1845 Egerton Ryerson

  • Rev. Egerton Ryerson, D.D.

    The Beginning of Public Education

    When Charles Metcalfe appointed Egerton Ryerson as Chief Superintendent of the Common Schools of Upper Canada in 1844, the existing education system was fraught with difficulties and issues. Ryerson immediately undertook the task of reforming the education system and looked abroad for direction. He was given a year for fact-finding and gathering information. In that time, he visited the United States, England and eight European countries. Upon his return, he made a report to the Legislature that set the educational tenets on which public education would be based. From that point on, the goals of public education in Canada West were that it be government funded and available to all regardless of their economic status, attendance should be compulsory, schools should be inspected, teachers be professionally trained to specific standards and the school boards should have a great degree of autonomy in their operations.

    H.W. Smith engraver



    Copy of engraving of a man with wavy hair, stern face and white bow tie.