Annual report of the Normal Model Grammar and Common Schools in Upper Canada for the year 1863
By the Chief Superintendent of Education
Printed by order of the Legislative Assembly
Printed by the Hunter Rose Co., 26, St. Ursule Street
A treasure trove of information on Education in pre-Confederation Upper Canada!
Scarce, no copies of this easily found.
Prepared by the Chief Superintendent E. Ryerson, famous Canadian.
Softcover book, 1st edition, 8vo 10" X 6.5", 178 pages.
Condition: Blue cover paper has stains on front and back, tears, corner folds, but still integral. A few browning spots on some pages, a few pages with minor water stains. Edges have browning.
Adolphus Egerton Ryerson (24 March 1803 – 19 February 1882) was a Methodist minister, educator, politician, and public education advocate in early Ontario, Canada. He was the leading opponent of the closed oligarchy that ran the province, calling it the "Family Compact."
In April 1831, Ryerson wrote in The Christian Guardian newspaper, "On the importance of education generally we may remark, it is as necessary as the light -- it should be as common as water and as free as air. Education among the people is the best security of a good government and constitutional liberty; it yields a steady, unbending support to the former, and effectually protects the latter... The first object of a wise government should be the education of the people...Partial knowledge is better than total ignorance. If total ignorance be a bad and dangerous thing, every degree of knowledge lessens both the evil and the danger.". This quote could be seen as a fore-telling of Ryerson's contribution to education in Upper Canada.
"Ryerson helped found the Upper Canada Academy in Cobourg in the 1830s. When it was incorporated in 1841 under the name Victoria College Ryerson assumed the presidency. Victoria continues to exist as part of the University of Toronto. Ryerson also fought for many secularization reforms, to keep power and influence away from any one church, particularly the Church of England in Upper Canada which had pretentions to establishment. His advocacy of Methodism contributed to the eventual sale of the Clergy Reserves—large tracts of land that had been set aside for the "maintenance of the Protestant clergy" under the Constitutional Act of 1791. "In honour of his achievements on behalf of the Methodist Church, Egerton Ryerson received a Doctor of Divinity degree from the (sic) Wesleyan University in Connecticut and served as President of the Church in Canada from 1874 to 1878."
Such secularization also led to the widening of the school system into public hands. Governor General Sir Charles Metcalfe asked him to become Chief Superintendent of Education for Upper Canada in 1844. It is in this role that Ryerson made his historical mark.
Ryerson's legacy within Canada's education system also included the hand he played in the implementation of the controversial Canadian residential school system. It was his study of Native education commissioned in 1847 by the Assistant Superintendent General of Indian Affairs that would become the model upon which Residential Schools were built.
The Normal School at St. James Square was founded in Toronto in 1847, and became the province's foremost teacher's academy. It also housed the Department of Education as well as the Museum of Natural History and Fine Arts, which became the Royal Ontario Museum. An agricultural laboratory on the site led to the later founding of the Ontario Agricultural College and the University of Guelph. St. James Square went through various other educational uses before it eventually became part of Ryerson University.
He was also a writer, farmer and sportsman. He retired in 1876, and died in 1882 having left an indelible mark on Canada's education system. He is buried in Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Toronto.WIKIPEDIA
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