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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Goldberg on teacher misconduct hearings in 19th century Ontario

Fans of the (indirect) history of administrative law in the context of the education system (I know you're out there) will be interested in an article by Jennifer Anne Goldberg, “I thought the people wanted to get rid of the teacher:” Educational Authority in Late-Nineteenth Century Ontario," which appears in the spring 2011 issue of Historical Studies in Education. Law and process are not the primary focus of the article, but you can read between the lines.(It's free and online--once again thank whatever deities there be for open access journals and the Public Knowledge Project!)

Here's the abstract:

By the late-nineteenth century, Ontario’s educational state was firmly established. However, the rise of provincial bureaucracy did not preclude the continuing influence of community authorities and expectations. This complex relationship between central and local spheres of power is a difficult one to assess, particularly because school board-level records are perfunctory in their coverage of such issues. However, during the 1870s and 1880s, the secretary of the Lambton Board of Education was unusually fastidious, and so this cache of records offers a view of school management rare in its detail and nuance. This paper will use Lambton County as a case study to illuminate local-provincial educational power relations. Specifically, it will examine the contested space of teacher authority, through close study of the four cases of teacher misconduct brought before the board in the late 1800s.

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