EDUCATION IN ONTARIO: 1980-2005; SCENARIOS ON THE FUTURE
Paul Collins, Norman Henchey and Hugh Stevenson.
Volume 11 Number 6.
The research branch of the ministry of education commissioned the writing of the three scenarios in this paper as part of a study on future trends in education in Ontario.
The first, written from a pessimistic point of view, is by Norman Henchey, a professor at the faculty of education, McGill University. The second, by Paul Collins, a vice-principal at Grimsby Secondary School, is based on a "moderate extrapolation of the present." The third, by Hugh Stevenson, a professor at the faculty of education, University of Western Ontario, presents an optimistic viewpoint.
In a preliminary essay, Stevenson looks at several studies of future world conditions and concludes that "the use that is made of the time remaining for choice among a wide range of personal and public policy alternatives will largely determine the spectrum of positive to negative colours in our future."
Henchey's scenario of economic, political, and social breakdown is not without its humorous touches. Educational reform in Ontario involves the establishment of MESS (Ministry of Education and Social Services), complemented by BICS (Boards of Integrated Community Services), which includes all public and separate boards of education, and, in place of compulsory schooling, GAES (Guaranteed Access to Educational Services).
In spite of these reforms, the year 2005 finds the people suffering from disconnection and dissociation. The scenario ends with the setting up of a committee of special educators to propose a policy of reintegration.
Collins's scenario, entitled "Retention-Tension-Renewal," begins with general comments on the economy and developments in technology and education during the 1980s. It includes references to the SERF report, teacher burn-out, establishment of a College of Teachers, teacher centres, special education, the Ontario Assessment Instrument Pool. The 90s, a period of anti-intellectualism, produce no radical change. By 2000 A.D. there is renewed hope for the future with evidence of "an emerging belief that while the educational system should be responsive to the needs of Ontario systems, it should be expected to solve fewer societal ills."
Stevenson presents a Utopian view of education between 1980 and 2005. A Commission on Alternative Models for Post-Industrial Education (CAMPIOE) is responsible for many positive measures. Imaginative planning, daring reforms, and co-operation among all levels of education alter the lifestyles of the people. Ontario enters the twenty-first century enjoying "a well-earned reputation as an enlightened, innovative society which had developed the highest living standards in the world."
According to the introduction, the purpose of the scenarios is "to stimulate thought when new and imaginative policies are needed." One hopes they will reach the hands of those who are in a position to create new and daring policies. Certainly, they are stimulating and thought-provoking. Their value to school and public libraries is limited.
Anna L. Holman, Faculty of Education, University of Western Ontario, London ON.
1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995
The materials in this archive are copyright © The Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission Copyright information for reviewers
Young Canada Works