By John Calam
Alex Lord, a pioneer inspector of rural BC faculties stocks in those reminiscences his stories in a province slightly out of the degree trainer period. vacationing via sizeable northern territory, using unreliable transportation, and enduring climatic extremes, Lord turned accustomed to the aspirations of distant groups and their religion within the humanizing results of tiny assisted colleges. En path, he played in resolute but imaginitive type the supervisory capabilities of a most sensible govt educator, constructing an instructional philosophy of his personal in accordance with an realizing 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 trip during this mountainous province. We meet a number of the strange characters who inhabited this final frontier and research in their hopes, fears, joys, sorrows, and eccentricities. extra really, we're reminded of the historic importance of the one-room rural college and its function as an integral software of group cohesion.
John Calam has prepared the memoirs in line with the areas by which Lord travelled. He has integrated in his advent a biography of Alex Lord, a short description of the British Columbia he knew, a cartoon of its public schooling procedure, and an review of where Lord’s writing now occupies between different works on schooling and society.
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Extra info for Alex Lord's British Columbia: Recollections of a Rural School Inspector, 1915-1936
Seventeen other inspectors appointed before 1925 held their positions well beyond that point, the most striking, chronologically speaking, being A. B. H. 6l Indeed, in 1936, a year of extensive educational reform under Education Minister George M. 62 In light of Lord's retrospective misgivings over large high schools, accreditation, general science, promotion by age, the 'fetish' of high school retention, and other progressive hallmarks, one wonders how many of his contemporaries in the inspectorate shared his views, what effect a lingering conservatism might have had on the kind of executive solidarity requisite of educational reform, and ultimately whether this caution in the face of changing educational perspectives might have impeded the realization of a more sweeping progressive education than the one Weir and several of his successors were ever able to introduce.
These were small, for fuel and janitor services were usually donated and fifteen or twenty dollars a year would pay for the few items to be bought. ' In practice, it was often built of logs, and all labour, both in securing the logs and in constructing the building, was donated by the residents. ' Seats and desks, maps, a globe, and textbooks were also supplied without any cost to the local people. The completed building was primitive enough, but it was a school and seldom failed to have a teacher.
In 1915 there were only forty-four schools, only three with more than one room. It was not difficult to feel four years later that I knew at least by name everyone 'north of fifty-three/ This was a country that saw the beginning of British Columbia or, at any rate, of its recorded history. Long before Victoria or New Westminster had been brought into existence, Fort St. James was the capital of New Caledonia, the administrative headquarters of a fur-bearing empire. Earlier still, in 1793, an officer of the North West Company, Alexander Mackenzie, had journeyed 'from Canada by land' by a route which led him through what is now the Peace River Block, Fort George, the upper Cariboo, and overland to Bella Coola.
Alex Lord's British Columbia: Recollections of a Rural School Inspector, 1915-1936 by John Calam