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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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St. James

St. James' Anglican Cathedral (opened 1853), King Street. E., n.e. corner Church St.

1867
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Charlie Munro as a Child

Charlie Munro as a Child

1868
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Certificate of Honour

City of Toronto Public Schools Certificate of Honour

July 30, 1868
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Three-Part Songs

Title Page, Three-Part Songs For The Use Of The Pupils Of The Public Schools Of Canada

1869
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Queen Victoria

Bust of Queen Victoria

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George Anthony Barber

George Anthony Barber

c. 1875
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Common Schools Improvement Act

1871 Education Act, from Documentary History of Education in Upper Canada, p. 213-214

1908
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Improvement Bill

The Grammar and Common Schools Improvement Bill of 1871

1908
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Improvement Bill

The Grammar and Common Schools Improvement Bill of 1871

1908
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Improvement Bill

The Grammar and Common Schools Improvement Bill of 1871

1908
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Improvement Bill

The Grammar and Common Schools Improvement Bill of 1871

1908
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Improvement Bill

The Grammar and Common Schools Improvement Bill of 1871

1908
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Improvement Bill

The Grammar and Common Schools Improvement Bill of 1871

1908
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Improvement Bill

The Grammar and Common Schools Improvement Bill of 1871

1908
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Improvement Bill

The Grammar and Common Schools Improvement Bill of 1871

1908
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Improvement Bill

The Grammar and Common Schools Improvement Bill of 1871

1908
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