By John Calam
Alex Lord, a pioneer inspector of rural BC colleges stocks in those reminiscences his reports in a province slightly out of the degree trainer period. vacationing via enormous northern territory, using unreliable transportation, and enduring climatic extremes, Lord grew to become acquainted with the aspirations of distant groups and their religion within the humanizing results of tiny assisted colleges. En path, he played in resolute but ingenious style the supervisory services of a most sensible govt educator, constructing a tutorial philosophy of his personal in accordance with an knowing of the provincial geography, a reverence for citizenship, and a piece ethic tuned to problem and accomplishment.
Although now not accomplished, those memoires invite the reader to event the British Columbia that Alex Lord knew. via his phrases, we undergo the problems of shuttle during this mountainous province. We meet some of the strange characters who inhabited this final frontier and research in their hopes, fears, joys, sorrows, and eccentricities. extra relatively, we're reminded of the old value of the one-room rural institution and its function as an necessary software of neighborhood cohesion.
John Calam has equipped the memoirs in accordance with the areas wherein Lord travelled. He has incorporated in his creation a biography of Alex Lord, a short description of the British Columbia he knew, a comic strip of its public schooling method, and an review of where Lord’s writing now occupies between different works on schooling and society.
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Extra resources for Alex Lord's British Columbia: Recollections of a Rural School Inspector, 1915-1936
Curricula, he insisted, come and go, but like a textbook or a building, a curriculum is 'merely an instrument' to help teachers shape pupils into good citizens. In this sense, then, education is the touchstone of social integrity. Such being the case, it is of paramount social importance to be able to recognize the well-educated person. Here Lord gave direct advice. Koster, he said, is such a person. ' Richly experienced, he conversed knowingly along the spectrum of subjects from cattle diseases and beef prices, communism and religion, to trees, placer mining, and the magnificence of the Cariboo.
The curricular manifestations of such principles Lord clearly considered hurtful. Under their persuasion, hard-nosed subjects such as chemistry supposedly yielded to 'life situation subjects' such as general science, scant preparation Lord thought for students struggling with first-year university chemistry. Equally deleterious, he believed, was filling in a bright high school student's uncommitted timetable slots with art, typewriting, or music, subjects which, in the progressive context, he mentioned with little enthusiasm despite earlier joy over Bill Sykes' prowess as a teacher of elementary school music.
It not only reveals the frustrating details of parental jealousies, amorous importunities, personal danger, and heartrending loneliness tormenting less fortunate rural teachers, but also speculates on why such cries for help often went unheeded by an education department convinced rural schooling improved year by year. The second piece, a tight account of 'the interplay between intentions and consequences' in provincial educational policy, probes ethnicity in British Columbia society, a question inherent in Lord's narrative, but lacking conscious inspection.
Alex Lord's British Columbia: Recollections of a Rural School Inspector, 1915-1936 by John Calam