The State of the System: A Reality Check on Canada’s Schools - Newly Arrived!
A provocative and revealing analysis of Kindergarten to Grade 12 education that will serve as a catalyst for lively public policy debate and discussion.
Tackling the thorny issues besetting contemporary Canadian provincial school systems, The State of the System issues a clarion call for more responsive, engaged and accountable public schools.
Praise for The State of the System
‘Paul Bennett does something in education that is rare and spectacular: he tells the truth, and does so with a lifetime’s experience in the sector and a rational, informed perspective. This book is a wake-up call to anyone who cares about the wellbeing, safety and sound education of children in Canada. Put this man in charge of education, please.’’ – Tom Bennett, founder, researchED, London, UK
The State of the System is a powerful opus testifying to a career packed with insight into the system garnered first as an educator and trustee, and then as a reformer in the trenches – Doretta Wilson, former Executive Director, SQE Canada
“Designed to appeal like Jello, but actually made of concrete, the school system exists primarily to serve its architects rather than its students, teachers and parents. This book should be read by everyone with any stake or interest in education in Canada, which is really to say every Canadian.” – Clive Packer, satellite communications engineer and engaged parent, Ottawa, Ontario
“ The State of the System is an impressive piece of scholarship which very effectively connects the dots as to how the system evolved to where we are today. For anyone seeking to understand the system in Canada, this is a must read.” – Dr. James R (Jim) Christopher, School Head and former Executive Director, Canadian Association of Independent Schools, North Vancouver, BC.
In his provocative and engaging style, Paul Bennett traces the origins and development of the many pressures on today’s school systems across Canada. With forthrightness, clarity, and evidence, he challenges many deeply embedded conditions in schools, and offers critiques of educational philosophies and practices underlying matters such as school busing, inclusion, child-centred classrooms, teaching of literacy and numeracy, school choice, and student assessment.” – Ken Brien, Ed.D., Associate Professor, Educational Administration and Leadership, University of New Brunswick
Turning Points: 15 Pivotal Moments in Nova Scotia's History
Decisive moments and pivotal events have shaped Nova Scotia’s destiny and helped to define the province which has exerted so much influence throughout the Maritimes. Since the time of Confederation, the province evolved from British North Atlantic colony to a founding province, then from an often overlooked ‘poor cousin’ to a more self-confident embodiment of Maritime life.
Fifteen critical episodes, or turning points, are brought back to life, including the ‘Botheration Scheme’ of Confederation, wartime Atlantic defense challenges, the ‘Maritime Rights’ movement, the Springhill mining disaster, Viola Desmond’s stand against racism, the tragic razing of Africville, Ray Ivany’s ‘Now or Never’ report, and the Edward Cornwallis statue controversy. Each episode, in its own way, helped forge the province’s identity, change its trajectory, catapult it upon the national stage, teach a few bigger lessons, or shape its collective sense of purpose.
The Last Stand: Schools, Communities and the Future of Rural Nova Scotia
The hour is late and the clock is ticking for rural and small town communities in Nova Scotia. School closures capture the news headlines, but they signal a more profound development: the gradual, yet relentless, decline in rural populations, and a demographic shift that threatens to extinguish what remains of rural communities in Nova Scotia. In The Last Stand, Paul W. Bennett responds to the looming crisis with a new, more accountable, efficient, and sustainable model of public schooling.
It is time to revitalize rural Nova Scotian communities by reversing the dominant trend toward centralized, bureaucratic school systems. Schools must be transformed, once again, into vital community hubs. Suspending the divisive School Review process will accomplish little, Bennett demonstrates, unless it leads to building smaller community schools, supporting innovative local enterprises, modelling sustainable living practices and providing community-based education on a more human scale.
Vanishing Schools, Threatened Communities: The Contested Schoolhouse in Maritime Canada, 1850 to 2010
Traditional schoolhouses and neighbourhood schools are disappearing at an alarming rate, making way for 'big box' schools that serve multiple communities and adhere to the logic of modernization, centralization and uniformity. InVanishing Schools, Threatened Communitiesauthor Paul W. Bennett explores the phenomenon of school closures, focusing on Maritime Canada from 1850 until the present day.
Here is a lively, stimulating book that examines the rise of common schooling from local, one-room schoolhouses that encouraged local democratic control through to the rise of "super-sized" schools governed by a vast bureaucracy that silences public participation. Though the public has not always remained silent, local 'save our schools' movements have not succeeded in halting the march of 'progress.'
Bennett sets out, in this colourful history of schools, to remind us of the principles that formed the basis of the public education system, and urges us to return to these principles in order to better serve the needs of our children and our communities.
The Grammar School: Striving for Excellence in a Public School World
The fascinating story of Canada’s only “Grammar School” is told for the first time in a new book written by Paul W. Bennett and published by Formac Publishing of Halifax. Entitled The Grammar School: Striving for Excellence in a Public School World, the book provides a rare look at the Halifax Grammar School’s titanic early struggle for survival and how its fate ebbed and flowed with changes in the Nova Scotia public education system.
Here’s a book for educators and anyone interested in the ongoing debate over the state of education.
It was published in two editions, paperback and hardcover.