From Hope to Harris
The Reshaping of Ontario's SchoolsBook - 1999
In the late 1990s, Ontario's schools are in turmoil. Under the Harris government, sweeping changes in governance, finance, and curriculum have produced unprecedented conflict and deep divisions. From Hope to Harris sets these developments in a broad historical context.
Beginning with a portrait of the school system in 1950, the year the Hope Commission offered its own blueprint for Ontario's schools, Gidney describes the expansion of the system, changing purposes, conflicts over curriculum and pedagogy, the reorganization of governance and finance, and new departures in provision for Roman Catholic and francophone education. He highlights the struggles over other forms of equitable treatment for children and young people, and the impact of larger social changes on the schools. The politics of education under successive Ontario governments is a major theme, including an extended discussion of the origins, events, and immediate aftermath of the Harris government's 'common sense' revolution in education.
From Hope to Harris charts the major landmarks, the paths taken or not taken, and the debates that have washed over the educational landscape from the 1950s to the end of the century. Given the current unrest over educational issues, this book will be of interest to teachers and parents alike, and to all those concerned about the future of public education in Ontario.