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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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Improvement Bill

The Grammar and Common Schools Improvement Bill of 1871

1908
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First Photo of the New Toronto High School, Jarvis C.I. 1871

From "Minerva's Diary, A History of Jarvis C.I.", First Photo of the New Toronto High School 1871

Book published in 1979
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Common Schools Improvement Act

1871 Education Act, from Documentary History of Education in Upper Canada, p. 213-214

1908
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Improvement Bill

The Grammar and Common Schools Improvement Bill of 1871

1908
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Truant Officer's Diary

Excerpt from diary of William Carr Wilkinson, Truant Officer

May 2, 1872 to Sept. 6, 1874
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1872 Twenty Five Cent Coin

1872 Twenty Five Cent Coin

1872
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W.C. Wilkinson

W.C. Wilkinson, Toronto Public School Board Truant Officer

c. 1872
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OSA Minute Book

First Page of OSA Minute Book with entry for the inaugural meeting

June 25, 1872
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The Flower Queen

The Flower Queen or the Coronation of the Rose, a Jeuvenile Contata

1873
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Truant Officer Report

Abbreviated Report of W.C. Wilkinson, 1st Truant Officer, Toronto Public School Board

1873
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Description of Dr. Phillips

Description of Dr. Phillips by Henry Scadding, from the book, Toronto of Old, 1873

recorded in 2012
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James L. Hughes

James L. Hughes, Superintendant of Toronto Public Schools

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James L. Hughes

Photographic portrait of James L. Hughes

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Glass Slide

Geometric Pattern Glass Slide for Magic Lantern

mid-late 1800's
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Lucius O'Brien

Lucius O'Brien

1875
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Ad for Edison's Electric Pen

Advertisment for Edison's Electric Pen

c. 1875
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