This article was developed as a proposal for a Ph. D. thesis at the Faculty of Education, McGill University. It was published in Discourse, The St. Lawrence Institute, Winter, 1994.
In 1975 I published an article entitled “Some Reflections on Canadian Education” in the History and Social Science Teacher. I argued then that Canada had never produced an indigenous philosophy of education but had accepted imported ideas, first from Europe and later from the United States.
I pointed out that, by the late nineteenth century, the classical curriculum of the British grammar school, imported in the early years of colonial North America, gave way to the ideas of European social revolutionaries like Rousseau, Pestalozzi, Herbart and Froebels. These philosophers changed our perception of the school’s purpose, slowly eroding the traditional concentration on formal literacy and the acquisition of knowledge, and giving way to an increasing concern with the methods of teaching and the interests of the child.
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By Yarema Kelebay and William Brooks
Following the publication of a green paper on education, the Quebec Ministry of Education decided to revise much of the province’s public school curriculum. One of the most controversial programs then under revision was the compulsory Canadian history course given at the Secondary IV level. The following case against that program was first published in the West Island News and Chronicle on Tuesday, November 15, 1979. It was later published as a cover story in Teaching History by the (British) Historical Society, London, UK, October 1980.
The Case: `Where is freedom when you cannot protect your children against Marxist and separatist teachings by some professor and your children are told you are a foul bourgeois and an exploiter?” – Roger Lemelin, President and Publisher of La Press, Montreal.
Recently the Quebec Ministry of Education has produced a combination of documents which amount to a detailed outline for a new history course. Since the new “Histoire Nationale” will be compulsory for all Quebec students wishing to obtain a high school leaving certificate, it would be valuable for all citizens and parents to know what it proposes to teach.
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