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Children, teachers & schools in the history of British Columbia // Review

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Children, Teachers and Schools in the History of British Columbia.

Jean Barman, Neil Sutherland and J. Donald Wilson, eds. Calgary, Detselig Enterprises Ltd., 1995. 425 p., illus. $28.95

Initially, readers may well be drawn to this book solely by the delightful front cover painting, Maple Bay, Vancouver Island, B.C., by the well - known British Columbia artist, E.J. Hughes. But this is not a book about life on the British Columbia coast. Rather, it is a potpourri of scholarly writings loosely connected to the general theme of the history of primary and secondary education in British Columbia.

This anthology is very much a product of the Social and Educational Studies Department in the Faculty of Education at the University of British Columbia. The three anthology editors and principal authors are all members of that department and several of the other authors are former graduate students. The anthology's contents reflect their research interests in the history of childhood, classroom life from the perspectives of pupils and teachers and the educational system which structured those experiences.

Children, Teachers and Schools is a useful mix of original and reprinted theoretical works and personal or anecdotal accounts. The anthology's contents are of interest to scholars and students of educational history, the history of childhood, social history, British Columbia history, the professionalization of teaching, women's history, etc. Tim Stanley's careful analysis "White supremacy and the rhetoric of educational indoctrination: a Canadian case study" is an excellent example of an academic investigation of the perpetuation of cultural norms. In a similarly rigorous academic approach, Jean Barman's article "Schooled for inequality: the education of British Columbia's aboriginal children" explores the issue of the residential school as an agent of social assimilation. While recognizing that the articles in this anthology have been written for an academic audience, much of...