October 1, 2005
- progressive education,
- history of schooling
How to Cite
Axelrod, Paul. 2005. “Beyond the Progressive Education Debate: A Profile of Toronto Schooling in the 1950s”. Historical Studies in Education / Revue d’histoire De l’éducation 17 (2). https://doi.org/10.32316/hse/rhe.v17i2.77.
This paper revisits the subject of progressive education in Canada in the 1950s. Drawing from original research on the history of schooling in Toronto, it contends that historians and educational commentators have simplified the educational debates and struggles of that era. Rather than a case of either progressive or traditional education, school policy was an amalgam in which educators were using available and emerging tools to address the perceived instructional needs of a ballooning population. They employed what they thought worked. But they did so within the political culture and dominant values of the province and the times. The analysis has implications for historiographical approaches to progressive education and school reform.