Reading 2

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McGill University
Curriculum and Instruction
EDEC 247
Tino Bordonaro

EDEC 247 Fall 2013 Reading 2: The Quiet Revolution, The Reforms of the 1960s  1960 Liberal party (lead by Lesage) assumed power & launched Quiet Revolution  during decade that traditional cultural fabric of French Canada challenged & changed  left reformed ideology that accommodated basic principles of modernization  revolution of ideas, rejection of prevailing ideology  French Canadians declared war on their value system & institutions  traditionally rejected strong state  didn’t burst onto scene unannounced  dress rehearsal in 1950s  Pierre Trudeau, Gerard Pelletier & Pierre LaPorte attacked alliance between government & conservative forces in society (big business, church, agrarian interests)  Catholic Church beginning to reassess role in society  newspaper anticipated revolution by attacking existing social & political order  Les Insoleces du Frere Untel accused school & church of inculcating public mind notions of conformity, security & blind obedience to authority  revised ideology  secular state; accepted reality of urban industrial society  Lesage government strengthened public’s hand in economic domain  nationalized electricity; established state investment corporation to aid small businesses; tabled plans for state-operated steel complex  showed spectator government was a thing of the past  1960-1966, 6 new government ministries created  number of civil servants increased by more than 2/5  occupational opportunities for rising generation of well-educated French Canadians & strengthening of already dominant position of Francophones in public administration due to enlarged state apparatus  government more prepared to intervene in social & welfare matters (from church)  took control of health & welfare programs (from Ottawa)  school reform large  education became instrument of national policy  emergence of state as dominant education authority whose function was to provide for school needs of all citizens  1950s interest groups began to speak out in favour of increased educational opportunities  asked to make school free at all levels & extend compulsory school leaving age  education became a public issue  Duplessis government accused of mixing education & politics of patronage  school officials often didn’t know when government would arrive & how much it would be  couldn’t pay teachers on time  government warned school boards that unless they voted Union Nationale grant was in danger of being reduced or cut off  would send Union Nationale rep. to personally deliver cheque st  1 step in Lesage government for education: 1961 passage of series of laws collectively known as Magna Charta of Education  laws designed to solve pressing educational problems  wanted to repair, not reform education  basic principle: the right of every Quebec youngster to receive an education appropriate to his interests, irrespective of financial considerations  major provisions: o raised school leaving age of 14 to 15 o abolition of public secondary school fees o right of parents to vote in school elections o plans for establishment of larger school units o increased government spending at all levels of education  one of the laws lead to creation of Royal Commission of Inquiry of Education ie/ Parent Commission  task: examine & report on all formal education, public and private, from preschool onward  9 members  7 lay, 2 religious  completed report in 1966  highly critical of Quebec education o ill-suited for modern industrial state o condemned elitist character of education o appalling lack of coordination in administration of education o overemphasis on literary knowledge at expense of scientific & practical studies o outdated & authoritarian classroom procedures o insufficient spending on education  proposed comprehensive reforms o centralization of education in an education ministry o expanded enrolments o improvement in school’s holding power o greater stress of scientific, technical & practical education o introduction of more modern teaching techniques o restructuring of secondary & postsecondary education along comprehensive school lines  became blueprint for massive education reform in 1960s  1964 government passed Bill 60 to create Ministry of Education  opposed initially by Catholic  thought it threatened family & church rights, & exposed education to political intervention  growing support since state only agency properly equipped to plan, organize & finance school system  Church leaders reconciled but requested written assurances in Bill 60 recognizing right of individuals & private groups to establish & maintain schools  establishment of education ministry represented effort to bring measure of coordination & coherence to public education  establishment of education ministry gave education a single democratic voice at provincial level  establishment of education ministry altered balance of education power in province  Catholic & Protestant Committees reassigned to Superior Council of Education  advisory council  role restricted to ensuring confessional character of public education  1966 Ministry of Education given legislative approval to implement structural & curricular reforms for elementary, secondary, pre-university & vocational education  common education ladder formed to bring unity to Catholic & Protestant schools  elementary schools  7 to 6 years o pedagogical, not curricular  mattered more how they were taught, not what they were taught o endorsed child-centred school o slow to develop  teachers wanted to stick with what they knew worked o little opposition to discontinue traditional practice of requiring pupil to repeat grade for failing 1 course  secondary schools  4 to 5 years o remade from differentiated to comprehensive o multi-secondary school patterns:  no longer met needs of society increasingly influenced by science & technology  penalized those electing vocational education programs
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