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In this compelling and thoroughly researched study, Garth Lambert traces the development of the concept of liberal education in Ontario from the Georgian notion of a classics-based "gentlemen's" course, to its reconfiguration at the end of the nineteenth century as a mainstream, practical and co-educational "English-based" high school programme.
Further and equally important, Lambert gives us, for the first time anywhere, an explanation of how the study of Latin and Greek literature was outstripped in the years from 1875 to 1900, by the compulsory study of English literature that entailed both an original (and indigenous) rationale and a striking new pedagogy to suit it.
Passionate and insightful, Dethroning Classics and Inventing English examines how the teaching of English literature was conceived and then wrested from the gradgrindian clutches of philology.
An Our Schools/Our Selves book.
"This work provides a well-researched portrait of the key movers and shakers of nineteenth-century Ontario education, and of the larger context surrounding a very specific but important historical question."
There is much implicit in [Lambert's research which will interest those concerned with pedagogy today.... a true work of classicist scholarship, the number of pages of text here...barely outnumber pages of footnotes two to one. Lambert's careful synthetic narrative furnished a cogent perspective on the history of liberal education in Ontario, and prompts rumination on challenges facing such education today."
"Lambert deserves full credit for dusting off these writings and illuminating some aspects of 19th-century Ontario education that have received little attention."