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.
About the author
Jennifer Wallner is an assistant professor in the School of Political Studies at the University of Ottawa.