The Politics of Education: A Study of the Political Administration of the Public Schools
Published: December 1960© 1960
187 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 x 1.00 in
Dr. MacKinnon advocates strongly taking the politics out of education, and delegating more responsibility and freedom to the schools and to the teachers. Only by this means, he feels, can education become sufficiently effective in a democratic society and in a challenging and uncertain world. The kind of changes to the administration of schools and in the status and functions of teachers required to bring about improvement have long since been made, Dr MacKinnon holds, in other governmental activities and in other professions. The changes he recommends will, he suggests, provide better educational facilities for the country as a whole and better schooling for a larger number of children.
Dr. MacKinnon has taught in both high school and university, and, as principal, he has administered every level from grade one to the second year of university including normal school. He has thus dealt with pupils of all ages and experienced a wide range of educational administration. He has served on many educational boards and committees. From this extensive background he draws many telling examples and anecdotes that will strike home. His comments and suggestions, made to provoke discussion and encourage improvement, will be of interest to members of provincial and municipal governments, school boards, administrators and teachers, and all citizens concerned about the education of young people.
Although Dr. MacKinnon hits hard he does so not just to break down existing institutions, but because he has strong faith in the capacities of children and teachers. He covets for the latter a place of dignity and respect, and for the former an opportunity to develop individual character and initiative. He is, in fact, a believer in education
A lucis, calm and withering indictment of the whole administrative structure of this country's school system....His book is written in such clear functional prose that no one will fail to get the message.Montreal Star
Without bias toward any particular method of teaching, whether it be advanced or old-fashioned, this expert in the field appraises the structure of the system itself to indicate how it is top-heavy, inefficient and a mortal threat to personal freedom.Globe and Mail
Every intelligent Canadian must read this searching criticism, this eloquent defence of the freedom of teachers to teach, this admirable plea for sound learning, with much sympathy.Hilda Neatby, Queen's Quarterly
Everyone with children to educate, with taxes to pay or even just an interest in the future of this country, should read this book....a provocative, original examination of one of the greatest problems of our time....by its very force makes us think about it radically for ourselves.Canadian Reader
This book will irritate those who enjoy power and prestige and will delight those who care about education—mainly teachers. Parents may have their eyes opened.Saskatoon Star-Pheonix
A revolution would take place in education throughout Canada if the recommendations in Professor MacKinnon's new book could promptly be given effect...The schools and society should benefit from his trenchant criticisms.Ottawa Citizen