Learning to School: Federalism and Public Schooling in Canada
Published: May 2014© 2014
Imprint: University of Toronto Press
Series: Studies in Comparative Political Economy and Public Policy
Page Count: 432 Pages
Illustrations: 17 b&w tables
Dimensions: 6.00 x 9.00
432 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 in, 17 b&w tables
Ebook - PDF
Among countries in the industrialized world, Canada is the only one without a national department of education, national standards for education, and national regulations for elementary or secondary schooling. For many observers, the system seems impractical and almost incoherent. But despite a total lack of federal oversight, the educational policies of all ten provinces are very similar today. Without intervention from Ottawa, the provinces have fashioned what amounts to a de facto pan-Canadian system.
Learning to School explains how and why the provinces have achieved this unexpected result. Beginning with the earliest provincial education policies and taking readers right up to contemporary policy debates, the book chronicles how, through learning and cooperation, the provinces gradually established a country-wide system of public schooling. A rich and ambitious work of scholarship, it will appeal to readers seeking fresh insights on Canadian federalism, education policy, and policy diffusion.
“Well written, solidly documented, and cogently argued, Learning to School shows, with precision and a wealth of details, how autonomous provincial governments can achieve pan-Canadian convergence and common standards without federal rules or incentives. As such, the argument breaks with the conventional wisdom about federalism and offers a distinctive standpoint to assess intergovernmental relations in Canada. Wallner’s conclusions will be of interest to students of federalism, both in Canada and abroad, to specialists of Canadian politics, and to scholars interested in public policy in general.” Alain Noël, Department of Political Science, Université de Montréal
“Learning to School is a significant addition to the literature on comparative federalism and social policy and, specifically, to the literature on educational policy and federalism in Canada.”Miriam Smith, Department of Social Science, York University