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The Radical Reform Collection

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The foundations of the present-day Canadian public education system were laid in the 19th century when Canada was still a British colony. The goal of those who were set the task of reforming the education system was to better meet the needs of British colonial interests and the interests of a colony whose cities were growing. When you examine the artifacts in this collection, you always have to ask the question "whose needs are being met as public education evolved?"

There are a few key questions to keep in mind, when considering the social issues that the public education system attempts to address, be it the lack of care for underprivileged children, corporal punishment, special education or treatment of those outside of the white Anglo-Saxon Protestant majority.
These key questions include:
 - To what extent does this issue continue? And how has it changed to the present day?
 - From whose perspective were changes in the nature of public education advantageous to the larger portion of society?
 - To what extent could changes be described as ‘radical reform’ and to what extent were the changes reactions to a changing social and political climate?

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Clinton Street School

Clinton Street School

c. 1920
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Smead Dry Closet

The Smead Dry Closet

August 7, 1888
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Third Class Teaching Certificate

Third Class Teacher's Certificate Issued to Charles Cooper

December 31, 1888
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Wellesley Street School

Class at Wellesley Street School

1889
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Proposed inscription for Egerton Ryerson Memorial

Proposed inscription for Egerton Ryerson Memorial

1889
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Statue of Egerton Ryerson

Statue of Egerton Ryerson from "Ryerson Memorial Volume".

1889
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High School Botany Textbook, "The Elements of Structural Botany"

High School Botany Textbook, "The Elements of Structural Botany"

1889
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Grace Street School

Grace Street School

c. 1915
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Perth Avenue School

Perth Avenue School

c. 1915
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Palmerston Avenue School

Palmerston Avenue School

c. 1915
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Don't Use Electric Light!

Ad for kerosene lamps, Don't Use Electric Light!

1889
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Leslie Street School

Leslie Street School

c. 1920
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Ontario Society of Artists Members

Ontario Society of Artists Members

1889
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Smead's Heating System

Illustration of Heating System from Ventilation and Warming of Buildings, 1889: Toledo, p. 23

1889
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Hot Air Furnaces

Hot Air Furnaces from the book Ventilation and Warming of Buildings, 1889: Toledo, p. 12

1889
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Mary Street School

Mary Street School

1889
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