteracyforthemajorityof residentsin theprovince.Apparently,not allpeoplewerehappywith thestateof education,however,in themid19th centurythere weretremendouschanges.In thepoliticalarena,Upper Canada joinedwith Lower Canada tocreatetheprovinceof Canada which afterwardbecametheprovinceof Ontario (Burke, 2012).

Inurbanareas,thereexisteda fewmoderatelylargemonitorial institutionsthat wererunby religioussocieties.In 1807,thelegislaturein Upper Canada passeda resolutionto solicitforfinancesfordistrictgrammarschoolsandafter one decade otherlegislationshadprovidedforgovernmentfundedlocalschools(Axelrod, 2003).

LiteratureReview

Theoriginsof Canadian educationalsystem

Asaforementioned, thefirstschoolsin Upper Canada wererunby thechurch.In theearlyyearsof the19th century,theBritish governmentsoughtto establishpublicfunded educationsystems(Houston&amp Prentice, 1988). Inthebeginning,thedivisive doctrinesbetween Protestants andCatholics madetheeducationveryproblematic.ForexampleCatholic minorityin Upper Canada vehemently rebuffedthepracticeof biblical teachingin schoolswhichwascommonamong Protestants (Prentice, 2004). Within a shortperiod,thepublicschoolsin Upper Canada graduallybecamemoreandmoresecularized. Thisis perhapsthemainreasonthat madeCanadian believein theseparationof stateandchurch.

Itis evidentthatthebreakthroughwasmadein the1840s.At thebeginningof the19th century,privatelyfundedlearning institutionswereas manyas thosefundedby thegovernment.Sundayschoolsrunprimarilyby Christian churcheswereeducatingmorethan 10,000 learners(Taylor&amp Owram,1994).Inthe849s schoolingin Upper Canada wasundergoinggradualtransformationfrom sectarian,informalandvoluntaryto asolidsystemof education,governedby a multifaceted bureaucracyandthat weretaughtby competentstaff(Wilsonetal,1984).

Acentralfigurein publicschoolingin Upper Canada in the19th centurywasReverend Dr. Ryerson Egerton. In theyear1944 Rev Ryerson wasappointedto serveas thechiefeducationsuperintendentforUpper Canada (Axelrod, 2003). Ryerson wasone of theprominentfiguresthat shapedandformulatedlegislationthat wereaptforUpper Canada. Ryerson is thepersonbehind thelegitimization of universallyaccessibleelementaryeducationforallchildrenin Upper Canada. In truth,thechangesthat wereintroducedby Rev. Ryerson createdthefoundationfora universaleducationsystemin thewholecountry(Prentice, 2004). In themiddleof the19th century,Canadawasundergoingmassivepolitical,economicandtechnological transformation.Thenewsocialordercalledforpubliceducationto be a vehicle,a toolof democratization. Therebellionof 1837 wasthecrucibleforreformin theeducationandschoolingsystemin Upper Canada (Gough, 2011). To manyCanadians,therebellionwasa strongsignalof a societythat wasin jeopardy-a societyunder threatandwithout which wason thevergeof a socialcollapse(Axelrod, 2003). Asmentionedabove before therebellionof 1837 formalschoolingwasa preserve of theeconomicelite.In thisera,itwasclearto manyCanadian thatthemaingoalof publicschoolingwascultivationof loyaltyto theCrown, deferenceto authorityandrespectforproperty.Thesepreceptsweremeantto mouldreliablecitizens,with enoughpotential to underpin civilandeconomicorder,andthatwould performa criticalrolein ensuringpoliticalorderandstability(Prentice, 2004).

Theanalysisofthe ideologicalsystemof publiceducationillustratesthatschoolswerevitaltoolsin theevolutionof classrule.Schoolsofferedthemiddle-classcitizensvaluesandattitudesforidleandpoor(Axelrod, 2003). In a globeof mass education,thecommunityin Upper Canada would be renderedsafer.Manycitizensin thebracketsof themiddleclassstronglybelievedthatschoolingwasa strategynot onlyforfutureprospectsbutalsoforsocialascendancyof their children.Thisis themainreasongrammarexpandedsignificantly between 1840 and1870. Axelrodviewspublicschoolsas thevehiclesof socialdominance andunderscoresthegrowingtense between localcommunitiesandbureaucratic authority(Axelrod, 2003).

Conclusion

Itis fairlyclearthatthedevelopmentandchangesof Canadian educationalsystemwerenot a smoothprocess,buttheeffectsweregenerallypositive.EventhoughthecurrentCanadian educationsystemhas beenlargelyshapedby section93 of thefederalconstitution,itis evidentthatschooldistrictsthat aregovernedby locallyelectedboardof trusteeshavebeenthemainfactorsin thepublicschoolingin Canada.

References

Axelrod,P. (2003). Thepromise of schooling: Education of Canada, 1800-1914.Toronto [u.a.: Univ. of Toronto Press.

Burke,S. Z. (2012). Schoolingin transition: Readings in Canadian history education.Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Di,M. A. (2012). Theidea of popular schooling in Upper Canada: Print culture, publicdiscourse, and the demand for education.Montreal: McGill-Queen`s University Press

Ellis,J. (2012). TheHistory of Education As “Active History”: A Cautionary Tale?Word Press. Retrieved from:http://activehistory.ca/papers/history-papers-11/

Gough,B. M. (2011). Historicaldictionary of Canada.Lanham, Md: Scarecrow Press.

Houston,S. E., &amp Prentice, A. L. (1988). Schoolingand scholars in nineteenth-century Ontario.Toronto: University of Toronto Press

Prentice,A. (2004). Theschool promoters: Education and social class in mid-nineteenthcentury Upper Canada.Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Skilling,H. G. (2000). Theeducation of a Canadian: My life as a scholar and activist.Montreal, Que: Published for Carleton University by McGill-Queen`sUniversity Press.

Taylor,M. B., &amp Owram, D. (1994). Canadianhistory: A reader`s guide.Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Wilson,J. D., Canadian History of Education Association., &amp Universityof British Columbia. (1984). AnImperfect past: Education and society in Canadian history.Vancouver, B.C: Published in association with the Canadian History ofEducation Association by Centre for the Study of Curriculum andInstruction, University of British Columbia.

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