Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




R. A. Ripton




It is the purpose of this thesis to study the historical foundations of the elementary and secondary school system in Ontario. By outlining the proceedings, over time, of John Strachan and Egerton Ryerson, it can be seen that by the end of the nlneteenth century the basis of Ontario's system was established.

The major thrust of education, its purpose, was the preservation and maintenance of the existing order: that is, of the aristocracy in the colonial period; and of the economic, political and social elite in later times. This observation leads to the conclusion, that, there was a continuity from historical period to historical period of the purpose of educating the public. This conclusion is that education is used to support the domination of a minority of people over the rest of the population. Further to this conclusion, by examining historical trends, it can be seen that this purpose has remained with us to the present.. And, that the purpose has been sustained by the perseverance of the basic structure of the school system since the late nineteenth century.

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