Welcome to this web site designed and mounted by the students of the Fall 1998 Education 500 class. We hope you will learn a great deal about the history of educational policy in Ontario, especially as it relates to the program of studies and curriculum in the schools.
Students entering the graduate program and seeking an M.Ed in educational policy studies at the Faculty of Education, University of Western Ontario, begin their studies with this compulsory history course on the development of educational policy in Ontario. For many of these students, this is the first history course they have ever taken or the first history course they have taken in a long time. In addition, students usually are doing their graduate work on a part-time basis and in conjunction with full-time careers in the teaching profession and commitments to family and community.
Given this context, the research in primary documents and the oral histories collected by this year's class of students and reflected in their contributions to the web site reveal the depth of their commitment to their graduate work and the extent of the learning process they engaged in over the twelve weeks of the course. In doing the research for this project, students sought to understand the relationship between policy pronouncements and classroom practices. The results of their initial investigations can be found on this web site. Their presentations reveal both the broad sweep of changes in education at the Ministry and board levels as well as the particulars of teachers' responses and implementation efforts.
It should be noted that students were not only learning how to do historical research but also how best to report it in a mode that was new to all of us. The students welcome your comments and observations and, as their instructor, I would be interested in hearing from you, also.
- Dr. Rebecca Coulter