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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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Heating and Ventilation in school house

Page 67 Fig. 4 from The School House, Cross Section of School house showing heating and ventilation

1857
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Interior Seating of a School House

Page 78 Fig. 10 from The School House, Interior Seating of a School House

1857
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Ground Plan, Education Offices and Normal School and Model School

Figure 3 from The School House, Ground Plan, Education Offices and Normal and Model Schools, Toronto

1857
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Composition Blackboard for a school room

Page 82 in The School House, Composition Blackboard for a school room

1857
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Compass, Globes

Page 89 from The School House, Compass and Globes

1857
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Telurian, Planetarium and Orrery

Page 90 from The School House, Tellurian, Planetarium and Orrery

1857
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Exercise and Calisthentics

Page 110 from The School House, Exercises and Calisthenics

1857
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Cross Section of a Class Room

Page 68, Figure 6 from The School House, cross section view of a typical school room set up

1857
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School Yard Plan

School Yard Drawing from the book The School House, J. George Hodgins

1857
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1858 School Trustee Meeting

1858 Trustee Meeting of School Section No. 7, York

1858
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1858 School Trustee Meeting

1858 Trustee Meeting of School Section No. 7, York

1858
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1858 School Trustee Meeting

1858 Trustee Meeting of School Section No. 7, York

1858
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1858 School Trustee Meeting

1858 Trustee Meeting of School Section No. 7, York

1858
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Jesse Ketchum Public School

Jesse Ketchum Public School

c. 1890
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Establishment of Free Schools

Past History and Present Condition of the Common or Public School of City of Toronto, p.38

1859
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Establishment of Free Schools

Past History and Present Condition of the Common or Public School of City of Toronto, p.35

1859
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