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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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Rochdale Pail Closet

Rochdale Pail Closet

c. 1884
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Privy

Dry-Earth Privy

c. 1884
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Canadian History, Examination Primer

Canadian History, Examination Primer

1885
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Hester How

Portrait photo of Hester How

1885-1895
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Market Lane School

Market Lane School, Colborne St., n. side, between Church & Market Sts.

1885
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Morse Street School

Morse Street School

c. 1915
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Colonial & Indian Exhibition, London England 1886

Report of the School Appliances, exhibited at the Colonial & Indian Exhibition, London England 1886

1887
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Queen Victoria medals

Queen Victoria Golden Jubilee Medals

1887
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Clinton Street School

Clinton Public School Exterior

c. 1900
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Silver plated desk set

Silver Teacher’s Desk Set damaged in the Wellesley Street School fire of 1891.

c. 1887
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Physical Culture, - Position of the Pupil, Standing at Attention

Physical Culture, - Position of the Pupil, Standing at Attention

1887
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C.A.B. Brown

C.A.B. Brown

c. 1887
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Perspective and Geometrical Drawing

Title Page, Perspective and Geometrical Drawing

1887
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Lansdowne Ave. School

Classroom of students outside Lansdowne Public School

1888
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Victoria Industrial School

Victoria Industrial School for Boys, Judson St., n.w. corner Ourland Ave.

1955
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John Fisher School

John Fisher School

c. 1915
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