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Sacrificing intellectual excellence to administrative and political convenience in British Columbia public.. 1985

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S A C R I F I C I N G I N T E L L E C T U A L E X C E L L E N C E T O A D M I N I S T R A T I V E A N D P O L I T I C A L C O N V E N I E N C E IN BRITISH C O L U M B I A P U B L I C S C H O O L S : D E P A R T M E N T A L E X A M I N A T I O N S R E - E X A M I N E D By PHILIP A R T H U R R E X I N B.A. , S i m o n Fraser U n i v e r s i t y , 1975 A T H E S I S S U B M I T T E D IN P A R T I A L F U L F I L L M E N T OF THE R E Q U I R E M E N T S FOR THE D E G R E E OF M A S T E R OF A R T S in THE F A C U L T Y OF G R A D U A T E S T U D I E S (Depar tment of S o c i a l and Educa t iona l S t u d i e s ) W e accept this t hes i s as c o n f o r m i n g to the requ i red s tandard THE U N I V E R S I T Y OF BRIT ISH C O L U M B I A S e p t e m b e r , 1985 © P h i l i p Arthur Rexin, 1985 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make i t freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It i s understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of The University of British Columbia 1956 Main Mall Vancouver, Canada V6T 1Y3 A B S T R A C T In 1973 Grade 12 external exam ina t i ons fo r high s c h o o l g raduat ion we re r e - i n t r o d u c e d . Th i s thes i s exam ines the her i tage of k e y c o n c e p t s centra l to these p o l i c y c h a n g e s : external e x a m i n a t i o n s , s tandards and c r i t i ca l th ink ing . It a l so r e v i e w s the h i s to r i ca l context wh i ch i n f l uenced these d e c i s i o n s . Further, th is thes i s ques t i ons whether examina t ion p o l i c y n o w , or in the pas t , has led to the encouragement of in te l lec tua l e x c e l l e n c e . TABLE OF CONTENTS Chapter One. Introduction 1 The P r o b l e m s 1 L i m i t a t i o n s o f the Inves t iga t ion 2 S o m e P re l im ina r y D e f i n i t i o n s 4 S u m m a r y o f the M e t h o d s and A i m s of the Inves t iga t ion 5 Chapter T w o . Global Perspec t i ve on the External Examination Debate 7 The N e o - C o n f u c i a n Debate 10 The Debate in Br i ta in 13 J o h n D e w e y and the Ear l y A m e r i c a n Debate 21 Cr i t i ca l Th ink ing and the later A m e r i c a n Debate 25 S u m m a r y 29 Chapter Three. The High Schoo l Examination Debate in B.C. prior to the 1960s 36 External E x a m i n a t i o n s Inst i tuted 36 Ear ly C r i t i c i s m of the External Exam ina t i on S y s t e m in B.C. 40 The Chant Repor t 46 S u m m a r y 52 Chapter Four. The 1972 Dec is ion 57 A f t e r m a t h of the Chant Repor t , 1961-1966 59 "Think ing p e o p l e , not robo ts and puppe ts " , 1967-1970 63 The A d v i s o r y C o m m i t t e e , 1970-1972 65 S u m m a r y 70 Chapter F ive. The 1983 Dec is ion 74 L ink ing " S t a n d a r d s " to Examina t i on P o l i c y 77 Teach ing the " B a s i c s " - the Core Cur r i cu lum C o n t r o v e r s y 79 The Exam ina t i ons Re ins ta ted 85 A C l o s e r L o o k at S tanda rds and Qua l i t y Educa t i on 89 Chapter S ix . Summary 100 Selec ted Bibl iography 109 0 to Lois, Sarah, John and Dylan- Dryw thank you Chapter One Introduction The Problems In N o v e m b e r 1971 Br i t i sh C o l u m b i a ' s M in i s te r of Educa t i on announced that regular Grade 12 Depar tmen ta l Exam ina t i ons w o u l d be d i s c o n t i n u e d af ter 1973. Yet in June 1984 these e x a m i n a t i o n s w e r e re ins ta ted . Th is reversa l in p o l i c y ra i ses seve ra l in te res t ing q u e s t i o n s , h i s t o r i c a l , po l i t i ca l and e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l in nature. When and h o w d id the p rac t i ce of us ing p r o v i n c e - w i d e s tandard i zed tes ts as a means fo r de te rm in ing high s c h o o l graduat ion or ig ina te in Br i t i sh C o l u m b i a ? W h e n , and in what c i r c u m s t a n c e s , d id the p rac t i ce i tse l f o r ig ina te? Is th is p rac t i ce educa t i ona l l y sound? If it is educa t i ona l l y s o u n d , w h y were e x a m i n a t i o n s d i scon t i nued? If no t , w h y we re exam ina t i ons brought back? Did po l i t i ca l agendas in f luence either one or both of these p o l i c y d e c i s i o n s ? What we re these agendas? D id "good q u a l i t y " educa t i on accrue f r o m these p o l i c y changes? Is the present p o l i c y a g o o d one? These are d i f f i cu l t and c o m p l i c a t e d q u e s t i o n s . H o w e v e r , if we are conce rned whether our educa t ion s y s t e m encourages in te l lec tua l e x c e l l e n c e , then we have no op t i on but to cons i de r these i ssues ve ry c a r e f u l l y . Th is t hes i s w i l l s h o w that Depar tmenta l Exam ina t i ons re in fo rce a concep t o f learn ing - " f o r m a l i s m " - that has ga ined in f luence ove r the ent i re s c h o o l s y s t e m . Shou ld th is in f luence be w e l c o m e d , reduced or rebuked? M o r e pa r t i cu la r l y , d o e s f o r m a l i s m help s t imu la te c r i t i ca l t h ink ing , c o n s i d e r e d by many ou ts tand ing educa to rs to be a n e c e s s a r y componen t of in te l lec tua l exce l l ence? Thus the 1971 and 1983 d e c i s i o n s shou ld not be v i e w e d as po l i t i ca l or h i s to r i ca l i s sues separa te f r o m pedagog i ca l c o n c e r n s . 1 2 Limitations of the Investigation But h o w shou ld these ques t i ons be approached? The d i f f i c u l t y is that w e are p r e d i s p o s e d to v i e w past even ts w i th in the f r a m e w o r k o f present expe r i ence . A researcher may look fo r ev i dence that lends c redence to a be l ie f that he has p r e v i o u s l y acqu i red , a be l i e f es tab l i shed on in tu i t ive or e m o t i o n a l g rounds . Th is is a natural f i rs t s t e p , but c l ea r l y w i l l not be s i gn i f i can t . The i nves t i ga t i on must not end w h e n mere b ias has been " c o n f i r m e d " by e v i d e n c e . Rather , as E ins te in and P o p p e r s u g g e s t e d , a researcher must seek e v i d e n c e that d i s p r o v e s theor ies or e s t a b l i s h e s a l imi t b e y o n d wh i ch the theory no longer makes va l i d p red i c t i ons or s u g g e s t s p o s s i b l e exp lana t i ons . Th is thes i s has a t tempted to i nco rpora te th is v i e w in to i ts research d e s i g n . There are, n o n e t h e l e s s , research l im i t a t i ons to be no ted . Exept fo r t w o i n t e r v i e w s (John Church and B i l l Vander Z a l m ) , th is thes i s has re l i ed heav i l y on p r in ted mater ia l ava i lab le in the U n i v e r s i t y of Br i t i sh C o l u m b i a ' s M a i n and S c a r f e L ib ra r i es as w e l l as mater ia l f r o m the Br i t i sh C o l u m b i a T e a c h e r s ' Federa t i on l ibrary and a r c h i v e s . A l t hough a reasonab le at tempt w a s made to s tudy con t ra ry o p i n i o n s about the app rop r ia teness of the 1971 and 1983 d e c i s i o n s - fo r i ns tance , Ministry news releases, G i l e ' s and W e b s t e r ' s i n te rv iews w i th Pat M c G e e r , Annual Reports, e d i t o r i a l s in the Vancouver Sun, London ' s s tudy of le t ters to the ed i t o r , newspape r s t o r i e s , magaz ine a r t i c l es , BCTF Newsletters, B C S T A c o n v e n t i o n m inu tes , B.C. S e n i o r S e c o n d a r y Cur r i cu lum A d v i s o r y C o m m i t t e e con f i den t i a l m e m o s , and s e c o n d a r y sou rce mater ia l w r i t t en by F l e m i n g , E l l i s , Bruneau, S t e v e n s o n , T o m k i n s , W i l s o n , and o thers - it cannot be a s s u m e d that the thes is has exhaus ted pert inent e v i d e n c e . M o r e o v e r the e v i d e n c e ob ta ined must i tse l f be sc ru t i n i zed fo r b i as . Ye t b i as is unavo idab le in o rd ina ry c i r c u m s t a n c e s . A n impor tant task o f th is thes i s is to recons t ruc t the under ly ing ra t iona le that the su r face b ias rep resen ts . T o do th is a m e t h o d o l o g y wh ich i nco rpo ra tes both h i s to r i ca l and p h i l o s o p h i c a l techn iques o f inqu i ry w i l l be u s e d . C o m m o n to the 1971 and 1983 d e c i s i o n s are three c o n c e p t s a n d / o r " f i e l ds f o r a c t i o n " wh i ch major p o l i c y ac to rs o f ten re fe r red t o , took fo r g ran ted , or i g n o r e d . T h e s e c o n c e p t s / f i e l d s are "external e x a m i n a t i o n s , " "c r i t i ca l th ink ing , " and " s t a n d a r d s . " Th is thes i s i nves t i ga tes where and in what c i r c u m s t a n c e s these 3 c o n c e p t s o r i g ina ted and mutated b e f o r e enter ing the p o l i c y d i s c u s s i o n s under c o n s i d e r a t i o n . The thes i s then s tud ies h o w major ac to rs used these c o n c e p t s in p resen t ing their ra t iona les fo r abandon ing or re ins ta t ing the Depar tmen ta l E x a m i n a t i o n s . W e r e these c o n c e p t s r e c o g n i z e d and used in a l og i ca l and re levant f ash ion? Have these c o n c e p t s been m i s u s e d or ignored? If the latter case is sugges ted by the e v i d e n c e , is there an exp lana t ion fo r th is d i s c r e p a n c y or ove rs igh t? S e v e r a l l im i t a t i ons app ly to the a b o v e m e t h o d o l o g y . Cruc ia l to our i nves t i ga t i on of the external exam ina t i on c o n c e p t is a d e f i n i t i o n w h i c h c l ea r l y es tab l i shes what is to be i nves t i ga ted . Th is w i l l be p r o v i d e d in the next s e c t i o n o f the i n t roduc t i on . Even s o , an under l y ing a s s u m p t i o n must be o p e n l y s ta ted here. Th is thes is e n d o r s e s the v i e w held by many scho la r s that the Ch inese Imper ia l Exam ina t i on s y s t e m is comparab le in nature to 19th and 20th century educa t iona l externa l exam ina t i ons d e v e l o p e d in Br i ta in and the Un i ted S ta tes o f A m e r i c a . Th is is not to i m p l y a causa l re la t ionsh ip a l though C r e e l , B r e r e t o n , C h a n g , J u d g e s and Teng sugges t that th is may w e l l have been the c a s e . 1 A further l im i ta t i on inherent in th is m e t h o d o l o g y is that of ob ta in ing e v i d e n c e s h o w i n g h o w these c o n c e p t s we re f i rs t i n t roduced into B.C. Educa t i ona l p o l i c i e s . O f t en the use of these c o n c e p t s has been i m p l i e d but gone u n c o m m e n t e d . In such c a s e s th is thes i s has made note of the i n fe rences such indi rect e v i d e n c e n e c e s s a r i l y requ i res , and has a t t emp ted to j us t i f y its use . Fo r tuna te l y , b e s i d e s the Annual Reports, w e have H ind le ' s 1918 d i s s e r t a t i o n (Un ive rs i t y of T o r o n t o ) , the 1925 P u t m a n - W e i r Survey of the Schools and the 1960 Chant Royal Commission Report. These s o u r c e s help p r o v i d e the e v i d e n c e w e s e e k . 2 A f ina l l im i t a t i on is i m p o s e d by the cu r rency of th is research t o p i c . A l t h o u g h the 1971 d e c i s i o n can be r e v i e w e d w i t h s o m e h i s to r i ca l de tachmen t , the 1983 d e c i s i o n is s t i l l a p o l i c y i ssue be ing d e b a t e d . Where app rop r ia te , the current debate has been e x a m i n e d and c o m m e n t g i ven on the i m p l i c a t i o n s fo r educa t i on in B.C. T o a v o i d such c o m m e n t s may be prudent h i s to r i ca l p rac t i ce . H o w e v e r , as th is t hes i s is a l so a p o l i c y i n v e s t i g a t i o n , o c c a s i o n a l l y c o m m e n t s have been made on the b a s i s of m u l t i - d i s c i p l i n a r y r e f l e c t i o n . Thei r pu rpose is not to suppor t or d i sc red i t gove rnmen t p o l i c i e s but to ind ica te where p o l i c y might be i m p r o v e d in order to p rov ide bet ter qua l i ty educa t i on f o r our ch i l d ren . The thes i s takes s e r i o u s l y the no t i on that a p o l i c y s tudy is par t l y n o r m a t i v e in charac te r , and l i ke l y 4 to p r o p o s e new v i s i o n s o f o l d p o l i c y , or new p o l i c y a l together . Some Preliminary Definitions Ralph W . Ty l e r , a no ted author i ty in the f i e ld of t es t s and m e a s u r e m e n t s , r e c o m m e n d s that external exam ina t i ons be de f i ned as " those o v e r w h i c h the loca l s c h o o l has , or f e e l s it has , no r e a l cho i ce as to whether i ts s tuden ts take the t e s t s . " 3 Cent ra l to th is de f i n i t i on is the recogn i t i on that con t ro l and use of these exam ina t i ons are external to l oca l s c h o o l p e r s o n n e l . Herr lee G . C r e e l , a spec ia l i s t in ear ly Ch inese h i s t o r y , de f i nes the ins t i tu t ion of Imperial E x a m i n a t i o n s as the recurrent and s y s t e m a t i c p rac t i ce of ask ing q u e s t i o n s that are iden t i ca l or are c o n c e i v e d to be of equiva lent d i f f i c u l t y , of i nd i v i dua l s , w h o are s u p p o s e d to be comparab le in their advancemen t in lea rn ing , and the grad ing of the answer in such a manner that the g rades ass i gned are c o n c e i v e d to deno te the degree of a t ta inment of those exam ined . 4 These t w o de f i n i t i ons help to es tab l i sh four impor tant cha rac te r i s t i cs e m b o d i e d in external e x a m i n a t i o n s : 1 . Externa l con t ro l and u s e ; 2. S tanda r i zed q u e s t i o n s ; 3. C o m p a r e s student ach ievemen t w i th in a s p e c i f i c range (e.g. age , grade l e v e l , s o c i o - e c o n o m i c s ta tus , ere.); 4. U n i f o r m grad ing p r a c t i c e s . T h e s e cha rac te r i s t i c s br ing to our a t ten t ion an impor tant d e l i m i t a t i o n of th is t h e s i s . W e are p r ima r i l y conce rned here w i th external examina t i ons c rea ted to a s s e s s s tudent r ead iness for high s c h o o l g radua t ion . These tes ts have been re fer red to c o m m o n l y as Depar tmenta l E x a m i n a t i o n s . Howeve r as we sha l l see in Chapter Th ree , other t ypes of external exam ina t i ons were used by the Depar tment o f E d u c a t i o n . The f o c u s , though, must rema in on Grade 12 regular Depar tmenta l E x a m i n a t i o n s , as they are o b v o u s l y cent ra l to the 1971 and 1983 p o l i c y d e c i s i o n s . A p re l im ina ry de f i n i t i on o f c r i t i ca l th ink ing w i l l be p resen ted here a l though it is more thorough ly c o n s i d e r e d in Chapter Two. Cr i t i ca l th ink ing genera l l y i m p l i e s the ab i l i t y and d i s p o s i t i o n to make g o o d judgments . M o r e s p e c i f i c a l l y , c r i t i ca l th ink ing i n v o l v e s mak ing g o o d in fe rences f r o m ava i lab le e v i d e n c e , a long w i th the 5 use o f g o o d judgment in dec id i ng what cons t i t u tes n e c e s s a r y and /o r su f f i c i en t e v i d e n c e to subs tan t ia te these i n f e r e n c e s . The d i s t i nc t i on b e t w e e n the t w o d e f i n i t i o n s is impor tan t . The f i rs t a l l o w s g o o d judgment to be b a s e d on in tu i t ion or c rea t i ve ins ight . The s e c o n d requi res a ra t iona l intent w h e r e b y a pe rson a c t i v e l y r e c o g n i z e s l o g i c a l l y and p rac t i ca l l y re levant reasons as the b a s i s fo r his or her j udgment . C r i t i ca l th ink ing , then , is po r t rayed herein as an in te l lec tua l a c t i v i t y . Chapter T w o c o n s i d e r s a rguments by Chu H s i , W a n g Y a n g - m i n g , W h i t e h e a d , R u s s e l l and D e w e y , al l o f w h o m sought to es tab l i sh c r i t i ca l th ink ing as an a c t i v i t y genera l l y to be a s s o c i a t e d w i th in te l lec tua l e x c e l l e n c e . It is ex t reme ly d i f f i cu l t to present a p re l im inary de f i n i t i on fo r " s t a n d a r d s " as it turns out to have mul t ip le m e a n i n g s . S tandards are c h a m e l e o n creatures wh i ch must be s tud ied in the po l i t i ca l env i ronment that they inhabi t . Th is s tudy is p resen ted in Chapter Four. A p re l im ina ry g lance at s tandards s u g g e s t s at least t w o d i f fe ren t mean ings - minimal standards as in " B a c k - t o - b a s i c s , " f o r e x a m p l e , "Let 's br ing back s tandards to our s c h o o l s , " and maximum standards as in g o o d qua l i ty educa t i on , fo r i ns tance , "We need higher s tandards in our s c h o o l s . " The t w o mean ings are not n e c e s s a r i l y c o m p a t i b l e . Th is decep t i ve i n c o m p a t i b i l i t y w i l l be exam ined in greater deta i l in Chapter Five. "Ma jo r p o l i c y a c t o r s " re fers to t hose w h o have a subs tan t i a l i n f luence on p o l i c y d e c i s i o n s regard ing Depar tmenta l Exam ina t i ons . Ce r ta in l y the te rm app l i es to the M i n i s t e r of Educa t i on , the Deputy M i n i s t e r , m in is t ry o f f i c i a l s r e s p o n s i b l e f o r p o l i c y d e v e l o p m e n t in this area (e.g. D r . J . M u s s i o ) as we l l as inv i ted par t i c ipan ts on the S e n i o r S e c o n d a r y Cur r i cu lum A d v i s o r y C o m m i t t e e , and B C T F and B C S T A s p o k e p e r s o n s . Summary of the Method and Aims of the Investigation Th i s t hes i s es tab l i shes the her i tage of key c o n c e p t s used in the 1971 and 1983 p o l i c y d e c i s i o n s . Further, it exam ines whether major p o l i c y ac to rs used these c o n c e p t s in a w e l l - i n f o r m e d , re levant and log ica l manner . F ina l l y it c o n s i d e r s present Depar tmen ta l Exam ina t i on p o l i c y in l ight o f the need fo r the encou ragemen t of in te l lec tua l exce l l ence charac te r i zed by c r i t i ca l th ink ing . 6 Footnotes x see f o o t n o t e 8, Chapter 2. J Ralph W . T y l e r , "The Impact of Externa l Tes t i ng P r o g r a m s , " in War ren G . F i n d l e y , (ed.), The Impact and Improvement of School Testing Programs, N S S E 62nd Y e a r b o o k (Ch i cago ; U n i v e r s i t y o f C h i c a g o P r e s s , 1963), p. 194. 3 Herr lee G . C r e e l , Shen Pu-Hai: A Chinese Philosopher of of the Fourth Century B.C. (Ch i cago ; U n i v e r s i t y of C h i c a g o P r e s s , 1974), p. 263 . \ Q 7 Chapter Two Global Perspective on the External Examination Debate. [External] e x a m i n a t i o n s are a has ty app l i ca t i on of a L ibera l w a t c h w o r d , "equa l i ty of oppor tun i t y . " Ber t rand R u s s e l l , 1932. A r e external e x a m i n a t i o n s an il l a d v i s e d l iberal p o l i c y that a d v e r s e l y a f f e c t s the teach ing and learn ing of c r i t i ca l th ink ing a t t r ibutes? Externa l exam ina t i ons appear to p r o m o t e equa l i t y o f oppor tun i t y by d i s t r i bu t ing educa t iona l g o o d s and bene f i t s acco rd i ng to mer i t o r i ous a c a d e m i c a c h i e v e m e n t rather than f a m i l y backg round . N ineteenth century B r i t i sh l ibera l r e f o r m e r s used this argument to persuade Par l iament and educa to rs to adopt externa l e x a m i n a t i o n s . For e x a m p l e , J o h n Stuar t M i l l in his p resen ta t i on to the 1854 pa r l i amen ta ry c o m m i t t e e i nves t i ga t i ng the recru i tment of the Indian C i v i l S e r v i c e s t a t e d : For [the adop t i on o f c o m p e t i t i v e examina t i ons ] w o u l d be the best v i n d i c a t i o n w h i c h cou ld be made of ex i s t i ng po l i t i ca l i ns t i t u t i ons , by s h o w i n g that the c l a s s e s w h o under the present cons t i t u t i on have the grea tes t in f luence in the gove rnmen t , do not des i re any greater share o f the p ro f i t s de r i vab le f r o m it than their mer i t s ent i t le them t o , but are w i l l i n g to take the chances o f c o m p e t i t i o n w i th ab i l i t y o f al l ranks . 1 A n o t h e r impor tant l ibera l concep t is that c i t i zens are to be a u t o n o m o u s - " c a p a b l e o f running their o w n l i ves and func t i on ing e f f e c t i v e l y in a d e m o c r a t i c s o c i e t y . " 2 For M i l l such a u t o n o m y requi red th ink ing ind iv idua ls p r e d i s p o s e d to act in a ra t iona l manner . He w h o c h o o s e s his p lan [of l i fe] fo r h i m s e l f , e m p l o y s al l his f a c u l t i e s . He must use o b s e r v a t i o n to s e e , reason ing and judgement to f o r s e e , ac t i v i t y to gather mate r ia l s fo r d e c i s i o n s , d i s c r i m i n a t i o n to d e c i d e , and w h e n he has d e c i d e d , f i r m n e s s and s e l f - c o n t r o l to ho ld to h is de l ibera te d e c i s i o n s . 3 Yet these t w o 19th century l ibera l n o t i o n s - 1) external exam ina t i ons as an ins t rument to imp lement equa l i t y o f oppo r t un i t y ; and 2) the p r o m o t i o n of a u t o n o m o u s th ink ing - appear to con ta in a prima facie i n c o n s i s t e n c y wh i ch our 20th cen tu ry p e r s p e c t i v e r e c o g n i z e s . M i l l and his suppor te rs d id not see that an ex te rna l l y i m p o s e d exam ina t i on s y s t e m might c r ipp le the e f f o r t s of educa to rs to 8 encourage a u t o n o m o u s th ink ing . I ron ica l ly M i l l w a s aware that the Ch inese Imper ia l Exam ina t i on S y s t e m had nega t i ve l y a f f e c t e d a u t o n o m o u s th ink ing in the ce les t i a l e m p i r e . He s a y s the Ch inese "have b e c o m e s ta t i ona ry ...[because] they have s u c c e e d e d b e y o n d al l hope in mak ing a peop le al l a l i ke , al l gove rn ing their thoughts and conduc t by the s a m e m a x i m s and ru les . " M i l l thought th is p rob lem cou ld be o v e r c o m e by the use of ob jec t i ve rather than sub jec t i ve q u e s t i o n s . He does not c o n s i d e r whether the external exam ina t i on s y s t e m m a y be the cause o f the p r o b l e m . Nor w a s he l i ke ly aware that t w o great Ch inese e d u c a t o r - p h i l o s o p h e r s , Chu Hsi (1130-1200) and W a n g Y a n g - m i n g (1472-1529) had p resen ted subs tan t ia l arguments to s h o w that their s y s t e m d id not p romo te rat ional or c rea t i ve th ink ing . Were the l ibera l r e f o r m e r s in their en thus iasm for "equal i ty of o p p o r t u n i t y " b l ind to the se r i ous educa t iona l d r a w b a c k s of an external examina t i on s y s t e m ? Th is chapter a t tempts to answer the a b o v e q u e s t i o n . W e w i l l r e v i e w the wr i t i ngs of Chu Hsi and W a n g Y a n g - m i n g to de te rmine the b a s i s of their c r i t i c i s m . Does their c r i t i c i s m of the Ch inese s y s t e m con ta in any a rguments wh i ch cou ld be pert inent to w e s t e r n examina t ion s y s t e m s ? Do w e f i nd s i m i l a r a rguments e x p r e s s e d by w e s t e r n e d u c a t o r - p h i l o s o p h e r s ? What we re the a rguments made fo r and aga ins t the i m p o s i n g of an examina t i on s y s t e m in 19th cen tu ry Br i ta in? The e m p h a s i s in th is chapter w i l l be on r e v i e w i n g a rguments that w e r e conce rned about the e f f e c t s of external exam ina t i ons on c r i t i ca l or a u t o n o m o u s th ink ing . W h y has the e f fec t on th ink ing been c h o s e n as the f o c u s o f th is s tudy? F i rs t , if w e are conce rned that our s c h o o l s y s t e m p rov i des an educa t i on that t ru ly p r o m o t e s me r i t o r i ous a c a d e m i c a c h i e v e m e n t , Pe te rs and o thers argue that such ach ievemen t requ i res a capac i t y fo r and a d i s p o s i t i o n to use c r i t i ca l th ink ing . If w e l l - e s t a b l i s h e d and pe rsuas i ve arguments have been made aga ins t external exam ina t i ons because they a d v e r s e l y a f fec t c r i t i ca l t h ink ing , w e , as conce rned educa to r s , shou ld be aware of those a rgumen ts . D id these a rguments in f luence the 1971 p o l i c y d e c i s i o n in Br i t i sh C o l u m b i a to abandon external exam ina t i ons fo r Grade 12 graduat ion? If s o , w h y we re the arguments re jec ted in 1983 w h e n exam ina t i ons w e r e re ins ta ted? Thus , th is l ine of inquiry p r o v i d e s a use fu l means for exam in ing educa t iona l p o l i c y d e c i s i o n s p r imar i l y in t e rms of their educa t iona l rather than their s o c i a l or po l i t i ca l con tex t . 9 Th is is not to dep rec ia te the app roach used by Si r M i c h a e l S a d l e r , C la rence Kar ier or other educa t iona l h i s to r i ans w h o have c r i t i c i zed externa l exam ina t i ons on the grounds that they are ins t ruments o f s o c i a l con t r o l . 4 H o w e v e r , their argument lacks a subs ta i ned a n a l y s i s o f h o w ex terna l exam ina t i ons s e r v e to d i scou rage the g rowth of a u t o n o m o u s c i t i z e n s . Th i s chapter a t tempts to p r o v i d e part o f th is a n a l y s i s and the re fo re the f o c u s on th ink ing is c ruc ia l . Let us cons ide r more c l o s e l y the no t ion of me r i t o r i ous a c a d e m i c ach ievemen t . R.S. Pe te rs s u g g e s t s such ach ievemen t i n v o l v e s a cogn i t i ve pe rspec t i ve o f s o m e bread th , a c o n c e p t u a l f r a m e w o r k that exp la ins depth and a c o m m i t m e n t to truth and e x c e l l e n c e w h i c h p r e d i s p o s e s a p e r s o n to probe the p r i nc ip les under l y ing the b o d y of k n o w l e d g e he has lea rned . Each body of k n o w l e d g e - e g . s c i e n c e , s o c i a l s t u d i e s , m u s i c , math - has a f ounda t i on o f ra t ional p r inc ip les w h i c h gove rn p rac t i ce . For e x a m p l e , in h i s to ry one must be cogn izan t of the rules of e v i d e n c e . If educa t i on is la rge ly a matter in the later grades of in i t ia t ing s tudents into these ra t iona l t r a d i t i o n s , then s tudents need the oppor tun i t y to use and to b e c o m e fam i l i a r w i t h these p r i n c i p l e s . S c h e f f ler, w h o g i v e s a c l o s e r a n a l y s i s o f k n o w l e d g e s a y s W e p rese rve k n o w l e d g e on l y if w e s u c c e e d in t ransmi t t i ng the l i ve spark that keeps it g r o w i n g , w h i c h is a product o f each learner 's e f f o r t s to make sense of pub l i c k n o w l e d g e in his o w n t e r m s , and to con f ron t it w i th rea l i ty . . .Such c o n f r o n t a t i o n i nvo l ves de l i be ra t i on and judgement and p r e s u p p o s e s genera l and impar t ia l p r i nc ip les gove rn ing the a s s e s s m e n t of r e a s o n s bear ing on the i s s u e s . 5 Through th is c o n f r o n t a t i o n , s tuden ts ga in "the ab i l i t y ' to cons t ruc t and eva luate f resh and a l te rna t i ve a r g u m e n t s , the p o w e r to innova te rather than the capac i t y to rep roduce s ta le a rgumen ts ear l ie r s t o r e d . " 6 K n o w i n g in the "s t rong s e n s e " means a s tudent not o n l y has adequate and re levant e v i d e n c e fo r his be l i e f s about the w o r l d but he a l so app rec i a tes the f o r c e of th is e v i d e n c e . Th is type of k n o w l e d g e , w h i c h imp l i es ra t ional a u t o n o m y , is essen t ia l to an adequate concep t of what it means to be e d u c a t e d . Thus an a t tempt to measure mer i t o r i ous a c a d e m i c ach ievemen t w o u l d be s e r i o u s l y inadequate if it d id not tes t au tonomous th ink ing . Can externa l e x a m i n a t i o n s tes t a u t o n o m o u s th ink ing? Th is ques t i on has conce rned many educa to rs and p h i l o s o p h e r s dur ing the long h i s to r y of external 10 e x a m i n a t i o n s . Their use f i r s t a rose in Ch ina in 622 A D . C i v i l s e r v i c e examina t i ons f i r s t appeared in Europe in Brandenburg - P r u s s i a in 1693. ' Dur ing the late n ine teenth century external e x a m i n a t i o n s b e c a m e c o m m o n in Great Br i ta in as w e l l as in her c o l o n i e s and m a n y f o r m e r c o l o n i e s . 8 F o l l o w i n g W o r l d War I and the s u c c e s s of the f i rs t group tes t o f i n te l l i gence , the U.S. A r m y A l p h a , the tes t ing m o v e m e n t in the Un i ted S t a t e s rap id ly expanded to inc lude tes ts fo r s c h o l a s t i c a c h i e v e m e n t , menta l ab i l i t y , i n te res t , apt i tude and pe rsona l i t y . Thus the above ques t i on has a r ich and d i ve rse in te l lec tua l her i tage. It has c o n c e r n e d many th inkers in va r i ous cu l tures fo r over a thousand y e a r s . Th is chapter w i l l r e v i e w their a rgumen ts . In the next chapter we w i l l cons i de r to what extent these arguments w e r e re fe r red to and used by educa to rs in Br i t i sh C o l u m b i a pr ior to the 1960s. Ch inese a s s e s s m e n t o f the examina t i on s y s t e m began dur ing the re ign of Empero r ^Shen- t sung (r. 1068 -86 ) when W a n g A n - S h i h w a s the ch ie f m in i s te r . A W a n g w a s c o n v i n c e d that re l i ance on the s y s t e m d id not adequate ly f o s t e r ou ts tand ing mer i t fo r "the ta len ted men w h o cou ld b e c o m e high o f f i c i a l s are c o n f i n e d to u s e l e s s l ea rn ing , " 9 the m e m o r i z a t i o n o f texts and the wr i t i ng of l i terary c o m p o s i t i o n s . Th is c r i t i c i s m w a s o f ten repeated but s e l d o m did anyone c o n s i d e r w h y the learn ing w a s u s e l e s s "in i t se l f " rather than u s e l e s s in t e rms of resu l t s . Chu Hsi (1130-1200) w a s the f i rs t N e o - C o n f u c i a n ph i losopher to ra ise the leve l o f c r i t i c i s m by add ress i ng e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l c o n c e r n s . Chu Hs i ' s p o s i t i o n w a s f ounded on a theory of learn ing w h i c h e m p h a s i z e d th ink ing . Cheng I sa id "the s o u r c e of learn ing is thought " and Chu Hsi c o m m e n t s that " th ink ing s t imu la tes and d e v e l o p s i n t e l l i gence . " 1 0 The f i rs t s tep w a s to k n o w "how to doubt . " The s e c o n d s tep w a s to ques t i on the mean ing of w o r d s in order to c l a r i f y the ideas of a text (3:22, 3:27). Nex t , one shou ld p robe and examine the p r i nc i p l es con ta ined w i th in the ideas (3:66, 3 :67, 3:33). The purpose of learn ing w a s to ga in en l igh tenment (2:100), not to imp ress others (2:14). Chu Hsi r e a f f i r m s the t rad i t iona l C o n f u c i a n approach to in te l lec tua l en l i gh tenmen t : "S tudy e x t e n s i v e l y , inquire a c c u r a t e l y , think ca re fu l l y , s i f t c lea r l y and p rac t i ce ea rnes t l y . " Th is approach a l so i n v o l v e d mas te r i ng the d i s p o s i t i o n s w h i c h w o u l d enable a s tudent to learn in a thought fu l manner . The f o r m to be f o l l o w e d w a s induc t i ve . The Neo-Confucian Debate 11 "Every th ing shou ld be i nves t i ga ted to the u t m o s t , and none of it is unwor thy of a t ten t ion . " Th is last con ten t i on w o u l d be cha l l enged by W a n g Y a n g - m i n g w h o b e l i e v e d that o b s e r v a t i o n s d id not lead n e c e s s a r i l y to the i den t i f i ca t i on of p r i n c i p l e s . Chu Hs i ' s p o s i t i o n can be s u m m e d up a s : One must inquire d e e p l y , unders tand qu ie t l y , and ponder fo r a long t i m e , and then he w i l l p robab ly f i nd out fo r h i m s e l f . If a s tudent is to learn f r o m a sage at a l l , he must deep l y ponder over the f e e l i n g s and d i s p o s i t i o n s of the s a g e , and must not try to unders tand h im mere l y in t e rms o f w o r d s . If he d o e s that , what he s tud ies is no th ing but w r i t i n g . Chu Hs i ' s essen t i a l c r i t i c i s m of the exam ina t i on s y s t e m w a s that... M e r e l y to m e m o r i z e what one has rec i t ed and to have ex tens i ve i n f o r m a t i o n , but not to unders tand p r inc ip le or to reach the po in t of thorough unders tand ing and pene t ra t i on , is to chase af ter what is s m a l l and to fo rge t what is great . One w i l l be imped ing one 's f ree and c lear m ind w i th u s e l e s s th ings . Th is is to t r i f le w i t h th ings and to l ose one 's pu rpose . n H o w e v e r when he w a s asked whether p repara t ion fo r c i v i l s e r v i c e exam ina t i ons in te r fe red w i th a s tudent 's e f f o r t s at real learn ing he r e p l i e d : If one spends ten days each month in p repar ing for the e x a m i n a t i o n s , one can d e v o t e the rema in ing days to true learning.. . The danger of prepar ing fo r the examina t i on is not that it hurts one 's e f f o r t s at true learn ing but that it d e s t r o y s one 's w i l l to s tudy . Th is is not as con t r ad i c t o r y as it might f i rs t appear . Chu Hsi re jec ted M e n c i u s ' s argument that a teacher had an o b l i g a t i o n to en l ighten o the rs . Instead he a d v o c a t e s Analects 7:8 - "Confuc ius w o u l d not en l igh ten those w h o we re not eager to learn . " Chu Hsi s a w the examina t i on as a means to separa te the true learners f r o m those w h o pursued k n o w l e d g e on l y fo r the sake of a d v a n c e m e n t . Chu Hsi a l so s a w the examina t i ons as a use fu l means of o v e r c o m i n g T a o i s t i nac t ion and Buddh is t " s i l ence and ann ih i l a t i on . " 1 2 He w a s perhaps the p ro to t ype of t hose w h o argue that the examina t i on s y s t e m is g o o d fo r character d e v e l o p m e n t . Further Chu Hsi b e l i e v e d pu rpose and ac t i v i t y cou ld be i so l a ted f r o m each other caus ing a t ens ion that w a s use fu l in the d e v e l o p m e n t of in te l lec tua l s k i l l s . He d id not e labora te on h o w th is t e n s i o n w o u l d p r o m o t e the m ind 's c a p a c i t y to have f ree and c lear thoughts . 12 W a n g Y a n g - m i n g c o n s i d e r e d Chu H s i ' s at t i tude t o w a r d learn ing to be a dange rous , in te l lec tua l trap that reduced s c h o l a r s h i p to s c h o l a s t i c i s m . He sa id it a l l o w e d the s ta te to rep lace "c r i t i ca l sp i r i t , c rea t i ve thought , and mora l purpose and v i t a l i t y " w i t h "a conce rn fo r f ragmenta ry and i so la ted d e t a i l s " that led to "the hab i ts o f m e m o r i z a t i o n and rec i ta t ion i ns tead o f search ing fo r mean ing and v a l u e s . " 1 3 W a n g b e l i e v e d Chu Hs i ' s separa t i on of k n o w l e d g e and ac t i on to be a fundamenta l er ror . "It is a de lus ion to be l i eve that the quest of k n o w l e d g e can be separa te f r o m its app l i ca t i on . " He thought Chu Hs i ' s doc t r ine had inadver ten t ly p rov i ded the s tate w i th a means of neut ra l i z ing in te l lec tua l inqui ry and mora l deba te . If C o n f u c i a n k n o w l e d g e had no va lue other than fo r ex t r ins ic rewards ga ined af ter yea rs of b o o k i s h s tudy and e x a m i n a t i o n w r i t i n g , the real value of such k n o w l e d g e w a s los t . W a n g Y a n g - m i n g ' s cure w a s to urge the student to make his s tud ies " re levan t " . He sugges ted that to know is not to m e m o r i z e a set o f ex te rna l i zed va lues and c o n c e p t s but to man i f es t what one has unde rs tood in conc re te a c t i o n s . To de lay ac t i on w a s to make know ledge s u p e r f i c i a l . For W a n g Y a n g - m i n g the impor tant task o f educa t ion w a s to encourage mora l s e l f - s u f f i c i e n c y f ounded on ra t iona l j udgemen ts . Th is purpose had b e c o m e obscu red by Chu Hs i ' s approach wh i ch e m p h a s i z e d the i nves t i ga t i on of t h i ngs , h o w e v e r s m a l l and s e e m i n g l y i r re levant . Ye t both Chu Hsi and W a n g Y a n g - m i n g b e l i e v e d in the Chan-tzu ideal f i r s t expounded by C o n f u c i u s . The Chan-tzu c o n s i d e r e d learn ing a del ight and a l i f e l o n g w o r k , not a labour to be endured for ex t r ins ic b e n e f i t s . He w a s a super io r man w h o p o s s e s s e d w i s d o m , c o m p a s s i o n and mora l cou rage . In al l th ings he ac ted w i th v i r tue fo r "The super io r man unders tands r i g h t e o u s n e s s ; the in fer ior man unders tands p r o f i t " {Analects 4;16). Both Chu Hs i and W a n g Y a n g - m i n g sought to have a s o c i e t y where educa t i on ' s purpose w a s to create Chan-tzu w h o accep ted o f f i c i a l p o s i t i o n s . Instead they l i ved in a s o c i e t y wh i ch educa ted men to b e c o m e o f f i c i a l s . A popular adage of the n e o - C o n f u c i a n age w a s "To s tudy , to get the me t ropo l i t an degree [Ph.D.] , to b e c o m e an o f f i c i a l , to b e c o m e w e a l t h y . " 1 4 Dur ing the n ineteenth cen tury , the e x a m i n a t i o n - e d u c a t i o n s y s t e m in Ch ina w a s much c r i t i c i zed fo r f a i l i ng to se lec t o f f i c i a l s w h o we re capab le of meet ing the cha l l enges i m p o s e d by w e s t e r n impe r i a l i sm and J a p a n e s e a g g r e s s i o n . The s y s t e m w a s i nves t i ga ted by the Imper ia l Educa t ion C o m m i t t e e and they f o u n d ; 13 ...that it is n e c e s s a r y to d i scon t i nue the examina t i on s y s t e m at o n c e , s o that the management o f the s c h o o l s may imp rove in qual i ty . . . The examina t i on s y s t e m re l ies o n l y upon the fa i lu re or s u c c e s s of one d a y ; in the s c h o o l s seve ra l y e a r s have to be spen t in thorough i n v e s t i g a t i o n . In the e x a m i n a t i o n s y s t e m [the cand ida tes ] are s e l e c t e d mere ly for their p o l i s h e d s t y l e ; there is no w a y to tes t their pe r sona l qua l i t i es . The s c h o o l s , h o w e v e r , pay a t ten t ion to the w a y of l i f e [of the s tuden ts ] , and m o r e o v e r , the w o r k i n g s o f their m inds can be c lea r l y known. . . In 1905 the E m p r e s s abo l i shed the c i v i l s e r v i c e exam ina t i ons on the g rounds that they c a u s e d on l y " super f i c i a l k n o w l e d g e " to be learned w h i l e what w a s needed were s c h o o l s that taught " fundamenta l p r i nc i p l es and p rac t i ca l a p p l i c a t i o n s . " The Ch inese exper ience s u g g e s t s that their external e x a m i n a t i o n s y s t e m cou ld not tes t or p r o m o t e a u t o n o m o u s th ink ing . It may have p r o m o t e d a c a p a c i t y fo r m e m o r i z a t i o n and a d i s p o s i t i o n for hard wo rk but it d id not encourage ra t iona l r e f l e c t i o n . Even tua l l y the Ch inese d e c i d e d that the s o c i a l and po l i t i ca l u s e f u l n e s s of the e x a m i n a t i o n s y s t e m w a s o u t w e i g h e d by its educa t iona l i nadequac ies . The Debate in Britain The "compet i t i ve . " exam ina t i on idea ga ined rapid popu la r i t y in Br i ta in dur ing the n ine teenth century . Th is w a s f ue led in part by a po l i t i ca l n e e d , an ava i l ab le adm in i s t ra t i ve s o l u t i o n , and an in te l lec tua l c l ima te that w a s c o n d u c i v e to the so lu t i on be ing i m p l e m e n t e d . A s the Br i t i sh b e c a m e i nc reas ing l y e m b r o i l e d in the a f fa i r s o f s ta te on the Indian subcon t i nen t , an e f f e c t i v e m o d e l fo r secu r i ng amb i t i ous and capab le E n g l i s h m e n as gove rnmen t o f f i c i a l s w a s n e e d e d . In 1835 an acute p o l i t i c a l obse rve r w r o t e : The fu l l deve lopmen t in India of th is Ch inese inven t ion [c iv i l s e r v i c e exam ina t i ons ] is des t i ned one d a y , pe rhaps , l ike t hose o f gunpowder and pr in t ing to work another great change in the s t a t e s - s y s t e m even in E u r o p e . 1 5 This C h i n e s e inven t ion found fe r t i l e in te l lec tua l so i l as the genera l idea o f e x a m i n a t i o n s w a s a l ready w e l l e s t a b l i s h e d in B r i t a in , i.e. T r in i t y C o l l e g e began us ing en t rance examina t i ons in 1759 and O x f o r d began s w i t c h i n g f r o m the d i spu ta t i on s y s t e m to se t t ing exam ina t i ons fo r the B .A . degree af ter 1802. H o w e v e r , the Ch inese s y s t e m w a s p r imar i l y an adm in i s t ra t i ve t oo l w h i c h enab led the state to e f f i c i e n t l y se lec t and grade o f f i c i a l s requi red by a m a s s bu reaucracy . It encou raged pr ior educa t ion on l y s o far as educa t ion p repared s tuden ts to wr i te 14 the e x a m i n a t i o n s . L ibera l r e f o r m e r s , w i s h i n g to ex tend and to i m p r o v e popu la r educa t i on in order to p r o m o t e equa l i t y o f oppo r tun i t y , a d v o c a t e d the use o f externa l exam ina t i ons in the s c h o o l s y s t e m . J o h n Stuar t M i l l w r o t e The Ch inese are remarkab le in the e x c e l l e n c e of their [examinat ion ] apparatus for i m p r e s s i n g as far as p o s s i b l e , the best w i s d o m they p o s s e s s upon e v e r y m ind in the c o m m u n i t y , and secu r ing that t hose w h o have appropr ia ted m o s t of it sha l l o c c u p y the p o s t s of honor and p o w e r . 1 6 M i l l b e l i e v e d external e x a m i n a t i o n s w e r e des i rab le as long as s teps w e r e taken "to prevent the S ta te f r o m e x e r c i s i n g , through [examina t i ons ] , an imprope r in f luence ove r o p i n i o n . " His r e c o m m e n d a t i o n w a s that " K n o w l e d g e requ i red fo r p a s s i n g an examinat ion . . . s h o u l d , even in the h igher c l a s s e s o f e x a m i n a t i o n s , be c o n f i n e d to f ac t s and p o s i t i v e s c i e n c e e x c l u s i v e l y . " M i l l d o e s not a t tempt to reconc i l e th is ca l l fo r ob jec t i ve tes ts w i t h h is ear l ie r a c k n o w l e d g e m e n t that "very f e w f ac t s are able to te l l their o w n s t o r y w i thou t c o m m e n t s to br ing out their mean ing . " Nei ther d o e s he r e c o n c i l e his s t a t e m e n t , the examina t i on on r e l i g i o n , p o l i t i c s , or o ther d i spu ted t o p i c s , shou ld not turn on the truth or f a l s e h o o d of o p i n i o n s , but on the mat ter o f fac t that such and such an o p i n i o n is h e l d , on such g rounds , by such au thors , or s c h o o l s , or churches . w i th h is cent ra l t hes i s that peop le need to r e a s o n , to think for t h e m s e l v e s , to tes t and to d i s c o v e r the g rounds o f their o p i n i o n s rather than to re ly on inher i ted , author i ta t ive doc t r i nes . His key point i s : Neve r when c o n t r o v e r s y a v o i d e d the sub jec t s w h i c h are large and impor tan t enough to k ind le en thus iasm w a s the m ind of a p e o p l e s t i r red up f r o m its f o u n d a t i o n s , and the impu l se g i ven w h i c h r a i s e d even p e r s o n s o f the m o s t o rd inary in te l lec t to s o m e t h i n g of the d ign i t y of th ink ing be ings . H o w then is the "d ign i ty of t h i n k i n g " to be encou raged by externa l e x a m i n a t i o n s wh ich ca l l fo r the mere rec i ta t i on of au thor i ta t i ve a rguments or the m e m o r i z a t i o n of f ac t s t es ted out of the contex t that g i v e s them mean ing? M i l l d o e s not r e s o l v e this i s sue . Nor w a s he c h a l l e n g e d , fo r the r e f o r m e r s we re genera l l y c o n v i n c e d that external exam ina t i ons w o u l d cure many s o c i a l i l ls and cause no i l l e f f e c t s . The i r a rguments usua l l y inc luded one or more o f the f o l l o w i n g p o i n t s : 15 1. External examinations provide for soc ia l advancement and career opportunity based on merit rather that inherited status, purchase or patronage. Th is w a s the mos t important , o f al l a rguments and w a s m o s t o f ten c i t e d . D a w e s (1854) thought a c o m p e t i t i v e s y s t e m w o u l d "help to reduce cor rup t ion and p l a c e - s e e k i n g . " 1 7 The N e w c a s t l e C o m m i s s i o n (1861) thought it reasonab le that peop le "va lue educa t ion as a means of r i s ing to a higher s ta t i on in l i f e " 1 8 and the R i v i s e d C o d e (1862) r ecogn i zed that "open c o m p e t i t i v e tes ts se rve to dec ide the f i t n e s s o f cand ida tes f o r pub l i c o f f i c e or fo r an independent p r o f e s s i o n and may serve to br ing fo rward ab le b o y s and g i r ls f r o m a lower s o c i a l leve l and to g ive them oppor tun i t i es fo r advancement through higher e d u c a t i o n . " 1 9 2. External examinations are an e f fec t ive government instrument fo r ensuring that schoo ls (or in Mil l 's case , parents), are equipping students with the prerequisi te academic ski l ls and general knowledge which every future c i t izen needs if he is to have at least a minimum opportunity fo r success and to be a product ive member of soc ie ty . For e x a m p l e , in 1862 the Eng l i sh R e v i s e d C o d e i m p o s e d examina t i ons in read ing , wr i t i ng and ar i thmet ic upon al l e lemen ta ry s c h o o l s rece iv ing gove rnmen t grants . Over a pe r i od of three y e a r s , a d ramat ic i m p r o v e m e n t w a s reco rded at least as no ted by examina t ion r e s u l t s . 2 0 A s im i l a r s y s t e m w a s used in Ontar io f r o m 1876-1882.21 M i l l wan ted to f ine the parents if their ch i ld ren were taught at home but had f a i l ed the e x a m i n a t i o n s . 2 2 3. External examinations encourage posi t ive character trai ts. B o o t h (1847) argued "examinat ions. . .ensure that the adult had in youth acqu i red habi ts o f app l i ca t i on and industry.. . that s u c c e s s in examina t i ons ensures the f o r m a t i o n of hab i ts o f d i l i gence and s e l f - c o n t r o l . " 2 3 4 . External examinations provide an incent ive fo r students to work harder, 16 particularly where the top students are rewarded with some prize, scholarship or position. The Br i t i sh c i v i l se r v i ce exam ina t i ons w e r e in t roduced in 1855 w i th the announcement , "The educa ted you th o f the Un i ted K i n g d o m are hence fo r th to be inv i ted to engage in a c o m p e t i t i o n in wh i ch about 40 p r i zes w i l l , on an a v e r a g e , be ga ined each year . Eve ry one o f these p r i zes is no th ing l e s s than an honourab le s o c i a l p o s i t i o n and a c o m f o r t a b l e independence for l i f e . " 2 4 5. External examinations provide a means of inspecting teachers and a system for state control over schools. The Taunton C o m m i s s i o n (1864-68 ) r e c o m m e n d e d "a government servant shou ld be r e s p o n s i b l e fo r i n s p e c t i n g e n d o w e d seconda ry s c h o o l s and fo r p res id ing ove r the annual s c h o o l e x a m i n a t i o n s " wh i ch they w e r e to regard as the p i v o t o f their r e c o m m e n d a t i o n . Barry (1878) thought th is " i nspec t i on and examina t ion of a w h o l e s c h o o l d id he lp parents to a s s e s s the e f f i c i e n c y of s c h o o l s . " The i n s p e c t i o n w o u l d not on l y iden t i f y the "e f f i c i en t t eache r " but ensure as w e l l that s c h o o l s we re f o l l o w i n g the gu ide l i nes o f the M i n i s t r y of Educa t ion rather than the d i c ta tes of l o c a l p ressure g roups . The pub l i c and the government in Br i ta in we re pe rsuaded by these a rgumen ts . In 1850 the C o l l e g e o f P r e c e p t o r s began us ing external e x a m i n a t i o n s w i t h s e c o n d a r y s tudents w i s h i n g to go to un i ve rs i t y . In 1855 c i v i l s e r v i c e e x a m i n a t i o n s w e r e used fo r se lec t i ng o f f i c i a l s w h o w i s h e d to se rve in India. In 1857 O x f o r d began tes t ing cand ida tes and in 1858 C a m b r i d g e in i t ia ted a s i m i l a r p rac t i ce . By O r d e r - i n - C o u n c i l in 1870, c o m p e t i t i v e e x a m i n a t i o n s w e r e made c o m p u l s o r y fo r a d m i s s i o n to al l c i v i l s e r v i c e depa r tmen ts . The t ide of suppor t turned against the use o f external e x a m i n a t i o n s in the 1870s as the potent ia l fo r the examina t i on s y s t e m to a f fec t a d v e r s e l y the educa t i ona l s y s t e m b e c a m e inc reas ing ly apparent . A . R . Grant w r o t e in 1880... A l l that an examina t ion cou ld do w a s to test " k n o w l e d g e . " It 17 p r o v i d e d f e w means o f e l i c i t i ng o r ig ina l i t y or app ra i s i ng menta l c a p a c i t y . It cou l d not test the ba lance of menta l p o w e r s or a s s e s s s o u n d n e s s of j udgemen t . In 1887 the C o l l e g e of P r e c e p t o r s began a r e v i e w of their p o s i t i o n on external e x a m i n a t i o n s . A year la ter , the journal Nineteenth Century pub l i shed a "p ro tes t " aga ins t these e x a m i n a t i o n s s i g n e d by 400 p e r s o n s of a c a d e m i c i n f l u e n c e . In 1889 these arguments w e r e c o l l e c t e d together and pub l i shed in The Sacrifice of Education to Examination. The a rguments no ted that exam ina t i ons c a u s e d undue s t r e s s , checked independence and f ree d e v e l o p m e n t in t each ing , and quenched the l o v e of k n o w l e d g e fo r i ts o w n s a k e . M o r e o v e r , it w a s argued ex terna l exam ina t i ons w a s t e d va luab le educa t iona l r esou rces by l ock i ng them up in the award ing of p r i zes and s c h o l a r s h i p s . The debate in Br i ta in be tween those a d v o c a t i n g the use of external e x a m i n a t i o n s fo r s o c i a l and adm in i s t r a t i ve r easons and t h o s e o p p o s i n g the exam ina t i ons on educa t iona l g rounds w a s r e c o g n i z e d and d o c u m e n t e d by the 1911 Report of the Consultative Committee on Examinations in Secondary Schools. In this repor t an a t tempt w a s made to d i s c u s s the i ssue p r imar i l y in educa t i ona l t e r m s . The Repor t l i s ted s ix g o o d e f f e c t s brought about by exam ina t i ons ' on the pupi l i n c l u d i n g : 2 5 b) that they inc i te h im to get h is k n o w l e d g e into rep roduc ib l e f o r m and to l e s s e n the r isk o f v a g u e n e s s ; c) that they make h im wo rk at par ts o f a s tudy w h i c h , though impor tan t , may be un in te res t ing or repugnant to h im pe rsona l l y ; . . f ) t h a t they enable the pupi l to measure h is real a t ta inmen t : (i) by the s tandard requi red by ou ts ide e x a m i n e r s , (ii) by c o m p a r i s o n w i th the a t ta inment of his f e l l o w pup i l s , and ( i i i ) by c o m p a r i s o n w i th the a t ta inment of h is c o n t e m p o r a r i e s in other s c h o o l s . On the other hand , e x a m i n a t i o n s may have a "bad e f f ec t upon the pup i l ' s m i n d " (six r easons w e r e l i s ted ) : 18 a) by se t t ing a p r e m i u m on the p o w e r o f me re l y rep roduc ing other p e o p l e ' s ideas and other peop le ' s me thods of p resen tmen t thus d ive r t i ng energy f r o m the c rea t i ve p rocess ; . . . b) by f a v o u r i n g a s o m e w h a t p a s s i v e type o f mind; . . . e) by induc ing the pup i l , in h is p repara t ion fo r an e x a m i n a t o n , to a im rather at abso rb ing i n f o r m a t i o n impar ted to h im by the teacher than at f o r m i n g an independent judgement upon the sub jec ts in wh i ch he r e c e i v e s ins t ruc t ion . Further the Repor t c o n s i d e r e d the g o o d e f f e c t s of w e l l - c o n d u c t e d examina t i ons upon the teacher . These inc luded induc ing him to treat his sub ject t ho rough ly , to be o r g a n i z e d , to pay a t ten t ion to al l pup i ls and to acquaint h i m s e l f w i th the s tandard c o m m o n l y ach ieved by other teachers . The bad e f f e c t s no ted we re that externa l e x a m i n a t i o n s : (a) cons t ra in h im to w a t c h the examiner ' s f o i b l e s and to note his i d i o s y n c r a s i e s (or the t rad i t i on of the examina t i on ) in order that he may arm his s tudents w i t h the k ind of k n o w l e d g e requ i red fo r dea l ing s u c c e s s f u l l y w i th the q u e s t i o n s that w i l l p robab l y be put to t h e m ; (b) l im i t the f r e e d o m of the teacher in c h o o s i n g the w a y in w h i c h he shal l t reat his sub jec t ; (c) encourage him... to impart.. . g roups o f f ac t s or a s p e c t s of the sub jec t w h i c h each pupi l shou ld p roper l y be left to c o l l e c t or e n v i s a g e fo r h i m s e l f ; (d) p r e d i s p o s e the teacher to ove rva lue a m o n g his pup i l s that t ype of menta l d e v e l o p m e n t w h i c h secu res s u c c e s s in e x a m i n a t i o n s ; (e) make it the teacher ' s in terest to exce l in the pure ly examinab le s ide o f h is p r o f e s s i o n a l w o r k and d iver t h is a t ten t ion f r o m those parts of educa t ion w h i c h cannot be t es ted by the p r o c e s s o f e x a m i n a t i o n s . 19 The Repor t does not sugges t w h i c h s ide has a s t ronger c a s e . On i nspec t i on though , the c a s e fo r external e x a m i n a t i o n s , as separa te f r o m in te rna l , teacher p repared e x a m i n a t i o n s , depends on "(f) they enab le the pupi l to measure his real a t t a inmen t " and they induce a teacher to do his job in a p r o f e s s i o n a l manner . What is meant by "real a t ta inment "? P r o b a b l y "the s tandards requ i red by ou ts ide exam ine rs . " W i l l these s tandards inc lude the recogn i t i on of th ink ing charac te r i zed by g o o d judgement? Th is w a s un l i ke ly if bad e f f e c t (c) on teachers w a s c o m m o n . In such c a s e s then, the s tandards used w e r e not ones des igned to tes t mer i t o r i ous a c a d e m i c ach ievemen t as p r e v i o u s l y d i s c u s s e d and it is d i f f i cu l t to be l i eve that they enab led a pupi l to measure his "real a t ta inment . " S e c o n d l y , the argument that e x a m i n a t i o n s induce teacher p r o f e s s i o n a l i s m is s e r i o u s l y j eopa rd i zed by the bad e f f e c t s the Repor t n o t e d , pa r t i cu la r l y a , b, and e. If inducement is needed , then w o u l d it not be more e f f e c t i v e to have mento r teachers and /o r p r inc ipa ls work w i th t hose w h o s e conduc t is in ques t ion? On the w h o l e , the case for external exam ina t i ons p resen ted in the 1911 repor t b o i l s d o w n to an admin i s t ra t i ve means of e f f i c i e n t l y i nspec t i ng s c h o o l s to ensure c o m p l i a n c e w i th cen t ra l l y es tab l i shed "s tandards . " The c a s e aga ins t s h o w s that these examina t i ons are in con f l i c t w i t h the l ibera l concep t that educa t ion is to p r o m o t e a u t o n o m o u s th ink ing . The Report d o e s not c o m m e n t on th is p r o b l e m . A . N . Wh i tehead d i d . Beg inn ing in 1912, he p resen ted a se r i es of lec tures on the a i m s of educa t i on wh ich c o n d e m n e d the use of external e x a m i n a t i o n s . External exam ina t i ons k i l l the best part o f cul ture [def ined as ac t i v i t y o f thought , and r e c e p t i v e n e s s to beau ty , and humane fee l ing] . . . The reason is that w e are dea l ing w i t h human minds and not w i th dead mat ter . The e v o c a t i o n of cur ios i ty . . . [is] not to be impar ted by a set rule e m b o d i e d in one schedu le of e x a m i n a t i o n sub jec t s . 2 6 Whi tehead bases his argument on a c o n c e p t of learn ing w h i c h c o n s i d e r s the m ind as "never p a s s i v e . " He fe l t you c o u l d not "pos tpone i ts l i fe unti l y o u have sharpened i t " fo r wha teve r p o w e r s "you are s t rengthen ing in the pupi l must be exh ib i ted here and n o w . " Th is p o s i t i o n is r emarkab l y s im i l a r to W a n g Y a n g - m i n g s ' but Wh i tehead ' s in tent ion is d i f fe ren t . W h e r e a s W a n g w a s c o n v i n c e d p r imar i l y w i t h the g rowth of mora l s e l f - s u f f i c i e n c y , Wh i tehead b e l i e v e s s e l f - d e v e l o p m e n t o c c u r s through in te l lec tua l d e v e l o p m e n t . 20 Whi tehead ' s c o n c e r n w i t h the m ind 's g row th leads to a theory of p e d a g o g y . In t ra in ing a c h i l d to a c t i v i t y of thought , a b o v e al l th ings w e must beware of wha t I w i l l ca l l " inert i d e a s " - ideas that are mere l y r e c e i v e d into the m ind w i thou t be ing u t i l i s e d , or t e s t e d , or th rown into f resh c o m b i n a t i o n s . C lea r l y ex terna l e x a m i n a t i o n s wh i ch encourage teachers "to impart g roups of f ac t s or a s p e c t s o f the subjuct wh i ch each pupi l shou ld p roper l y be lef t to co l l ec t or env i sage f o r h i m s e l f " (1911 Report) are ha rm fu l , in Wh i tehead ' s o p i n i o n , to in te l lec tua l g r o w t h . He b e l i e v e d that educa t i on " is the acqu i s i t i on of the art o f the u t i l i za t ion o f k n o w l e d g e " ; external e x a m i n a t i o n s k i l l ed th is art by encourag ing learn ing based on ro te m e m o r y . A s such they caused "educa t iona l w a s t e . " To a v o i d th is he a d v o c a t e d that s c h o o l s rather than s c h o l a r s shou ld be i n s p e c t e d . P . J . Ha r tog , w h i l e e n d o r s i n g Wh i tehead in p r i nc i p l e , argued that externa l e x a m i n a t i o n s might be a c c e p t a b l e if they we re used on l y in "that part o f educa t i on in wh i ch it is use fu l and n e c e s s a r y to think mo re or l ess on a m o d e l " w h i c h he re fe rs to as "educa t ion fo r t echn ica l e f f i c i e n c y . " 2 7 This m o v e m e n t t o w a r d s a c c o m m o d a t i o n w i th external e x a m i n a t i o n s by r ecogn i z i ng d i f f e r i ng s p h e r e s o f in f luence w a s re jec ted by Ber t rand R u s s e l l . He b e l i e v e d "al l h igher i ns t r uc t i on shou ld be g i ven w i t h a v i e w to teach ing the sp i r i t and techn ique o f inqu i ry rather than f r o m the s tandpo in t of impar t ing the right a n s w e r s to q u e s t i o n s . " 2 8 Ex terna l exam ina t i ons d i s c o u r a g e d inqu i ry , encou raged "doc i l i t y and the be l i e f that de f in i te a n s w e r s are k n o w n on ques t i ons w h i c h are leg i t ima te mat te rs o f d e b a t e . " Russe l l w a s c o n c e r n e d that learn ing encou raged the use of b o o k s , the d e v e l o p m e n t of reasonab le a rgumen ts , the f o r m a t i o n of sound j udgemen ts and an e n t h u s i a s m fo r the a c q u i s i t i o n o f k n o w l e d g e . He d id not c o n s i d e r these a ims to be p o s s i b l e "whi le the t y ranny of e x a m i n a t i o n s and c o m p e t i t i o n " p e r s i s t e d . In r e v i e w , the deba te in Br i ta in had undergone a s i gn i f i can t sh i f t . It is impor tant to note that the 1911 Report d o e s not advance the l ibera l c l a i m that exam ina t i ons p r o m o t e "equa l i t y of oppor tun i t y . " Th is n ineteenth century ra t iona le had been rep laced by a c o n c e r n for adm in i s t r a t i ve e f f i c i e n c y and a c c o u n t a b i l i t y . A s Roach s a y s , 21 O r i g i n a l l y c o m p e t i t i v e examina t i ons had been a r e f o r m i n g s l ogan to set peop le f ree f r o m pat ronage and t rad i t iona l in te res t , and to make sure that the best men c a m e to the t op . N o w c o m p e t i t i o n , ins tead of be ing a means of b reak ing up the t rad i t iona l o rder , had been in one s e n s e cap tu red by that order , and had b e c o m e the ins t rument of c o l l e c t i v i s t and cen t ra l i z ing p o w e r . 2 9 The Br i t i sh h i s to r i ca l exper ience s u g g e s t s that externa l exam ina t i ons do not tes t or p r o m o t e a u t o n o m o u s th ink ing and can be qui te damag ing to a l ibera l educa t i on . H o w e v e r those o p p o s e d to these examina t i ons lacked a s p o k e s p e r s o n w h o cou ld ar t icu la te p e r s u a s i v e l y a theory o f learning w h i c h d e m o n s t r a t e d the need fo r a u t o n o m o u s th ink ing . Cer ta in l y both Wh i tehead and R u s s e l l had p resen ted arguments w h i c h w e r e in s y m p a t h y to th is theory but nei ther had s y s t e m a t i c a l l y d e v e l o p e d it into a p h i l o s o p h y of educa t i on . The A m e r i c a n , J o h n D e w e y , d i d . John Dewey and the Early American Debate In How We Think (1911, r e v i s e d 1933) and in Democracy and Education (1916), D e w e y s p e a k s at length on the need fo r educa t i on to p r o m o t e th ink ing c a p a c i t i e s and d i s p o s i t i o n s . D e w e y c o n s i d e r e d that the pu rpose of s c h o o l educa t i on w a s to ensure the "con t inuance o f educa t i on [ throughout l i fe ] by o rgan iz ing the p o w e r s that ensure g r o w t h " (D.A.E., p. 51). G r o w t h is hampered and c l o s e d o f f w h e n r e f l e c t i v e th ink ing d o e s not a c c o m p a n y habit or sk i l l f o r m a t i o n . R e f l e c t i v e thought is "the a c t i v e , pe rs i s ten t , and care fu l c o n s i d e r a t i o n of any be l ie f or s u p p o s e d f o r m of k n o w l e d g e in the l ight o f the g rounds that suppor t it and the further c o n c l u s i o n s to w h i c h it t e n d s " (H.W.T., p. 9). Such th ink ing i n v o l v e s : 1. a s ta te of doub t , h e s i t a t i o n , pe rp lex i t y , menta l d i f f i c u l t y in wh ich th ink ing o r i g i n a t e s ; and 2. an act o f s e a r c h i n g , hunt ing , inqu i r ing , to f ind mater ia l that w i l l r e s o l v e the doub t , se t t le and d i s p o s e of the pe rp lex i t y (H.W.T., p. 12). 3 0 There m a y h o w e v e r , be a s ta te of perp lex i t y and yet th ink ing need not be r e f l e c t i v e : For the pe rson may not be s u f f i c i e n t l y c r i t i ca l about the ideas that occu r to him.. . To be genu ine ly thought fu l , w e must be w i l l i n g to sus ta in and prot rac t that state of doubt wh i ch is the s t imu lus to 22 thorough inqu i ry , so as not to accep t an idea or make p o s i t i v e a s s e r t i o n of a be l ie f unt i l j u s t i f y i n g reasons have been f ound . (H.W.T., p. 16). W a n g Y a n g - m i n g and Chu Hsi a l s o s t r e s s e d the impor tance of doubt as an in i t ia l s tep in th ink ing . D e w e y argues that cer ta in d i s p o s i t i o n s need to be cu l t i va ted w h i c h "are favou rab le to the use of the best m e t h o d s of inqu i ry " and these inc lude o p e n - m i n d e d n e s s , w h o l e - h e a r t e d n e s s , a b s o r b e d in terest , and in te l lec tua l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . W a n g Y a n g - m i n g ' s conce rn about the uni ty of ac t i on and k n o w l e d g e f i nds e x p r e s s i o n in D e w e y ' s w o r d s that " A n ounce of exper ience is bet ter than a ton of theory s i m p l y because it is on l y in exper ience that any theory has v i ta l and ve r i f i ab le s i g n i f i c a n c e " (D.A.E.p. 144) and in " I so la t i on of subject mat ter f r o m a s o c i a l contex t is the ch ie f o b s t r u c t i o n in current p rac t i ce to secur ing a genera l t ra in ing of m i n d " (D.A.E.p. 67). D e w e y s a y s that " e f f e c t i v e teachers g ive the pup i l s s o m e t h i n g to d o , not s o m e t h i n g to learn ; and the do ing is of such a nature as to demand th ink ing , or the in tent iona l no t ing o f c o n n e c t i o n s ; learning natura l ly r e s u l t s " (D.A.E.p. 154). The real des ide ra tum is ge t t ing c o m m a n d of scho la r sh ip or sk i l l under cond i t i ons that at the s a m e t ime exe rc i se thought... I n f o rma t i on , me re l y as i n f o r m a t i o n , i m p l i e s no s p e c i a l t ra in ing of in te l lec tua l c a p a c i t y ; w i s d o m is the f i nes t f rui t o f that t ra in ing (H.W.T.p. 6 3 - 6 4 ) . D e w e y ' s theory of educa t iona l p rac t i ce can be s u m m e d up by "The s o l e d i rect path to endur ing i m p r o v e m e n t in the me thods of ins t ruc t ion and learn ing c o n s i s t s in cen te r ing upon the c o n d i t i o n s w h i c h exac t , p r o m o t e and test t h i nk ing " (D.A.E.p. 153). Th ink ing charac te r i zed by c r i t i ca l r e f l e c t i o n rather than p a s s i v e accep tance can be p r o m o t e d through ques t i ons that require the student "to use mater ia l a l ready learned in dea l ing w i t h a n e w p r o b l e m , " keep ideas d e v e l o p i n g in an o rde r l y and c o n s i s t e n t manner , "extract the net mean ing of i d e a s " and c la r i f y what is s i g n i f i c a n t , p rov ide a s e n s e of in te l lec tua l a c c o m p l i s h m e n t and " ins t i l l an e x c i t e m e n t " about s o m e c o m i n g t o p i c . (H.W.T.p. 267). Such th ink ing can be tes ted if a s s e s s m e n t is made "a cons tan t f unc t i on . " D e w e y s a y s "the m is take l ies in s u p p o s i n g that the need fo r t es t i ng is met mere l y by t es t s o f ab i l i t y to reproduce sub jec t mat ter that has been c o m m i t t e d to 23 m e m o r y " (H.W.T.p. 268). Rather , the impor tant th ing is to t es t : (a) p rog ress in understanding sub jec t ma t te r ; (b) ab i l i t y to use what has been learned as an ins t rument o f further s tudy and lea rn ing ; (c) imp rovemen t in the genera l hab i ts and at t i tudes that under l ie th ink ing : c u r i o s i t y , o r d e r l i n e s s , power to r e v i e w , to sum up and to d e f i n e , o p e n n e s s and hones t y of m i n d , e tc . E x a m i n a t i o n s can se rve a ve ry use fu l educa t iona l pu rpose . By cons tan t l y tes t ing to de te rmine whether s tuden ts unders tand the k n o w l e d g e be ing p resen ted , whether they can u t i l i ze it b e y o n d the o r ig ina l con tex t in wh i ch it w a s g i v e n , and whether they are d e v e l o p i n g d i s p o s i t i o n s that re i n fo rce c r i t i ca l r e f l e c t i o n , examina t i ons can s e r v e a ve ry use fu l educa t iona l pu rpose . However Dewey condemns external examinations because they encourage teaching pract ices that "v io late intel lectual integrity and cult ivate mental serv i l i ty" (H.W.T.p. 257). D e w e y has m i s t a k e n l y been a c c u s e d by h is de t rac to rs - e g . H i lda N e a t b y - as be ing l i t t le c o n c e r n e d w i t h the ch i ld ' s in te l lec tua l d e v e l o p m e n t . His c o m m e n t s p resen ted here sugges t the o p p o s i t e . D e w e y had a w i d e ranging v i s i o n o f educa t i on that w a s not shared by al l his f o l l o w e r s . He b e l i e v e d the s c h o o l s y s t e m shou ld p rov ide educa t ion w h i c h encouraged ...practical a t t i tudes of e f f i c i e n c y to be f o r m e d , mora l d i s p o s i t i o n s to be s t rengthened and d e v e l o p e d , es the t i c app rec ia t i on to be cu l t iva ted. . . upon i ts in te l lec tua l s i d e , educa t ion c o n s i s t s in the f o r m a t i o n of w i d e - a w a k e , c a r e f u l , thorough habi ts of th ink ing (H.W.T.p. 78). D e w e y o p p o s e d external e x a m i n a t i o n s not because he d i scoun ted in te l lec tua l g row th but because he fea red such g rowth w a s c r i pp led by the examina t i on s y s t e m . "No one other t h ing , p r o b a b l y , w o r k s s o fa ta l l y against f o c u s i n g the a t ten t ion of teachers upon the t ra in ing of m ind as the d o m i n a t i o n of their m inds by ex terna l e x a m i n a t i o n s " (H.W.T.p. 65). D e w e y say that external e x a m i n a t i o n s came into vogue through "the t endency of parents and s c h o o l au thor i t ies to demand s p e e d y and tang ib le e v i d e n c e o f p r o g r e s s " and because "the secu r ing of external resu l ts is an a im that lends i t se l f natura l ly to the m e c h a n i c s of s c h o o l a d m i n i s t r a t i o n " (H.W.T.p. 65). For D e w e y , encourag ing th ink ing w a s a higher p r io r i t y than main ta in ing an a r t i f i c ia l s y s t e m of publ ic accoun tab i l i t y . 24 D e w e y ' s p o s i t i o n w a s cha l lenged by t hose w h o a d v o c a t e d a s c i e n t i f i c managemen t o f s c h o o l s b a s e d on e f f i c i e n c y techn iques d e v e l o p e d in the bus iness w o r l d . E l l w o o d P. C u b b e r l e y , fo r many yea rs dean of Educa t i on at S t a n f o r d , w r o t e Our s c h o o l s a re , in a s e n s e , f ac to r i es in w h i c h the raw p roduc ts (ch i ldren) are to be shaped and f a s h i o n e d into p roduc ts to meet the va r i ous d e m a n d s o f l i f e . The s p e c i f i c a t i o n s fo r manu fac tu r i ng c o m e f r o m the demands of twent ie th century c i v i l i z a t i o n , and it is the b u s i n e s s o f the s c h o o l s to bu i ld i ts pup i ls a c c o r d i n g to the s p e c i f i c a t i o n s la id d o w n . Th is d e m a n d s g o o d t o o l s , s p e c i a l i z e d mach ine r y , con t inuous measurement of p roduc t i on to see it it is a c c o r d i n g to s p e c i f i c a t i o n s , the e l i m i n a t i o n of w a s t e in manu fac tu re , and a large var ie ty in the output . 3 1 T h o s e w h o be longed to th is "cult o f e f f i c i e n c y " demanded that teachers s h o w resu l ts w h i c h cou ld be read i l y seen and m e a s u r e d . Th is m o v e m e n t d i s m i s s e d E .G.Ho lmes 1911 warn ing that "in p r o p o r t i o n , as w e tend to va lue the resu l ts of educa t i on for their m e a s u r a b l e n e s s , s o w e tend to underva lue and at last to ignore those resu l ts wh i ch are too in t r i ns i ca l l y va luab le to be m e a s u r e d . " 3 2 The e f f i c i e n c y m o v e m e n t w a s suppo r ted by the n e w t e s t i n g techn iques d e v e l o p e d by Thornd ike and his d i s c i p l e s : o b j e c t i v e , m u l t i p l e - c h o i c e tes ts d e s i g n e d to s c i e n t i f i c a l l y eva lua te p e r f o r m a n c e . In 1929 the A m e r i c a n H i s to r i ca l A s s o c i a t i o n c o m m i s s i o n e d a s tudy to i nves t i ga te to what extent the " n e w - t y p e tes t t e c h n i q u e s " cou ld p rov ide " s p e e d y , c o m p r e h e n s i v e and a c c u r a t e " exam ina t i ons in the s o c i a l s c i e n c e s . Their under l y ing a s s u m p t i o n w a s that the "ab i l i t y to repeat the verba l d e f i n i t i o n s " of c o n c e p t s d id not p rove unders tand ing . Rather "the ab i l i t y to app ly the te rm or i ts d e f i n i t i o n co r rec t l y w o u l d be more c o n v i n c i n g , e s p e c i a l l y if the app l i ca t i on w e r e to a new s i tua t ion not p r e v i o u s l y me t . " 3 3 They s t r e s s the need fo r learn ing to i nvo l ve p rac t i ca l a p p l i c a t i o n s , wa rn aga ins t inert f a c t s and k n o w l e d g e based s o l e l y on m e m o r y . Further they s tate The sk i l l m o s t d i f f i cu l t to acqui re in the f i e l d of the s o c i a l s c i e n c e sub jec ts is that ca l l ed critical ability. It... a s s u m e s p r o f i c i e n c y in the other s k i l l s , has cer ta in p rocedures of i ts o w n , and i n v o l v e s at eve ry turn the app l i ca t i on of judgement ) . The real a im in a test... is to have the student demons t ra te his ab i l i t y to d o . 3 4 [This] can on l y be d e m o n s t r a t e d by ind iv idua l p e r f o r m a n c e under c o m p e t e n t c r i t i ca l o b s e r v a t i o n - a' task b e y o n d the reach of n e w - t y p e test t echn iques . The c o m m i s s i o n c o n c l u d e d that... The f o r m of the tests. . . s e e m e d to i m p l y a verba l p r e c i s i o n f o r wh i ch s o c i a l s c i e n c e o f f e r e d l i t t le j u s t i f i c a t i o n . S o c i a l ideas and s o c i a l phenomena are usua l l y capab le of d e s c r i p t i o n and e x p r e s s i o n in a 25 va r i e t y of w a y s . Fu r the rmore , such minute s a m p l i n g s o f s o c i a l s c i e n c e k n o w l e d g e c l ea r l y d id not cons t i t u te a test o f the s tudent ' s c o m p r e h e n s i v e k n o w l e d g e , or o f his ab i l i t y to d e v e l o p a sus ta ined e x p o s i t i o n of large ideas and to inc lude the cond i t i ona l e l e m e n t s w h i c h qua l i f y any but the m o s t s i m p l e of s o c i a l s i t u a t i o n s . In other w o r d s , the ex t reme ly shor t a n s w e r f o r m of the tes t s e e m e d an a r t i f i c i a l l im i ta t i on w h i c h must c o n f i n e such tes ts to the measu remen t of o n l y the f r agmen ta ry beg inn ings of s o c i a l s c i e n c e k n o w l e d g e . Th is f i v e yea r , emp i r i ca l s tudy ques t i oned the va l i d i t y of ob jec t i ve t es t s to measure c r i t i ca l th ink ing and their c o n c l u s i o n r e i n f o r c e d D e w e y ' s p o s i t i o n . In the Un i ted S t a t e s , the e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l deba te s i nce the 1930s ove r external e x a m i n a t i o n s has tended to f o c u s on whether they test or p r o m o t e " c r i t i c a l " rather than " a u t o n o m o u s " th ink ing . What is the re la t i onsh ip b e t w e e n these t w o c o n c e p t s ? Critical Thinking and the later American Debate Cr i t i ca l th ink ing b e l o n g s to a f a m i l y w h o s e deeds are cha rac te r i zed by g o o d judgement and re l iance on r e a s o n . In a na r row s e n s e it re fe rs to the a s s e s s m e n t of s t a temen ts to de te rm ine if they e m b o d y va l i d i n f e r e n c e s . Th is approach w a s t y p i f i e d by the U.S. Inst i tute of P ropaganda A n a l y s i s in the 1930s. S.N.F. Chant , w h o i n f l uenced the external e x a m i n a t i o n debate in Br i t i sh C o l u m b i a , s u b s c r i b e d to this v i e w . W r i t i n g in 1957 he sa id "To be c r i t i ca l means e x e r c i s i n g judgment upon what w e read and hear w i t h regard to the d i s t o r t i o n s o f f ac t , in ten t iona l or o t h e r w i s e , that are c o m m o n p l a c e in a l l f o r m s of c o m m u n i c a t i o n . " 3 5 D e w e y used c r i t i ca l in an ope ra t i ona l s e n s e w h e r e b y if a p e r s o n w a s ...to be genu ine ly though t fu l , [he] must be w i l l i n g to sus ta in and pro t rac t that s ta te o f doubt w h i c h is the s t imu lus to tho rough inqu i ry , s o as not to accept an idea or make p o s i t i v e a s s e r t i o n of a be l ie f unt i l j u s t i f y i n g reasons have been f o u n d W h i t e h e a d , i nd i rec t l y , suppo r t s th is ope ra t i ona l sense w i t h h is i ns i s tence that learn ing i n v o l v e s the ac t i ve pa r t i c i pa t i on of a s tudent 's m i n d . R u s s e l l ' s i ns i s tence on the "sp i r i t and techn ique of i nqu i r y " s u g g e s t s that he a l so adhered to th is use . Th is conce rn w i th c r i t i ca l j udgement as an e lement of g o o d th ink ing w a s adop ted by the Educa t iona l P o l i c i e s C o m m i s s i o n of the Na t iona l Educa t iona l A s s o c i a t i o n in 1938. 26 Cr i t i ca l judgement is deve loped . . . by long and con t i nuous prac t ice under the c r i t i c i s m of s o m e o n e qua l i f i ed to eva luate the d e c i s i o n s . The ch i ld must learn the va lue of ev idence. . . He must learn to defer j udgemen t , to cons ide r m o t i v e s , to appra ise e v i d e n c e , to c l a s s i f y it, to array it on one s ide or the other of h is q u e s t i o n , and to use it in d raw ing c o n c l u s i o n s . Th is is not the resul t o f a s p e c i a l cou rse of s t u d y , or of a par t icu lar part o f the educa t i ve p r o c e d u r e ; it resu l ts f r o m every phase of learn ing and charac te r i zes eve ry s tep of th ink ing . 3 6 G l a s e r c o n s i d e r s c r i t i ca l th ink ing in a broader sense by v i e w i n g it as i n v o l v i n g three pr inc ipa l e l e m e n t s : 1. an attitude o f being d i s p o s e d to c o n s i d e r in a though t fu l , pe rcep t i ve manner the p r o b l e m s and sub jec ts that c o m e w i th in the range o f one 's expe r i ence ; 2. knowledge o f the me thods of l og i ca l inqui ry and r e a s o n i n g ; 3. skill in app l y i ng these m e t h o d s . 3 7 He in t roduces the idea that " c rea t i v i t y supp lemen ts c r i t i ca l t h i nk i ng " a l though it may not be an essen t ia l ingred ient . G lase r argues that in tu i t ion and a s s o c i a t i v e th ink ing are c rea t i ve t ra i ts that are essen t i a l to e f f e c t i v e p r o b l e m s o l v i n g . A s s o l v i n g p r o b l e m s , m a y be an o u t c o m e of c r i t i ca l th ink ing , the f o r m s of pe rcep t i on and the thought wh ich lead to d i s c o v e r y and hypo thes i s are to be inc luded in .the c r i t i ca l th ink ing f a m i l y . Enn is suppor ted th is b road concep t of c r i t i ca l th ink ing by e labora t ing the at t r ibutes i n v o l v e d to inc lude s e v e n p r o f i c i e n c i e s and nine t e n d e n c i e s . 3 8 S i e g e l added to th is approach w i th h is a n a l y s i s of the "c r i t i ca l sp i r i t . " 3 9 In i ts b roades t s e n s e , c r i t i ca l th ink ing has tended to b e c o m e s y n o n y m o u s w i th a u t o n o m o u s th ink ing , that i s , th ink ing wh i ch is r e s p o n s i b l e , o r ig ina l [when th is is an a s s e t ] , ra t i ona l , ins igh t fu l and s e l f - d i r e c t i n g . R.F.Dearden argues that a u t o n o m o u s th ink ing does in p rac t i ce p r e s u p p o s e cr i t i ca l th ink ing . A pe rson is a u t o n o m o u s , then , to the degree that what he th inks and d o e s in impor tant areas of his l i fe cannot be exp la ined wi thout re fe rence to his o w n ac t i v i t y of mind...The exp lana t ion of w h y he th inks and ac ts as he d o e s in these areas must inc lude a re fe rence to h is o w n c h o i c e s , d e l i b e r a t i o n s , d e c i s i o n s , r e f l e c t i o n s , j udgemen ts , p lann ings or r e a s o n i n g s . 4 0 H o w e v e r the t w o c o n c e p t s are not s y n o n y m o u s for the concep t of a u t o n o m o u s th ink ing inc ludes a po l i t i ca l c o n n o t a t i o n that i m p l i e s a f r e e d o m to act in one 's best in terest . C r i t i ca l th ink ing has no such c o n n o t a t i o n . Rather it is a pedagog i ca l 27 ins t rument fo r acqui r ing k n o w l e d g e in the s t r ong s e n s e . C e r t a i n l y c r i t i ca l th ink ing may lead to au tonomous th ink ing but they are not ident ica l c o n c e p t s . In the Un i ted S t a t e s , the e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l ques t i on has b e c o m e whether external examina t ions can tes t c r i t i ca l th ink ing . A l t h o u g h it is a less po l i t i ca l ques t i on than its Br i t ish counterpar t fo r it is d i v o r c e d f r o m the 19th century l iberal c o n c e p t s o f a u t o n o m y , it is s t i l l c o n c e r n e d w i t h asce r ta i n i ng whe the r mer i to r ious a c a d e m i c ach ievement is t e s t e d , p r o m o t e d or damaged by ex te rna l exam ina t i ons . D e w e y has ve ry f o r ce fu l l y argued the case against ex terna l e x a m i n a t i o n s on the g rounds that they inter fere w i t h learn ing w h i c h e m b o d i e s s i g n i f i c a n t e p i s t e m i c qua l i t i es . D e w e y ' s e p i s t e m o l o g y has in f l uenced a great m a n y educa to r s . For e x a m p l e , in the ear ly 1960s f o l l o w i n g the "Spu tn i k " sca re and the co r respond ing fear that A m e r i c a n publ ic educa t i on w a s in fe r io r to the S o v i e t s y s t e m , a renewed interest w a s sparked in the encou ragemen t of th ink ing . The 1961 Educat iona l P o l i c i e s C o m m i s s i o n of the Na t iona l Educa t i on A s s o c i a t i o n s a i d : The purpose wh ich runs through and s t rengthens al l o ther educa t iona l pu rposes - the c o m m o n thread of educa t i on - is the d e v e l o p m e n t of the ab i l i t y to think... th is par t icu lar ob jec t i ve w i l l not be genera l l y a t ta ined un less the s c h o o l f o c u s e s on i t . In this c o n t e x t , t he re fo re , the deve lopmen t of e v e r y s tudent ' s rat ional p o w e r s must be recogn i zed as cen t ra l l y impor tan t . 4 1 A r e v i e w of this per iod 's l i terature, par t icu lar in S o c i a l S t u d i e s , revea ls the pe rsuas i ve in f luence of D e w e y ' s a rgument . 4 2 H o w e v e r , his in f luence in s o c i e t y - a t - l a r g e has b e e n coun te red by the e f f i c i e n c y m o v e m e n t wh i ch p r o m i s e s accoun tab i l i t y and c o m p e t e n c e based on b e h a v i o r a l i s t , industr ia l m o d e l s . That these m o d e l s do not p r o m o t e au tonomous th ink ing is not a concern fo r b e h a v i o r a l i s t s such as B.F .Sk inner w h o argues in Beyond Freedom and Dignity that a u t o n o m o u s th ink ing is a m y t h . Dur ing the 1970s the accoun tab i l i t y m o v e m e n t ga ined p o l i t i c a l popu la r i t y and e c l i p s e d the D e w e y a n p o s i t i o n . Recent s tud ies sugges t the pendu lum is about to s w i n g in D e w e y ' s favour . In a repor t p repared by M u l l i s in 1984 fo r the Nat iona l A s s e s s m e n t o f Educat iona l P r o g r e s s (N.A.E.P.) w h i c h r e v i e w e d a c a d e m i c s c o r e s of ove r 1,000,000 young A m e r i c a n s on N.A.E.P. s tandard i zed t e s t s a d m i n i s t e r e d s ince 1969, it w a s f o u n d : 4 3 1. S tuden ts do not tend to react to ma thema t i c s or s c i e n c e p r o b l e m s 28 t hough t f u l l y ; they s i m p l y react . There is l i t t le e v i d e n c e that s tudents c o n s i d e r their i deas , that they rea l i ze an idea may be r e v i s e d , d i s c a r d e d or re ta ined ; 2. [In read ing ] , w h e n asked to exp la in or de fend their po in t s of v i e w , f e w s tudents p r o v i d e d more than s u p e r f i c i a l r esponses . . . They do not appear to have learned h o w to l ook fo r e v i d e n c e fo r their j udgemen ts in a s y s t e m a t i c f a s h i o n ; 3. [Summary ] M o s t s tuden ts have rud imenta ry s k i l l s , but tend to think o f i n f o r m a t i o n in i s o l a t e d b i ts and p ieces . . . Further w e have ev idence in the read ing , w r i t i ng and s c i e n c e a s s e s s m e n t s that th ink ing ab i l i t i es of 17 y e a r - o l d s have been dec l i n i ng a c r o s s the S e v e n t i e s . In J u n e , 1984, the N.A.E.P. subm i t t ed a p r o p o s a l to the Na t iona l Inst i tute of Educa t i on fo r fund ing to d e v e l o p "h ighe r -o rde r sk i l l a s s e s s m e n t t e c h n i q u e s " in m a t h e m a t i c s , s c i e n c e and t e c h n o l o g y . They a c k n o w l e d g e d in their p r o p o s a l that dur ing the past decade the b a s i c s have been s t r e s s e d w i th s u c c e s s f u l resu l t s . H o w e v e r they see an educa t iona l c r i s i s because there has been a "constant dec l ine in the a c h i e v e m e n t l eve l s of more able s t u d e n t s " . 4 4 They w i s h to advance the measu remen t p r o c e s s s o that it w i l l be p o s s i b l e to eva luate "whether s tudents k n o w why t hey think par t icu lar th ings in par t icu lar w a y s . " In 1983, Geo rge H. H a n f o r d , P res iden t o f the C o l l e g e B o a r d , speak ing at the Fi rst In ternat ional C o n f e r e n c e on Cr i t i ca l T h i n k i n g , Educa t i on and the Rat iona l P e r s o n , a s k e d his aud ience to c o n s i d e r " H o w do w e sh i f t the e m p h a s i s in educa t ion f r o m the rou t i ne , repe t i t i ve ac t i v i t i es that have been i den t i f i ed as "bas ic s k i l l s ? " 4 5 He quo tes T e d S i z e r , f o rme r Dean of the Harvard Graduate S c h o o l of E d u c a t i o n , w h o is c o n d u c t i n g "The S tudy o f High S c h o o l s . " S e c o n d a r y s c h o o l s shou ld be p r imar i l y p l a c e s where young c i t i zens learn to use their minds. . . (with a)... cu r r i cu lum that s t r e s s e s w a y s o f k n o w i n g and th ink ing rather that s w e e p i n g c o v e r a g e of th ings bare ly g rasped. . . Th is o v e r l o a d of mater ia l is l a rge ly m e m o r i z e d data a s s i g n e d by teachers for s tuden ts to a b s o r b , d i s p l a y and then forget. . . w e g ive l i t t le oppor tun i t y fo r s tudents to engage w i t h p rob lems. . . to reason. . . to i m a g i n e , to h y p o t h e s i z e , to a n a l y z e , to syn thes ize . . . that i s , to 29 think. It is impor tant that w e inc rease those oppo r tun i t i es . Current t rends in the A m e r i c a n debate sugges t e d u c a t o r s , even those w i th an externa l exam ina t i on b i a s , are r ecogn i z i ng that educa t ion wh i ch d o e s not encourage c r i t i ca l th ink ing is d e f e c t i v e . 4 6 The e f f i c i e n c y m o v e m e n t is a t tempt ing to rega in c red ib i l i t y by creat ing new tes ts w h i c h w i l l measure c i r i t ca l th ink ing in the conten t a reas . The A m e r i c a n H i s to r i ca l A s s o c i a t i o n ' s 1934 s tudy sugges t s th is e f fo r t may be fu t i le fo r impor tant e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l r easons ou t l i ned by D e w e y . In any c a s e , if it is f o u n d that external exam ina t i ons can not test c r i t i ca l th ink ing , and do in p rac t i ce d i scou rage its g r o w t h , w i l l the e f f i c i e n c y m o v e m e n t admi t th is seve re l im i ta t i on and rest r ic t their use? W i l l o thers w h o use external exam ina t i ons be i n f l uenced by the N.A.E.P. and the C o l l e g e Boa rd and abandon their t es t s on the grounds that they are educa t i ona l l y de f i c i en t as they don' t read i l y measure c r i t i ca l th ink ing? Th is is par t i cu la r l y impor tant at the Grade 12 leve l fo r here w e expect our s tudents to have p r e v i o u s l y m a s t e r e d the b a s i c s . The re fo re w e seek e v i d e n c e that our sen io r s tuden ts are e d u c a t e d , capab le of c r i t i ca l th ink ing , be fo re they graduate into an adult w o r l d of r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s . D e w e y and o thers sugges t th is a s s e s s m e n t is best done by a compe ten t , ' c r i t i ca l teacher w h o k n o w s his s tudents w e l l and has the t ime to o b s e r v e their habi ts and d i s p o s i t i o n s a long w i t h their p r o f i c i e n c i e s . The A m e r i c a n debate is enter ing a phase where the D e w e y a n p r e m i s e s conce rn i ng learn ing have been c o n c e d e d by s o m e of h is o p p o s i t i o n . They have not c o n c e d e d that externa l examina t i ons are i ncompa t i b l e w i t h the encouragement of c r i t i ca l th ink ing but they admi t their exam ina t i ons are de f i c ien t if c r i t i ca l th ink ing is not t e s t e d . Summary There is no de f i n i t i ve answer to the ques t i on whether external exam ina t i ons can tes t c r i t i ca l th ink ing . Chu Hsi and W a n g Y a n g - m i n g s e r i o u s l y ques t i oned the Ch inese e x a m i n a t i o n s y s t e m because they argued it nega t i ve l y a f f e c t e d learn ing based on th ink ing charac te r i zed by doub t , inqu i ry , c l a r i f i c a t i o n of ideas and the r e c o g n i t i o n of p r i n c i p l e s . Chu Hsi fe l t one shou ld s tudy unti l p r i nc ip les we re rea l i zed be fo re ac t i on w a s taken but W a n g Y a n g - m i n g b e l i e v e d it w a s a m is take to separa te k n o w l e d g e f r o m its app l i ca t i on even at the in i t ia l s t ages of learn ing . In 30 1905 the Ch inese examina t i on s y s t e m w a s abandoned on the g rounds that it d id not p r o m o t e th ink ing . In Br i ta in external exam ina t i ons ga ined popu la r i t y b e t w e e n 1850 -1870 . L ibera l r e f o r m e r s , such as J . S . M i l l , b e l i e v e d external exam ina t i ons c o u l d p r o m o t e equa l i t y o f oppor tun i t y . Their use w a s ques t i oned by t hose w h o b e l i e v e d a u t o n o m o u s th ink ing , cul ture and an app rec ia t i on of learn ing we re underm ined by such e x a m i n a t i o n s . J o h n D e w e y denounced externa l exam ina t i ons on the g rounds that they in te r fe red w i t h the encouragement o f th ink ing charac te r i zed by doub t , inqui ry and c r i t i ca l j udgement . He b e l i e v e d external exam ina t i ons lead to teach ing p rac t i ces that v i o l a t e d in te l lec tua l in tegr i ty and caused menta l s e r v i l i t y . The e f f i c i e n c y m o v e m e n t in A m e r i c a , par t i cu la r ly the b e h a v i o r a l i s t s i n v o l v e d in cons t ruc t ing measu remen t d e v i c e s , cha l lenged D e w e y ' e e p i s t e m o l o g y . Recent even ts sugges t impor tan t s e g m e n t s of the measuremen t indust ry are a t tempt ing to a c c o m m o d a t e D e w e y ' s v i e w s w i th their p rac t i ces in order to s t imu la te c r i t i ca l th ink ing w h i c h is n o w regarded as an impor tant goa l o f educa t i on ! In c o n c l u s i o n , Ber t rand Russe l l is co r rec t - external e x a m i n a t i o n s are a "hasty a p p l i c a t i o n " of a l ibera l doc t r i ne . For the l iberal r e fo rmer w h o w a n t e d an ins t rument to p romo te equa l i t y o f oppor tun i t y and fo r those w h o sought to make s c h o o l s a c c o u n t a b l e , external exam ina t i ons are an en t i c ing i dea . H o w e v e r they have a fa ta l f l a w recogn i zed by the Ch inese and by J o h n D e w e y . A s p r e v i o u s l y c o n s t i t u t e d , they do not encourage a u t o n o m o u s or c r i t i ca l th ink ing . The Ch inese found it w a s not p o s s i b l e to encourage s tudents to have a respec t fo r learn ing and th ink ing as long as the exam ina t i on s y s t e m rewarded mere f o r m and f a c t s unencumbered w i th pe rsona l mean ing or p rac t i ca l a p p l i c a t i o n . They k n e w th is and yet they d id not act qn th is k n o w l e d g e unti l their nat ion s u f f e r e d defeat and humi l i a t i on in wa r . On ly then d id they accept that learn ing of "real v a l u e " w h i c h encou raged au tonomous th ink ing w a s more impor tant than the adm in i s t r a t i ve u s e f u l n e s s of external e x a m i n a t i o n s . W i l l w e learn f r o m their expe r i ence? Let us n o w r e v i e w the exper ience in Br i t i sh C o l u m b i a w i t h external e x a m i n a t i o n s . In na r row ing the f o c u s of d i s c u s s i o n to the B.C. c a s e , it is impor tan t to keep three themes in m i n d . F i rs t , external exam ina t i ons are a long e s t a b l i s h e d , w i d e l y used admin i s t ra t i ve ins t rument . They we re endo rsed in Ch ina dur ing the 7th 31 cen tu ry , in Br i ta in by 19th century l ibera ls and in A m e r i c a by the 20th century e f f i c i e n c y m o v e m e n t . S e c o n d , their use has been ques t i oned by many educa to rs and p h i l o s o p h e r s conce rned w i t h in te l lec tua l g row th in general and c r i t i c a l / a u t o n o m o u s th ink ing in par t i cu la r . S i n c e D e w e y in the 1930s th is argument has been w e l l a r t i cu la ted and g r o w i n g in r e c o g n i t i o n . Th i r d , B r i t i sh C o l u m b i a p o l i c y d e c i s i o n s regard ing external e x a m i n a t i o n s have been made w i th in an in te l lec tua l m i l i eu i n f l u e n c e d by the a b o v e . Th is is not to imp ly that B.C. p o l i c y makers we re fu l l y aware o f the in f luence or even cogn izan t of the p h i l o s o p h i c a l i s s u e s . Rather they made d e c i s i o n s par t ia l ly based on a rguments wh i ch have been iden t i f i ed in th is chap te r . Chapter Three examines the s o m e w h a t meagre reco rd of th is in f luence in B r i t i sh C o l u m b i a . That a record ex i s t s at al l is a t r ibute to the past educa to rs in a f ron t ie r p r o v i n c e . In 1902 there we re on l y 735 pub l ic s c h o o l teachers f o r the ent i re p r o v i n c e and they we re sca t te red a m o n g 335 s c h o o l s . A s late as 1947 f e w e r than 5000 t eache rs w e r e e m p l o y e d in B.C. pub l ic s c h o o l s . H o w e v e r the Annual Reports of the Public Schools (A.R.P.S.), the B.C. Teacher pub l i shed by the B.C.T.F., the o c c a s s i o n a l n e w s p a p e r a r t i c le , the rare d i s s e r t a t i o n , and m o s t impo r tan t l y , the c o m m e n t s c o n t a i n e d in the 1925 Survey of the School System and the 1960 Report of the Royal Commission on Education do p r o v i d e su f f i c i en t e v i d e n c e to sugges t that B.C. e d u c a t o r s w e r e not to ta l l y unaware o f the larger educa t iona l debate ove r external e x a m i n a t i o n s . F rom th is r eco rd w e can a t tempt to recons t ruc t the h i s to r y o f the deba te in Br i t i sh C o l u m b i a conce rn ing external e x a m i n a t i o n s . W h e r e a s Chapter Two p r o v i d e d a g loba l p e r s p e c t i v e on the i s sues i n v o l v e d , Chapter Three w i l l g i ve a p r o v i n c i a l v i e w of the loca l a rguments inher i ted by the 1971 p o l i c y m a k e r s . 32 Footnotes 'Great B r i t a in , Parliamentary Papers ( C o m m o n s ) "Organ i za t i on of the C i v i l S e r v i c e , 1854 -1855 , " (reprint ed . , S h a n n o n , I re land: Ir ish U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1969), p. 92 . 2 Kenneth A . S t r i ke , Educational Policy and the Just Society (Urbana: U n i v e r s i t y of I l l ino is P r e s s , 1982), p. 12. 3 J o h n Stuart M i l l , On Liberty (New Y o r k : A p p l e t o n - C e n t u r y C r o f t s , 1947), p. 58. The f o l l o w i n g quo ta t ion is found on page 72 . 4 S e e S i r M i chae l S a d l e r , Essays on Examinations ( L o n d o n : M c M e e l a n , 1936, and C la rene Kar ie r , "Tes t ing fo r Order and Con t ro l in the co rpo ra te L ibera l S t a t e . " Educational Theory, V o l . 22 (Spr ing , 1972): 154 -180 . I s r a e l S c h e f f l e r , Conditions of Knowledge (Ch i cago : S c o t t , F o r e s m a n , 1965), p. 16. 6 l b i d , p . 112. 'Her r lee G . C r e e l , The Origins of Statecraft in China, V o l . 1 ( C h i c a g o : The U n i v e r s i t y of Ch i cago P r e s s , 1970), p. 26. Cree l argues that the i nsp i ra t i on fo r the B r a n d e n b u r g - P r u s s i a n s y s t e m came f r o m Ch ina . 8 J . L . B re re ton , f o rmer Genera l S e c r e t a r y , Loca l E x a m i n a t i o n s S y n d i c a t e o f .Cambr idge U n i v e r s i t y s ta tes "Pub l i c c o m p e t i t i o n for the S e n i o r C i v i l S e r v i c e in Br i tain. . . [was] f rank ly based on the ancient Ch inese S y s t e m . " see J .L . B re re ton , "Theo r i es of Exam ina t i ons , " in J o s e p h A L a u w e r y s and D a v i d G . S c a n l o n (eds.) Examinations: The World Year Book of Education, 1969 ( L o n d o n : Evans B ro the rs , 1969), p. 37 . Th is op in ion is suppo r ted by the research of Y . Z . C h a n g , "Ch ina and the Eng l i sh C i v i l S e r v i c e R e f o r m , " American Historical Review, V o l . X L V I I , 3. ( A p r i l , 1942): 5 4 4 - 5 4 9 ; A . V . J u d g e s , "The E v o l u t i o n of E x a m i n a t i o n s ; The World Year Book of Education, 1969; and S s u - y u T e n g , "Ch inese In f luence on the W e s t e r n E x a m i n a t i o n S y s t e m , " Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies, V o l . 7, (1942-1943) : 2 6 7 - 3 1 2 . ' W o l f g a n g Franke, The Reform and Abolition of the Traditional Chinese Examination System (Cambr idge , M a s s . : Harvard U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1968), p. 18. 1 0 Ch u Hsi and La T s u - C h ' i e n , Reflections on Things at Hand: The Neo-Confucian Anthology, t rans la ted by W i n g - t s i t Chan (New Y o r k : C o l u m b i a U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1967), s e c t i o n 3:6. The f o l l o w i n g quo ta t i ons are f r o m s e c t i o n s 3 :15 , 2 :72 , 25 , 3 : 7 , 56, 7 : 3 5 and 11:17. n B y p r i nc i p l e , Chu Hsi meant a s e c o n d - o r d e r c o n c e p t . "In read ing h i s t o r y , one must not on l y remember the h i s to r i ca l f a c t s . One must unders tand the p r i n c i p l e s of order and c h a o s , peace and danger , r ise and d e c l i n e , ex i s tence and e x t i n c t i o n " (3:66). 1 2 For a g o o d d i s c u s s i o n of th is see W i n g - t s i t C h a n , ,4 Sourcebook in Chinese Philosophy (P r i nce ton : P r ince ton U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1963), pa r t i cu la r l y chapters 27 and 34. 33 1 3 Tu W u - M i n g , The Neo-Confucian Thought in Action: Wang Yang-ming's Youth (1472-1509) (Berke ley : U n i v e r s i t y o f C a l i f o r n i a P r e s s , 1976), p. 8. The f o l l o w i n g quote is on p. 151. " F r a n k e , p. 7. The f o l l o w i n g quo ta t i ons are found on pages 60 and 64 r e s p e c t i v e l y . 1 5 T 6 n g , p. 295. 1 6 M i l l , p. 72. The f o l l o w i n g quo ta t i ons are loca ted on pages 108, 109, 19, 109, and 33 r e s p e c t i v e l y . 1 7 J o h n R o a c h , Public Examinations in England, 1850-1890 (Cambr i dge : Cambr i dge U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1971), p. 29. l 8 l b i d , p . 4 1 1 9 l b i d , p. 9 2 0 l b i d , p. 4 " C h a r l e s E. P h i l l i p s , The Development of Education in Canada (To ron to : G a g e , 1957), p. 513 . " M i l l , p. 109. " R o a c h , p. 58. " I b i d , p. 25 . Roach a l so quo tes Henry Latham w h o argued th is po in t s o m e w h a t un ique ly . "The ex i s tence of p r i zes he lped to p roduce a c l a s s of cu l t i va ted p e r s o n s w h o ra ised the tone of Eng l i sh s o c i a l l i f e . These advan tages resul t f r o m the pr izes of lea rn ing , just as imp rovemen t in the breed o f ca t t le is e f f e c t e d by the m o n e y s u b s c r i b e d as p r i zes in the s h o w s " p. 274. The f o l l o w i n g quo ta t i ons are f ound on pages 2 3 0 , 2 7 2 and 271 r e s p e c t i v e l y . " S t e p h e n W i s e m a n , (ed), Examinations and English Education (Manches te r : Manches te r U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1963), pp. 1 5 9 - 1 6 1 . " A . N . W h i t e h e a d , The Aims of Education ( London : W i l l i a m s and Norga te L td . , 1932), p. 6. The f o l l o w i n g quo ta t i ons are f ound on pages 9 and 1-2. 2 7 P . J . Ha r tog , Examinations and their relation to culture and efficiency ( London : C o n s t a b l e and C o m p a n y , 1918), p. X V . It is in teres t ing to note w i t h regard to Kar ier 's theory of co rpo ra te s o c i a l con t ro l that Har tog , w h o a t t emp ts to a c c o m m o d a t e the admin i s t ra t i ve u s e f u l n e s s o f external exam ina t i ons w i t h the p e d a g o g i c c o n c e r n that s tuden ts be encouraged to th ink, w a s inv i ted to the 1933, 1935, and 1938 Internat ional C o n f e r e n c e s on Exam ina t i ons . These c o n f e r e n c e s w e r e funded by The Carneg ie C o r p o r a t i o n and the Carneg ie Founda t i on . H o w e v e r , h o w w o u l d Kar ier exp la in the present of S i r M i c h a e l Sad le r at these c o n f e r e n c e s ? 2 8 R o a c h , p. 281 . " B e r t r a n d R u s s e l l , Education and the Modern World (New Y o r k : W . W . N o r t o n & C o . , 1932. a l so pub l i shed as Education and the Social Order [ London ; G e o r g e A l l e n 34 & U n w i n L td . , 1932]) pp. 1 7 0 - 1 7 1 . The f o l l o w i n g quota t ions are f ound on pages 162 and 171 r e s p e c t i v e l y . 3 0 l de l i be ra te l y a v o i d e d l i s t ing the "general fea tures o f a r e f l e c t i v e e x p e r i e n c e " f ound on page 150., D.A.E. because D e w e y ' s f i ve s tages have o f t en been m i s u s e d . A s C o o m b s po in ts out "mos t ve r s i ons of the p r o b l e m s o l v i n g me thod are based on D e w e y ' s a n a l y s i s , and D e w e y p rov i ded a l og i ca l r econs t ruc t i on of the c o m p o n e n t s of s c i e n t i f i c th ink ing , not a rec ipe fo r do ing such th ink ing . " I am c o n c e r n e d here that the f o c u s be on th ink ing rather than p r o b l e m - s o l v i n g . S e e J e r r o l d R. C o o m b s , "Cr i t i ca l Th ink ing and P rac t i ca l R e a s o n i n g , " In p r e s s . 3 1 R a y m o n d E. C a l l a h a n , Education and the Cult of Efficiency (Ch i cago : the U n i v e r s i t y of C h i c a g o P r e s s , 1962), p. 152. " E . G . H o l m e s , What is and What might be: A study of education in general and elementary in particular. ( London : C o n s t a b l e and C o m p a n y , 1911), p. 128. " T r u m a n Ke l l ey and A . C . K rey . Tests and Measurements in the Social Sciences. A m e r i c a n H i s to r i ca l A s s o c i a t i o n : C o m m i s s i o n on the S o c i a l S t u d i e s in the S c h o o l s . Part IV. (New Y o r k : Char les Sc r ibne r ' s S o n s , 1934), p. 6. The f o l l o w i n g quo ta t i ons are f ound on pages 72 , 61 and 480 r e s p e c t i v e l y . " A l t h o u g h th is C o m m i s s i o n does s e e m in f luenced by Wh i tehead ' s and D e w e y ' s i deas , I think the s a f e s t in terpre ta t ion of "ab i l i ty to d o " is e x p r e s s e d by S o p h o c l e s . "One must learn by do ing the t h i ng ; a l though you think y o u k n o w it, y o u have no cer ta in ty unti l y o u try." 3 5 S . N . F . Chant and E.I. S i g n o r i , Interpretive Psychology (New Y o r k : M c G r a w - H i l l , 1957), p. 101. " E d w a r d M . G l a s e r , "Cr i t i ca l Th ink ing , " National Forum. V o l . L X V , N o . 1 (Winter , 1985): 24. " I b i d , p. 25 . 3 8 Rober t H. E n n i s , "P res iden t ia l A d d r e s s : A C o n c e p t i o n of Rat iona l T h i n k i n g " in J . C o o m b s (ed.) Philosophy of Education 1979. (No rma l : I l l i no i s : P h i l o s o p h y of Educa t ion S o c i e t y , 1981), pp . 3 - 3 0 . " H a r v e y S i e g e l , "C r i t i ca l Th ink ing as an Educat iona l Ideal , " The Educational Forum (November 1980): 7 - 2 3 . *°R.F. D e a r d e n , " A u t o n o m y and e d u c a t i o n " in R.F. Dearden , P. Hirst and R.S. P e t e r s , Education and the Development of Reason. (London : Rou t ledge & Kegan P a u l , 1972), p. 453 . 4 1 H y m e n M C h a u s o w , "Eva lua t ion of C r i t i ca l Th ink ing in the S o c i a l S t u d i e s " in Harry D. Berg (ed) Evaluation in Social Studies. 35th Y e a r b o o k , 1965. (Wash ing ton , D.C.: Na t iona l Counc i l fo r the S o c i a l S t u d i e s , 1965), p. 77. 4 2 S e e fo r examp le J e a n Fair and Fannie R. Sha f te l (ed.) Effective Thinking in the Social Studies, 37th Y e a r b o o k , 1967. (Wash ing ton , D.C.: Na t iona l Counc i l fo r the S o c i a l S t u d i e s , 1967). Also, Helen M c C r a c k e n Carpenter (ed.) Skill Development in 35 Social Studies, 33rd Y e a r b o o k , 1963 ( W a s h i n g t o n , D.C.: Na t iona l Counc i l fo r the S o c i a l S t u d i e s , 1963) and B y r o n G . M a s s i a l a s and C . Ben jamin C o x , Inquiry in Social Studies (New Y o r k : M c G r a w - H i l l , 1966). For an examp le of the ear ly i n f l uence o f D e w e y see F.W. Merchan t , The Ontario Examination Systems ( London , O n t a r i o : The London P t g . & L i t ho . C o , 1903). 4 3 l n a V . S . M u l l i s , "What do N.A.E.P. resu l ts te l l us about s t u d e n t s ' H i g h e r - O r d e r Th ink ing A b i l i t i e s . " (P r i nce ton : M i m e o g r a p h e d , 1984). Q u o t e s 1, 2, and 3 are f ound on pages 3, 89 , and 20 r e s p e c t i v e l y . M y app rec ia t i on is g i ven to Ina V . S . M u l l i s fo r send ing me th is paper as w e l l as the f o l l o w i n g N A E P p r o p o s a l . " N a t i o n a l A s s e s s m e n t of Educa t i ona l P r o g r e s s , "Research on H i g h e r - O r d e r S k i l l A s s e s s m e n t Techn iques in M a t h e m a t i c s , S c i e n c e and T e c h n o l o g y , " A p r o p o s a l to the Na t iona l Insti tute of E d u c a t i o n . (June, 1984.), p. 4. The f o l l o w i n g quote is l oca ted on page 19. 4 i G e o r g e H. H a n f o r d , "On ly C o n n e c t , " Paper p resen ted at the F i rs t In ternat ional C o n f e r e n c e on Cr i t i ca l T h i n k i n g , Educa t i on and the Rat iona l P e r s o n . S o n o m a S ta te U n i v e r s i t y , Rohnert Park , C a l i f o r n i a (August 18, 1983.), p. 13. The f o l l o w i n g quo ta t ions are f ound on pages 11 and 8 r e s p e c t i v e l y . 4 6 l b i d . "Cr i t i ca l th ink ing or r e a s o n i n g ' w a s p e r c e i v e d as centra l . . . not on l y as an in tegra t ing compe tency . . . but a l so as a separa te c o m p e t e n c y , l ike the o the rs , n e c e s s a r y f o r adequate a c c e s s to the con tex t o f the s ix B a s i c A c a d e m i c S u b j e c t s . " P. 6. 36 Chapter Three The High School Examination Debate in B.C. prior to the 1960s. It is harder to get r id o f the [Depar tmenta l ] exam ina t i on in f luence in the m o d e r n cur r i cu lum than to m o v e a g r a v e y a r d . Ma jo r H.B.King, 1936. The B r i t i sh C o l u m b i a s c h o o l s y s t e m has long been add i c ted to the use of external e x a m i n a t i o n s . B e f o r e the f i r s t h igh s c h o o l opened its doo rs in 1876, i ts s tudents had been c h o s e n by external e x a m i n a t i o n s . Each June thereaf ter , unt i l 1973, sen io r h igh s c h o o l s tudents w r o t e Depar tmen ta l E x a m i n a t i o n s . Throughout th is long p e r i o d , the exam ina t i ons r e i n f o r c e d a f o r m a l i s t i c v i e w of the w o r l d - there w e r e r ight a n s w e r s to be learned that cou ld s a t i s f y any q u e s t i o n . 1 Such a v i e w never s e r i o u s l y c o n s i d e r e d where or on what b a s i s these a n s w e r s o r i g ina ted and e x a m i n a t i o n s the re fo re a v o i d e d q u e s t i o n s that p r o v o k e d doubt or c o n t r o v e r s y . Th is chapter c o n s i d e r s to what extent B.C. educa to rs we re aware that externa l e x a m i n a t i o n s hampered in te l lec tua l g rowth by d i s c o u r a g i n g c r i t i ca l th ink ing . D id they recogn i ze the a rguments of Wh i tehead and D e w e y as be ing per t inent to their s i tua t ion? D id they m i s u s e or use these a rguments in a c o n f u s e d manner? D id they re ject these a rguments? If s o , on what g rounds? B e f o r e a d d r e s s i n g the above q u e s t i o n s w e w i l l r e v i e w the ra t iona le used to inst i tu te ex terna l e x a m i n a t i o n s as a m a i n s t a y o f the B.C. s c h o o l s y s t e m . External Examinations Instituted The f i rs t externa l exam ina t i ons w e r e he ld in M a r c h , 1876 as a means to i den t i f y s tuden ts w h o we re p e r c e i v e d to be a c a d e m i c a l l y ready fo r a high s c h o o l e d u c a t i o n . These e x a m i n a t i o n s we re not cons t r uc ted or i n f l uenced by high s c h o o l t eache rs , f o r no high s c h o o l s e x i s t e d . Instead they we re p repared under the d i rec t i on o f the Super in tendent o f P u b l i c S c h o o l s , J o h n J e s s o p . They t e s t e d a r i t hme t i c , g r a m m a r , spe l l i ng and g e o g r a p h y . J e s s o p w a s d i s a p p o i n t e d by the exam ina t i on resu l t s . Of the 160 app l i can ts on l y 68 (42.5%) p a s s e d . T w e n t y - o n e s c h o o l s supp l i ed cand ida tes but V i c t o r i a 36 37 Pub l i c S c h o o l a lone s u p p l i e d 54 of those w h o qua l i f i ed fo r a d m i s s i o n to high s c h o o l . J e s s o p did not ques t i on the approp r ia teness of the exam ina t i ons but rather ques t i oned the capab i l i t y o f the teachers . Teachers in o l d e s t a b l i s h e d s c h o o l s must n o w be rem inded that fa i lu res in the future to pass pup i ls in th is c o m p e t i t i v e exam ina t i on w i l l be a t t r ibu ted , w i t h but f e w e x c e p t i o n s , to i n e f f i c i e n c y in impar t ing i ns t r uc t i on , or want of a t ten t ion to s c h o o l dut ies and industry in the p e r f o r m a n c e of them Every succeeding year will make this provincial test of educational acquirement in the Public Schools more and more searching, wh i l e the resu l ts as a mat ter of cou rse , w i l l te l l s t r o n g l y in favour o f or aga ins t each par t icu lar teacher . 2 J e s s o p ' s d e c i s i o n to admin is te r external exam ina t i ons w a s p robab l y in f l uenced by the p reva len t educa t i on op in i on o f the day . For ins tance J e s s o p w a s a great admirer of R y e r s o n and the Ontar io s y s t e m he had c rea ted . The re , G e o r g e Pax ton Y o u n g , an i nspec to r of g rammar s c h o o l s and a un i ve rs i t y p r o f e s s o r , w a s champ ion ing the idea of "payment by r e s u l t s " f i rs t in t roduced in Eng land by L o w e and made p o l i c y by the R e v i s e d C o d e of 1862. Y o u n g w a s la rge ly r e s p o n s i b l e f o r ins ta l l i ng a s y s t e m f r o m 1876 to 1882 w h e r e b y high s c h o o l s tudents w r o t e external exam ina t i ons and these tes t resu l ts de te rm ined the amount of f i nanc ia l a id the p rov i nce gave the s c h o o l . On ta r io abandoned the s y s t e m in 1883 because parents p ro tes ted that their ch i ld ren we re just c r a m m i n g and not rea l l y ge t t ing an educa t i on . A s one On ta r io Inspector sa id in 1878, "There is yet t oo much a t ten t ion pa id to c ramming the m e m o r y rather than to d e v e l o p i n g the m i n d . ...Our pup i l s , as a ru le , are not s u f f i c i e n t l y educa ted to think fo r t h e m s e l v e s . " 3 J e s s o p igno red or w a s unaware of such c r i t i c i s m . He may have been enthra l led by the idea that externa l exam ina t i ons cou ld enab le h im to e f f e c t i v e l y and e f f i c i e n t l y uncove r i ncompe ten t t eache rs . A l t hough J e s s o p never endo rsed the payment by resu l ts s c h e m e , he d id advoca te e m p l o y m e n t by resu l t s . Further, J e s s o p ' s d e c i s i o n w a s t yp i ca l and in acco rd to the educa t iona l thought preva lent in the B r i t i sh E m p i r e - C o m m o n w e a l t h of the p e r i o d . The Taunton C o m m i s s i o n (1864-68) had r e c o m m e n d e d "a government servant shou ld be r e s p o n s i b l e fo r i nspec t i ng e n d o w e d s e c o n d a r y s c h o o l s , and fo r p res id ing ove r the annual s c h o o l e x a m i n a t i o n . " 4 In the 1872 S c h o o l A c t c rea t ing the pub l i c s c h o o l s y s t e m in Br i t i sh C o l u m b i a , J e s s o p w r o t e that one of the dut ies of the Super in tendent w a s "To e x a m i n e , at each y e a r l y v i s i t , the s tate and c o n d i t i o n of the s c h o o l as respec t s the p rog ress of the pup i l s in lea rn ing . " 5 J e s s o p ' s d e c i s i o n 38 w a s not o r ig ina l or un ique ; it w a s e x p e c t e d . Examina t i ons w e r e not just to be u s e d fo r i n spec t i on though . A s B o o t h had argued in 1847 and Lantham in 1868, c o m p e t i t i v e examina t i ons c o u l d encourage p o s i t i v e character t ra i ts . Th is m e s s a g e w a s brought to B r i t i sh C o l u m b i a on S e p t e m b e r 18th, 1876, by the G o v e r n o r - G e n e r a l o f C a n a d a , Lo rd Du f f e r i n w h o , v i s i t e d the n e w l y opened V i c t o r i a High S c h o o l . He p resen ted the s c h o o l w i t h one s i l ve r and t w o bronze meda l s to be c o m p e t e d fo r on the b a s i s of a c a d e m i c ach ievemen t . He rem inded the s tudents and a s s e m b l e d d ign i ta r ies that c o m p e t i t i v e scho la rsh ip led to habi ts of d i s c i p l i n e and s e l f - r e s t r a i n t w h i c h w o u l d be of great a s s i s t a n c e to them throughout l i f e . 6 Further he a d v i s e d the s tudents that if he ever had an oppor tun i t y to ass i s t the w inne rs in any w a y , he w o u l d "deem it a p leasure and a duty to do s o . " 7 The educa t ion s y s t e m not on l y u s e d externa l exam ina t i ons fo r s e l e c t i n g s tuden ts , i nspec t ing teacher e f f i c i e n c y and p r o m o t i n g "good cha rac te r " but f ound them a conven ien t means fo r se l ec t i ng t e a c h e r s . Pr io r to 1901, high s c h o o l educa t ion w a s v i e w e d as su f f i c i en t t ra in ing t o a l l o w a student to b e c o m e a teacher p rov i ded he or she p a s s e d a Teacher ' s E x a m i n a t i o n . 8 M a n y took th is e x a m i n a t i o n . For e x a m p l e , in the yea rs 1882 and 1883, 44 of the 74 high s c h o o l graduates b e c a m e teache rs . Their lack of p r o f e s s i o n a l or indepth in te l lec tua l t ra in ing had a se r i ous impact on the s c h o o l s y s t e m fo r t hey cons t i t u t ed more than t w o - t h i r d s o f al l new teachers ce r t i f i ed dur ing these y e a r s . 9 The o thers we re genera l l y f r o m ou ts ide the p rov ince and their q u a l i f i c a t i o n s w e r e o f ten d i f f i cu l t to a s c e r t a i n . J e s s o p ' s s u c c e s s o r , C .C . M a c K e n z i e , may w e l l have fe l t that externa l e x a m i n a t i o n s fo r s tudents we re n e c e s s a r y to de te rm ine whe the r these i n e x p e r i e n c e d , untra ined or undocumen ted teachers we re t ru ly ab le to teach s o m e k n o w l e d g e and s k i l l s . Such were the p r o b l e m s of a f ron t ie r e d u c a t i o n s y s t e m . Lack i ng a c k n o w l e d g e d expe r t i se , the s y s t e m depended on a c e n t r a l i z e d author i ty to ensure that at least a m i n i m u m s tandard of ach ievemen t w a s o b t a i n e d . By 1898 th is m i n i m u m s tandard had b e c o m e the p r imary s tandard by w h i c h educa t iona l ach ievemen t w a s j udged . Ove r tu rn ing a 1884 p o l i c y w h i c h had g i ven high s c h o o l p r inc ipa ls the author i ty to judge whe the r a student d e s e r v e d a d i p l o m a or not , the new p o l i c y r e m o v e d th is d i s c r e t i o n a r y au thor i ty . N o w one ga ined a High S c h o o l D i p l o m a , " c o n s i d e r e d equ iva len t to a ce r t i f i ca te of G r a d u a t i o n , " on l y "by undergo ing the annual Depar tmen ta l E x a m i n a t i o n s . " 1 0 The i ns t i t u t i ona l i zed 39 author i ty of external exam ina t i ons w a s n o w in e f f e c t . Edward B. P a u l , P r i nc ipa l o f V i c t o r i a High S c h o o l , sugges t s h o w pe rsuas i ve th is author i ty cou ld be. "High S c h o o l s can n o w devo te t h e m s e l v e s en t i re ly to the p repara t ion of pup i ls fo r these e x a m i n a t i o n s . " Paul w e l c o m e d th is change in p o l i c y . There had been no a t tempt to br ing the High S c h o o l s ' cu r r i cu lum into ha rmony w i th un i ve rs i t y ma t r i cu la t i on and the t eache rs ' e x a m i n a t i o n s , the c o n s e q u e n c e be ing that the a i m s of each pupi l had to be taken into c o n s i d e r a t i o n in de te rm in ing the sub jec ts he ought to s t u d y , . . .Experience in p e d a g o g y is not requi red to p e r c e i v e that much energy must be d i s s i p a t e d by such a s y s t e m . There is no reco rd that th is " e f f i c i e n c y " v i e w w a s countered by anyone conce rned about the s y s t e m b e c o m i n g s tanda rd i zed and d e p e r s o n a l i z e d . Rather the arguments we re over the exc l us i ve a c a d e m i c nature of high s c h o o l s , not the qua l i ty of the a c a d e m i c ins t ruc t ion be ing p r o v i d e d . 1 1 In s u m , external e x a m i n a t i o n s w e r e instututed in Br i t i sh C o l u m b i a as -an adm in i s t ra t i ve means of s e l e c t i n g s tuden ts fo r high s c h o o l , high s c h o o l graduat ion and the teach ing f o r c e . They w e r e a l s o used to ascer ta in the e f f i c i e n c y and capab i l i t y o f t eachers . Th i r d , they i nsp i red c o m p e t i t i v e scho la r sh ip w h i c h w a s g l o r i f i e d by the G o v e r n o r - G e n e r a l ' s s i l ve r m e d a l . F i na l l y , they p r o v i d e d a f o c u s to s tandard ize high s c h o o l i ns t ruc t i on . O v e r a l l , the es tab l i shmen t of external exam ina t i ons in Br i t i sh C o l u m b i a r e f l e c t e d a be l ie f that the teach ing f o r ce needed to be c l o s e l y mon i t o red and gu ided . P o o r l y t ra ined teachers cou ld not be t rus ted to p rov ide compe ten t i ns t ruc t ion or to make g o o d judgements about a s tudent ' s leve l of a c h i e v e m e n t . Th is be l i e f m a y have been a reasonab le one dur ing B.C.'s f ron t ie r d a y s . H o w e v e r , w e w i l l f i nd it r esu r fac ing when the 1983 d e c i s i o n is c o n s i d e r e d in Chapter F i v e . 40 Early Criticism of the External Examination System in B.C. Li t t le o f f i c i a l c r i t i c i s m of the exam ina t i ons can be f ound in the Annual Reports but J . B . D e L o n g , Inspector of High S c h o o l s , d o e s men t i on in his 1916 repor t that the e l im ina t i on o f the "Depar tmenta l Exam ina t i on fo r the P re l im ina r y C o u r s e Jun io r Grade has p r o v e n bene f i c i a l in many s c h o o l s . " 1 2 He s a y s that "pup i ls have s tud ied more s y s t e m a t i c a l l y throughout the y e a r " and the tendency fo r c r a m m i n g has been r e m o v e d . H o w e v e r , desp i te th is c r i t i c i s m , DeLong w a s p r o b a b l y a suppor ter o f the examina t i on s y s t e m fo r it enab led h im to iden t i f y " w e a k " teachers as his 1917 c o m m e n t r e v e a l s : The d i sas t rous s h o w i n g [on Depar tment Examina t i ons ] made by these t w o or three s c h o o l s shou ld g ive p r i nc ipa l s and teachers pause . Th is s h o w i n g is due on ly in part to the p resence of a f e w weak teachers . , There are weak teache rs and p r inc ipa ls and t rus tees shou ld rea l ize that they cannot a f f o r d to keep them any longer . G e o r g e Hind le 's 1918 D.Paed. t h e s i s , The Educational System of British Columbia™ p rov i des the f i rs t e v i d e n c e of a w e l l a r t i cu la ted c r i t i c i s m . The examina t ions are to be regarded as the weak po in t s in a ve ry s t rong s y s t e m . The e m p h a s i s p l aced upon examina t i on resu l ts as c r i t e r ions of s c h o o l e f f i c i e n c y must be counted a m o n g the f e w ques t i onab le acts of a very capab le a d m i n i s t r a t i o n . He argues against their use on seve ra l g rounds inc lud ing that they do not p r o m o t e teacher p r o f e s s i o n a l i s m or learn ing wh i ch ac t i va tes th ink ing . Exam ina t i on resul ts. . . are in many c a s e s the on l y means by wh ich t rus tees judge the w o r k of their teachers. . . M o r e than once this wr i te r has heard, "He is the best teacher we ever had". . . p a s s e d on a teacher [I] knew... to ach ieve the des i red resu l ts by a v i c i o u s s y s t e m of ro te m e m o r i z a t i o n and in te l lec tua l d rudgery . H ind le con tends that there is " l i t t le p r o f e s s i o n a l read ing and l i t t le e f fo r t to at ta in d i s t i n c t i o n through s c h o l a r s h i p " in B.C. because " these th ings do not p roduce e x a m i n a t i o n resu l t s . " H is c r i t i c i s m o f " teach ing fo r e x a m i n a t i o n s , " that ...centres a t ten t ion on the product o f the m i n d , the wr i t t en page , p roduced by the pup i l , rather than the m ind of the pup i l i t se l f . The dead examina t ion paper c o m m a n d s more a t ten t ion than the l i v ing chi ld,. . . is ve r y s im i l a r to Wh i tehead ' s a rgument , d i s c u s s e d in Chapter T w o . H ind le ' s c r i t i c i s m conc ludes w i th the o b s e r v a t i o n : 41 E x a m i n a t i o n s have c o m e to be regarded by the more thought fu l and p r o g r e s s i v e educa to rs as of doubt fu l ut i l i ty. . . It is a d m i t t e d l y one of the u n r e s o l v e d p r o b l e m s of modern p e d a g o g y , whether to p rov ide a subs t i tu te f o r them or to counterac t the e v i l s inc ident to their o p e r a t i o n . In the hands of the unsk i l l ed teachers and though t less s c h o o l au thor i t ies they wo rk unto ld ha rm. Yet H ind le is an a n o m a l y . He does not s e e m to have had any s ign i f i can t in f luence on the deba te . He is wor th no t ing though fo r he p r o v i d e s a v i e w of teach ing p rac t i ces that c o n f i r m s the o b s e r v a t i o n s made by Pu tman and W e i r a f e w years later. He a l s o g i ves ev idence to sugges t that Wh i t ehead ' s argument had spread rap id ly and w a s k n o w n , but not c o m m o n k n o w l e d g e , in Br i t i sh C o l u m b i a . H o w many peop le read his b o o k , pub l i shed in T r a i l , a s m a l l s m e l t e r i n g t o w n in B.C.'s W e s t K o o t e n a y area , and thought about the i s sues he ra i sed? He is in t r iguing but not i n f luen t ia l . T w o in f luent ia l educa to rs w h o d id cont r ibu te a great dea l to the debate ove r external exam ina t i ons in B.C. we re J . H . Pu tman and G . M . W e i r . They we re asked by the p rov inc i a l gove rnmen t in 1924 to su rvey the B.C. s c h o o l s y s t e m and to p rov ide r e c o m m e n d a t i o n s w i t h regard to its i m p r o v e m e n t . 1 4 Pu tman and W e i r s ta te in their repor t that "the greatest exponent of m o d e r n s o c i o l o g i c a l theory under ly ing ra t iona l s c h o o l p rac t i ce is p r o b a b l y P r o f e s s o r J o h n D e w e y w h o s e v iewpo in t . . . shou ld be c o n s t a n t l y kept in the f o r e g r o u n d . " That they subsc r i be to D e w e y ' s v i e w , at least in p r i nc i p l e , is subs tan t ia ted by c o m m e n t s in the s e c t i o n s conce rn ing the a ims of educa t ion and ch i ld d e v e l o p m e n t . They be l i eve a d o l e s c e n c e " is the proper pe r i od for ra t i ona l i z ing e v e r y bit o f s c h o o l wo rk that can be s h o w n to depend upon r e a s o n " fo r the a d o l e s c e n t is s t r i v i ng to rea l ize his p o w e r s of r e a s o n s . Further they s a y : The great de fec t in mode rn s o c i e t y is a lack of these fundamen ta l s of character that w i l l enab le peop le c o n s i s t e n t l y to "think s t ra ight . " [Such th inking] is one o f the ch ie f a ims of m o d e r n educa t ion - it g rea t l y t ranscends in impor tance the pe r i od i c p a s s i n g o f wr i t ten e x a m i n a t i o n s . What is meant by th ink ing s t ra ight? Pu tman and W e i r do not e labora te except to i m p l y that it is a sk i l l and a d i s p o s i t i o n w h i c h f a c i l i t a t e s s e l f - e d u c a t i o n . They s e e m to be arguing the l ibera l c a s e fo r a u t o n o m o u s th ink ing , w h e r e b y 42 educa t i on d e v e l o p s the ind iv idua l ' s c a p a c i t y fo r ra t ional and independent thought . It is not su rp r i s ing then to learn that they s e v e r e l y c r i t i c i z e d the external exam ina t i on s y s t e m fo r entry into and g radua t ion f r o m high s c h o o l . R ig id i t y and f o r m a l i s m in s c h o o l o r g a n i z a t i o n , undue e m p h a s i s on the cu r r i cu lum, " G r a d - g r i n d " [s/c] m e t h o d s of i ns t ruc t i on , and the tendency to es t ima te educa t iona l resu l t s by te rms such as m a r k s , pe rcen tages , or p ropo r t i on of " p a s s e s " are the bese t t i ng s i ns of t hose s c h o o l m e n w h o cons ide r e x a m i n a t i o n resu l ts to be the ch ie f c r i te r ion o f the teacher 's s u c c e s s in the c l a s s r o o m or the m o s t re l iab le measure of the s c h o o l ' s e f f i c i e n c y . The art o f w r i t i ng exam ina t i ons shou ld not be e l e v a t e d to an end in i t se l f that requ i res spec ia l e m p h a s i s on the eve o f the day o f reckon ing w h e n the pup i ls must make a c red i tab le s h o w i n g or be s a c r i f i c e d to the M o l a c h of E x a m i n a t i o n s . They c r i t i c i zed the s y s t e m fo r caus ing undue grade re ta rda t ion (not ing the f i nanc ia l c o s t 1 5 ) , f o r be ing unre l iab le and fo r be ing c o s t l y in t e rms of t i m e , energy and do l l a r s . They men t i on ten other " d e f e c t s " inc lud ing H ind le ' s c o n c e r n s that " teachers lack ing in cul ture and weak in i nsp i ra t i ona l power in the c l a s s r o o m are f requen t l y s u c c e s s f u l ' examina t ion expe r t s ' "and that i nspec to rs and s c h o o l boa rds "have a t endency to at tach t oo much impo r tance to exam ina t i on resu l ts in the ra t ing of their t eache rs . " Their key e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l c r i t i c i s m w a s that the exam ina t i ons we re based on the " t rad i t iona l f o r m a l d i s c i p l i na r y d o c t r i n e " wh i ch they b e l i e v e d f o s t e r e d a " tendency to t r a n s f o r m the s c h o o l into a mere k n o w l e d g e f a c t o r y , where dr i l l upon du l l , l i f e l e s s sub jec t mat ter is made an end in i t se l f . " H o w e v e r Pu tman and We i r we re not o p p o s e d to the use of externa l e x a m i n a t i o n s per se. They b e l i e v e d the " e v i l s inc ident to their o p e r a t i o n " (Hindle) cou ld be o v e r c o m e by the new t ype t es t s des i gned by Thornd ike and his c o l l e a g u e s . Br i t i sh C o l u m b i a may fa i r l y c l a i m the d i s t i n c t i on of be ing the f i rs t P r o v i n c e in Canada to use s tanda rd i zed in te l l i gence and ach ievemen t t es t s on a large sca le [17,000 students] . . . The w a y has d i rec t l y been opened fo r a no tab le advance in the s c i e n t i f i c measurement of e d u c a t i o n . One pu rpose of th is tes t ing p r o g r a m m e w a s to eva luate the "qua l i ty of the teach ing in the s c h o o l s of Br i t i sh C o l u m b i a . " 1 6 They d i s m i s s e d the me thod of o b s e r v i n g the w o r k of pup i ls and teachers in the s c h o o l s because the resu l ts ob ta ined we re "unduly i n f l uenced by the pe rsona l b ias and inaccura te judgement of the obse rve r . " Pu tman and W e i r p re fe r red the use of s tandard i zed t e s t s w h i c h gave 43 resu l ts "that are o b j e c t i v e l y s ta tab le in ma thema t i ca l t e r m s and thus a id g rea t l y in the ob jec t i ve eva lua t ion o f the school product" [ i ta l ics m ine ] . Their b ias w a s c lea r l y s t a t e d : F ind ings or c o n c l u s i o n s based on the s c i e n t i f i c use of s tanda rd i zed in te l l igence and ach ievemen t t es t s are o b v i o u s l y more authent ic than the mere op in ions of s c h o o l m e n and adm in i s t r a t o r s and cons t i t u te the m o s t re l iab le s o u r c e s of i n f o r m a t i o n on c l a s s r o o m c o n d i t i o n s ava i lab le in Br i t i sh C o l u m b i a . It s e e m s st range that Pu tman and W e i r c o n s i d e r e d a r t i f i c i a l l y i m p o s e d t es t s more authent ic than the judgement of t hose in the f i e l d . F i e l d judgement can be based on regular c l a s s r o o m o b s e r v a t i o n s , r e c o g n i t i o n o f p r o f e s s i o n a l i n v o l v e m e n t , parent o p i n i o n , and student s u c c e s s as s h o w n by a c a d e m i c , s o c i a l , spor t and le isure ac t i v i t i es both dur ing the year and in later y e a r s . W h e n op in i on is f ounded on c r i t i ca l and compe ten t o b s e r v a t i o n ove r an approp ia te pe r i od of t i m e , su re ly such judgement is more authent ic than c o n c l u s i o n s b a s e d on " o b j e c t i v e " and d e p e r s o n a l i z e d data . A d m i t t e d l y the o b s e r v e r s may be b i a s e d but p r o b a b l y the s tandard ized tes ts w i l l be more s o . Th is is an examp le o f p r o f e s s i o n a l m is t rus t men t i oned ear l ier . The expe r t s , Pu tman and W e i r , d id not b e l i e v e they w o u l d re ly on the judgements of t hose "beneath t hem. " Pu tman and W e i r ' s endo rsemen t of the s c i e n t i f i c managemen t app roach a l s o imp l i ed that learn ing had to be o rgan ized a c c o r d i n g to d i s c r e t e , measu rab le un i t s . A s the qua l i ty of teach ing w a s to be judged by s tudent s u c c e s s on externa l e x a m i n a t i o n s , Pu tman and W e i r d id not al ter the f o r m a l i s t i c intent or au thor i ty of e x a m i n a t i o n s . There we re s t i l l r ight a n s w e r s to be i m p a r t e d , inert ideas to be m e m o r i z e d . Thus there are con t r ad i c t o r y t endenc ies in the P u t m a n - W e i r Survey regard ing external e x a m i n a t i o n s . In t heo ry , they want sen io r s tudents to d e v e l o p their ra t iona l p o w e r s ; in p rac t i ce they endo rse s tanda rd i zed ach ievemen t t e s t s wh i ch are ob jec t i ve and " f ree f r o m amb igu i t y . " Here w e f i nd a twen t ie th century case rem in i scen t o f J . S . M i l l ' s p o s i t i o n no ted in the last chapter . The d i f f i c u l t i e s inherent to th is p o s i t i o n have not been a d d r e s s e d or r e s o l v e d by Pu tman and W e i r . S e c o n d l y , a l though they s a y D e w e y ' s v i e w p o i n t shou ld " cons tan t l y be kept in the f o r e g r o u n d " they ignore his c o n c e r n s that "Educa t i on must measure i ts e f f i c i e n c y in te rms of i nc reased h u m a n i s m , i nc reased p o w e r to d o , i nc reased 44 c a p a c i t y to app rec ia te . " 1 7 Rather, Pu tman and W e i r be l i eve " e f f i c i e n c y cannot be re l i ab l y de te rm ined w i thout the w i d e s p r e a d use of s tanda rd i zed t e s t s . " Pu tman and W e i r ' s l o y a l t i e s are d i v i ded b e t w e e n the s c i e n t i f i c managemen t p r i nc ip les of Bobb i t t and D e w e y ' s e m p h a s i s on encourag ing c r i t i ca l r e f l e c t i o n . Th is c o n f u s i o n is s h o w n by the P u t m a n - W e i r r e c o m m e n d a t i o n that high s c h o o l s be a c c r e d i t e d . On the su r face th is appears to be a t r iumph for those o p p o s e d to external e x a m i n a t i o n s . Th is is a f a l se i m p r e s s i o n . Cer ta in l y - in theory - the burden of Depar tmenta l examina t ions wh i ch t e s t e d k n o w l e d g e in the t rad i t iona l d i s c i p l i n e s w o u l d be r e m o v e d f r o m the top s tuden ts in acc red i ted s c h o o l s . 1 8 H o w e v e r , many e d u c a t o r s , such as Ma jo r H.B. K i n g , p r inc ipa l o f K i t s i l ano High S c h o o l in V a n c o u v e r , w e r e c o n c e r n e d that s tandards c o u l d not be ma in ta ined un less s o m e f o r m of un i fo rm tes t s we re taken by Grade 12 s tuden ts . Others fe l t that these un i f o rm tes ts w o u l d cause the same p e d a g o g i c a l p r o b l e m s as the Depar tmen ta l e x a m i n a t i o n s . Th is i ssue w a s debated at the 1934 Br i t i sh C o l u m b i a Teache rs Federa t i on ' s Sp r i ng C o n v e n t i o n . The m o s t cons t ruc t i ve c r i t i c i s m of the [un i form tes t s y s t e m ] (and the one w h i c h appea led par t i cu la r l y to the gather ing , if one is to judge by the en thus ias t i c app lause w i t h wh i ch it w a s g ree ted) w a s o f f e r e d b y . Mr . D i lwo r th of V i c t o r i a . He sugges ted that the c l a s s r o o m be turned into a c l a s s r o o m and that a co rps of t ra ined s u p e r v i s o r s be appo in ted to approach the teachers w i th s y m p a t h y and w i s d o m ("no s c i e n c e of educa t ion m e n t i o n e d " , ob jec ted Ma jo r K ing) , and a d v i s e them in their wo rk . Thus , he fe l t , w o u l d w e at ta in the u n i f o r m i t y of ach ievemen t wh ich is n e c e s s a r y for the acc red i t i ng of High S c h o o l s . The idea of un i f o rm t e s t s , wh i le it had its a d v a n t a g e s , w o u l d in f luence the qua l i ty of the teach ing . Mr . D i l w o r t h fe l t that the s h a d o w of examina t i ons w o u l d s t i l l c ramp the s t y l e of t eachers . They w o u l d prepare their s tudents fo r the po in ts on the ob jec t i ve tes ts and w o u l d f eed them the conven t i ona l t y p e q u e s t i o n s . Mr . D i l w o r t h then s t r e s s e d teach ing rather than t e s t i n g , and the mee t ing s e e m e d to be w i th h i m . 1 9 W h e n high s c h o o l acc red i t a t i on f i na l l y came into e f f e c t in 1937 it w a s qu i ck l y f o l l o w e d by a rapid r i se in the career of M a j o r K ing and the use of p rov inc i a l ach ievemen t t e s t s . A c c o r d i n g to M a n n , K ing w a s an advoca te of the s c i e n t i f i c management p r inc ip le d e v e l o p e d by Frank l in B o b b i t t , ins t ruc tor in educa t iona l adm in i s t ra t i on at the Un i ve rs i t y of C h i c a g o . 2 0 Bobb i t t b e l i e v e d educa t ion w a s a "shaping p r o c e s s as much as the manufac tu re of s tee l na i l s . " Jus t as the manu fac tu r ing p r o c e s s requ i red s tandards , s o t o o d id educa t i on . If s tandards w e r e s u f f i c i e n t l y d e f i n e d " teachers w o u l d k n o w ins tan t l y w h e n s tudents 45 w e r e fa i l i ng and p r inc ipa ls w o u l d k n o w when teachers we re i nsu f f i c i en t . " In Bobb i t t ' s v i e w , just as s tandards and s p e c i f i c a t i o n s fo r s tee l na i ls we re set by the c o n s u m e r , s o shou ld educa t iona l s tandards be set by the c o m m u n i t y and not by the e d u c a t o r s . W h e n W e i r b e c a m e the B.C. M in i s te r of Educa t i on in 1933, he a p p o i n t e d K ing as h is techn ica l a d v i s o r . By 1939, K ing had b e c o m e the Ch ie f Inspector of B .C. S c h o o l s . Mann asse r t s that K ing be l i eved v o c a t i o n a l i s m and s o c i a l con t ro l w e r e the essen t i a l r o l es of s c h o o l . He cons ide red " in te l lec tua l t ra in ing n e c e s s a r y o n l y f o r t hose f e w w h o w o u l d b e c o m e the leaders of the fu tu re . " 2 1 T h i s , if Mann ' s v i e w is co r rec t , w a s a d i s a v o w a l of D e w e y ' s argument that "the purpose o f s c h o o l educa t i on is to ensure the con t inuance of educa t ion by o rgan iz ing the p o w e r s that insure g row th , " an argument that led to the n e c e s s i t y fo r al l s tudents to d e v e l o p their p o w e r s of c r i t i ca l th ink ing . K i n g , w i t h W e i r ' s tac i t a p p r o v a l , began d e v e l o p i n g s tandard i zed a c h i e v e m e n t t es t s based on A m e r i c a n m o d e l s but adapted to B.C.'s cu r r i cu lum. The f i r s t p r o v i n c e - w i d e tes t i ng of read ing w a s conduc ted in 1941. By 1946, the n e w D i v i s i o n of T e s t s , S tandards and M e a s u r e m e n t s w a s c rea ted . W a s acc red i t a t i on t ru ly a m o v e away f r o m an educa t ion s y s t e m d o m i n a t e d by external exam ina t i ons? Cer ta in l y the Depar tmenta l examina t i on had los t i ts p r e - e m i n e n t r o l e . The d e m i s e in o f f i c i a l respec t g i ven these examina t i ons w a s s y m b o l i z e d by the d e c i s i o n in 1937 to d i scon t i nue award ing the G o v e r n o r - G e n e r a l ' s m e d a l s . Perhaps these m e d a l s , long a s s o c i a t e d w i t h s c h o l a r s h i p and c o m p e t i t i v e ach ievemen t , we re not in keep ing w i th p r o g r e s s i v e idea ls of p rac t i ca l e f f i c i e n c y and s o c i a l c o - o p e r a t i o n . H o w e v e r , Depar tmen ta l E x a m i n a t i o n s we re de th roned not to f ree the s y s t e m f r o m f o r m a l i s m and to p r o m o t e c r i t i ca l th ink ing , but to enthrone a new k i n g , s tandard i zed a c h i e v e m e n t t e s t s . In r e t r ospec t , the P u t m a n - W e i r Survey lef t a c o n f u s e d l e g a c y . T h e y a c k n o w l e d g e d D e w e y but they ignored his a rguments aga ins t s c i e n t i f i c managemen t and external exam ina t i ons . Instead Pu tman and W e i r argue aga ins t Depar tmen ta l Exam ina t i ons because they are based on " t rad i t iona l f o rma l s u b j e c t s " w h i c h lack "de f in i te o b j e c t i v e s and s c i e n t i f i c s tandards of measu remen t . " Th is is a weak argument . It is an argument fo r i nnova t ion that b l a m e s al l p r o b l e m s on the 46 t rad i t iona l s y s t e m w i thou t rea l l y c o n s i d e r i n g what has caused these d e f e c t s . In their en thus i asm for " p rog ress , " Pu tman and W e i r p re fe r red Bobb i t t t o D e w e y . The in f luence o f the c o n f u s e d l egacy has been subs tan t i a l . P r o g r e s s i v e e d u c a t i o n has been b l a m e d fo r a dec l ine in in te l lec tua l fare - an a s s e r t i o n that m i s t a k e n l y a s s u m e s that in te l lec tua l d e v e l o p m e n t w a s once held in high r e g a r d 2 2 - and D e w e y , not Bobb i t t , has been tarred as a con t r ibu to r to th is dec l i ne . A s w e w i l l see in the next s e c t i o n , the re jec t ion of p r o g r e s s i v e i d e o l o g y in the 1950s w a s par t ia l l y caused by a pe rcep t i on that th is dec l i ne had b e c o m e a threat to na t iona l honour and s e c u r i t y . The s o l u t i o n , gene ra l l y a d v o c a t e d , w a s a return to the d i s c i p l i n e s on the be l ie f that s tudy ing such sub jec t s i n t r i ns i ca l l y caused in te l lec tua l e x c e l l e n c e . W h y th is s i m p l e , a tav i s t i c app roach w a s inadequate w i l l be exp la ined in the d i s c u s s i o n conce rn ing the Chant Report. The Chant Repor t In the y e a r s be tween the 1925 P u t m a n - W e i r Survey and the 1960 Chant Report ma jor changes occu r red in Br i t i sh C o l u m b i a ' s s c h o o l s y s t e m . The s c h o o l d is t r i c t s y s t e m i tse l f w a s r e v a m p e d by the. 1945 C a m e r o n Repor t and n e w grants were a l l o c a t e d to fac i l i t a te equal educa t iona l oppor tun i t y r ega rd l ess o f l o c a t i o n . In e l emen ta ry s c h o o l s , the s c h o o l popu la t i on more than doub led dur ing these y e a r s and such i nnova t i ons as con t i nuous p rog ress we re c o m m e n c e d as ear ly as 1948. 2 3 The greates t changes occu r red in the high s c h o o l s where the en ro l lmen t l eaped f r o m s o m e 9,000 in 1922 to a l m o s t 75,000 in 1957. N e w c o m p o s i t e p r o g r a m s and an at t i tude that high s c h o o l educa t i on w a s a un ive rsa l right f ue l ed th is m a s s i v e i nc rease . H o w e v e r S t e v e n s o n no tes high s c h o o l s we re t roub led by t w o fundamenta l i s sues wh i ch m a n y educa to rs fe l t we re mutua l l y i n c o n s i s t e n t . W a s the ideal o f un ive rsa l s e c o n d a r y educa t ion i ncompa t i b l e w i th the equa l l y p r e s s i n g des i re fo r s c h o l a s t i c exce l l ence? In 1946 the n e w l y f o r m e d Cent ra l Cur r i cu lum C o m m i t t e e p r o p o s e d that a gradual r eo rgan i za t i on o f the cu r r i cu lum fo r s e c o n d a r y s c h o o l s be under taken . Inc luded w a s a r e c o m m e n d a t i o n "that advanced e l ec t i ve c o u r s e s be p r o v i d e d in the major sub jec t f i e l d s in order that s tuden ts might pursue their in te l lec tua l in te res ts further in high s c h o o l s than is n o w p o s s i b l e . " 2 4 In 1951 the Depar tmen t o f Educa t i on re ins ta ted the G o v e r n o r - G e n e r a l ' s s i l ve r and b ronze meda l a w a r d s fo r s c h o l a r s h i p . In 1953, H i lda N e a t b y , a h i s to r ian at the U n i v e r s i t y of S a s k a t c h e w a n , 47 pub l i shed an at tack on p r o g r e s s i v e educa t i on en t i t led So Little For the Mind. Th is b o o k w a s w i d e l y read and c o m m e n t e d o n . For examp le an ed i to r i a l in the V i c t o r i a Times on February 11, 1957 repor ted that the U n i v e r s i t y of S a s k a t c h e w a n ' s Dean of E d u c a t i o n , w h e n ques t i oned about N e a t b y ' s t h e s i s , s t a t e d , "a large number of g i f t ed ch i l d ren are be ing re tarded by present high s c h o o l s tanda rds . " The ed i to r ia l con t i nues "Perhaps mo re a t ten t ion shou ld be g i ven to the in f luence i m p o s e d on the br ighter s tuden ts by the M o r t i m e r S n e r d s in the c l a s s . " 2 5 D id the reac t i on against p r o g r e s s i v e educa t i on cons t i t u te a " m o v e m e n t " ? Cer ta in ly Nea tby w a s not a lone in her at t i tude but S t e v e n s o n argues that her v i e w w a s i d e a l i s t i c , pa te rna l i s t i c and e l i t i s t , and as s u c h , appea led to on l y a s m a l l segment of the Canad ian pub l i c . 2 6 P a t t e r s o n s u g g e s t s p r o g r e s s i v e educa t i on los t i ts m o m e n t u m and popu la r i t y because of con t rad i c t o r y and vague p o s i t i o n s that a t t rac ted "bandwagon a c c e p t a n c e " o n l y unti l the fau l t s of the s y s t e m were c o r r e c t e d . A s the s y s t e m b e c a m e i nc reas ing l y r e s p o n s i v e to r e f o r m , more a t tent ion w a s g i ven to the fau l ts in the p r o g r e s s i v e p o s i t i o n . 2 7 In any c a s e , external c r i t i c i s m and internal c o n t r a d i c t i o n s both underm ined the pub l i c ' s c o n f i d e n c e in the p r o g r e s s i v e a p p r o a c h . On 4 O c t o b e r 1957 the pub l i c ' s c o n f i d e n c e w a s thorough ly shaken by the U.S.S.R. 's ab i l i t y to launch the Sputn ik s a t e l l i t e , a feat b e y o n d the capab i l i t y o f the d e m o c r a t i c W e s t . L o n d o n s u g g e s t s c o n s e r v a t i v e s b lamed the educa t i on s y s t e m fo r the W e s t ' s fa i lu re to keep ahead o f S o v i e t t e c h n o l o g y . Three mon ths af ter the Spu tn ik l aunch ing , a R o y a l C o m m i s s i o n cha i red by S.N.F. Chant w a s appo in ted "to enqui re into and report upon the s tate of educa t ion in the P r o v i n c e of B r i t i sh C o l u m b i a , " w i t h par t icu lar a t ten t ion to be f o c u s e d on p r o g r a m m e s o f s tudy and pupi l a c h i e v e m e n t . One of the r e a s o n s g i ven fo r es tab l i sh ing the C o m m i s s i o n w a s "a p reva len t o p i n i o n that Canad ian e d u c a t i o n w a s not y i e l d i n g resu l ts that w e r e equal to t hose ob ta ined in s o m e other c o u n t r i e s . " In bold l e t te rs , the C o m m i s s i o n r e c o m m e n d e d in 1960 that "The primary or general aim of the educational system of British Columbia should be that of promoting the intellectual development of the pupils and that this should be the major emphasis throughout the whole school programme."28 T h i s a im in high s c h o o l w a s h indered fo r ...The p resence in the U n i v e r s i t y P r o g r a m m e of so many s tudents w h o s e ta len ts are not su i ted fo r a c a d e m i c s tud ies has impa i red the va lue of the p r o g r a m m e fo r supe r io r s tudents and has tended to l owe r i ts s tanda rds . 48 A greater re l iance on examina t i ons w a s seen by the C o m m i s s i o n as an e f f e c t i v e m e a n s of "exc lud ing f r o m the higher g rades those w h o fa l l b e h i n d " wh i ch "wou ld enab le a p rog ramme to be set that w o u l d cha l lenge those capab le of go ing o n . " These examina t i ons were not to be in te l l i gence tes ts c h a m p i o n e d by the ear l ier p r o g r e s s i v e s . On the con t ra ry , the C o m m i s s i o n s t r e s s e d "ach ievement of the pup i l s in their s c h o o l wo rk as an index of ab i l i t y , in order to o f f s e t a present t endency to o v e r e m p h a s i z e their IQ 's . " Depar tmen ta l Exam ina t i ons were p ra i sed b e c a u s e , as they approached there w a s "a t endency to t ighten up the s tandards in order to meet the t e s t s . " 2 9 H o w e v e r they b e l i e v e d the examina t i ons shou ld be i m p r o v e d and r e c o m m e n d e d "more e s s a y - t y p e ques t i ons be used in sub jec ts that s t ress the unders tand ing o f k n o w l e d g e rather than the reca l l of i tems of i n f o r m a t i o n . " What is meant by the "unders tand ing of k n o w l e d g e " ? Th is idea is made c learer b y the C o m m i s s i o n ' s c r i t i c i s m of ear l ier pedagog i ca l p r a c t i c e s . The n ineteenth century me thod w a s quite e f f e c t i v e for m e m o r i z i n g cer ta in t y p e s of d e t a i l , but exp lana t ions and in te rpre ta t ions we re not s t r e s s e d , and there w a s l i t t le a t tempt to get the pup i ls to think fo r t h e m s e l v e s . F r o m these d i ve rse quo tes one can a s s u m e that Chant b e l i e v e d that unders tand ing i nvo l ved independent th ink ing d e m o n s t r a t e d by exp lana t ions and in te rp re ta t ions . By what me thod is th is th ink ing to be encouraged? S u r p r i s i n g l y the C o m m i s s i o n endo rses the p r o g r e s s i v e approach of D e w e y w i thou t men t i on ing his n a m e . A s the emphas i s sh i f t ed t owa rd g rowth and d e v e l o p m e n t , the m e t h o d s of ins t ruc t ion p l aced less s t r ess upon rout ine t e x t - b o o k lea rn ing , r o t e - m e m o r i z a t i o n , and in tens ive p repara t ion fo r e x a m i n a t i o n s . A greater e f fo r t w a s made to in terest the pup i ls in their c o u r s e s , w i d e n the s c o p e of their s tud ies and add to their unde rs tand ing . There is ev i dence to ind icate that [this] me thod when p roper l y app l i ed shou ld cont r ibu te to bet ter learn ing . The C o m m i s s i o n f ound that "one o f the m o s t f requen t l y s t r e s s e d a ims of educa t i on w a s that pup i ls shou ld be taught to th ink." T w o of the s u b m i s s i o n s it h igh l igh ted w e r e : 49 (17) H o w can p e o p l e think c r i t i ca l l y if they are not brought up to ques t i on and to r eason? (60) The p r ima ry a i m o f educa t i on shou ld be to p roduce a r e s p o n s i b l e , r eason ing human b e i n g , w h o is not on ly , i n f o r m e d but k n o w s how to th ink. Our s c h o o l s shou ld s t r e s s the re fo re i) k n o w l e d g e , i i) in terest in c o n t i n u o u s learn ing, i i i ) c r i t i ca l r e a s o n i n g . The C o m m i s s i o n agreed that e n c o u r a g i n g th ink ing w a s a "wo r thy a i m . " H o w w e r e the g o a l s o f encou rag ing th ink ing and i m p r o v i n g s tanda rds , through inc reased exam ina t i on u s e , to be reconc i l ed? The C o m m i s s i o n a t tempted to answer th is by s t r e s s i n g the re la t i onsh ip be tween the g r o w t h of a c a d e m i c k n o w l e d g e and the i nc reased c a p a c i t y to think e f f e c t i v e l y . "Mode rn th ink ing requ i res a much greater a c c u m u l a t i o n of know ledge upon w h i c h to draw than d id p r im i t i ve th ink ing . A l l of th i s must be learned, ve ry l a rge ly in s c h o o l . " Thei r p o s i t i o n is c l ea r l y ind ica ted in the i r s ta tement "The ab i l i t y to think e f fec t i ve l y . . . is cha rac te r i zed by the accura te use of w o r d s and numbers , unders tand ing of man 's her i tage and the app rec ia t i on o f human va lues . " Thus e x a m i n a t i o n s , wh i ch tes t k n o w l e d g e , w o u l d by d e f i n i t i o n lead to higher s tandards o f educa t i on and more " e f f e c t i v e " th ink ing . There are severa l d i f f i c u l t i e s in th is p o s i t i o n . F o r e m o s t is Chan ts ' s na r row and m i s l e a d i n g cha rac te r i za t i on o f in te l lec tua l d e v e l o p m e n t . W h y has he exc luded the g rowth of reason? What is mean t by such vague n o t i o n s as the "unders tand ing o f man 's he r i t age" and "the a p p r e c i a t i o n o f human v a l u e s " ? What is the pu rpose of th is unders tand ing or a p p r e c i a t i o n ? W o u l d it not make more sense to s a y in te l lec tua l d e v e l o p m e n t w a s fu r thered by the ab i l i t y to think e f f e c t i v e l y , where " e f f e c t i v e l y " re fe r red to m a k i n g j udgemen ts in a c r i t i c a l , i n f o r m e d manner? Ye t Chant , just three y e a r s p r io r , in 1957, had e x p r e s s e d a d i f fe rent v i e w w h i c h s e e m s less c o n f u s e d . He had argued that " e f f e c t i v e th ink ing is ach ieved through the d e v e l o p m e n t o f u s e f u l menta l hab i t s " w h i c h inc luded f l ex ib i l i t y and o r d e r l i n e s s . 3 0 The habi ts g r o w through k n o w l e d g e and expe r i ence wh ich p rov ide n e w c o n c e p t s that are " m e r g e d in to the st ructure of one ' s th ink ing . " The pu rpose of e f f e c t i v e th ink ing is to have a v a l i d concep tua l f o u n d a t i o n wh i ch enab les a p e r s o n to make g o o d j u d g e m e n t s . Chant e m p h a s i z e s that the k n o w l e d g e needed f o r e f f e c t i v e th ink ing is brought about through m a s t e r y of concep t s not i n f o r m a t i o n f r a g m e n t s . H is p o s i t i o n is as f o l l o w s . " Inso fa r as man f a i l s to d e v e l o p his in te l lec tua l ab i l i t y or res t r i c t s the f r e e d o m of thought , he is re tard ing 50 the p rog ress o f the human race to higher l e v e l s of a t ta inment . " Th is last a rgument w o u l d have been we l l r e c e i v e d by c r i t i cs of the p r o g r e s s i v e s but d id they unders tand the c o m p l e x in terac t ion be tween k n o w l e d g e and th ink ing that Chant w a s p resen t ing? W a s th is c o m p l e x i t y mudd led in a t ide o f a n t i - p r o g r e s s i v i s m w h e n the repor t w a s wr i t ten? Or w a s Chant ' s 1957 p o s i t i o n o v e r w h e l m e d by the w i d e s p r e a d Nor th A m e r i c a n m o v e m e n t f o r cu r r i cu lum r e f o r m based on in te l lec tua l e x c e l l e n c e and c o g n i t i v e ach ievemen t w h i c h e v o l v e d f r o m the 1959 W o o d ' s Ho le C o n f e r e n c e ? Th is m o v e m e n t , led by J e r o m e Bruner and popu la r i zed by his 1960 b o o k , The Process of Education s t r e s s e d that sub ject mat ter shou ld be taught a c c o r d i n g to i ts par t icu lar s t ructure. E f f e c t i v e th ink ing - par t i cu la r ly in tu i t ive th ink ing - w a s to be d e v e l o p e d through m a s t e r y of these s t ruc tu res . 3 1 The C o m m i s s i o n s e e m s to be e n d o r s i n g a p o s i t i o n s i m i l a r to Bruner 's . Th is p o s i t i o n is ve r y w e l l e x p r e s s e d by Paul H i r s t . 3 2 Hirst argues that "the ach ievemen t o f k n o w l e d g e is n e c e s s a r i l y the d e v e l o p m e n t of mind - that i s , the s e l f - c o n s c i o u s ra t iona l m ind of m a n . " 3 3 He asse r t s that va r i ous f o r m s of k n o w l e d g e ex is t wh i ch can be c l a s s i f i e d as e i ther d is t inc t d i s c i p l i n e s or f i e l ds of k n o w l e d g e . The f o rme r d i s t i n c t i o n is pa r t i cu la r l y impor tant f o r s c h o o l s . By learn ing the va r i ous concep tua l s chema ta e m b o d i e d in each f o r m - e g . h i s to r y , m a t h e m a t i c s , p h y s i c a l s c i e n c e s , e tc . - a s tudent w i l l " learn to s e e , to exper ience the w o r l d in a w a y o t h e r w i s e u n k n o w n , and thereby c o m e to have a mind in the fu l le r s e n s e . " Each d i f f e ren t f o r m of k n o w l e d g e i n v o l v e s the deve lopmen t of th ink ing , c o m m u n i c a t i n g and s o on "in w a y s that are pecu l ia r to i tse l f as a w a y of unders tand ing e x p e r i e n c e . " 3 4 E d u c a t i o n w i l l thus be c o m p o s e d of the s tudy of at least pa rad igm e x a m p l e s of al l the v a r i o u s f o r m s of k n o w l e d g e . A c c o r d i n g to H i rs t , a l i be ra l l y educa ted pe rson is one w h o k n o w s the f o r m s of k n o w l e d g e s o that he can ra t i ona l l y d raw on the appropr ia te s t ructure when f a c e d w i th a p r o b l e m or d e c i s i o n . Hirst a t tacks D e w e y ' s doc t r ine of g row th as be ing t oo vague and i ns i s t s that cur r i cu lum o b j e c t i v e s must be s p e l l e d out not as behav io rs but as "s ta tes of m i n d " - b e l i e f s , k n o w i n g and unders tand ing - b a s e d on concep t f o r m a t i o n s and cr i te r ia f o r t ruth. He d i s m i s s e s D e w e y ' s e m p h a s i s on inquiry as mere m a s t e r y of s c i e n t i f i c m e t h o d o l o g y w i t h l im i t ed app l i ca t i on to o ther f o r m s of k n o w l e d g e . 3 5 51 Hirst has not p resen ted D e w e y ' s care accura te ly and in s o do ing revea ls se r i ous inadequac ies in h is o w n c a s e . D e w e y argued that "the real des ide ra tum is ge t t ing c o m m a n d of scho la r sh ip - or sk i l l - under c o n d i t i o n s that at the same time exe rc i se thought . " 3 6 D e w e y s t r e s s e d c r i t i ca l th ink ing rather than the mas te ry of a par t icu lar p r o c e s s - his p r o b l e m - s o l v i n g m o d e l w a s a recons t ruc t i on of a p r o c e s s meant to p r o v o k e thought rather than a f o r m u l a to be im i t a ted . Hirst d o e s not c o m m u n i c a t e t h i s . D e w e y d o e s not be l i eve ra t iona l i t y is inherent to k n o w l e d g e or k n o w l e d g e f o r m s but rather that it is ga ined through c r i t i ca l r e f l e c t i o n when k n o w l e d g e is be ing learned. A n y sub jec t , f r o m Greek to c o o k i n g , and f r o m draw ing to m a t h e m a t i c s , is i n te l l ec tua l , if in te l lec tua l at a l l , not in i ts f i xed inner s t ruc ture , but in i ts f unc t i on - in i ts p o w e r to start and di rect s i gn i f i can t inquiry and r e f l e c t i o n . D e w e y ' s p o s i t i o n is suppo r ted by the s tud ies o f Thornd ike in the 1920s that found no one sub jec t had s p e c i a l in te l lec tua l v i r tue . "The expec ta t i on of any large d i f f e rence in genera l i m p r o v e m e n t of the m ind f r o m one s tudy [eg. Lat in ve rsus French] rather than another s e e m s d o o m e d to d i s a p p o i n t m e n t . " It is a l so suppor ted by c o m m o n o b s e r v a t i o n . D e w e y c o m m e n t e d that Because their k n o w l e d g e has been ach ieved in c o n n e c t i o n w i th the needs of s p e c i f i c s i t ua t i ons , men of l i t t le b o o k - l e a r n i n g are o f ten able to put to e f f e c t i v e use eve ry ounce of k n o w l e d g e they p o s s e s s ; wh i le men of vas t e rud i t ion are o f t en s w a m p e d by the mere bulk of their learn ing because m e m o r y , rather than th ink ing , has been opera t i ve in ob ta in ing it. Hirst is m i s t a k e n to think that k n o w l e d g e in i tse l f c o n v e y s p o w e r s of ra t i ona l i t y . The key is h o w the k n o w l e d g e is lea rned , not the k n o w l e d g e learned. The Chant C o m m i s s i o n had c o n f u s e d in te l lec tua l d e v e l o p m e n t w i th a mas te r y of k n o w l e d g e based on the t rad i t iona l d i s c i p l i n e s . A s s u c h , it cou ld j us t i f y the use of external e x a m i n a t i o n s . But the pub l i c , as d o c u m e n t e d in the C o m m i s s i o n ' s repor t , w a n t e d educa t ion to encourage c r i t i ca l th ink ing wh i ch can not be ga ined through mere rec i ta t i on of f o r m or argument . By s t r e s s i n g examina t ion use and by a c k n o w l e d g e i n g the impor tance of c r i t i ca l t h ink ing , the C o m m i s s i o n had unw i t t i ng l y e x p o s e d a major con t rad i c t i on in B.C. educa t iona l p o l i c y . 52 Th is con t rad i ca t i on w a s no ted by Graham C a m p b e l l , a teacher w h o wro te in the B.C. Teacher in 1960 that G o v e r n m e n t exam ina t i ons in the S o c i a l S tud ies do not f u l f i l l their ma in purpose. . . They encourage r o t e - l e a r n i n g , not understanding. . . Our ch ie f a im is the d e v e l o p m e n t o f a g o o d c i t i z e n ; [who] is de f i ned by his ab i l i t y to think c r i t i ca l l y and his w i l l i n g n e s s to respec t the o p i n i o n s of o thers than by h is capac i t y to s to re up odd b i ts of i n f o r m a t i o n . 3 7 Dur ing the 1960s a lot more peop le w o u l d note and react to th is con t rad i c t i on . Summary External exam ina t i ons we re ins t i tu ted in Br i t i sh C o l u m b i a p r imar i l y fo r adm in i s t r a t i ve r e a s o n s . H ind le 's 1918 c r i t i c i s m w a s ins ight fu l but la rge ly ignored . Pu tman and W e i r ' s 1925 S u r v e y had much to s a y on externa l e x a m i n a t i o n s , c o n d e m n i n g Depar tmen ta l s and p ra i s ing s tanda rd i zed ach ievemen t t es t s . Their thrust w a s fo r p r o g r e s s i v e educa t i on , s c i e n t i f i c a l l y m a n a g e d . A l t h o u g h they a c k n o w l e d g e d D e w e y ' s p o s i t i o n they p re fe red Bobb i t t ' s p r o c e d u r e s . The Chant C o m m i s s i o n w a s f o r m e d in r e s p o n s e to a pub l ic pe rcep t i on that s tandards had d ropped dur ing the p r o g r e s s i v e era . The C o m m i s s i o n r e c o g n i z e e that th ink ing must be an a im of educa t ion and ind i rec t l y e n d o r s e d D e w e y . H o w e v e r their conce rn fo r in te l lec tua l d e v e l o p m e n t w a s underm ined by their a s s u m p t i o n that such d e v e l o p m e n t w a s s y n o n y m o u s w i th m a s t e r y o f the t rad i t iona l d i s c i p l i n e s . In r e v i e w , the p r e - 1 9 6 0 s debate ove r external exam ina t i ons in Br i t i sh C o l u m b i a had been s p a r s e , c o n f u s e d and p r e o c c u p i e d w i th whether the d i s c i p l i n e s shou ld f o r m the bas i s f o r these t e s t s . In one s e n s e , it has been a debate over p roduc t i ve ve rsus rep roduc t i ve k n o w l e d g e . 3 8 Ye t bo th s i des - the p r o g r e s s i v e s and the t r ad i t i ona l i s t s - ignored what e f f e c t these exam ina t i ons had on learn ing, pa r t i cu la r l y the encouragement of c r i t i ca l th ink ing . A l t h o u g h this concep t w a s e n d o r s e d by both P u t m a n - W e i r and Chan t , nei ther rea l l y c o n s i d e r e d how such th ink ing might by t e s t e d , p r o m o t e d or d is rup ted by external exam ina t i ons . I ron ica l l y the Chant Report no tes that it w a s the pub l ic rather than p r o f e s s i o n a l educa to r s w h o asked for c r i t i ca l th ink ing to be e leva ted in s ta tus , to be cons ide red as a p r imary a im of educa t i on . Long s u b m e r g e d by other i s s u e s , c r i t i ca l th ink ing w a s f i n a l l y su r fac ing in the ear ly 1960s as an i ssue in the external examina t ion deba te . 53 T h i s chapter has s h o w n that the a rguments against externa l exam ina t i ons a r t i cu la ted by D e w e y and Wh i tehead have been a c k n o w l e d g e d in a c o n f u s e d manner by t hose w h o have in f luenced p o l i c y d e c i s i o n s in B r i t i sh C o l u m b i a . A l t h o u g h these educators have been c o n c e r n e d about the encou ragemen t of r a t i ona l i t y and in te l lec tua l e x c e l l e n c e in t heo ry , in p rac t i ce thei r p o l i c i e s have been shaped by s c i e n t i f i c managemen t c o n c e p t s or a v i e w of k n o w l e d g e that s u p p r e s s e s c r i t i ca l th ink ing . W a s the 1971 d e c i s i o n to abandon externa l e x a m i n a t i o n s fo r Grade 12 g radua t ion i n f l uenced by a c learer unders tand ing of D e w e y ' s a rgument? That is the cent ra l ques t i on to be c o n s i d e r e d in Chapter Four . 54 Footno tes ] S e e Ne i l Su the r land , "The t r iumph of ' f o r m a l i s m ' : the ' n e w ' educa t i on in Canada in the 1920s and the 1930s," to appear in K.A. M c L e o d , ed . , The New Education in Canada. S u p e r i n t e n d e n t of E d u c a t i o n , Annual Report of the Public Schools of the Province of British Columbia [here af ter ARPS] (V i c to r i a , B.C. : Q u e e n ' s Pr in ter , 1877), pp. 9 - 1 0 . 'Cha r l es E. P h i l l i p s , The Development of Education in Canada (To ron to : G a g e , 1957), p. 4 5 8 - 5 2 1 . 4 J o h n R o a c h , Public Examinations in England, 1850-1890 (Cambr i dge : Cambr idge U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1971), p. 230. 'A.R.P.S., 1872, p. 13. 6 For a d i s c u s s i o n of the character t ra i t s that the Br i t i sh s o c i a l e l i t e , i.e., Lo rd Du f f e r i n , expec ted of their s o n s see E d w a r d B y r o n M c L e a n , " M i s s i n g in S t y l e : Pub l i c S c h o o l E l i t es and the V i c t o r i a n E c o n o m y " (M .A . T h e s i s , U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i sh C o l u m b i a , 1984). TA.R.P.S., 1877, p. 93 . 8 see J o h n C a l a m , "Cul ture and C r e d e n t i a l s : A note on Late N ine teen th Century Teacher C e r t i f i c a t i o n in Br i t i sh C o l u m b i a , " B.C. Historical News 14:1 (Fa l l , 1980): 1 2 - 1 5 . ' J o h n C a l a m d i s c u s s e s th is i ssue in "Teach ing the T e a c h e r s ; Es tab l i shmen t and Ear ly Y e a r s of the B.C. P r o v i n c i a l N o r m a l S c h o o l s , " B.C. Studies 61 (Sp r i ng , 1984): 3 0 - 3 2 . 10A.R.P.S., 1898, p. 1266. The t w o f o l l o w i n g quo ta t i ons are f ound in A.R.P.S., 1 9 0 1 , p . 2 3 8 . n F o r a g o o d o v e r v i e w see Jean S i m p s o n M a n n , Progressive Education and the Depression in British Columbia ( M . A . T h e s i s , U n i v e r s i t y o f Br i t i sh C o l u m b i a , 1978). "A.R.P.S., 1916, p. 4 1 . The f o l l o w i n g quo ta t i on is f ound in A.R.P.S., 1917, p. A 26 . " G e o r g e H ind le , The Educational System of British Columbia, (Tra i l ; Tra i l P r in t ing and Pub l i sh ing C o . L td . , 1918). The f o l l o w i n g quo ta t i ons are l oca ted on pages 88, 95 , 96 and 9 4 - 9 5 r e s p e c t i v e l y . ""Br i t ish C o l u m b i a , Depar tment of E d u c a t i o n , Survey of the School System, J . H . Pu tman and G . M . W e i r (V i c t o r i a ; K ing 's P r in te r , 1925). The f o l l o w i n g quo ta t ions are f ound on pages 44 , 74, 45 , 259 , 260 , 256 , 262 , 4 3 , 355 , 356, and 357 r e s p e c t i v e l y . 1 5 D a v i d W . S w i f t , Ideology and Change in the Public Schools: Latent functions of Progressive Education ( C o l u m b u s , O h i o ; Me r r i l l P u b l i s h i n g , 1971) d i s c u s s e s the 55 p r o g r e s s i v e equat ion of grade re tardat ion w i t h f inanc ia l i n e f f i c i e n c y on p. 86 and p. 87 . 1 6 0 n e ques t ion they wan ted a n s w e r e d w a s "Is Br i t i sh C o l u m b i a recru i t ing her s ta f f o f e lemen ta ry s c h o o l teachers f r o m a c o m p a r a t i v e l y l o w in te l lec tua l g rade?" 1 7 J o h n D e w e y , "Educa t ion as Eng inee r i ng , " New Republic, V o l . X X X I I , no . 407 . (Sep tember 20th , 1922): 91 . 1 8 l n p rac t i ce , the Un i ve rs i t y of B r i t i sh C o l u m b i a w o u l d not admi t s tudents un less they w r o t e the Depar tmenta l E x a m i n a t i o n s . Th is p o l i c y w a s in e f fec t unti l 1949. The re fo re if one wan ted to go on to un i ve rs i t y , one had to wr i te the e x a m i n a t i o n s . "The B.C. Teacher, V o l . X I V , N o . 8 (Apr i l 1934): 12. 2 0 M a n n , p. 159. 2 1 s e e Su ther land . " M a n n , p. 153. " H u g h A . S t e v e n s o n , "Deve lop i ng Pub l i c Educa t ion in P o s t - W a r Canada to 1960" in J . Dona ld W i l s o n , Robert M . S t a m p and L o u i s - P h i l i p p e A u d e t , eds. , Canadian Education: A History (Sca rbo rough , O n t a r i o : P r e n t i c e - H a l l , 1970), p. 394. ™ARPS, "J947, Y .30 . It is in te res t ing to note that Ma jo r K ing re t i red the year be fo re th is c o m m i t t e e w a s f o r m e d . " J a m e s Bruce L o n d o n , "The Ed i to r i a l S i g n i f i c a n c e g i ven to Educa t ion by V i c t o r i a ' s Lead ing N e w s p a p e r s dur ing three pe r i ods of Educa t iona l S tudy by the B.C. G o v e r n m e n t , 1932 -36 , 1942 -46 , 1 9 5 7 - 6 1 " ( M . A . T h e s i s , U n i v e r s i t y of V i c t o r i a , 1976), p. 169. " H u g h A . S t e v e n s o n ' " S o l i t t le f o r the mind? ' Reac t i on and R e f o r m in the M o d e r n Cur r i cu lum, " pp . 9 6 - 1 0 7 , in G . S . T o m p k i n s , The Curriculum in Canada: In Historical Perspective, S ix th C S S E Y e a r b o o k , 1979 (Vancouver : Canad ian S o c i e t y fo r the S t u d y of E d u c a t i o n , 1979). " R o b e r t S . P a t t e r s o n , "The Future o f P r o g r e s s i v e E d u c a t i o n , " pp . 3 0 - 3 5 , in Te rence M o r r i s o n and A n t h o n y Bur ton , eds . , Options: Reforms and Alternatives for Canadian Education (To ron to : Ho l t , Rinehart and W i n s t o n , 1973). " B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a , Depar tment of E d u c a t i o n , Report of the Royal Commission on Education by S.N.F. Chant , J . E . L i e r s c h , and R.R. W a l r o d (V i c t o r i a : Queen ' s Pr in te r , 1960). " T h e B.C.T.F. w e r e in agreement w i t h th i s . In their br ie f p resen ted in A p r i l 1959, they d id not r e c o m m e n d that the Depar tmen ta l Exam ina t i ons be a b o l i s h e d . On the con t ra ry they s a i d , "Those m e m b e r s o f the f ede ra t i on w h o were in a p o s i t i o n to note the change in at t i tude and app l i ca t i on of pup i l s w h o rea l i zed that they we re f a c e d w i th the cha l lenge of f i na l exam ina t i ons are hear t i l y in favour of f i na l exam ina t i ons fo r al l high s c h o o l g rades . " p. 23 . The f o l l o w i n g quo ta t ions are l oca ted on pages 224, 393 , 357, 390, 258 , 358 , 351 , 352 , 362 , 15, 19, 54, 59 and 93 56 r e s p e c t i v e l y , o f the 1960 R o y a l C o m m i s s i o n . 3 0 S . N . F . Chant and E.I. S i g n o r i , Interpretive Psychology, (New Y o r k : M c G r a w - H i l l , 1957), p. 137. " s e e J e r o m e Bruner, The Process of Education ( C a m b r i d g e ; Harvard U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1960). 3 2 S o r e c o m m e n d s Jane Ro land M a r t i n . She p r o v i d e s fur ther ins igh t into this issue in her ar t ic le " N e e d e d ; A N e w Pa rad igm fo r L ibera l E d u c a t i o n , " Philosophy and Education, 80th Y e a r b o o k , N .S .S .E . ( C h i c a g o : Un i ve rs i t y o f C h i c a g o P r e s s , 1981). " P a u l H. Hi rs t , Knowledge and the Curriculum, ( London : R o u t l e d g e and Kegan P a u l , 1974), p. 39 . 3 4 M a r y W a r n o c k , Schools of Thought, ( London : Faber and F a b e r , 1977), p. 96. The f o l l o w i n g quote is found on page 40 . 3 5 P u t m a n and W e i r , p. 4 1 . 3 6 H i r s t , p. 129. " J o h n D e w e y , How We Think, (Lex ington, : D.C. Heath , 1933), p. 63 . The f o l l o w i n g quo ta t ions are l oca ted on pages 4 6 - 4 7 and 64 r e s p e c t i v e l y . " G r a h a m C a m p b e l l , "What shou ld the S o c i a l S tud ies T e a c h ? , " The B.C. Teacher (Jan . 1960): 196. H i s p o s i t i o n w a s suppor ted by Ethel M i l l e r . " A r e we leav ing the ' E d u c e ' out o f Educa t ion? , " The B.C. Teacher ( M a y - J u n e , 1960); 3 9 1 - 3 9 4 . " S e e Jane M a r t i n , "The D i s c i p l i n e s and the C u r r i c u l u m , " Educational Philosophy and Theory I (1969): 6 5 - 8 6 . A n o t h e r in teres t ing a rgument on th is t op i c is p r o v i d e d by Robert M . S t a m p , "Canad ian High S c h o o l s in the 1920s and the 1930s: The S o c i a l Cha l lenge to the A c a d e m i c T rad i t i on , " C.H.A. , Historical Papers, (1978): 7 6 - 9 3 . 57 Chapter Four The 1972 Dec is ion The Chant C o m m i s s i o n has caused al l o f us to look more c r i t i ca l l y at what w e we re do ing and to cons i de r new p r o p o s a l s . J .R. M e r e d i t h , 1963 The pe r i od 1963-1973 w a s a turbulent , exc i t i ng t i m e fo r educa t i on in Br i t i sh C o l u m b i a and Canada . Geo rge T o m k i n s c o m m e n t s that "the 1960s p r o v e d to be the decade in w h i c h m a s s educa t i on came into its o w n in C a n a d a . " 1 In 1961-62 Grade 12 en ro lmen t w a s 36.4% of to ta l Grade 2 en ro lmen t . A decade later that p ropo r t i on had g r o w n to 71%. 2 In Br i t i sh C o l u m b i a , the c o m p a r a b l e f i gu res s o a r e d f r o m 57% in 1959 to 94.8% in 1971. 3 E labora te gove rnmen t grant , l o a n , s c h o l a r s h i p and bursary s c h e m e s as w e l l as n e w c o m m u n i t y c o l l e g e s and techn i ca l s c h o o l s encouraged s tudents to pursue higher educa t i on . The e f f e c t w a s d rama t i c . For ins tance wh i l e on l y 4% o f the 2 0 - 2 4 age group had en ro l l ed at U n i v e r s i t y in 1939, in 1969 the f igure w a s 25.5%. In their 1976 repor t , the Organ i za t i on fo r E c o n o m i c C o o p e r a t i o n and D e v e l o p m e n t (O.E.C.D.) took the v i e w that the a c h i e v e m e n t s we re equal in s i ze and d i f f i c u l t y to those of Canada 's g l o r y days in r a i l w a y c o n s t r u c t i o n . Th is rapid educa t i ona l d e v e l o p m e n t s e e m e d the f u l f i l lmen t of a S e c o n d Nat iona l D r e a m . 4 E.A. K i l l o u g h , w h o s e r v e d as A s s i s t a n t Reg is t ra r (Examina t i ons ) and as Reg is t ra r and D i rec to r o f E x a m i n a t i o n s and Teacher C e r t i f i c a t i o n f r o m 1964 to 1975 fo r the B.C. M i n i s t r y of E d u c a t i o n , s a w th is pe r iod as a " t ime of t r emendous o p t i m i s m , en thus iasm and c o n f i d e n c e . " 5 Th is f e e l i n g , K i l l ough c o n t e n d s , w a s r e i n f o r c e d by the B.C. gove rnmen t ' s d e c i s i o n in 1971 to d i s c o n t i n u e Depar tmen ta l E x a m i n a t i o n s . The d e c i s i o n imp l i ed that educa to rs had f i n a l l y " c o m e of a g e " and w e r e p r o f e s s i o n a l l y capab le of mak ing g o o d j udgemen ts regard ing student g radua t ion . K i l l o u g h , and p r e s u m a b l y many more e d u c a t o r s , c o n s i d e r e d th is ' a vo te o f c o n f i d e n c e in t e a c h e r s ' p r o f e s s i o n a l c o m p e t e n c e and in tegr i t y . Yet th is w a s a l so a turbulent t i m e . In Ma rch 1972 the B C T F P res iden t , A d a m R o b e r t s o n , i s sued a s p e c i a l bu l l e t i n , " C r i s i s ! 3 " , w h i c h no ted the t rad i t iona l lack of gove rnmen t s y m p a t h y t o w a r d e d u c a t i o n , and the S o c i a l Cred i t g o v e r n m e n t ' s recent 57 58 fu l l s c a l e at tack on e d u c a t i o n , on t eache rs , and on their o r g a n i z a t i o n . The bu l le t in l i s ted ten i s sues of c o n f r o n t a t i o n dat ing back to 1966, inc lud ing the r e m o v a l o f au tomat i c B C T F m e m b e r s h i p in 1971. It urged the m e m b e r s h i p to vo te against the S o c i a l Cred i t Par ty in the u p c o m i n g p rov inc ia l e l e c t i o n . W h y shou ld the S o c i a l Credi t gove rnmen t g i ve teachers a "vo te of c o n f i d e n c e " wh i l e s i m u l t a n e o u s l y a t tack ing teachers? B i l l A l l e s t e r c o m m e n t e d in 1972 that the p rob lem w a s f i nanc ia l in charac ter . The gove rnmen t w o u l d not c o m m i t "adequa te " funds fo r new p o l i c i e s agreed to in p r i nc ip le . A s A l l e s t e r n o t e d , " s c h o o l d i s t r i c t s cou ld not a f f o r d to exe rc i se the f r e e d o m they were g i v e n . " 6 The g o v e r n m e n t , though, had been spend ing i nc reas ing amoun ts on a rap id ly expand ing pub l ic s c h o o l s y s t e m . In less than ten y e a r s , 1962 to 1971, the number of pub l ic s c h o o l teachers j umped f r o m 12 thousand to 22 thousand . 7 P e r - p u p i l c o s t s had g r o w n at a 14.8 percent annual c o m p o u n d rate dur ing the pe r i od 1958 to 1968. 8 M o r e o v e r , the B C T F execu t i ve k n e w , f r o m a J u n e , 1972, o p i n i o n p o l l , that a ma jo r i t y of vo te rs (54%) b e l i e v e d the qua l i ty of educa t i on had not i m p r o v e d through i nc reased expend i tu res . ' J a m e s D a l y , a h is to r ian at M c M a s t e r U n i v e r s i t y , had w a r n e d educa to rs in 1969 of the d i s c r e p a n c y be tween p e o p l e ' s expec ta t i ons and what they were w i l l i n g to pay . E v e r y o n e wan ted more f r o m gove rnmen t , but f e w e r and f e w e r peop le w e r e w i l l i n g to pay for it. A s p e o p l e ' s expec ta t i ons we re not me t , they w o u l d b e c o m e sub t l y but m a s s i v e l y resen t fu l and l ess con f i den t in pub l ic e d u c a t i o n . 1 0 The wa rn ing f o r e t o l d a back lash against educa t i ona l i nnova t i on and e x p e n s e . A decade la ter , in the baby b o o m s h a d o w , a d i s i l l u s i o n e d and r e c e s s i o n - b o u n d publ ic w o u l d p rove Da ly t ru ly a C a s a n d r a . Un fo r tuna te l y the BCTF leaders d i s m i s s e d such cau t i ons and ins tead pursued a cou rse that lead to more spend ing and more p r o m i s e s . It is in th is contex t o f o p t i m i s m , teacher m i l i t a n c y , and a rap id ly expand ing pub l ic s c h o o l s y s t e m , that the 1971 d e c i s i o n w a s made to d i scon t i nue Depar tmen ta l Exam ina t i ons fo r Grade 12 g radua t ion . W a s the 1971 d e c i s i o n based on a r e c o g n i t i o n and endo rsemen t of the D e w e y a n argument that external e x a m i n a t i o n s in ter fered w i t h the encouragement o f c r i t i ca l th ink ing and the g rowth of in te l lec tua l exce l l ence? W a s it a po l i t i ca l d e c i s i o n made to appease or to dera i l teacher m i l i t a n c y ? W a s it a vo te o f c o n f i d e n c e ? T o answer these ques t i ons it is n e c e s s a r y to r e v i e w the pe r i od 1963-1973 in greater de ta i l , concen t ra t i ng on the arguments exam ined and used by the 59 P r o v i n c i a l A d v i s o r y C o m m i t t e e on the S e n i o r S e c o n d a r y S c h o o l Cur r i cu lum fo r Br i t i sh C o l u m b i a . F i r s t , h o w e v e r , the in f luence of the Chant Report must be no ted fo r it p r o v i d e d the s t imu lus wh i ch resu l ted in a recons t ruc ted s e c o n d a r y s c h o o l s y s t e m and the es tab l i shmen t of the a d v i s o r y c o m m i t t e e . Aftermath of the Chant Report, 1961-1966 In 1963, J .R. M e r e d i t h , d i rec tor of the Cur r i cu lum D i v i s i o n , p resen ted a paper on cur r icu lum change to a s y m p o s i u m on Canad ian Educa t ion he ld at U.B.C. He argued that educa t i ona l change in B.C. s i nce 1960 had been p r imar i l y a resul t o f the Chant Royal Commission Report11 and that it had been both subs tan t ia l and w i d e - r a n g i n g . The s e c o n d a r y s c h o o l cur r i cu lum had been in f luenced by the Chant Report in three w a y s . F i rs t , in te l lec tua l d e v e l o p m e n t - a l though unde f i ned - w a s g i ven top p r i o r i t y . S e c o n d , a c l e a r l y - s t r u c t u r e d s e c o n d a r y cur r icu lum - themat i c and p ragmat i c - w a s c rea ted . Th i rd , Mered i t h no ted a change f r o m h igh ly cen t ra l i zed cur r i cu lum admin i s t ra t i on to more " l oca l cur r icu lum a u t o n o m y and cur r icu lum d e c i s i o n - m a k i n g w i th in a b road p rov inc ia l f r a m e w o r k . " Mered i t h thought that decen t ra l i za t i on brought n e w p r o b l e m s , but b e l i e v e d it w o u l d a l so tap new and larger s o u r c e s of educa t iona l ta lent . In 1961, f o r i ns tance , Mered i t h d i rec ted the f o r m a t i o n of p r o f e s s i o n a l c o m m i t t i e s to ass i s t w i t h cur r i cu lum d e v e l o p m e n t . These inc luded rep resen ta t i ves of the B C T F , the P r i n c i p a l s ' A s s o c i a t i o n , the Supe r i n tenden ts ' A s s o c i a t i o n , and the U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i sh C o l u m b i a w i t h add i t i ona l represen ta t ion f r o m the C o l l e g e of E d u c a t i o n . The s c h o o l yea rs 1965/66 and 1966/67 s a w the p h a s i n g - o u t o f f o r m e r U n i v e r s i t y P r o g r a m m e Depar tmenta l E x a m i n a t i o n s at the Grades 11 -12 leve l and the in t roduc t ion of new A c a d e m i c - T e c h n i c a l P r o g r a m m e requ i rements charac te r i zed by f e w e r exam ina t i ons . Educa t i on M in i s t e r L.R. P e t e r s o n announced the new depar tmenta l examina t i on p rocedures at the B.C. S c h o o l T r u s t e e s ' A s s o c i a t i o n c o n v e n t i o n in P e n t i c t o n , in O c t o b e r , 1966. S c h o o l acc red i ta i t on w o u l d cont inue but in add i t i on , 50 percent of the f ina l mark secu red by each cand ida te w o u l d be a s s i g n e d by the s c h o o l . Scho la rsh ip^s tuden ts we re requi red to w r i t e o n l y t w o examina t i ons and awards we re based on these marks a lone . These w e r e s ign i f i can t changes . They a l l oca ted inc reased r e s p o n s i b i l i t y to high s c h o o l s and decen t ra l i zed s o m e o f the Depar tment ' s con t ro l ove r Grade 12 g radua t ion . Fur ther , they reduced the exam ina t i on ordea l f a c e d by t hose s tudents 60 w i s h i n g to w r i t e f o r s c h o l a r s h i p s . M o s t impor tan t l y they r e c o g n i z e d that if s c h o l a r s h i p e x a m i n a t i o n s w e r e to test in te l lec tua l e x c e l l e n c e , a d i f f e ren t approach w a s requi red than that genera l l y used in past Depar tmen ta l E x a m i n a t i o n s . In the p a s t , to take a c a s e in po in t , the t y p i c a l H i s to ry e x a m i n a t i o n had t w o major par ts . The f i rs t usua l l y c o n s i s t e d of ques t i ons requ i r ing ma tch ing , t r u e - f a l s e , s e l e c t i n g the best answer and the reca l l o f i so la ted f a c t s . A l t h o u g h the sub jec ts t e s t e d had changed ove r the y e a r s , the f o rma t of the q u e s t i o n s d id not . For examp le in 1890 the Canad ian H is to ry e x a m i n a t i o n asked cand ida tes to "Name w i th dates the f i r s t t o w n f ounded in A c a d i a , and in C a n a d a " as w e l l as to "G i ve name of f ounde r o f each" [s / c ] . It a l so asked cand ida tes "What is meant by the f o l l o w i n g , and w h o appo in t s t h e m : 1. Gove rno r -Gene ra l . . . . 5 . P r e m i e r . " In 1967 the regular Grade XII H i s t o r y asked s tudents to exp la in the d i f f e r e n c e be tween t w o t e r m s , "P r ime m i n i s t e r and G o v e r n o r - g e n e r a l " [sic] as w e l l as to iden t i f y w h o e s t a b l i s h e d the c i t y o f Q u e b e c . Perhaps the on l y advance had been the " b e s t - a n s w e r " t y p e of q u e s t i o n , not f ound on the Depar tmen ta l E x a m i n a t i o n s unti l the p r o g r e s s i v e e ra . For e x a m p l e , in 1937 the H i s t o r y e x a m i n a t i o n asked s tudents to se lec t the bes t answer f o r the f o l l o w i n g : 4 1 . Naz i s - (a) mach ine guns (b) Fasc i s t B o y S c o u t s (c) Span i sh dance (d) A German po l i t i ca l par ty . Th is t ype of q u e s t i o n appears on the 1967 e x a m i n a t i o n . The d i f f i c u l t y w i th these ques t i ons is that there is no means to j us t i f y a par t icu lar a n s w e r s o the "right a n s w e r " is sought rather than the answer that r e f l e c t s thought. Th i s can lead to an at t i tude whe re c r i t i ca l th ink ing is d i s c o u r a g e d and even p e n a l i z e d . Yet not al l ques t i ons have one best answer or one that is c l ea r l y p r o v i d e d . For examp le in 1967 s tudents w e r e a s k e d : Z i o n i s m is best d e s c r i b e d as - (a) A J e w i s h na t iona l m o v e m e n t (b) A n A m e r i c a n J e w i s h m o v e m e n t se t up to suppor t Israel (c) A r e l i g i o u s - p o l i t i c a l m o v e m e n t in p o w e r in Israel 61 (d) A mode rn f o r m o f the J e w i s h re l i g i on Th is t ype of tes t ing r e i n f o r c e s the concep t that there is a c l ea r , s i m p l e and r ight answer w h i c h a w e l l - e d u c a t e d pe rson shou ld k n o w . Such f o r m a l i s m can e a s i l y lead to in te l lec tua l m e d i o c r i t y . In p lace of c r i t i ca l th ink ing that ques t i ons the au thor i t y or app rop rea teness of a par t icu lar l ine of r e a s o n i n g , s tuden ts are taught in te l lec tua l obed ience to a supe r io r , r ight answer . The resu l tant k n o w l e d g e lacks the i n t r ospec t i ve f ounda t i ons wh i ch enable an educa ted pe rson to d i s c r i m i n a t e be tween c o n f l i c t i n g da ta , to iden t i f y po ten t ia l p r o b l e m s and t rends , or to e s t a b l i s h an independent and e th ica l l y sound point o f v i e w . Instead s tudents learn to m e m o r i z e r e a d y - m a d e o p i n i o n s wh i ch are gove rnmen t a p p r o v e d . Ex te rna l , m u l t i p l e - c h o i c e , " o b j e c t i v e " exam ina t i ons d i scou rage c r i t i ca l t h ink ing . The s e c o n d part of the examina t i on usua l l y c o n s i s t e d o f paragraph and e s s a y w r i t i n g . The 1937 examina t i on t o l d s tudents to "Wr i te on the r esou rces of Canada under the head ings : a) Wa te r P o w e r , b) M i n e r a l s , c ) F i s h e r i e s . " In 1967 the q u e s t i o n w a s on the Sa in t Lawrence L o w l a n d s . H i s to ry ques t i ons requ i red s tudents to p r o v i d e the accep ted in terpre ta t ion of e v e n t s . In 1937 the s tuden ts w e r e to note " s o m e ou ts tand ing a c h i e v e m e n t s and at least two ou ts tand ing fa i l u res o f the League o f N a t i o n s . " In 1967 s tudents w e r e "to exp la in h o w W o r l d W a r II and the resu l t i ng p o s t - w a r cond i t i ons brought about the w i thd rawa l of the W e s t e r n P o w e r s f r o m A s i a . " D id the examiners not rea l i ze the U .S .A . w a s heav i l y i n v o l v e d in S o u t h - E a s t A s i a ? The S c h o l a r s h i p Exam ina t i on in t roduced in 1967 w a s far more thought p r o v o k i n g . E s s a y ques t i ons requ i red s tudents "to d i s c u s s the v a l i d i t y of the s ta temen t . " One paragraph asked s tudents "to exp la in the s i g n i f i c a n c e o f the R e f o r m A c t o f 1832 as it w o u l d have s e e m e d to Karl Marx , l o o k i n g at it as he w o u l d f r o m his o w n v i e w of h i s to r i ca l p r o c e s s . " Other paragraphs p r o v o k e d s tuden ts "to take and de fend a p o s i t i o n . " The regular exam ina t i on requ i red mere rote m e m o r y . The scho la rsh ip u t i l i zed c r i t i ca l th ink ing as w e l l . In 1969 the d i f f e r e n c e b e t w e e n the t w o w a s further e m p h a s i z e d by the d e c i s i o n to make al l regular Depar tmen ta l Exam ina t i ons en t i re l y ob jec t i ve in f o rma t s o that they c o u l d be c o m p u t e r - s c o r e d . D id the a d v i s o r y c o m m i t t e e set up by Mered i th in 1961 in f luence the 1966 changes? The ev idence is d i f f i cu l t e v i d e n c e is d i f f i cu l t to ob ta i n . W e do k n o w that 62 the BCTF Cur r i cu lum D i rec to rs se rv ing on the c o m m i t t e e c i r cu la ted to Federa t ion m e m b e r s dur ing the s c h o o l year 1965-66 " A P r o p o s a l f o r A b o l i s h i n g Depar tmen ta l E x a m i n a t i o n s . " A m o n g the a rguments used to suppor t the p r o p o s a l were that e x a m i n a t i o n s we re used fo r a myr iad of p u r p o s e s , s o m e t i m e s c o n f l i c t i n g ; they d i c ta ted the nature o f i ns t r uc t i on ; they w e r e not appropr ia te "to ach ieve the o b j e c t i v e s of o p e n - e n d e d k inds of c o u r s e s " ; and they "create add i t iona l f i nanc ia l and p h y s i c a l p r o b l e m s fo r a busy Depa r tmen t . " 1 2 J . S . Church later w r o t e (1972) that t w o impor tant changes resu l ted f r o m the BCTF br ie f . The f i rs t w a s the 1966 B C T F Annua l Genera l M e e t i n g app rova l o f a new p o l i c y s ta tement that "Depar tmenta l s e c o n d a r y s c h o o l l eav ing examina t i ons shou ld be abo l i shed (10.A.01)." The s e c o n d w a s that the Depar tment changed i ts p o l i c y in order "to dec rease the de t r imenta l e f f e c t s of external exam ina t i ons on c u r r i c u l u m - i n s t r u c t i o n . " These changes permi t ted c l a s s r o o m teachers to a s s i g n 50 percent of the f ina l mark , e l im ina ted Depar tmen ta l Exam ina t i ons in Eng l i sh X I I , and reduced the number of s cho la r sh ip exam ina t i ons to, t w o f r o m f i v e or m o r e . A c c o r d i n g to Church , the a d v i s o r y c o m m i t t e e had a s ign i f i can t in f luence on the 1966 d e c i s i o n . • T . M . C h a l m e r s , past cha i rman , BCTF Cur r i cu lum D i r e c t o r s , sa id in 1966, "The f i rs t and the great s tep t o w a r d abo l i t i on has n o w been t a k e n , " 1 3 but the genera l B C T F p o s i t i o n w a s less sangu ine . The B C T F ' s N o v e m b e r 1966 News le t te r no ted that suppor te rs of the m o v e m e n t to r e m o v e Depar tmenta l Exam ina t i ons w o u l d f i nd the new p o l i c y a f rus t ra t ing c o m p r o m i s e . The c r i t i cs o f the new p o l i c y w o n d e r e d what had happened to "the brave new w o r l d to p r o m o t e inqu i r ing, p r o b i n g , imag ina t i ve and c rea t i ve s tuden ts? " The Chant Report had opened the doo r to examina t i on r e f o r m . N o w the r e f o r m e r s , seek ing a "brave n e w w o r l d of educa t i on , " w a n t e d more rad ica l changes that w o u l d g ive teachers and s c h o o l boa rds greater l oca l c o n t r o l . H o w e v e r , as Cha lmers cau t i oned his c o l l e a g u e s , P r i n c i p a l s and teachers have reques ted p r o f e s s i o n a l f r e e d o m to make the f i na l d e c i s i o n s conce rn ing their o w n s tuden ts . It is n o w up to us as p r i nc ipa l s and teachers to p rove to the pub l ic that w e are wo r thy o f c o m p l e t e , not just added , r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . Th i s adv i ce w a s s o m e t i m e s f o rgo t t en in the exc i tement o f r e f o rm and po l i t i ca l c o n f r o n t a t i o n . 63 "Thinking people , not robo ts and puppets" , 1 9 6 7 - 1 9 7 0 A t the height of the educa t iona l r e f o r m m o v e m e n t in the 1960s, any r a d i c a l i s m s e e m e d ch ic to s o m e o n e s o m e w h e r e . The ques t i on w a s no longer h o w to p rov ide qua l i ty educa t i on but rather h o w to f ree s c h o o l s f r o m m a t e r i a l i s t i c , co rpo ra te , m i n d - d e s t r o y i n g t y ranny . The m o s t rad ica l a l te rnat ive of al l w a s p r o p o s e d by the Jesu i t th inker and educa to r , Ivan l l l i ch - n a m e l y , to a b o l i s h s c h o o l s a l together . A Canad ian v o i c e fo r th is type o f r a d i c a l i s m w a s This Magazine is about Schools, s ta r ted in 1966 and pub l i shed eve ry two mon ths in Ontar io by teachers at the Eve rda le P la c e f ree s c h o o l . In a 1967 ed i t i on they sa t i r i zed Depar tmenta l E x a m i n a t i o n s in an ar t ic le en t i t l ed , " A l i c e in Exam ina t i on land. " W i t h such ques t i ons as "Is a the i sm a threat to o rgan i zed b ingo?" the w r i t e r s m o c k e d a concep t of k n o w l e d g e wh i ch s a w learn ing as mere l y the accumu la t i on of f a c t s . F i na l l y , A l i c e se ts the exam ina t i on paper on f i re and " f o l l o w i n g her l ead , the s tudents al l d id the s a m e th ing , the w h o l e bu i ld ing van i shed in s m o k e . . . " 1 4 L e s s rad ica l pe rhaps , but t yp i ca l o f the t i m e s , the 1968 H a l l - D e n n i s Repor t , Living and Learning, a l so c o n d e m n e d the use of f o r m a l e x a m i n a t i o n s . "Such arb i t rary measu res of ach ievemen t and the c o n c e p t s of p r o m o t i o n and fa i lu re shou ld be r e m o v e d f r o m the s c h o o l s - not to reduce s tandards but to i m p r o v e the qua l i ty of l ea rn ing . " 1 5 The C o m m i t t e e r e c o m m e n d e d that ch i ld ren be "taught to think fo r t h e m s e l v e s , to f o r m o p i n i o n s on what they learn... In a learn ing p rog ram wh i ch s t r e s s e s ind iv idua l g r o w t h , m a s s p r o d u c e d , m u l t i p l e - c h o i c e tes ts shou ld be handled w i t h ex t reme cau t i on . " A s e x p e c t e d , the 1968 B C T F Repor t , Involvement: The Key to Better Schools, r e c o m m e n d e d that al l Depar tment of Educa t ion Grade 12 and 13 examina t i ons be e l i m i n a t e d at o n c e . 1 6 The June 1969 issue of Education Canada repor ted a general t rend a w a y f r o m external e x a m i n a t i o n s . 1 7 The conce rn fo r exam ina t i on r e fo rm w a s not c o n f i n e d to C a n a d a . The 1969 World Yearbook of Education's theme w a s e x a m i n a t i o n s . A m o n g the e d i t o r s ' conce rns w a s the de tec t i on o f any m o v e m e n t t o w a r d s " m o d i f i c a t i o n , r e f o r m , or even e l im ina t i on of the examina t i on s y s t e m . " 1 8 In C a n a d a , Grade 12 Depar tmenta l Exam ina t i ons were d i scon t i nued in Ontar io (1967), Pr ince E d w a r d Is land (1970) and M a n i t o b a (1970). It is in th is a tmosphe re of rad ica l cha l lenge and chang ing p o l i c i e s in other p r o v i n c e s that the B C T F Cur r i cu lum D i rec to rs subm i t t ed a br ief in J u l y , 1970 ent i t led "External Exam ina t i ons R e - e x a m i n e d " to the Depar tment o f E d u c a t i o n . 64 Th is br ie f p r e s s e d fo r the e l i m i n a t i o n o f regular Grade 12 Depar tmenta l E x a m i n a t i o n s on the grounds that they f o c u s e d more on lower l eve l s of the c o g n i t i v e d o m a i n than d id e s s a y q u e s t i o n s . 1 9 The br ief a l s o sought d i scon t i nuance of the s c h o l a r s h i p e x a m i n a t i o n s because they c a u s e d s o m e s tudents "to equate the search fo r ma rks and m o n e y w i th the a t ta inment o f a sound educa t iona l p r o g r a m . " The b r ie f ' s m o s t sus ta ined argument w a s that exam ina t i ons tended to reward convergen t t h ink ing , n o n - c r e a t i v e pup i l s . Car l R. Rogers w a s quoted in suppor t of th is p o s i t i o n . Th ink ing p e o p l e , not r obo t s and puppets w e r e to be the g o a l s of educa t i on . In c o n c l u s i o n , the br ie f r e c o m m e n d e d that s e c o n d a r y s c h o o l s p rov ide mean ing fu l and re levant educa t i on fo r al l s tuden ts rather than act as so r t ing a g e n c i e s . Th is at tack on f o r m a l i s m lacked s u b s t a n c e . Cer ta in l y it po r t r ayed the spi r i t o f the t i m e s , the " o p t i m i s m , en thus iasm and c o n f i d e n c e " men t i oned ear l ie r . H o w e v e r , it lef t unanswered many impor tan t q u e s t i o n s . W h y shou ld d ivergent th ink ing (if that is what w a s be ing r e c o m m e n d e d ) rep lace convergen t th ink ing? What are the qua l i t i es of d ivergent th ink ing? Do these qua l i t ies inc lude c r i t i ca l th ink ing as d e v e l o p e d by D e w e y , Enn is and o the rs? H o w are these qua l i t i es to be taught? Can these, qua l i t ies be eva lua ted? D id the BCTF r e f o r m e r s have a n a i v e , and s i m p l i s t i c be l i e f that by r e m o v i n g e x a m i n a t i o n s , " th ink ing" w o u l d be m a g i c a l l y r e l eased f r o m its p r i son? Th is na t iv is t v i e w had been a d v o c a t e d by both Rogers and A . S . N e i l l . In 1960, Ne i l l w r o t e , " M y v i e w is that a ch i ld is innate ly w i s e and rea l i s t i c . If lef t to h imse l f w i thou t adult s u g g e s t i o n of any k i nd , he w i l l d e v e l o p as far as he is capab le of d e v e l o p i n g . " 2 0 This is an appropr ia te momen t to c o n t e m p l a t e the log ica l and p rac t i ca l f o r c e of such i deas . Fo r tuna te ly , an a b l e # ph i l osophe r has recen t l y begun just such an a n a l y s i s . Kenneth S t r i ke has argued aga ins t the R o g e r s - N e i l l v i e w . He b e l i e v e s that a u t o n o m y - the capac i t y to make and act on independent reason judgements - is an ach ievemen t requi r ing unders tand ing and s e l f - c o n t r o l . He s u g g e s t e d that Rogers and Ne i l l we re a d v o c a t i n g "authent ic i ty , " w h i c h is a mat ter of c h o o s i n g or ac t ing c o n s i s t e n t l y w i t h one ' s s e l f , not be ing phony . A l t h o u g h S t r i ke c o n s i d e r e s both to be w o r t h w h i l e , a u t o n o m y is a fundamenta l va lue as "it is a requ i rement o f be ing a mora l agent and be ing r e s p o n s i b l e for one ' s se l f and one ' s conduc t . Au then t i c i t y is not s i m i l a r l y f u n d a m e n t a l . " 2 1 S t r i ke wa rns that the pursui t of au then t i c i t y can lead to n a r c i s s i s m if a u t o n o m y is not a l so encou raged . 65 In r e v i e w , the 1970 B C T F br ief g i v e s v a l u e - a r g u m e n t s fo r d i scon t i nu ing Grade 12 external e x a m i n a t i o n s . They argue in favour of a human i s t i c , romant i c approach to educa t i on and c r i t i c i ze the o l d s y s t e m fo r r e i n f o r c i ng c o m p e t i t i v e , c o n s e r v a t i v e va l ues . The B C T F argument w o u l d p rove to be e s p e c i a l l y vu lnerab le and weak w h e n c o n s e r v a t i v e va lues rega ined p r e - e m i n e n c e a decade later. The Adv i so ry Commit tee, 1 9 7 0 - 1 9 7 2 A t the 20 N o v e m b e r 1970 A d v i s o r y c o m m i t t e e mee t i ng the Depar tment p resen ted a " c o n f i d e n t i a l " wh i te paper in r e s p o n s e to the B C T F br ie f and to a s tudy under taken by the S u b c o m m i t t e e on E v a l u a t i o n . The ra t iona le fo r the p r o p o s e d changes inc luded "that the n o n - a c a d e m i c p rog rams are t o o h igh ly s t ruc tured and lack a p p e a l " and "there is an apparent lack of f l ex i b i l i t y w i t h i n the o rgan i za t i on . " In a note regard ing Depar tmen ta l E x a m i n a t i o n s , the paper r emarked that under the p r o p o s e d s c h e m e , Depar tmen ta l E x a m i n a t i o n s w o u l d no longer be a b a s i s for w i t hho ld i ng o f g r a d u a t i o n . " The D e c e m b e r 18th mee t i ng agreed to endo rse , the intent of the "Whi te P a p e r " and to f o r w a r d c o p i e s of it to o f f i c e r s of the B C T F S p e c i a l i s t - A s s o c i a t i o n s w i th a request for f eedback pr ior to Janua ry 29 , 1971. Chu rch , a member of the C o m m i t t e e , no ted that "the p r o p o s a l s are ve ry s i m i l a r to ex i s t i ng Federa t ion p o l i c y . " 2 3 On 30 A p r i l 1971, the C o m m i t t e e met to dec ide the fa te of Depar tmenta l E x a m i n a t i o n s . The Depar tment had prepared a d i s c u s s i o n paper that ou t l i ned the p r o b l e m and p r o p o s e d three s o l u t i o n s . The i m m e d i a t e p r o b l e m s t e m m e d f r o m a d e c i s i o n by the Counc i l o f Pub l i c Ins t ruct ion in Augus t 1970 not to appoint n e w m e m b e r s to the P r o v i n c i a l Boa rd of E x a m i n e r s . Th i s Boa rd a d v i s e d the Depar tment in the conduc t of e x a m i n a t i o n s , e g , app rov ing sub jec ts to be e x a m i n e d , app rov i ng fa i lu re ra tes , e t c . No appo in tmen ts we re made fo r the f o l l o w i n g r e a s o n s ; 2 4 a. The f u c t i o n s of the external exam ina t i ons t h e m s e l v e s are less c lea r . E.g., are they to se lec t s tuden ts fo r un i ve rs i t y a d m i s s i o n ? A r e they to a s s e s s the e f f e c t i v e n e s s o f s e c o n d a r y s c h o o l s ? A r e they to de te rm ine if s c h o o l g raduat ion shou ld be awarded? A r e they to do al l of these? 66 b. The or ig ina l va lue o f external exam ina t i ons is l ess c lear as a resul t o f major changes in p rocedures and requi rements . . . c. The c o n t r o v e r s y sur round ing external e x a m i n a t i o n s , e.g., the BCTF o p p o s i t i o n , the u n i v e r s i t i e s ' conce rn ove r s tanda rds , the a b o l i t i o n o f examina t ions in o ther p rov inces . . . The o l d Boa rd members w e r e r e c e i v i n g s o many c o n f l i c t i n g m e s s a g e s that they ca l l ed on the Depar tment to "de te rm ine what it wan ts to do in examin ing and then, if n e c e s s a r y , appoint a Boa rd to a s s i s t in do ing it." The A p r i l 30th mee t i ng w a s to make that de te rmina t ion and to a d v i s e the Depar tment of i ts d e c i s i o n . The f i rs t so lu t i on w a s to d i scon t i nue al l Grade 12 external exam ina t i ons and to es tab l i sh a Un i ve rs i t y A d m i s s i o n s A d v i s o r y Boa rd to adv i se on a d m i s s i o n p o l i c i e s . A r g u m e n t s fo r this s o l u t i o n inc luded sav i ng m o n e y , grant ing s c h o o l s i nc reased f r e e d o m and f l e x i b i l i t y and recogn i z i ng the s c h o o l as "the best judge of whether or not its s tudents have met g raduat ion requ i remen ts . " The a rguments aga ins t fa l l into two main c a t e g o r i e s . The f i rs t w a s that the Depar tmen t w o u l d s t i l l be "held accountab le by pub l i c and s t u d e n t s " but it w o u l d "have no w a y of s tand ing behind or back ing any k ind of reco rd of s tudent a c h i e v e m e n t . " The s e c o n d i n v o l v e d a scena r io w h e r e b y s c h o o l s b e c a m e subject to p ressure and d i s c r i m i n a t i o n by un i ve rs i t i es and other i ns t i t u t i ons . Bo th arguments against w e r e b a s e d on conce rns ra ised by the decen t ra l i za t i on o f author i ty - w o u l d s tandards be ma in ta ined and w o u l d a u t o n o m o u s s c h o o l s adequate ly prepare s tudents f o r h igher learn ing? The s e c o n d so lu t i on w a s to inst i tu te external exam ina t i ons fo r al l s tudents to de te rm ine graduat ion . One argument for th is s o l u t i o n w a s that the "Con t ro l o f s tandards and c o u r s e s w o u l d be p rov i ded to the author i ty r e s p o n s i b l e f o r t h e m . Th is w o u l d p robab l y rece ive publ ic suppor t . " A s e c o n d argument , r e i n fo r c i ng the f i r s t , w a s that "al l s tudents w o u l d be expec ted to meet a c o m m o n set o f s tanda rds . " A r g u m e n t s against we re c o s t s , " imp rac t i ca l i t y o f a t tempt ing to examine in al l f i e l d s in a v a l i d , re l iab le manner , " and "an undue re l iance p laced upon a s ing le set o f June examina t i ons to de te rm ine or s h o w the resu l ts of 12 years o f e d u c a t i o n . " Th i s s o l u t i o n add ressed c o n c e r n s ra i sed in S o l u t i o n 1 about s tandards but it 67 brought to a t ten t ion impor tant ques t i ons regard ing the va l i d i t y and re l iab i l i t y o f external e x a m i n a t i o n s . The third so lu t i on w a s a c o m p l e x one . The Depar tmen t w o u l d a l l o w s c h o o l s to de te rm ine graduat ion fo r al l their s tuden ts and w o u l d j o i n t l y , w i t h o ther i ns t i t u t i ons , p rov ide a se r ies of " a d m i s s i o n e x a m i n a t i o n " papers wh i ch any s tudent might wr i te if he w i s h e d to r ece i ve a "s ta tement o f m a r k s " or must w r i t e if he w i s h e d to at tend an ins t i tu t ion w h i c h requ i red such a s t a temen t . Th is s o l u t i o n w a s c l ea r l y f avou red by the authors o f the d i s c u s s i o n paper . They b e l i e v e d high s c h o o l s we re the proper author i ty to "cer t i f y that a s tudent had a c c o m p l i s h e d the t a s k s of seconda ry educa t i on . " Thus there w o u l d be no externa l exam ina t i ons fo r g radua t ion . H o w e v e r there w o u l d be s p e c i a l l y c o n s t r u c t e d tes ts des igned by high s c h o o l and un i ve rs i t y ins tuc to rs to se lec t s tuden ts on the b a s i s of their in te l lec tua l mer i t , wh i ch p resumab l y inc luded re fe rence to c r i t i ca l th ink ing d i s p o s i t i o n s and p r o f i c i e n c i e s . No record cou ld be f ound desc r i b i ng the d e l i b e r a t i o n s of th is m e e t i n g . W e can o n l y su rm ise what w a s d e c i d e d in advance of later p o l i c y announcemen ts . On Noverbe r 24, 1971, the lead s t o r y on the f ron t page of the Vancouver Sun p r o c l a i m e d , " B . C . re laxes schoo l curruculum", s u b h e a d i n g , "No gov't exams fo r graduat ion." The M in i s te r of Educa t i on announced the changes w i th the c o m m e n t , "I think the s tudents w i l l be much happ ier , because they ' l l have much more f r e e d o m in c h o o s i n g cou rses and I w i s h n o w , 25 yea rs t o o la te , that I w a s back in s c h o o l to take th is p r o g r a m . " 2 5 The regular Depar tmen ta l E x a m i n a t i o n s we re to end in 1972 but the scho la rsh ip exam ina t i ons were to con t inue " fo r the t ime be ing . " B r o t h e r s ' p o s i t i o n regard ing the un i ve rs i t i es w a s a m b i v a l e n t . "We' re not sure what to do w i th the u n i v e r s i t i e s , " he s a i d . "I w o u l d hope and r e c o m m e n d that the un i ve r s i t i e s w o u l d agree to accept s tudents on the b a s i s o f g radua t ion f r o m Grade 12 under g o v e r n m e n t - a p p r o v e d c o u r s e s , w i thou t any fur ther ent rance requ i rements f r o m the un ive rs i t y . " B r o t h e r s ' p o s i t i o n w a s thus an endo rsemen t o f s o l u t i o n 1. In the next paragraph though , J.R. M e r e d i t h , the Educa t i on Depa r tmen t ' s cu r r i cu lum head, sa i d "the 68 depar tment [s/c] is s tudy ing the p o s s i b i l i t y o f d e v e l o p i n g a s tandard s c h o l a s t i c ach ievemen t test wh i ch w o u l d be a c c e p t e d by the three p rov inc i a l un i ve rs i t i es . " Th is test w a s to be adm in i s te red to un i ve rs i t y app l i can ts to g i ve the un ive rs i t i es a fur ther i nd ica t ion of each pup i l ' s a c a d e m i c ab i l i t y . M e r e d i t h , w h o at tended the A p r i l 30th m e e t i n g , c l ea r l y endo rsed s o l u t i o n 3. Ye t the s tandard ach ievemen t test w a s never d e v e l o p e d . W h y w o u l d Bro thers ignore the a d v i c e of Mered i t h and the A d v i s o r y C o m m i t t e e ? Perhaps Bro ther 's d e c i s i o n w a s a f f e c t e d by the po l i t i ca l c l i m a t e . Throughout 1970 and 1971, the BCTF had c o n d e m n e d S o c i a l Cred i t educa t ion p o l i c i e s . The D e c e m b e r 1970 BCTF Newsletter wa rned that "88% W i l l S t r i ke if N e c e s s a r y " and in Ma rch 1971, the BCTF pub l i shed a S p e c i a l Ed i t i on w i th the head l ine "Gov ' t m o v e s to d e s t r o y B C T F . " In O c t o b e r , the B C T F P res iden t , A d a m R o b e r t s o n , w r o t e an Open Let ter to Teache rs w h i c h began "Dur ing the past three y e a r s , B r i t i sh C o l u m b i a n teachers have w i t n e s s e d a s teady de te r io ra t i on in the educa t i on c l ima te . " The f ront page head l ine o f the N o v e m b e r news le t te r w a s " M i n i s t e r d is rup t ing s y s t e m ! " W a s B r o t h e r s ' e n d o r s e m e n t of S o l u t i o n 1 an at tempt to c a l m an inc reas ing l y tense s i tua t ion? W e do k n o w that the ins t ruc t iona l s e r v i c e s c i rcu la r p repared in advance by the Depar tmen t and re leased on 25 N o v e m b e r 1971 s a i d , "P r inc ipa l s are asked to note that the mat te r of Depar tmen ta l Exam ina t i ons is s t i l l under s t u d y . " 2 6 W a s B ro the rs ' d e c i s i o n to end e x a m i n a t i o n s , wh i ch w a s announced on N o v . 24 th , made w i thou t c o n f e r r i n g w i th h is Depar tment or sudden ly at the last minute when it w a s t oo late to change the c i rcu lar? The ev idence s u g g e s t s th is may w e l l have been the c a s e . B r o t h e r s ' d e c i s i o n w a s w e l c o m e d b y the BCTF and fo r the f i rs t t ime in y e a r s , p o s i t i v e w o r d s we re sa id about S o c i a l C red i t p o l i c i e s . In the January 1972 Newsletter, A d a m R o b e r t s o n s a i d , "M r . B r o t h e r s ' ac t i on has resu l ted in a s i gn i f i can t sh i f t in r e s p o n s i b i l i t y by pe rm i t t i ng the ind iv idua l s e c o n d a r y school . . . to de te rm ine whether or not graduat ion requ i remen ts have been met... The BCTF c o m m e n d s the Depar tment . " If Bro ther 's endo rsemen t o f S o l u t i o n 1 w a s an a t tempt to p a c i f y teachers in an t i c i pa t i on of the s o o n - t o - b e announced p r o v i n c i a l e l e c t i o n , his e f f o r t s were i ne f fec tua l f o r t w o r e a s o n s . F i r s t , the d i f f e r e n c e s be tween B C T F and S o c i a l Cred i t educa t iona l p o l i c i e s we re t oo w i d e to be s u c c e s s f u l l y b r idged by the examina t i ons c o n c e s s i o n . S e c o n d l y , many teachers d id not agree w i th the e l im ina t i on of 69 Depar tmen ta l Exam ina t i ons and d id not suppor t B ro the rs ' d e c i s i o n . For e x a m p l e , J o h n Hardy , w r i t i ng in the D e c e m p b e r 1972 BCTF Newsletter, c o n s i d e r e d 294 teacher rep l i es on th is issue and c o n c l u d e d "e l im ina t ing Grade 12 exams sp l i t s the o rgan i za t i on d o w n the m idd le . " Th is d i v i s i o n w a s s y m p t o m a t i c of a g r o w i n g " r i g h t - l e f t " sp l i t in the B C T F . S h o u l d the B C T F a f f i l i a te w i th labour? Char les O v a n s , the B C T F Genera l Sec re ta r y f r o m 1 9 4 4 - 1 9 7 3 , sa id no . "There is no mag i c in a f f i l i a t i on w i t h labour . Labour is not go ing to s o l v e our p r o b l e m s . O n l y w e can do that . " 2 7 Th is v i e w w a s cha l lenged by younger BCTF m e m b e r s such as J i m MacFa r l an w h o s a w teachers as " in te l lec tua l w o r k e r s " and the natural a l l i es o f labour . A c t u a l l y the BCTF as a d e m o c r a t i c f o r u m fo r t eache rs ' v i e w s had been charac te r i zed by " c o n f l i c t , c o n f r o n t a t i o n and c o m p r o m i s e " s i nce i ts i nco rpo ra t i on in 1919. 2 8 H o w e v e r in the ear ly 1970s th is con f ron ta t i on had begun to be po la r i zed around r i gh t - l e f t v i e w s of t e a c h e r s : teacher as p r o f e s s i o n a l v e r s u s teacher as w o r k e r . Th is d i c h o t o m y w a s m i s l e a d i n g but the BCTF debate w a s o f t en argued in th is con tex t . The s e l f - s t y l e d " p r o f e s s i o n a l s , " such as the eight cha i rmen of the mark ing c o m m i t t e e s w h o w r o t e the M i n i s t e r in 1972 to pro tes t the d e c i s i o n to e l im ina te the e x a m i n a t i o n s , argued that Depar tmen ta l Exam ina t i ons "ma in ta ined s tanda rds . " The " l e f t i s t s " coun te red that the cur r i cu lum shou ld not be e x a m i n a t i o n - b o u n d but shou ld e m p h a s i z e "c r i t i ca l th ink ing , d i s s e n t , the s t ruggle f o r t rade un ion r ights and the s t rugg le fo r s o c i a l r evo lu t i on against r a c i s m and s e x i s m . " 2 9 No one c lea r l y argued that Depar tmenta l E x a m i n a t i o n s l owe red s tandards because they d i scou raged c r i t i ca l th ink ing . The B C T F Cur r i cu lum D i rec to rs s u b s c r i b e d to the le f t i s t v i e w and we re c lea r l y in f avou r of B ro the rs ' d e c i s i o n . They wan ted to ensure that d is t r i c t w i d e externa l e x a m i n a t i o n s d id not a r ise to rep lace p rov inc i a l t e s t s . In Ma rch 1972, they s u g g e s t e d that P o l i c y S ta temen t 10.A.01, wh i ch c o n d e m n e d Depar tmenta l E x a m i n a t i o n s , be r e v i s e d to read , "That the use of any k ind of externa l s e c o n d a r y s c h o o l l eav ing examina t ion w o u l d be i n c o m p a t i b l e w i th the p rac t i ce of the s c h o o l accep t i ng r e s p o n s i b i l i t y fo r de te rm in i ng , whether or no t , i ts s tuden ts have met g radua t ion r equ remen ts . " 3 0 In suppor t o f th is p o s i t i o n they quo ted W h i t e h e a d , " A c o m m o n external examina t ion is fa ta l to educa t i on . " In M a y the Execu t i ve C o m m i t t e e gave their approva l to the r e v i s i o n . The rapprochement be tween the B C T F and Bro thers d id not last l ong . In M a r c h 1972, C.D. O v a n s , Genera l S e c r e t a r y of the B C T F , w r o t e a s c a l d i n g ed i to r ia l 70 against the M in i s te r of Educa t i on and the S o c i a l Cred i t g o v e r n m e n t . Ovan ' s v i e w w a s that the cur r icu lum and graduat ion changes we re a t r ick to manoeuv re teachers into a p o s i t i o n where they we re " lef t ho ld ing the a c c o u n t a b i l i t y b a g . " He charac te r i zed the g o v e r n m e n t ' s p o s i t i o n a s , " Y o u the teachers may d e v e l o p the cur r icu lum - and su f fe r censure fo r any inadequacy . W e the gove rnmen t w i l l con t ro l the purse s t r ings and w i n po l i t i ca l f a v o r by be ing c o n c e r n e d w i th the cos t o f educa t i on . " On Ma rch 27, 1972 the government p a s s e d B i l l 3 w h i c h l im i ted t eache rs ' sa la ry i n c r e a s e s . In A p r i l the B C T F responded by a m o t i o n to l evy one day ' s pay fo r po l i t i ca l a c t i o n . The gove rnmen t d i s a l l o w e d this m o t i o n but m o s t teachers vo lun ta r i l y con t r ibu ted to the BCTF war ches t . In al l th is exc i temen t and tu rbu lence , C h a l m e r s ' 1966 cau t ion w a s f o r g o t t e n . Summary There is l i t t le e v i d e n c e to sugges t that the 1971 d e c i s i o n to d i scon t i nue Depar tmen ta l Exam ina t i ons fo r Grade 12 graduat ion w a s made on sound educa t iona l g rounds . The a rguments by D e w e y et al were la rge ly i gno red . Instead a more rad ica l argument b a s e d on Rogers w a s g iven by the B C T F to d i sc red i t e x a m i n a t i o n s . A s S t r i ke s h o w e d , the inadequacy of Rogers and Ne i l l w a s their p r e s u p p o s i t i o n that when s tudents are g i ven " f r eedom to l ea rn " they w i l l natura l ly d e v e l o p their innate po ten t ia l w i thout f o r m a l ins t ruc t ion or c r i t i c i s m . S t r i ke w a s cor rec t w h e n he argued that encourag ing s tuden ts to b e c o m e a u t o n o m o u s requi res an in i t ia t ion into cul tural r esou rces fo r unders tand ing , apprec ia t ing and ac t i ng . O t h e r w i s e we deny ch i ld ren their in te l lec tua l and mora l her i tage. It is not reasonab le to expect that e v e r y ch i ld is capab le of s o m e h o w d i s c o v e r i n g fo r h imse l f the p r i nc ip les inherent to in te l lec tua l exce l l ence and mora l behav io r . O f cou rse th is her i tage is bes t learned - and in s o m e ins tances on l y learned - w h e n w e respec t each ch i ld 's i nd i v idua l i t y . S i e g e l argues th is means " recogn i z i ng the s tudent 's r ight to q u e s t i o n , to cha l l enge , and to demand reasons and j us t i f i ca t i ons for what is be ing taught . " 3 1 H o w e v e r , r espec t i ng a ch i ld ' s i nd i v idua l i t y d o e s not mean leav ing h im a lone in the da rkness o f his i gno rance . Further , there is i nsu f f i c i en t ev i dence to argue that the 1971 d e c i s i o n w a s made on any educa t iona l g rounds , sound or other w i s e . B ro thers appears to have 71 i g n o r e d S o l u t i o n 3, a d v o c a t e d by his Super in tenden t of Ins t ruct iona l S e r v i c e s , J .R. M e r e d i t h . A l t h o u g h a prima facie case appears to ind ica te that Bro thers w a s i n f l u e n c e d more by po l i t i ca l rather than educa t i ona l c o n s i d e r a t i o n s , th is has not been p r o v e n here. What has been s h o w n is that the 1971 d e c i s i o n caught Mered i th b y s u r p r i s e , and that it he lped to c a l m re la t i ons b e t w e e n the BCTF and the g o v e r n m e n t , fo r a short t i m e at leas t . For such a major sh i f t in p o l i c y , it w a s s u r p r i s i n g that it shou ld be announced in such a casua l f a s h i o n . Ce r ta in l y the 1971 d e c i s i o n w a s cons i s ten t w i t h p o l i c y changes in other p r o v i n c e s but there is l i t t le e v i d e n c e to sugges t that it w a s a w e l l c o n s i d e r e d and pub l i ca l l y a p p r o v e d p o l i c y change in Br i t i sh C o l u m b i a . In c o n c l u s i o n , the Chant Report cha l l enged educa to rs and the pub l i c to r e f l ec t c r i t i ca l l y on the need fo r in te l lec tua l e x c e l l e n c e as a p r ima ry goa l o f B.C. s e n i o r s e c o n d a r y educa t i on . In 1966 th is cha l lenge w a s t rans la ted into new p o l i c i e s regard ing Depar tmen ta l E x a m i n a t i o n s . A S c h o l a r s h i p Exam ina t i on w h i c h rea l l y a t t emp ted to test c r i t i ca l th ink ing as w e l l as rote m e m o r y w a s i n t roduced . In 1971 a d e c i s i o n w a s made to e l im ina te regular Depar tmenta l Exam ina t i ons fo r u n r e c o m m e n d e d s tudents s ta r t ing in 1973. The Depar tment w a r n e d in their A p r i l 1971 d i s c u s s i o n paper that th is p o l i c y w a s p o l i t i c a l l y dangerous fo r the pub l ic m igh t b e c o m e conce rned about s tandards and a c c o u n t a b i l i t y . They r e c o m m e n d e d that no externa l exam ina t i ons be g i ven for g raduat ion but that a s p e c i a l a c a d e m i c tes t be cons t ruc ted in c o n s u l t a t i o n w i th the un i ve rs i t i es and the high s c h o o l t eache rs w h i c h w o u l d be a d m i n i s t e r e d to s tuden ts w i s h i n g to go on to fur ther e d u c a t i o n . Th is r e c o m m e n d a t i o n w a s ignored by the M i n i s t e r of E d u c a t i o n , D o n a l d B r o t h e r s . Depar tmenta l E x a m i n a t i o n s w e r e d i s c o n t i n u e d not as a resul t o f c o m p e l l i n g and c r i t i ca l deba te on educa t iona l i s s u e s conce rn ing the encouragement o f in te l lec tua l e x c e l l e n c e . Rather they p r o b a b l y ended because they w e r e i n c o m p a t i b l e w i th the Zeitgeist o f late s i x t i es educa t iona l r e f o r m and it w a s p o l i t i c a l l y conven ien t fo r the M i n i s t e r to accede to this change. Perhaps it w a s the r ight d e c i s i o n but it w a s made fo r weak and p o l i t i c a l l y vu lnerab le r e a s o n s . It may w e l l have been a "vo te o f c o n f i d e n c e " but the m o t i v e s beh ind the vo te are q u e s t i o n a b l e . A s f o r e t o l d by D a l y , a back l ash aga ins t educa t i ona l r e f o r m d e v e l o p e d in the 1970s . Chapter F ive w i l l c o n s i d e r th is back l ash in deta i l and exp lo re the ra t iona le f o r the 1983 d e c i s i o n to re ins ta te Depar tmenta l E x a m i n a t i o n s . 72 Footnotes KSeorge T o m k i n s , "T rad i t i on and Change in E n g l i s h - C a n a d i a n E d u c a t i o n , " in Assessing Curriculum in the 1970s: What are our core concerns'] ( K e l o w n a : The Canad ian A s s o c i a t i o n for Cur r i cu lum S t u d i e s , 1977). 2 l b i d . 3 Br i t i sh C o l u m b i a M i n i s t r y of E d u c a t i o n , Dropouts from the Public School System in British Columbia: 1929-1978 (V i c t o r i a : Educa t iona l Data S e r v i c e s , 1979), P . E 2 1 . "Hugh A . S t e v e n s o n , " S o l i t t le fo r the M ind? ' R e a c t i o n and R e f o r m in the M o d e r n Cu r r i cu lum, " in G . S . T o m k i n s , ed . , The Curriculum in Canada in Historical Perspective (Vancouve r : Canad ian S o c i e t y fo r the S tudy o f E d u c a t i o n , 1977), p. 102. S E . A . K i l l ough , "Not A g a i n ! " The B.C. Teacher 63 ( N o v e m b e r - D e c e m b e r 1983): 55 . 'B i l l A l l e s t e r , BCTF Newsletter 12 (Sept. , 1972): 3. 'B r i t i sh C o l u m b i a M i n i s t r y of E d u c a t i o n , 100 Years (V i c t o r i a ; Queen ' s Pr in ter , 1972), p. 70 . ' J o h n F. E l l i s , "Euphor ia in Br i t i sh C o l u m b i a Educa t i on - Le t ' s Wa i t and S e e , " in Doug lous M y e r s , The Failure of Educational Reform in Canada (To ron to ; M c C l e l l a n d and S tewar t L i m i t e d , 1973), p. 195. 'Ma rke t Op in ion R e s e a r c h , B.C. Study, Vol. I, Analysis, ( June, 1972): 32. 1 0 J . Dona ld W i l s o n , "F rom the S w i n g i n g S i x t i e s to the S o b e r i n g S e v e n t i e s , " in Hugh A . S t e v e n s o n and Dona ld J . W i l s o n , eds. , Precepts, Policy and Process: Perspectives on Contemporary Canadian Education ( London , Ont. : A l e x a n d e r and B lake L td . , 1977), p. 30 . n J . R . M e r e d i t h , "Cur r icu lum Change in Br i t i sh C o l u m b i a , " a paper p resen ted at a Phi De l ta Kappa C o n f e r e n c e at In ternat ional H o u s e , U.B.C. on 20 A p r i l 1963. B C T F L ib ra ry , V a n c o u v e r , B r i t i sh C o l u m b i a . The f o l l o w i n g quote is l oca ted on page 83 . 1 2 J . S . Church , M e m o r a n d u m on External E x a m i n a t i o n s , 28 M a r c h 1972, B C T F A r c h i v e s , V a n c o u v e r , Br i t i sh C o l u m b i a . " " S w i t c h in exam p o l i c y by dept . " , BCTF Newsletter 6 ( N o v e m b e r , 1966): 3. 1 4 " A l i c e in Examina t i on land (II)," This Magazine is about Schools I ( A u t u m n , 1967): 47 . " O n t a r i o Depar tment of E d u c a t i o n , Living and Learning: The Report of the Provincial Committee on Aims and Objectives of Education in the Schools of Ontario ( T o r o n t o : Queen ' s Pr in ter , 1968), p. 76. The f o l l o w i n g quote is l o c a t e d on page 165. 1 6 D . B . M a c K e n z i e et al, Involvement: The Key to Better Schools, The Report of 73 The Commission on Education by the British Columbia Teachers' Federation (Vancouve r : B C T F , S e p t e m b e r 1968), p. 72. " " P r o v i n c i a l E x a m i n a t i o n s , A C E A S u r v e y , " Education Canada (June, 1969): 3. " J o s e p h A . L a u w e r y s and Dav id G . S c a n l o n , (eds.), Examinations. The World Year Book of Education 1969 ( London : Evans Bro the rs , 1969), p. i. 1 9 B C T F Cur r i cu lum D i r e c t o r s , "External Examina t i ons R e - e x a m i n e d , " a br ief p resen ted to the Depar tment of Educa t ion in J u l y 1970, BCTF A r c h i v e s , V a n c o u v e r , B r i t i sh C o l u m b i a , p. 14. The f o l l o w i n g quote is l oca ted on page 8. 2 0 A . S . He\\\,Summerhill, (New Y o r k : Hart Pub l i sh ing C o m p a n y , 1960), p. 4. " K e n n e t h S t r i k e , Liberty and Learning, (Ox fo rd : Mar t in R o b e r t s o n , 1982), p . 1 5 6 . " D i v i s i o n of Cu r r i cu l um, Con f i den t i a l p roposa l re Changes in the Sen io r S e c o n d a r y S c h o o l Cur r i cu lum Organ i za t i on , 24 N o v e m b e r 1970, B C T F A r c h i v e s , V a n c o u v e r , B r i t i sh C o l u m b i a . A l t hough the mee t ing occu r red on N o v e m b e r 20th , th is p r o p o s a l w a s p o s s i b l y t yped up by BCTF personne l on the 24th. " J o h n S . Church , M e m o r a n d u m on Cur r i cu lum D i r e c t o r s ' M e e t i n g , 18 January 1971, BCTF A r c h i v e s , V a n c o u v e r , Br i t i sh C o l u m b i a , p. 2. ' "Depar tment of Educa t i on Examina t i ons [sic], M e m o r a n d u m fo r P r o v i n c i a l A d v i s o r y C o m m i t t e e , - 2 6 A p r i l 1971, B C T F A r c h i v e s , V a n c o u v e r , B r i t i sh C o l u m b i a , P. 1. "Victoria Daily Colonist, 25 N o v e m b e r 1971, p. 2. 2 6 J . R . M e r e d i t h , "Changes in the S e n i o r S e c o n d a r y S c h o o l Cur r i cu lum Organ i za t i on , " Inst ruct ional S e r v i c e s C i r cu la r , (V i c to r i a : Depar tment of E d u c a t i o n , 25 N o v e m b e r 1971), p. 1. " B C T F N e w s l e t t e r ( A p r i l , 1972): 3. 2 8 s e e W i l l i a m A . Bruneau, " C o n f l i c t , C o n f r o n t a t i o n and C o m p r o m i s e , " The B.C. Teacher ( M a y - J u n e , 1978): 1 7 8 - 1 8 1 . " J i m M a c F a r l a n , " W o r k e r s ! " , The B.C. Teacher ( M a y - J u n e , 1978): 185. 3 0 J . S . Church , M e m o r a n d u m , 28 March 1972, p. 3. 3 1 H . S i e g e l , "Cr i t i ca l Th ink ing as an Educat iona l Ideal , " The Educational Fo/-£//7?(November 1980): 14. 74 Chapter Five The 1983 Dec is ion. Q u a l i t y educa t ion is a p r i o r i t y . W e have re in t roduced grade 12 e x a m i n a t i o n s that w i l l p rov ide a cons i s ten t s tandard . The Hon . Jack He in r i ch , M in i s te r o f E d u c a t i o n , 1984 In A u g u s t 1972, W . A . C . Bennet t and his S o c i a l Credi t Par ty w e r e swep t f r o m o f f i c e by what Bennett ca l l ed "The S o c i a l i s t Ho rdes , " the N.D.P. led by s o c i a l w o r k e r D a v i d Barret t . J o h n E l l i s con tends that educa t ion i s sues we re not p rominen t in the e l ec t i on c a m p a i g n a l though "many ind iv idua l teachers used their s u m m e r h o l i d a y s to l ick s t a m p s , answer t e l ephones , and r ing d o o r b e l l s - m o s t , appa ren t l y , on behal f of the N.D.P . " 1 The new NDP M i n i s t e r of Educa t i on , E i leen D a i l l y , inher i ted B ro the rs ' d e c i s i o n to end Depar tmen ta l Exam ina t i ons af ter J u n e , 1973 and it w a s a d e c i s i o n she e n d o r s e d . In the N o v e m b e r 1973 ed i t ion of the B.C. Teacher she sa id "I be l i eve ve ry s t r o n g l y that the abo l i t i on o f these examina t i ons can do no th ing but imp rove the qua l i t y of teach ing and g i ve the ind iv idua l teacher an oppo r tun i t y to be more f l e x i b l e , i nnova t i ve and or ig ina l in the teach ing p r o c e s s . " A s regular Depar tmenta l Exam ina t i ons ended wh i l e the N.D.P. he ld o f f i c e , many o rd ina ry c i t i zens i nco r rec t l y came to be l i eve this d e c i s i o n w a s an N.D.P. i n n o v a t i o n . Th i s be l ie f w o u l d fur ther po l i t i c i ze and c o n f u s e the i s s u e . M a n y po l i t i ca l changes , b e s i d e s the defeat of the S o c i a l Cred i t gove rnmen t , occu r red b e t w e e n the 1971 d e c i s i o n to abo l i sh the exam ina t i ons and June 1974, w h e n the d e c i s i o n w a s f i na l l y put into p rac t i ce . By 1972, S t e v e n s o n a rgues , publ ic d i s i l l u s i o n m e n t w i th educa t iona l r e f o r m had set in . The pub l i c m a y have been put o f f by a genera t ion w h o had been g i ven many oppor tun i t i es and ye t r esponded by re jec t ing the s o c i e t y that had made it p o s s i b l e . 2 B r i t i sh C o l u m b i a n s d id not need to look to C o l u m b i a or Be rke ley fo r ev i dence of student r a d i c a l i s m fo r their o w n S i m o n Fraser U n i v e r s i t y p r o v i d e d them w i th s i t - i n s , d e m o n s t r a t i o n s and s t r i kes . H o w e v e r , one must not o v e r e m p h a s i z e the impact o f s tudent r ad i ca l i sm on pub l i c v i e w s of educa t i on , a l though d e m o n s t r a t i o n s r ece i ved a great deal o f med ia a t t en t i on . In Br i t i sh C o l u m b i a , 1972 w a s p robab ly not as impor tant a year in 75 educa t iona l p o l i t i c s as 1975 w h e n the S o c i a l Cred i t Par ty we re returned to o f f i c e af ter a t h r e e - y e a r h ia tus . Ye t s o m e t i m e in the ear ly 1970s, the Nor th A m e r i c a n pub l i c began to rea l i ze that i nc reased spend ing on educa t i on d id not n e c e s s a r i l y resul t in a happ ier , mo re p roduc t i ve or more just s o c i e t y . Perhaps the d i s i l l u s i onmen t w a s a c o n s e r v a t i v e reac t i on us ing " cos t i n e f f i c i e n c y " as a pretext to d i sc red i t l ibera l and rad ica l i nnova t i ons that th reatened the e s t a b l i s h e d order . Leon L e s s i n g e r , f o r m e r A s s o c i a t e C o m m i s i o n e r of E l e m e n t a r y and S e c o n d a r y Educa t i on in the U.S . O f f i c e of E d u c a t i o n , argues that d e m a n d s fo r accoun tab i l i t y fo r the use of federa l m o n e y resu l ted f r o m poor a c a d e m i c p e r f o r m a n c e of m ino r i t y ch i l d ren , i n c o n c l u s i v e resu l ts of federa l c o m p e n s a t o r y p r o g r a m s and acce le ra to r y inc rease of c o s t s . 3 Thus , f i s c a l and ins t ruc t iona l " a c c o u n t a b i l i t y " en tered educa t iona l ja rgon in the late ' 60s , just as P res iden t N i xon ' s Repub l i cans r e v i e w e d the E lemen ta ry and S e c o n d a r y Educa t i on A c t (1965) wh i ch had c o m e f r o m the J o h n s o n A d m i n i s t r a t i o n . " The need fo r f i s c a l accoun tab i l i t y in educa t i on grea t ly i n tens i f i ed in 1973 w h e n the e f f e c t s o f the A r a b o i l emba rgo f o r c e d A m e r i c a n s , in par t icu lar , to ques t i on whether they c o u l d a f f o r d an ever expand ing s y s t e m . 1973 a l so s a w the popu la r beg inn ings of the " B a c k - t o - t h e - b a s i c s " m o v e m e n t . W i d e s p r e a d pub l i c i t y w a s g i ven to dec l i n ing s c o r e s on s tanda rd i zed t e s t s , the m o s t no tab le be ing the S c h o l a s t i c Ap t i t ude Tes t ( S A T ) used by 50% of A m e r i c a n s tudents in tend ing to go to un i ve rs i t y . 5 The C o l l e g e Ent rance E x a m i n a t i o n Boa rd r e l eased a s tudy in 1977, On Further Examination, w h i c h " e x p l a i n e d " th is p h e n o m e n o n . It s h o w e d that the drop resu l ted f r o m c o m p l e x r e a s o n s . T h e s e inc luded the impac t o f t e l e v i s i o n , changes in the f a m i l y , a decade of d i s t r a c t i o n , e l e c t i v e s c h o o l c o u r s e s w i thou t a s o l i d k n o w l e d g e base and l o w e r e d e x p e c t a t i o n s . The t w o - y e a r , $60,000 s tudy ru led out such p o s s i b l e causes as the in f luence o f "new m a t h " or the in f luence of the "so f t pedagog i ca l lef t . " H o w e v e r , the B a c k - t o - t h e - b a s i c s m o v e m e n t p r o p o s e d other reasons fo r the dec l i ne . Thei r a rgument , as ou t l i ned by Dav id S a v a g e , w a s that a general l o w e r i n g of s tandards had occu r red and c i ted the f o l l o w i n g e v i d e n c e : greater a b s e n t e e i s m ; grade i n f l a t i on that sapped the mean ing of an ' A ' or a ' B ' ; au tomat i c grade p r o m o t i o n ; h o m e w o r k cut in ha l f ; open a d m i s s i o n at u n i v e r s i t y ; f ewe r bas i c c o u r s e s requ i red . 6 76 The " B a c k - t o - b a s i c s " so l u t i on w a s a s i m p l e one - leg is la te s tandards that had to be met and the s c h o o l s w o u l d be f o r c e d to s t op w a s t i n g t a x p a y e r s ' m o n e y on f r i v o l o u s a c t i v i t i e s that didn' t p r o m o t e learn ing . To ensure that s c h o o l s we re a c c o u n t a b l e , e x a m i n a t i o n s w o u l d be set to tes t that these s tandards w e r e be ing met . O r e g o n w a s the f i rs t to l eg is la te such "m in ima l c o m p e t e n c y " l aws in 1974 but s o o n m o s t s ta tes p a s s e d laws a t tempt ing to make s c h o o l s more accoun tab le to the pub l i c ' s c o n c e r n about s tanda rds . Th is conce rn w a s i n f l amed in 1976 when the v a l e d i c t o r i a n of W e s t e r n High S c h o o l , D.C., cou ld not gain a d m i s s i o n to Geo rge W a s h i n g t o n U n i v e r s i t y because his S A T s c o r e s we re t oo low. 7 A m e r i c a n parents w h o had ch i l d ren in the pub l i c s c h o o l s no longer fe l t that the s y s t e m w a s w o r k i n g w e l l - in 1974, 64% of such parents had g iven pub l i c s c h o o l s an A or B, but in 1976 th is had f a l l e n to 50% and by 1983 it w o u l d fa l l to a l o w of 42% (Gal lup fo r Phi Delta Kappan). The 1970s can be charac te r i zed as a decade of d i s i l l u s i o n m e n t . Wa te rga te and the f a i l u res in V ie tnam had o p e n e d many m inds to the i m p e r f e c t i o n of the A m e r i c a n W a y . Br i t i sh C o l u m b i a n s - pa r t i cu la r l y t hose w h o s a w th is p r o v i n c e as Canada 's a n s w e r to C a l i f o r n i a and w h o l i ked to impor t W e s t Coas t A m e r i c a n ideas - w e r e s u s c e p t i b l e to th is d i s i l l u s i o n m e n t . The N .D .P .we re not de fea ted in 1975 by the S o c i a l C red i t O ld Gua rd . They we re d e f e a t e d by new recru i ts brought to the S o c i a l C red i t par ty by B i l l Bennet t w h o p r o m i s e d them the g o o d l i fe fo r the l o w e s t tax do l l a r . Th is o f f e r a t t rac ted L i b e r a l s , C o n s e r v a t i v e s and y o u n g , n o n - p o l i t i c a l p r o f e s s i o n a l s and bus iness en t repreneurs . The latter g roup , o f ten re fe r red to as " Y u p p i e s , " had a par t icu lar e f f e c t on the p o i i t i c s of educa t i on in B.C. M a n y d e c i d e d to de lay ra i s i ng a f a m i l y and resen ted s c h o o l taxes that dra ined funds f r o m their l i f e s t y l e pu rsu i t s . 8 In a s e n s e , E i leen D a i l l y w a s lef t ho ld i ng the bag fo r B r o t h e r s ' 1971 d e c i s i o n . A s th is chapter w i l l s h o w , the " n e w " S o c r e d s used Depar tmen ta l E x a m i n a t i o n s as a po l i t i ca l w e a p o n against NDP educa t iona l p o l i c i e s w h i c h w e r e cha rac te r i zed as t oo c o s t l y and lead ing to m e d i o c r i t y . I ron ica l l y , the NDP educa t i ona l p o l i c i e s c o n s i s t e d , fo r the m o s t par t , in m e r e l y p rov id i ng the fund ing needed f o r ear l ie r S o c i a l Cred i t p o l i c i e s . The issue of how schools could encourage intellectual excellence was forgotten in the quest for accountability and political popularity. 77 Linking "S tandards" to Examination Pol icy In 1973, Je r r y M u s s i o , w o r k i n g in the Research and S tandards B ranch , Depar tment o f E d u c a t i o n , d ra f ted a background paper en t i t l ed , "The m o v e a w a y f r o m e x a m i n a t i o n s : What happens n o w ? " M u s s i o asked the key q u e s t i o n , " N o w that Regular Depar tmenta l Exam ina t i ons are e l im inated. . . what happens to the qua l i ty or s tandard of educa t i on in the p r o v i n c e ? " 9 M u s s i o argued that a Learn ing A s s e s s m e n t P r o g r a m m e shou ld be i m p l e m e n t e d that "can help detec t s t rengths and w e a k n e s s e s and in turn p r o v i d e impor tant i n f o rma t i on fo r co r rec t i ve a c t i o n " . M u s s i o appeared to be in f avou r o f the m o v e away f r o m regular Depar tmenta l Exam ina t i ons fo r he s a y s : Chang ing f r o m a less f o r m a l , in f requent s y s t e m of e x a m i n a t i o n s to a more i n f o r m a l , l ess s t ra i n fu l , but more f requen t l y app l ied a s s e s s m e n t rout ing is l i ke ly to resul t in greater s e n s i t i v i t y to the needs of our s tuden ts . In th is w a y , the qua l i ty and s tandard o f educa t i on b e c o m e da i l y conce rns and not just annual e v e n t s . One of the ac t i v i t i e s p r o p o s e d by M u s s i o fo r 1974 w a s to beg in eva lua t i on at the P rov i nc i a l l e v e l . "Wi th con t inued m o v e s to m o d i f y the cu r r i cu lum, it w o u l d appear impor tant to a s s e s s the e f f e c t i v e n e s s of any such c h a n g e s , par t i cu la r l y w i th respec t to bas i c s k i l l s . " Thus , dur ing D a i l l y ' s turn as M i n i s t e r of Educa t i on , a p o l i c y fo r mon i t o r i ng educa t ion s tandards w a s in i t i a ted . A s w e l l , the idea of a p r o v i n c i a l co re cur r i cu lum w a s c o n s i d e r e d . In M a y , 1975, the Br i t i sh C o l u m b i a S c h o o l T r u s t e e s ' A s s o c i a t i o n ( B C S T A ) asked to "be rep resen ted on any P r o v i n c i a l Co re Cur r i cu lum D e v e l o p m e n t C o m m i t t e e . " 1 0 The co re cur r i cu lum c lea r l y w a s not a S o c i a l Cred i t c o n s e r v a t i v e reac t ion to rad ica l NDP educa t i on p o l i c i e s . H o w e v e r the t rus tees were skep t i ca l that i nc reased spend ing had led to i nc reased qua l i ty in the s c h o o l s . They p a s s e d a reso lu t i on w h i c h urged the Depar tment "to eva lua te the educa t iona l benef i t that has accrued to the pup i l s of the P r o v i n c e as a resul t of l ower ing the pup i l / t eacher rat io be fo re fur ther reduc t ions are made . " Whether or not Da i i l y r e s p o n d e d to th is request be fo re the NDP gove rnmen t w a s de fea ted on 11 D e c e m b e r 1975, is s t i l l an unanswered q u e s t i o n . Ye t the prudent p o l i c i e s in i t ia ted by Da i l l y - a s s e s s m e n t and co re cur r i cu lum - do not f i t the popular image o f NDP educa t iona l p o l i c i e s , at least the image s u c c e s s f u l l y s o l d to Br i t i sh C o l u m b i a n s by the S o c i a l Cred i t Pa r t y . Th is latter image made large the 78 c o n t r o v e r s y sur round ing J o h n Bremer and S t a n l e y Knight. F l e m i n g s u g g e s t s that D a i l l y ' s appo in tmen t of B remer , a n o t e d educa t iona l r e f o r m e r , as a spec ia l c o m m i s i o n e r - a t - l a r g e "neut ra l ized m u c h o f the power and in f luence J o h n Mered i th and other sen io r managers had long e n j o y e d . " 1 1 B remer 's u n c o n v e n t i o n a l s t y l e a t t rac ted m e d i a a t ten t ion and by 1974 he had b e c o m e a po l i t i ca l l i ab i l i t y . He w a s f i r ed that yea r . Knight w a s f i red in 1975. The S o c i a l Credi t par ty h igh l igh ted these even ts and used them to persuade the pub l i c that the NDP w e r e exper imen t ing dange rous l y w i t h rad ica l i deas . Th i s image haunted the NDP dur ing the 1975 e l e c t i o n . The S o c r e d s d id not debate educa t i ona l po l i c i es f o r th is w o u l d have g iven the NDP an oppor tun i t y to c o r r e c t nega t i ve and fa l se pub l i c i m p r e s s i o n s . They p re fe r red ins tead to let the NDP s t e w in their o w n ju i ces . Three mon ths af ter w inn ing the e l e c t i o n , the e x - L i b e r a l and n o w S o c i a l Credi t M i n i s t e r of Educa t i on , Pa t r i ck M c G e e r , announced a P r o v i n c i a l Learn ing A s s e s s m e n t P r o g r a m (P.L.A.P.) . M c G e e r k n e w what he w a s d o i n g . W e had a very large s u r v e y d o n e about general a t t i tudes t o w a r d s Educa t ion . . . whether peop le w a n t e d an improvemen t in genera l s tandards in the s c h o o l s y s t e m . There w a s abso lu te l y no ques t i on about the resu l t s . Strongly in f a v o u r of examina t ions and the 3 R's ( I ta l ics are G i l e s ' s ) . 1 2 By captur ing the po l i t i ca l b u z z w o r d " s t a n d a r d s " and cap i t a l i z i ng on publ ic uneas iness ove r educa t ion i nnova t i ons such as o p e n - a r e a c l a s s r o o m s and greater cur r icu lum c h o i c e , M c G e e r cou ld p resen t P . L . A . P . as a d e c i s i v e ac t i on made by a new g o v e r n m e n t intent on i m p r o v i n g s t a n d a r d s and s tab i l i z ing e d u c a t i o n . 1 3 W h y didn' t M c G e e r a l so announce the return of Depar tmenta l E x a m i n a t i o n s , the o ld s y m b o l of s t ab i l i t y , t rad i t i on and s tanda rds? Perhaps it w o u l d have been p o l i t i c a l l y a w k w a r d fo r the 1975 S o c r e d s , pa r t i cu la r l y new S o c r e d s l ike e x - L i b e r a l M c G e e r , to d i r ec t l y c r i t i c i ze p r e v i o u s e d u c a t i o n p o l i c i e s in i t ia ted w h i l e W . A . C . Bennet t w a s P rem ie r . A l t h o u g h W . A . C . Bennet t w a s gone , his p resence w a s s t i l l ve ry much fe l t by those in V i c t o r i a , e s p e c i a l l y as his son had b e c o m e the new S o c i a l Cred i t p remie r . E v e n s o , w h y d id M c G e e r dec i de to not br ing back the e x a m i n a t i o n s in 1976 or 1977 or 1978? A s the next s e c t i o n w i l l s h o w , M c G e e r used the " s t a n d a r d s " i ssue to further not a return to qua l i ty e d u c a t i o n but a return to a cen t ra l i zed author i ty wh i ch c o n t r o l l e d cur r icu lum and budge t s . C o n s i d e r this for a m o m e n t . 79 If the Social Credit government was truly concerned about standards, and believed that Departmental Examinations helped to bring about these standards, why did they delay for eight years before reinstating the examinations? The next section will provide a possible answer to this question. Teaching the "Basics" - the Core Curriculum Controversy A t a p ress c o n f e r e n c e on 1 N o v e m b e r 1976, M c G e e r revea led " A P rog ram fo r P e r f o r m a n c e in the Educa t i ona l S y s t e m of Br i t i sh C o l u m b i a . " He in t roduced th is p rog ram w i th the remark , "The c i t i zens o f th is P r o v i n c e expect the G o v e r n m e n t to take a more p o s i t i v e ro le in de f i n i ng what shou ld be taught in our s c h o o l s and ensur ing that s tudents have an oppor tun i t y to master it." He then announced that a co re cur r icu lum w o u l d be put into p lace fo r the 1977-78 s c h o o l year . M c G e e r t o ld repor te rs that this co re cu r r i cu lum w a s in r e s p o n s e to the resu l ts ob ta ined by the Sp r i ng 1976 Language A s s e s s m e n t . Th is report i nd ica tes that many of our s e c o n d a r y s c h o o l s tudents have g o o d i deas , and can exp ress t h e m s e l v e s w e l l in wr i t ten f o r m . But w e a k n e s s e s are r e v e a l e d in the w a y s tudents deal w i th the mechan i cs of w r i t i n g , inc lud ing punc tua t ion , sen tence st ructure and spe l l ing . . . The s c h o o l s of the P r o v i n c e must g ive r e n e w e d e m p h a s i s to teach ing the bas i c s k i l l s . 1 4 S p e a k i n g on the Jack W e b s t e r , C J O R radio s h o w , the next day , M c G e e r put the need fo r a core cur r i cu lum into h i s to r i ca l contex t f r o m his p e r s p e c t i v e . The M i n i s t r y , ove r the last ten or f i f t een y e a r s , gave up i ts r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s to d i rec t the educa t i on s y s t e m . Fi rst of a l l , the Depar tment of Educa t i on gave up s p e c i f y i n g what teachers shou ld be taught in order to go out into the s c h o o l s y s t e m . Then they gave up s p e c i f y i n g a de f in i te cur r i cu lum to be taught e v e r y w h e r e in B.C. Th i r d , and th is w a s the m o v e that rea l ly made it p o s s i b l e fo r the w a l l s to c rumb le , they d i s p e n s e d w i t h p rov inc ia l examina t ions . . . f r o m that point on the s y s t e m w a s adrift . . . the sh ip is n o w be ing s t e e r e d . 1 3 A s k e d by a l i s tener if there shou ld be exams at e v e r y grade l e v e l , M c G e e r r e p l i e d , "I'm al l fo r i t ! E v e r y s c h o o l and eve ry c l a s s shou ld be g i v i ng t hem. Learn ing can be quant i ta t ive l i ke a go l f s c o r e . " M c G e e r s t r e s s e d that e x a m i n a t i o n s w e r e use fu l fo r the menta l d i s c i p l i n e w h i c h w a s needed in the marke tp l ace . He s tepped back though f r o m a d v o c a t i n g a return to regular Depar tmen ta l E x a m i n a t i o n s . Instead he w a n t e d a s y s t e m w h i c h w o u l d help educa to rs iden t i f y 80 w e a k n e s s e s not of par t icu lar s tuden ts but " s c h o o l by s c h o o l , d is t r i c t by d is t r i c t . " W e b s t e r wasn ' t s a t i s f i e d . He argued that Depar tmenta l Exam ina t i ons gave us a handle on the t eache rs . W e knew at the Grade 12 exams if the average student w a s be ing taught w e l l enough to go to the other f i e l d s of educa t i on . N o w w e don' t k n o w . D id Grade 12 e x a m s , in f ac t , ensure that s tudents we re p roper l y taught in the pas t? The ev idence s u g g e s t s that such examina t i ons we re i n e f f e c t i v e in ensur ing qua l i ty educa t i on . For e x a m p l e , H.L. C a m p b e l l , A s s i s t a n t Super in tendent o f Br i t i sh C o l u m b i a S c h o o l s w ro te in h is 1944 -45 Annual Report: It has been sa id that p rac t i ca l l y al l the un i ve rs i t y f r e s h m a n are i l l i te ra te , cannot wr i te a decent e s s a y nor even a decent let ter . Th is sad state is a t t r ibuted to what s o m e peop le c h o o s e to ca l l the "new curr icu lum". . . T e n , twen t y , th i r ty , f o r t y or f i f t y yea rs f r o m n o w the s a m e comp la in t w i l l be made of the qua l i ty of the s tudents leav ing the s e c o n d a r y s c h o o l s , and the s tudents in these c o m i n g decades w i l l be c o m p a r e d un favourab ly w i t h the s tudents of t o d a y . 1 6 M o r e o v e r is it fa i r to equate the mechan i cs of w r i t i ng - w h i c h cer ta in ly shou ld be mas te red - w i th qua l i ty educa t i on at the Grade 12 leve l? F rom an ins t ruc t iona l point o f v i e w , such bas i c mas te r y is expec ted by Grade 10, if not ear l ie r . Qua l i t y educa t ion resu l ts w h e n s tudents are p r o v i d e d w i th m o d e l s and oppor tun i t i es for in te l lec tua l inqui ry and c r i t i ca l r e f l e c t i o n . D e w e y and o thers have p r o v i d e d g o o d arguments w h i c h s t r ong l y sugges t that qua l i ty educa t i on d o e s not resu l t f r o m rote m e m o r i z a t i o n of f o r m or f a c t s . S i n c e , as Chap te rs Three and Four have s h o w n , these a rguments we re genera l l y not in f luent ia l in Br i t i sh C o l u m b i a , W e b s t e r ' s p o s i t i o n w a s p robab l y qui te t yp i ca l of those w h o had a f o r m a l i s t i c e d u c a t i o n . There w a s a right answer that shou ld be learned and teachers we re pa id to teach those a n s w e r s . Th i s v i e w w a s hear t i l y suppor ted by the rad io l i s teners w h o ca l l ed in . In f ac t , M c G e e r w a n t e d to use pub l i c suppor t fo r the co re cur r i cu lum idea as a ra t iona le for s t opp ing the decen t ra l i za t i on of p o w e r begun wh i l e Bro thers w a s M i n i s t e r . M c G e e r argued that ; There has to be mo re d i rec t i on in an a c a d e m i c s e n s e c o m i n g f r o m the centra l sou rce because s tandards have e roded t o o far in the s c h o o l s y s t e m and they have got to be recap tu red . It is hard fo r that 81 recapture to take p lace if one has to depend upon the ind iv idua l s c h o o l d i s t r i c t s to do tha t . " Had the s tandards ac tua l ly e roded or w a s his p o s i t i o n based on po l i t i ca l e x p e d i e n c y ? A c c o r d i n g to ava i lab le e v i d e n c e , the pub l i c pe r ce i ved a drop in s tandards b e t w e e n 1972 and 1978. In 1979, the Canad ian Educa t i on A s s o c i a t i o n ( C . E A . ) c o m m i s s i o n e d a Gal lup P o l l to examine pub l i c op in i on conce rn ing educa t i on . In a n s w e r to the q u e s t i o n , " C o m p a r i n g p r imary and s e c o n d a r y s c h o o l s o f t o d a y , in genera l to s c h o o l s in your day (whether in Canada or e l s e w h e r e ) w o u l d you say that s tandards have i m p r o v e d , not changed , w o r s e n e d , or don' t k n o w ? " The C a n a d a - w i d e r e s p o n s e w a s 36.3% i m p r o v e d , 4 0 % w o r s e n e d , 11.8% not changed and 11.9% don' t k n o w . 1 8 H o w e v e r , in Br i t i sh C o l u m b i a 53.9% thought that it had worsened. In other mat te rs such as teacher c o m p e t e n c e , s c h o o l management and s c h o o l c u r r i c u l u m , B r i t i sh C o l u m b i a n s rated s c h o o l s far w o r s e than their Canad ian coun te rpa r t s . Th is negat ive at t i tude may have been due to a lack of f am i l i a r i t y w i th what w a s rea l l y go ing on in s c h o o l s . B.C. parents we re the least l i ke ly to a t tend pa ren t - t eache r mee t i ngs and m o s t re luctant to se rve on a s c h o o l board a d v i s o r y c o m m i t t e e or b e c o m e s c h o o l t r us tees . S e e n f r o m the o u t s i d e , Br i t i sh C o l u m b i a ' s s c h o o l s had a poor image . W a s the pub l i c cor rec t to pe rce i ve that s tandards we re fa l l i ng? In 1978, C .E .A . r e v i e w e d Canad ian research p ro jec ts w h i c h had exam ined s tandards ove r v a r y i n g p e r i o d s of t ime . The research s tud ies s h o w e d m ixed f i nd ings - s o m e s tandards of ach ievemen t had inc reased wh i l e o thers had d e c r e a s e d . 1 9 C .E .A . then c o n t a c t e d 123 ch ie f educa t ion o f f i c e r s , rep resen ta t i ve o f u rban, n o n - u r b a n , W e s t e r n , Cent ra l and A t l an t i c Canada . O v e r a l l , they were. . . ...of the o p i n i o n that ach ievemen t s tandards de f i n i t e l y have r i sen in the b i o l o g i c a l s c i e n c e s , phys i ca l s c i e n c e s , and s e c o n d language ; that s tandards in s o c i a l s tud ies and m a t h e m a t i c s are about the s a m e or perhaps be t te r ; and that s tandards in l i terature and language have d e c l i n e d . Th is o p t i m i s m w a s not shared by ch ie f educa t i on o f f i c e r s in W e s t e r n Canada . They s i g n i f i c a n t l y d i f f e red f r o m the Canad ian ave rages in their be l ie f that s o c i a l s t u d i e s , math and s e c o n d language had a l s o d e c l i n e d dur ing the past ten y e a r s . Thus , the i n s i d e r s ' v i e w may not have been s o d i f f e ren t f r o m those on the ou t s i de . A l t h o u g h the debate conce rn ing s tandards in B.C. w a s heav i l y i n f l uenced by po l i t i ca l c o n s i d e r a t i o n s in the pe r i od 1 9 7 2 - 7 8 , one shou ld not d i s m i s s the conce rn 82 as be ing m e r e l y a product of po l i t i ca l rhetor ic or med ia i n f l uence . The B C T F moun ted a c a m p a i g n aga ins t M c G e e r ' s co re cur r i cu lum p lan in January 1977. In the B C T F paper , "Essen t i a l Educa t iona l E x p e r i e n c e s , " their p o s i t i o n w a s c lea r l y s ta ted . "The BCTF f a v o u r s qua l i ty teach ing and learn ing but o p p o s e s cen t ra l l y i m p o s e d s tandards w h i c h deny d i f f e r e n c e s in ch i l d ren , teachers and s i t u a t i o n s " . 2 0 H o w e v e r , the pub l ic d id not s e e m to unders tand or apprec ia te th is p o s i t i o n . A n ed i to r ia l in the Vancouver Sun on Ma rch 7, 1977 c o m m e n t e d : On ta r io parents and B.C. parents have s h o w n bo the ra t ion about the r ich cu r r i cu lum s m o r g a s b o r d of s e c o n d a r y s c h o o l educa t i on w h i p p e d up by the p r o g r e s s i v e educa to rs of the '60s and s e r v e d f ree c h o i c e to the y o u n g - des igned to expand their m inds to the w o n d e r s of the w o r l d about them but ra i s ing dark c o n c e r n s f r o m their parents about whether they have the matur i ty to choose . . . the mi lk a l ong w i th the c h a m p a g n e . 2 1 The ed i to r ia l po in ted l y c r i t i c i zed the M i n i s t r y and the BCTF for "wag ing a war ove r the core c u r r i c u l u m " and asked w h y they cou ldn ' t f o l l o w the Onta r io examp le where c o n s u l t a t i o n and ha rmony s u p p o s e d l y p r e v a i l e d . The ed i to r m a y not have rea l i zed the po l i t i ca l agenda behind M c G e e r ' s co re cur r i cu lum p r o p o s a l but the BCTF cer ta in l y d i d . It w o u l d be another year be fo re the B C S T A a l s o rea l i zed that by suppor t ing the core cur r i cu lum idea they w e r e a l l o w i n g d e c i s i o n mak ing p o w e r to b e c o m e cen t ra l i zed in the M i n i s t r y . In M a r c h 1977, m e a n w h i l e , the Canad ian A s s o c i a t i o n fo r Cur r i cu lum S t u d i e s held a c o n f e r e n c e on " A s s e s s i n g Cur r i cu lum in the 1970s : What are our co re c o n c e r n s ? " Dan B i r c h , Dean of Educa t ion at S .F .U . , w a s the k e y - n o t e speaker and he to ld his a u d i e n c e : W e must f i nd the core and recogn i ze that it is just that, that it is not the w h o l e app le . W e then must f i nd the means fo r r e c o g n i z i n g , b l e s s i n g , f und ing , suppor t ing and encourag ing the d i s t i n c t i o n s , the d i v e r s i t y , wh i ch mus t , i ndeed , b l o s s o m if w e are to re lease the m a x i m u m po ten t ia l of both student and teacher through the s c h o o l s y s t e m . 2 2 He a l so e x a m i n e d the r easons beh ind the 'Back to B a s i c s ' m o v e m e n t and c o m m e n t e d ...among the t rends con t r ibu t ing to the search or dr ive f o r f i nd ing a core cur r i cu lum is uncer ta in ty a m i d s o c i a l change and e c o n o m i c pressure. . . A s parents and taxpayers w e are s a y i n g , "Where is the m o n e y go ing? " One of the o b v i o u s ta rgets is educa t i on . Our natural t e n d e n c i e s , as c i t i z e n s , is to s a y "cut d o w n , there must be u n n e c e s s a r i e s , w e must l imi t educa t i on expend i tu res . " 83 B i rch wa rned that th is p ressure w o u l d resul t not on l y in cuts to the " fa t " in the s y s t e m but cuts in w o r t h y , exce l len t p r o g r a m s , s e r v i c e s and s t a f f . H is m e s s a g e w a s that such cuts might be m i n i m i z e d if educa to rs bui l t up pub l i c pe rcep t i on that s tandards we re be ing ma in ta ined or i m p r o v e d . B i rch a c c e p t e d the bas i c a s s u m p t i o n that the pub l ic had a right to expec t qua l i ty educa t i on fo r their ch i l d ren , and that educa to rs had a r e s p o n s i b i l i t y to ensure the pub l i c ' s taxes wen t to a qua l i t y educa t i on s y s t e m . 2 3 If the s y s t e m re fused to be accoun tab le to pub l i c d e s i r e s fo r higher s tanda rds , then it w o u l d f a c e f i s c a l a c c o u n t a b i l i t y . Taken to an ex t reme , if the pub l ic s y s t e m fa i l ed to r e s p o n d , then M c G e e r thought it shou ld be cha l l enged by p r i va te , independent s c h o o l s . I thought the independent s c h o o l s shou ld be there as a d i s c i p l i n i n g f o r c e to the publ ic s c h o o l s . B e c a u s e then , if n e c e s s a r y , you can ce r ta in l y prop up the suppor t fo r the independent s c h o o l s if you fe l t that it w a s rea l l y go ing to be requ i red to br ing greater accoun tab i l i t y to the publ ic s c h o o l s s y s t e m . 2 4 T o th is end M c G e e r s p o n s o r e d B i l l 33 , The Independent S c h o o l s A c t , in 1977 w h i c h gave pr iva te s c h o o l s pub l ic f und ing . Th is theme that a conce rn fo r i ns t ruc t iona l accoun tab i l i t y w a s to be e n f o r c e d by f i s c a l accoun tab i l i t y w a s repea ted by the keyno te speaker at the 1977 B C S T A A G M . A . Graham D o w n , the execu t i ve d i rec to r of The C o u n c i l o f B a s i c E d u c a t i o n , d i s c u s s e d dec l i n i ng ach ievemen t ( S A T s c o r e s ) and then got to the heart o f the mat ter . "The pub l ic is beg inn ing to ask w h y it is that , at the s a m e t i m e student en ro lmen ts are ei ther on l y ho ld ing their o w n or more f requen t l y d e c l i n i n g , c o s t s are esca la t i ng far in e x c e s s of the genera l rate of i n f l a t i o n " . 2 5 His s o l u t i o n fo r r i s ing c o s t s and dec l i n ing s tandards w a s to sc rap the "open d o o r " p o l i c i e s o f the '60s and to return to high s c h o o l educa t i on based on a c a d e m i c e l i t i s m . S o m e sub jec ts are more impor tan t than o the rs . E n g l i s h , m a t h e m a t i c s , f o re i gn languages , s c i e n c e s , h i s t o r y , geog raphy , gove rnmen t and the arts al l fa l l w i th in th is cent ra l co re of e s s e n t i a l i t y . When th is job is d o n e , it is not inappropr ia te to p rov ide qua l i t y voca t i ona l educa t i on fo r s o m e s tuden ts . By Augus t 1977, the core cu r r i cu lum wh i ch w a s to be i m p l e m e n t e d in S e p t e m b e r had b e c o m e a n o n - i s s u e . Pat B r a d y , p res iden t of the B C T F , fe l t that the c a m p a i g n to m o d i f y the p r o p o s e d co re cur r i cu lum had been s u c c e s s f u l and he c o m m e n t e d , "I see noth ing in the s o - c a l i e d core cu r r i cu lum that is s i g n i f i c a n t l y d i f f e ren t f r o m what teachers are do ing n o w . " 2 6 The lead educa t ion s to r i es in 84 1977-78 c o n c e r n e d dec l in ing en ro l lmen ts , r i s ing c o s t s and p o t - s m o k i n g teachers . Had s tandards sudden ly i m p r o v e d d ras t i ca l l y? Or w a s the issue no longer use fu l as a means o f concen t ra t ing p o l i c y d e c i s i o n mak ing in V i c t o r i a ? Ce r ta in l y the B C S T A w a s no longer f u l l y suppo r t i ve o f the g o v e r n m e n t ' s p lans fo r a core cu r r i cu lum. A t the B C S T A 1978 A G M , Pres iden t C l i f f A t k i n s t o l d the m e m b e r s h i p that, "Par t l y as a resul t o f B C S T A r e a c t i o n , the more r ig id p resc r i p t i ve a s p e c t s of the core cur r icu lum have been eased to p rese rve s o m e loca l a u t o n o m y " 2 7 . M o r e o v e r , t rus tees were beg inn ing to ques t ion the i d e o l o g i c a l t endenc ies of the " B a c k - t o - b a s i c s " m o v e m e n t as p r o m o t e d by A . Graham D o w n . A t the Na t iona l Semina r of the Canad ian Educa t i on A s s o c i a t i o n in S e p t e m b e r 1978, Nor th V a n c o u v e r s c h o o l t rus tee Doro thy Lynas as tu te l y c o m m e n t e d , "Our educa t ion s y s t e m is s t i l l u n i v e r s i t y - b o u n d . There is a m e d i e v a l e l i t i s m at the root of our s c h o o l s . . . I ronical ly, I see more pressure in th is [e l i t ism] through the B a c k - t o - t h e - b a s i c s m o v e m e n t . " 2 8 C o i n c i d e n t a l l y , th is s t o r y w a s repor ted the s a m e day M c G e e r t o l d repor te rs that educa t i on had imp roved s ince the S o c i a l Cred i t Par ty had c o m e to p o w e r . He made no c r i t i c i s m of s tandards . Had s tudents i m p r o v e d or had the pub l i c ' s pe rcep t i on changed? When cha l l enged by repor te rs , M c G e e r admi t ted the f i nd i ngs were based on a pub l ic op in i on po l l wh i ch w a s p robab l y o u t - d a t e d . Throughout his tenure as M i n i s t e r of E d u c a t i o n , M c G e e r appears to have re l ied on p o l l s to g ive h im gu idance in mak ing p o l i c y d e c i s i o n s . Th is is an astute and p ragmat i c po l i t i ca l s t ra tegy . H o w e v e r , the c o m m o n , genera l l y u n i n f o r m e d , op in ion shou ld be s e a s o n e d by the i n f o r m e d o p i n i o n s o f exper ts w h o k n o w the s i tua t ion w e l l and w h o can point out h idden landmines not seen by o thers p r e - o c c u p i e d by d a y - t o - d a y ob l i ga t i ons at home and at w o r k . W h e n these t w o pe rcep t ions are b lended - a d i f f i cu l t po l i t i ca l task - the expe r t s ' acumen encourages p o l i c y d e c i s i o n s that are ra t iona l l y thought out as w e l l as popu la r . D id M c G e e r consu l t the B C T F , the B C S T A , or the educa t ion depar tmen ts at the p rov ince ' s three un ive rs i t i es in order to ba lance o p i n i o n p o l l s w i th p r o f e s s i o n a l ins ight and exper ience? The e v i d e n c e sugges t s not . Br ian S m i t h , w h o b e c a m e the M in i s te r o f Educa t i on on N o v e m b e r 2 3 , 1978, ignored the issue of s tandards as w e l l . Education: A Report from the Minister, 1981, re fe rs to th is i ssue on ly o b l i q u e l y w i th the c o m m e n t , "A l though p r o v i n c e - w i d e 85 gove rnmen t exam ina t i ons w i l l not be re in t roduced at th is t i m e , their po ten t i a l u s e f u l n e s s may e a s i l y make them n e c e s s a r y in the fu tu re " . 2 9 W h y were government examina t ions po ten t i a l l y use fu l? A s w e sha l l see in the next s e c t i o n , they enab led the S o c i a l Cred i t Par ty to d i sp l ay a c o n c e r n fo r qua l i t y educa t i on . A l t h o u g h th is p o s i t i o n has no subs tan t ia l t heo re t i ca l or emp i r i ca l f ounda t i on - fo r external exam ina t i ons do not p r o m o t e qua l i t y - it s o u n d s g o o d and is e a s i l y d iges ted by a pub l i c i l l - i n f o r m e d about educa t i ona l i s s u e s . B e s i d e s , if it d idn' t w o r k , the teachers cou ld a l w a y s be b l a m e d . In r e v i e w , the core cur r icu lum c o n t r o v e r s y ove r s tandards o c c u r r e d as p red i c ted by the authors of S o l u t i o n 1 in A p r i l 1971. By r e m o v i n g Grade 12 regular Depar tmenta l Exam ina t i ons and a l l ow ing greater cur r i cu lum f r e e d o m to o c c u r at the s a m e t i m e , the educa t ion s y s t e m became open to abuse . A l t h o u g h the abuse w a s not p r o v e n , the publ ic pe r ce i ved that s tandards w e r e f a l l i n g . A t the s a m e t i m e c o s t s w e r e esca la t i ng through i n f l a t i on , new p r o g r a m s and reduced pupi l teacher ra t i os . Dec l i n i ng en ro lmen ts meant fewer t axpaye rs had pe rsona l con tac t w i t h the s c h o o l s y s t e m and they we re o f ten not s y m p a t h e t i c to these r i s ing c o s t s . 3 0 Instead of de fend ing the p reva i l i ng s tandards or w o r k i n g to ca re fu l l y i den t i f y and o v e r c o m e w e a k n e s s e s , M p G e e r used the c o n t r o v e r s y as a means to r e v e r s e the decen t ra l i za t i on t rend. O v e r a l l , the issue of s tandards in Br i t i sh C o l u m b i a has not been p r imar i l y a debate about ach ievement l e v e l s but a s t rugg le ove r w h o w a s to con t ro l the p o w e r in educa t iona l p o l i t i c s ; the S o c i a l Cred i t g o v e r n m e n t , the B C S T A or the B C T F . The Examinations Reinstated B i l l Vander Z a l m reac t i va ted the i ssue of s tandards af ter he b e c a m e M i n i s t e r of Educa t ion in Augus t 1982. When ques t i oned w h y he d id t h i s , Vander Z a l m r e p l i e d , "I wan ted to return to the ear ly M c G e e r - H a r d w i c k (Deputy M i n i s t e r ) appp roach because I had four ch i ld ren in the s c h o o l s y s t e m and I w a s w o r r i e d about the s tandards right in m y o w n c o m m u n i t y . " 3 1 Th is is a leg i t imate conce rn of eve ry parent . Their ch i ld ren shou ld r e c e i v e the best p o s s i b l e educa t ion for the tax do l l a r spen t . If t eachers are l azy or m e d i o c r e in the pe r f o rmance of th is r e s p o n s i b i l i t y , then the pub l i c has a r ight to ca l l f o r i m p r o v e m e n t . But what happens w h e n the s y s t e m i tse l f is m e d i o c r e ? 86 C o n s i d e r h o w easy it is to o b f u s c a t e the c o n c e r n over m e d i o c r i t y by labe l ing it as a p r o b l e m of dec l i n ing s t anda rds . The a t ten t ion is d i ve r ted f r o m ins t ruc t iona l p r a c t i c e s , such as external e x a m i n a t i o n s , w h o s e ra t iona le is adm in i s t ra t i ve e f f i c i e n c y and cos t e f f e c t i v e n e s s . These p rac t i ces do not lead to in te l lec tua l e x c e l l e n c e , or c o m p a s s i o n a t e i n d i v i d u a l i s m , or ar t is t ic s e i f - e x p r e s s i o n . Instead a t ten t ion is f o c u s s e d on teacher e f f i c i e n c y as measured by ex terna l exam ina t i on resu l t s . Do s tandards dec l i ne when teachers seek goa l s that can not be e a s i l y m e a s u r e d in s c i e n t i f i c or ma thema t i ca l t e rms? One is r e m i n d e d to heed E.G. H o l m e s ' s 1911 c o m m e n t ...in p r o p o r t i o n , as w e tend to va lue the resu l ts o f e d u c a t i o n fo r their m e a s u r a b l e n e s s , s o w e tend to underva lue and at last to ignore those resu l t s wh i ch are t o o i n t r i ns i ca l l y va luab le to be m e a s u r e d . Parents have a right to be d issat is f ied wi th an educat ion system that does not encourage cr i t ical thinking and intellectual exce l lence. But is this a problem caused by decl ining standards or by a misguided concept of public educat ion? What d id Vander Z a l m mean by s tandards? For that mat ter what d id M c G e e r or M u s s i o or the M i n i s t r y o f Educa t i on mean when they used this label? No e v i d e n c e c o u l d be f ound that a w e l l thought out concep t w a s ever p resen ted to the pub l i c f o r their c o n s i d e r a t i o n and r e s p o n s e . W e shal l return to th is ques t i on in the next s e c t i o n . In N o v e m b e r 1982, Vander Z a l m revea led at a S o c i a l Cred i t C o n v e n t i o n that p r o v i n c e - w i d e exam ina t i ons w o u l d be g i ven in the sp r i ng . W h y d id he announce a p o l i c y change wh i ch had a t r e m e n d o u s impac t on educa t ion at a po l i t i ca l par ty c o n v e n t i o n ? He t o l d his aud ience that these examina t i ons w o u l d test not o n l y s tuden ts but w o u l d measure the " e f f e c t i v e n e s s of their t eachers and s c h o o l s . " 3 2 The S o c i a l Cred i t de lega tes gave Vander Z a l m a s tand ing o v a t i o n at the c o n c l u s i o n of his s p e e c h . Once aga in , Depar tmenta l Examina t i ons w o u l d be used fo r po l i t i ca l c o n v e n i e n c e rather than se rve educa t iona l g o a l s . A c t u a l l y the M i n i s t r y of Educa t i on w a s prepared to adm in i s t e r Grade 12 e x a m i n a t i o n s in on l y three c o u r s e s ; A l g e b r a , C h e m i s t r y and E n g l i s h . H o w e v e r it w a s a f i r s t s tep t o w a r d mak ing grade 11 and 12 cou rses more " r i go rous . " Vander Z a l m b e l i e v e d that "the r ev i t a l i zed sen io r s e c o n d a r y cur r icu la w i l l i nc rease the c o n f i d e n c e of s tuden ts , pa ren ts , and the genera l publ ic in the s ta tus of high s c h o o l 87 g radua t i on . " 3 3 Desp i t e h is pub l i c i m a g e , Vander Z a l m ' s v i e w of educa t i on w a s fa i r l y s o p h i s t i c a t e d . "S tuden ts need to acqu i re a w ide r k n o w l e d g e base than the 3 Rs. . . It is one ach ievemen t to acqu i re k n o w l e d g e , but it is a separa te ach ievemen t to app ly k n o w l e d g e or unders tand re l a t i onsh ips be tween p i e c e s o f i n f o r m a t i o n . S tuden ts must be encouraged and t ra ined to enhance their p r o b l e m - s o l v i n g c a p a b i l i t i e s . " The w e a k n e s s in h is p o s i t i o n s t e m s f r o m an undue fa i th in externa l e x a m i n a t i o n s . He re fe r red to tes t i ng as a "very h igh ly re f i ned d i s c i p l i n e " and w a s pe rsuaded that they cou ld be e f f e c t i v e l y used to test not on ly inert k n o w l e d g e but th ink ing c a p a b i l i t i e s as w e l l . The p r o b l e m s inherent to th is p o s i t i o n have been d i s c u s s e d in Chapter T w o and w i l l be r e v i e w e d in the next s e c t i o n . The B C S T A , BCTF and B.C. H o m e and S c h o o l A s s o c i a t i o n reac ted nega t i ve l y to Vander Z a l m ' s p r o p o s a l to re in t roduce p rov inc ia l e x a m i n a t i o n s . H o m e and S c h o o l P res iden t Helene M i n i s h k a s a i d , "There must be other w a y s to a s s e s s ch i l d ren , than a coup le o f e x a m s . I don' t think hav ing p rov i nc i a l e x a m s m a k e s bet ter s tudents o f our c h i l d r e n . " 3 4 B C T F Pres iden t Larry Kuehn c r i t i c i s e d the Educa t i on M i n i s t e r fo r us ing exam ina t i ons as a "po l i t i ca l f o o t b a l l . " "It is part o f h is at tack on s c h o o l s and teache rs . His p rogram is to s a y to the pub l ic that s c h o o l s are te r r ib le s o that he can then s a y ' I've done s o m e t h i n g about i t / " B.C. S c h o o l T r u s t e e s ' A s s o c i a t i o n Pres iden t Gary Beg in w a r n e d , "I have real r e s e r v a t i o n s that M r . Vander Z a l m w i l l use ch i ld ren 's t es t i ng fo r po l i t i ca l advan tage , fo r examp le to j us t i f y budget cu t s . " Vander Z a l m ignored his c r i t i cs and went ahead w i th p lans fo r the June e x a m i n a t i o n s . In A p r i l 1983, the S o c i a l Cred i t gove rnmen t announced a M a y p rov i nc i a l e l e c t i o n , w h i c h they w o n . Vander Z a l m , w h o d e c i d e d not to run fo r r e - e l e c t i o n , w a s rep laced as M i n i s t e r of Educa t i on by Jack He in r i ch . He inr ich r e v i e w e d p lans fo r the June Grade 12 exam ina t i ons and c o n c l u d e d that there we re t o o many u n r e s o l v e d p r o b l e m s to inc lude the resu l ts as part o f the the s tudent 's f i na l g rade. Instead the resu l ts w e r e to be used to help s c h o o l s and d i s t r i c t s i den t i f y s t reng ths and /o r w e a k n e s s e s in the cur r icu lum areas t e s t e d . For a short t i m e , a new sp i r i t of c o - o p e r a t i o n s e e m e d to be emerg ing b e t w e e n the p r inc ipa l ac to r s in educa t i on p o l i t i c s . 88 Th is w a s shat tered on 7 J u l y 1983 w h e n Heinr ich announced his gove rnmen t ' s " S c h o o l D is t r i c t Res t ra in t " p o l i c y . " A return to pup i l - t eache r ra t ios o f 1975-76 and more di rect con t ro l of al l po r t i ons of s c h o o l d is t r i c t budgets by the M i n i s t r y o f Educa t ion w i l l resul t f r o m l eg i s l a t i ve r e v i s i o n s announced t o d a y . " 3 5 Not on l y d id the S o c r e d g o v e r n m e n t , con f i den t w i t h their r e - e l e c t i o n , at tack educa t ion spend ing as p red ic ted by B e g i n , but they m o v e d to s i g n i f i c a n t l y reduce loca l d e c i s i o n - m a k i n g by s c h o o l boa rds . Even the c o n s e r v a t i v e A s s o c i a t i o n of B r i t i sh C o l u m b i a S c h o o l Supe r i n tenden ts , wh i ch rep resen ted more than 180 sen io r s c h o o l board o f f i c i a l s , fe l t o b l i g e d to pub l i c l y c o n d e m n the gove rnmen t ' s a c t i o n s . In " A S ta temen t of Conce rn for Pub l i c Educa t i on in Br i t i sh C o l u m b i a , " re leased in Ma rch 1984, the A s s o c i a t i o n s a i d , "Educa to rs have seen recent gove rnmen t in i t i a t i ves as c lea r l y imput ing i n c o m p e t e n c e and lack of in tegr i ty to their p r o f e s s i o n . " 3 6 It is in th is h i g h l y - c h a r g e d a tmosphe re that He inr ich dec ided to o f f i c i a l l y announce the re ins ta tement of regular Grade 12 Depar tmen ta l E x a m i n a t i o n s . In a n e w s re lease i ssued on 31 A u g u s t 1983, He in r ich s a i d , "It is impor tant that w e return to c e n t r a l l y - m a r k e d Depar tmenta l E x a m i n a t i o n s to ensure that there is a c o n s i s t e n t measurement of the qua l i ty o f educa t i on in this p r o v i n c e . " 3 7 S ta r t ing i m m e d i a t e l y , a c a d e m i c s tudents w o u l d f ace exam ina t i ons in Eng l i sh 12, Eng l i sh L i terature 12, A l g e b r a 12, G e o g r a p h y 12, H i s t o r y 12, B i o l o g y 12, C h e m i s t r y 12, P h y s i c s 12, G e o l o g y 12, French 12, Ge rman 12, S p a n i s h 12, and Lat in 12. No p r o v i s i o n s fo r r e c o m m e n d i n g s tudents we re g i v e n . Instead al l s tudents on the a c a d e m i c p rog ram w o u l d wr i te these tes ts w h i c h w o u l d cons t i tu te 50 percent of their f ina l mark in each c o u r s e . A s w e l l , s tuden ts w i s h i n g to ob ta in s c h o l a r s h i p s had to wr i te add i t i ona l t es t s in each subject excep t f o r Eng l i sh 12. In March 1984, the M i n i s t r y ind ica ted it w a s cons ide r i ng the i m p l e m e n t a t i o n of a s im i l a r t es t i ng p rogram fo r Grade 11 s tuden ts . 3 8 Heinr ich has been ve ry ar t icu la te in d e f e n d i n g his d e c i s i o n to re in t roduce e x a m i n a t i o n s fo r Grade 12 g radua t ion . He genera l l y g i v e s three r e a s o n s : 1. Our gove rnmen t b e l i e v e s s t rong l y that s tuden ts graduat ing f r o m our high s c h o o l s shou ld be ach iev i ng cha l l eng ing s tandards that are cons i s t en t a c r o s s the p r o v i n c e ; 2. A graduate app l y i ng fo r a d m i s s i o n to a c o l l e g e or un ive rs i t y shou ld be assu red of be ing t reated equ i tab ly in the a d m i s s i o n s p r o c e s s and be assured 89 that high s c h o o l m a r k s w i l l be taken at f a c e v a l u e ; 3. W e in t roduce t es t i ng to reassure the pub l i c that w e are se r ious about qua l i t y in our s c h o o l s . 3 9 T h e s e a rguments s h o u l d not be d i s m i s s e d l ight ly as s h a l l o w po l i t i ca l r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n s . They e m b o d y conce rns that f i r s t f ound e x p r e s s i o n in the n ine teenth century deba te in Eng land over the use of external e x a m i n a t i o n s . In B r i t i sh C o l u m b i a , as Chap te rs Three and Four have s h o w n , these c o n c e r n s have never been d i rec t l y a d d r e s s e d a l though they have been present at least s i nce H ind le ' s book w a s pub l i shed in 1918. The d e c i s i o n to re ins ta te regular Grade 12 Depar tmen ta l E x a m i n a t i o n s w a s cer ta in ly p o l i t i c a l l y m o t i v a t e d but we are c o n c e r n e d here not w i t h the p rop r i e t y of the po l i t i ca l act but w i th the s o u n d n e s s of the educa t iona l ideas upon w h i c h the act is b a s e d . A C loser Look at Standards and Quality Educat ion Turn ing f r o m a h i s t o r i c a l to a more p h i l o s o p h i c a l me thod of inqu i ry , there are t w o bas i c v i e w s o f s t a n d a r d s . 4 0 One s a y s w e are c o n c e r n e d w i t h m i n i m u m c o m p e t e n c i e s that al l s tuden ts w h o graduate f r o m s c h o o l shou ld p o s s e s s . The other is that w e want our s tuden ts to s t r i ve fo r s tandards of e x c e l l e n c e . W h e n the pub l i c re fe rs to d e c l i n i n g s t a n d a r d s , they o f t en m ix the t w o . In one c a s e it is argued that educa t i on ' s ma in pu rpose is to teach the mas te r y of bas i c a c a d e m i c s k i l l s , the 3 R s . O f t en th is p o s i t i o n inc ludes re fe rence to the i m p o r t a n c e of teach ing bas i c l i fe s k i l l s d e s i g n e d to enable s tuden ts to get j obs and to f unc t i on as fu l l s o c i a l pa r t i c ipan ts in s o c i e t y . In the other c a s e , it is argued that s tuden ts must be encou raged to think c a r e f u l l y , to deve lop their in te l lec tua l in i t ia t ive and s t a m i n a . The t w o v i e w s are not a l w a y s c o m p a t i b l e . In p rac t i ce , the undue f o c u s on b a s i c s k i l l s has been f o u n d to be det r imenta l to in te l lec tua l d e v e l o p m e n t . Dav id W . G o r d o n , A s s o c i a t e Super in tenden t of Pub l i c i ns t ruc t ion fo r the C a l i f o r n i a Depar tmen t of E d u c a t i o n , s a y s , "Dur ing the last 10 y e a r s , when the bas i c s k i l l s m o v e m e n t has been in fu l l f l o w e r , h i ghe r -o rde r th ink ing s k i l l s have fa l l en a c c o r d i n g to e v e r y m e a s u r e . " 4 1 G o r d o n ' s v i e w s are subs tan t ia ted in s tud ies c o n d u c t e d by the Na t i ona l A s s e s s m e n t of Educa t i ona l P r o g r e s s (N.A.E.P.). W h i l e b a s i c s k i l l s i m p r o v e d dur ing the past d e c a d e , cons i s t en t d e c l i n e s have been measu red in s t uden ts ' a b i l i t i e s to interpret read ing p a s s a g e s , c l a s s i f y and s o l v e 90 math p r o b l e m s , marsha l a rguments in suppor t of a t h e s i s , and eva lua te s c i e n t i f i c da ta . Ch r i s tophe r J e n c k s argues that "if w e want to reve rse th is t rend , w e must f i nd w a y s o f m o t i v a t i n g s tudents to go b e y o n d the b a s i c s . W e must c o n v i n c e them that k n o w l e d g e is rea l l y wo r th acqu i r ing and that s y s t e m a t i c , r i go rous thought is super io r to in tu i t i on . It is a mat ter of c rea t ing respec t fo r ' m a x i m u m s t a n d a r d s ' . " 4 2 If He in r ich w a n t s qua l i ty educa t i on su re ly he must be c o n c e r n e d about encou rag ing m a x i m u m rather than m i n i m u m s tandards in B.C. s c h o o l s . H o w e v e r in January 1985, He inr ich c i r cu la ted a d i s c u s s i o n paper on B.C. s c h o o l s en t i t l ed "Let 's Talk A b o u t S c h o o l s " in wh i ch s tandards re fe r red to "m in imum c o m p e t e n c y l eve l s in areas of bas i c i ns t ruc t i on . " 4 3 The e m p h a s i s put on m i n i m u m s tandards by Heinr ich is not an i so la ted B.C. p h e n o m e n o n . It is an educat iona l s t r a t e g y , o r ig ina t ing in the Un i ted S ta tes dur ing the 1970s, w h i c h has c o m e to be k n o w n as the C o m p e t e n c y T e s t i n g M o v e m e n t . Haney and M a d a u s sugges t that the f o c u s on tes t ing s t e m s in part f r o m the fac t that it is " r e f o rm f r o m afar , " a grand s c h e m e based on fundamenta l un reso l ved p r o b l e m s , and "it is c lea r l y be ing l e d , or pushed , by n o n - e d u c a t o r s . " 4 4 These n o n - e d u c a t o r s , w h o have not r e f l ec ted on the l im i ta t i ons o f m i n i m u m c o m p e t e n c y t e s t i n g , c o n s i d e r such tes t ing a s t r a i gh t f o rwa rd so l u t i on to the p e r c e i v e d p rob lem of dec l i n i ng s t anda rds . They are suppo r t ed in their o p i n i o n by those educa to rs w h o be l i eve that a mo re s y s t e m a t i c , s c i e n t i f i c management of educa t i on w i l l n e c e s s a r i l y lead to bet ter qua l i ty e d u c a t i o n . T h e s e educa to rs be l i eve that the o b j e c t i v e s of educa t i on can be or shou ld be p r e c i s e l y m e a s u r e d . In "Let 's Talk.. ." , the s tandards d e f i n i t i o n is coup led to a ca l l fo r "greater accoun tab i l i t y and for accurate measu remen t of what s c h o o l i n g a c h i e v e s . " C lea r l y He in r ich endo rses the C o m p e t e n c y T e s t i n g M o v e m e n t ' s ma in s t r a teg ies . There are s o m e se r i ous l im i t a t i ons inherent to c o m p e t e n c y t e s t i n g . Cer ta in l y k n o w l e d g e wh i ch is r e p l i c a t i v e 4 5 is e a s i l y measu red but h o w d o e s one measure k n o w l e d g e w h i c h is used fo r c r i t i ca l or c rea t i ve th ink ing? In their June 1984, p resen ta t i on to the Na t iona l Inst i tute of E d u c a t i o n , the N A E P w a r n e d that "measurement o f h i ghe r -o rde r th ink ing s k i l l s is d i f f i cu l t and the re fo re ra re . " 4 6 T h e y are reques t ing a major gove rnmen t grant to fund research in to test d e s i g n s w h i c h w i l l be capab le o f d i s t i ngu i sh ing " in te l lec tua l p o w e r in a c t i o n . " The N A E P c i t es t w o s t u d i e s , B o w m a n and P ing (1972) and L e v i n e , M c G u i r e and Na t t ress (1970), 91 w h i c h c o n c l u d e d that " m u l t i p l e - c h o i c e i t ems des igned to measure h ighe r -o rde r s k i l l s tend to resul t in t es t s that e l i c i t l i t t le more than reca l l and fac tua l k n o w l e d g e . " A third major s t u d y , the f i v e - y e a r 1934 A m e r i c a n H i s to r i ca l A s s o c i a t i o n ' s repor t men t i oned in Chapter T w o , cou ld a l so be c i t ed in suppor t . The N A E P p lans to p i lo t an " o p e n - e n d e d and p e r f o r m a n c e - b a s e d " f o rma t to de te rmine "whether s tudents k n o w why they think par t icu lar th ings or in par t icu lar w a y s . " S i n c e s tanda rd i zed , ob jec t i ve t es t s w h i c h are capab le of measur ing " in te l lec tua l p o w e r in a c t i o n " do not , at p resen t , ex is t do w e ignore c r i t i ca l and c rea t i ve th ink ing and teach on l y what can be read i l y measured? Such a p rac t i ce w o u l d not appease those w h o w i s h fo r higher s tandards o f exce l l ence in our s c h o o l s . For e x a m p l e , the 1982 O.I.S.E. su rvey on "Pub l i c A t t i t udes T o w a r d s Educa t i on in O n t a r i o " revea led that the least s a t i s f i e d , by o c c u p a t i o n group, w e r e co rpo ra te e x e c u t i v e s . Of the 134 execu t i ves p o l l e d , on l y 19% were s a t i s f i e d w i th "value ob ta ined fo r t a x p a y e r s ' m o n e y " c o m p a r e d w i th an ove ra l l 40% s a t i s f i e d . 4 7 T w o s t r i k ing con t ras t s be tween e x e c u t i v e s and other g roups shou ld be c o m m e n t e d o n . E i g h t y - t w o percent o f co rpo ra te execu t i ves thought that c rea t i v i t y / c r i t i ca l th ink ing shou ld be ranked as a 1st or 2nd p r io r i t y fo r high s c h o o l s tuden ts , wh i l e on l y 33% o f al l o thers gave it a s i m i l a r rank ing . H o w e v e r , on l y 3 1 % o f execu t i ves gave job t ra in ing in high s c h o o l s a f i rs t or s e c o n d p r io r i t y , wh i l e 62% of al l o thers gave it a 1st or 2nd p r io r i t y . O b v i o u s l y , one has to be care fu l about i m p l y i n g t oo much f r o m th is po l l but it r a i ses s o m e in te res t ing q u e s t i o n s . A r e the b igges t c r i t i cs of educa t i on , the co rpo ra te e x e c u t i v e s , d i s s a t i s f i e d because educa to rs don' t encourage s tudents to b e c o m e c r i t i ca l and au tonomous th inkers , capab le of ra t iona l l y a n a l y s i n g p r o b l e m s as they unexpec ted l y occu r , d e v i s i n g i n fo rma l and imag ina t i ve h y p o t h e s e s on w h i c h to act and then independent ly r e s o l v i n g the p r o b l e m in a p roduc t i ve manner? A r e co rpo ra te execu t i ves more at tuned to the rea l i t y that t e c h n o l o g y is rap id ly chang ing , that s p e c i f i c job s k i l l s learned in higher s c h o o l s may be ou tda ted by the t ime s tudents enter the job market , and that as s u c h , it is bet ter to teach s tudents h o w to learn and h o w to think than h o w to mas te r a par t icu lar task? Heinr ich has g i ven three r easons fo r br ing ing back regular Grade 12 Depar tmen ta l E x a m i n a t i o n s . If he is se r i ous about qua l i ty in our s c h o o l s then he must r ecogn i ze that qua l i ty in the pursui t o f in te l lec tua l e x c e l l e n c e . H o w do externa l exam ina t i ons wh i ch tes t rote m e m o r y a s s i s t s tuden ts to deve lop the c a p a c i t y f o r c r i t i ca l th ink ing , i nnova t i on and sound judgement? Chu H s i , W a n g 92 Y a n g - m i n g , W h i t e h e a d , Russe l l and D e w e y have al l p r o v i d e d g o o d arguments to s h o w that external e x a m i n a t i o n s are de t r imen ta l to qua l i t y educa t i on . These a rguments have been ignored or m i s u n d e r s t o o d in B r i t i sh C o l u m b i a . Heinr ich s a y s that "s tudents graduat ing f r o m our high s c h o o l s shou ld be a c h i e v i n g cha l leng ing s tandards. . . " If by t h i s , he means s tandards that cha l lenge s tuden ts to d e v e l o p f u l l y their i n te l l ec tua l , s o c i a l and c rea t i ve po ten t i a l s in an e th ica l manner , then his idea is wo r th s e r i o u s c o n s i d e r a t i o n . Un fo r tuna te l y th is idea is coup led to a res t r i c t i ve c lause - ..."that are c o n s i s t e n t a c r o s s the p r o v i n c e " - w h i c h undermines the o r ig ina l intent . B y what " c o n s i s t e n t " s tandard sha l l al l Grade 12 s tudents be measured? W e might e a s i l y agree that the m o s t bas i c s k i l l s and unders tand ings shou ld be taught in s c h o o l s in order to equip s tudents w i th the p re requ is i te ab i l i t i es f o r independent learn ing but gene ra l l y these s tandards are reached in e lemen ta ry s c h o o l . What k ind o f m i n i m u m s tandards can be i m p o s e d on s e c o n d a r y s c h o o l s , par t i cu la r l y Grade 12 c o u r s e s , and on what g rounds can these s tandards be j us t i f i ed? Perhaps Grade 12 s tudents shou ld be encou raged to ach ieve m i n i m u m c o m p e t e n c i e s w h i c h w i l l se rve them w e l l as adul ts and c i t i z e n s in our s o c i e t y . C o o m b s argues that a c h i e v e m e n t s bas i c to adequate f unc t i on i ng as an adult are those n e c e s s a r y to r e c o g n i z i n g and f u l f i l l i n g one ' s r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s and those w h i c h are n e c e s s a r y to r e c o g n i z i n g and e x e r c i s i n g one ' s r i gh ts . 4 8 S u r e l y these c o m p e t e n c i e s w o u l d set a more cha l l eng ing s tandard than that p r o v i d e d by external e x a m i n a t i o n s w h i c h tes t s t am ina and r e c a l l . On these g rounds , He inr ich 's f i r s t and third r e a s o n s are educa t i ona l l y unsound . External e x a m i n a t i o n s do not lead to qua l i ty educa t i on nor do they p r o m o t e cha l leng ing s tanda rds . Perhaps they can be use fu l in ra i s ing an i ne f fec tua l educa t i on s y s t e m up to m e d i o c r i t y . But let us not p re tend they do more than th i s . Externa l exam ina t i ons re in fo rce the " s c h o o l as f a c t o r y " men ta l i t y that has p lagued pub l i c educa t i on in the n ineteenth and twen t i e th cen tu r i es . If w e want a g o o d educa t i on s y s t e m , not a f a c t o r y , then w e need s c h o o l s s t a f f e d by w e l l t r a ined , p rope r l y s u p e r v i s e d teachers w h o have the r e s o u r c e s and the t ime to w o r k c r e a t i v e l y w i th our ch i l d ren . Th is is not to deprec ia te the impo r tance of s t anda rds . On the con t ra ry , w e shou ld c o n t i n u o u s l y d e m a n d that our s tuden ts seek the h ighest p o s s i b l e s tanda rds . 93 Cer ta in l y in the pursui t o f e x c e l l e n c e , s tuden ts w i l l learn s k i l l s , f a c t s and ideas . H o w e v e r w e must not c o n f u s e exce l l ence w i t h the mere m a s t e r y of s k i l l s , f ac t s or i deas . M a r y W a r n o c k puts th is i ssue in to p e r s p e c t i v e . F i rs t , and o b v i o u s l y , ch i ld ren must be taught the s k i l l s w h i c h w i l l enab le tham to acqu i re k n o w l e d g e fo r t h e m s e l v e s ; and th is means not on l y read ing and w r i t i ng but k n o w l e d g e of h o w to f r ame q u e s t i o n s , h o w to look th ings up, h o w to c r i t i c i ze what other p e o p l e te l l t h e m . 4 9 She a l so te l l s us " A teacher must a l w a y s ra ise the ques t i on whether what the ch i ld ren are ac tua l l y learn ing is what they need to enab le them to think and fee l and wo rk more f r e e l y . " Perhaps it is a ques t i on that our s o c i e t y shou ld a l so ra ise if it is se r i ous about qua l i t y e d u c a t i o n . But the o b j e c t i o n s ra i sed s o far do not cha l lenge the s e c o n d reason p rov ided by He in r i ch . Th is r e a s o n s ta tes that external e x a m i n a t i o n s are a g o o d admin i s t ra t i ve dev i ce for ensur ing equ i tab le t reatment in s e l e c t i n g s tudents for a d m i s s i o n to higher ins t i tu tes of lea rn ing . It is a mode rn v e r s i o n of the n ineteenth century l ibera l argument that externa l exam ina t i ons p r o v i d e equa l i t y of oppor tun i t y . The w e a k n e s s in the l ibera l p o s i t i o n w a s that these exam ina t i ons d i scou raged a u t o n o m o u s th ink ing . H o w e v e r th is w e a k n e s s d o e s not n e c e s s a r i l y app ly to He in r ich 's p o s i t i o n fo r there is no e v i d e n c e that the encouragement o f a u t o n o m o u s th ink ing is a s p e c i f i c goa l o f B.C. educa t i on . He in r i ch , appa ren t l y , e n d o r s e s " d e v e l o p i n g the ab i l i t y of i nd iv idua ls to ana lyze c r i t i c a l l y , to r eason and think i n d e p e n d e n t l y " as goa l s of educa t i on and s c h o o l i n g . 3 0 It w o u l d appear this endo rsemen t is in c o n f l i c t w i th h is m i n i s t r y ' s Grade 12 exam ina t i on p o l i c y . Ye t the d i s c u s s i o n paper , w h i c h bears his s igna tu re , d o e s not ob l i ge h im to adopt any par t icu lar p o l i c y p o s i t i o n . The s e c o n d reason he g i v e s fo r re ins ta t ing Depar tmen ta l Exam ina t i ons is f ounded on the be l ie f that they are a g o o d admin i s t ra t i ve d e v i c e . He is not arguing they are an educa t i ona l l y s o u n d idea as he d id in r e a s o n s one and three. Yet is his argument a d m i n i s t r a t i v e l y sound? If one r e c o n s i d e r s the i s sues ra ised in the 26 A p r i l 1971 paper p repared by the Depar tment of Educa t i on fo r the P r o v i n c i a l A d v i s o r y C o m m i t t e e , then seve ra l impor tant doub ts a r i se . The paper ra i sed the conce rn that g raduat ion must be d is t inc t f r o m a d m i s s i o n requ i remen ts . They ca re fu l l y exam ined ei ther abandon ing e x a m i n a t i o n s or ins t i tu t ing an 94 " a c r o s s - t h e - b o a r d " s y s t e m of e x a m i n a t i o n s fo r g raduat ion pu rposes and they r e c o m m e n d e d : A c o m p r o m i s e procedure w h i c h c l ea r l y r ecogn i zes t w o d i s t i nc t l y d i f fe ren t r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s ; o n e , ce r t i f y i ng that a student has a c c o m p l i s h e d the tasks of s e c o n d a r y educa t ion and t w o , se lec t i ng and p red ic t i ng s u c c e s s in subsequen t s t ud ies , and a s s i g n s them to the author i ty best able to d i scha rge these r e s p o s i b i l i t i e s , w o u l d appear to be the mos t e f f e c t i v e s o l u t i o n . 5 1 They argued that th is w a s the m o s t s o u n d admin i s t ra t i ve p rac t i ce to be f o l l o w e d un less the h idden agenda w a s "to a s s e s s the e f f e c t i v e n e s s of s e c o n d a r y s c h o o l s . " A r e w e once again ignor ing S o l u t i o n 3 fo r po l i t i ca l r easons? S o l u t i o n 3 is not w i thou t i ts f au l t s . Grade 12 s tuden ts w i s h i n g to go on to un i ve rs i t y w o u l d s t i l l need to w r i t e a se r ies of external e x a m i n a t i o n s wh ich w o u l d seek to iden t i f y t hose w h o w o u l d do w e l l in a un ivers i t y e n v i r o n m e n t . The a d v a n t a g e s , though , are that the e x a m s c o u l d s t ress cr i t i ca l th ink ing c a p a b i l i t i e s , perhaps a long the l ines o f the 1967 H is to ry scho la rsh ip ques t ions no ted in the last Chapter or on the mode l o f the Enn is -Wei r Cr i t ica l Thinking Essay Test . T h e s e e x a m s , prepared under the d i rec t i on o f the M i n i s t r y of Educa t ion in c o n s u l t a t i o n w i th high s c h o o l teachers and the u n i v e r s i t i e s , cou ld serve to s h o w the pub l i c that qua l i ty educa t i on and high s tandards we re in fact conce rns of the M i n i s t e r . Learn ing A s s e s s m e n t P r o g r a m s and high s c h o o l acc red i ta t ion p r o c e s s e s n o w in p lace cou ld ensure that m i n i m u m s tandards we re a l so be ing ma in ta ined in the B.C. s c h o o l s y s t e m . S o l u t i o n 3 w i l l have many d e t r a c t o r s . Those w h o are o p p o s e d to externa l e x a m i n a t i o n s on pr inc ip le w i l l not w e l c o m e it, even as a c o m p r o m i s e s o l u t i o n . T h o s e w h o d is t rus t teachers w i l l not w e l c o m e its p r o v i s i o n to a l l o w high s c h o o l s to make j udgemen ts concern ing Grade 12 graduat ion . T h o s e w h o l ike to use Depar tmen ta l examina t i ons as a po l i t i ca l w e a p o n w i l l not l ike to see them reduced to a mere admin i s t ra t i ve dev i ce fo r m a k i n g sound educat iona l d e c i s i o n s . Perhaps though it is t ime fo r us to get on w i th the j ob of encourag ing our ch i ld ren to d e v e l o p their po ten t i a l . He in r ich 's three r easons fo r re in t roduc ing regular Depar tmen ta l examina t ions are a d m i n i s t r a t i v e l y and educa t i ona l l y unsound.- He in r ich 's Depar tmenta l Examina t i on p o l i c y is de t r imenta l to the best in te res ts o f our ch i ld ren and our s o c i e t y . S o l u t i o n 3, f o r al l i ts w e a k n e s s e s and de t rac to r s , m a y help us to e s t a b l i s h an educat iona l s y s t e m that s t r i ves fo r e x c e l l e n c e rather than 95 m e d i o c r i t y . If qual i ty educa t i on is a p r i o r i t y , then S o l u t i o n 3 s h o u l d be s e r i o u s l y r e c o n s i d e r e d by the gove rnmen t . 96 Footno tes U o h n F. E l l i s , "Euphor ia in Br i t i sh C o l u m b i a Educa t i on - Le t ' s Wa i t and S e e , " in D o u g l a s M y e r s , The Failure of Educational Reform in Canada (To ron to : M c C l e l l a n d and S tewa r t l i m i t e d , 1973) p. 196. 2 Hugh A . S t e v e n s o n , " ' S o l i t t le f o r the m ind? ' Reac t i on and R e f o r m in Cu r r i cu l um , " in G . S . T o m k i n s (ed.), The Curriculum in Canada in Historical Perspective (Vancouve r : Canad ian S o c i e t y f o r the S tudy o f E d u c a t i o n , 1977), p. 107. 'R i cha rd De N o v e l I is and Ar thur L e w i s , Schools Become Accountable ( W a s h i n g t o n , D.C.: A s s o c i a t i o n fo r S u p e r v i s i o n and Cur r i cu lum D e v e l o p m e n t , 1974), P. 1. 4 N o l a n Es tes and Dona ld R. W a l d r i p , "Their l i ves and our ca ree rs ; A c c o u n t a b i l i t y as a fa i r t rade in educa t i on , " in J o h n H. F i s c h e r , (chairman), Conferences on Educational Accountability (P r i nce ton : Educa t iona l T e s t i n g S e r v i c e s , 1971). 5 S h i r l e y N e i l l , The Competency Movement, A . A . S . A . C r i t i ca l Issues Report ( S a c r a m e n t o : Educa t iona l N e w s S e r v i c e , 1978), p. 25 . 6 D a v i d S a v a g e , "The Long Dec l i ne in S A T s c o r e s , " Educational Leadership 35 , (January , 1978): 292 . ' N o r m a n D i x o n , " T e s t i n g : Its impac t on e x p e c t a t i o n s , p rac t i ce and a c c o u n t a b i l i t y , " Educational Leadership 35 , (January , 1978): 2 9 4 - 2 9 7 . ' They we re not a lone in th is a t t i tude. Dec l i n i ng s c h o o l en ro lmen t - f r o m over 525,000 in 1975 to 480,000 in 1983 - had e roded po l i t i ca l suppor t fo r educa t i on as f e w e r parents had ch i ld ren in the s c h o o l s y s t e m . In 1976, s tudents in G rades 1-12 made up 23% o f the Canad ian popu la t i on but they on l y accoun ted fo r 18% in B.C. B y 1983 they w o u l d account fo r on l y 15% of the B.C. p o p u l a t i o n , [based on Statistics Canada, 1976 and E c o n o m i c s Depar tmen t , B.C. Cent ra l Cred i t U n i o n . "B .C . Echo Baby B o o m R o l l s O n : Reco rds S e t , " E c o n o m i c A n a l y s i s of Br i t i sh C o l u m b i a (News le t te r ) 3 (January , 1984): 2] The " Y u p p i e " group w o u l d a l so have an impac t on educa t iona l p o l i t i c s in the 1980s. Hav ing d e l a y e d s tar t ing their f a m i l i e s unt i l thei r ca reers we re w e l l - e s t a b l i s h e d , these parents n o w d e m a n d e d bet ter qua l i ty educa t i on fo r their ch i l d ren . A s the pub l ic educa t i on s y s t e m w a s in d isar ray through government i m p o s e d res t ra in t , many in th is group s ta r ted a d v o c a t i n g a tax voucher s y s t e m w h i c h w o u l d a l l o w them to send their ch i ld ren to p r i va te s c h o o l s . To s o m e extent these gene ra l i za t i on re f lec t the op in i on o f the author and are g i ven in the absence of any s y s t e m a t i c , s o c i o l o g i c a l s t ud ies . 'Dr . Je r r y M u s s i o , "The m o v e a w a y f r o m e x a m i n a t i o n s : What happens n o w ? " M e m o r a n d u m , Learn ing A s s e s s m e n t P r o g r a m m e , r e c e i v e d by BCTF 15 N o v e m b e r 1973. BCTF A r c h i v e s , V a n c o u v e r , B.C. The f o l l o w i n g three quotes are f ound on pages 6, 10 and 12 r e s p e c t i v e l y . 1 0 B C S T A , Convention Reporter, 1975. Further e v i d e n c e is p r o v i d e d by Rendina H a m i l t o n , P res iden t of the B C S T A , in her add ress to the Canad ian A s s o c i a t i o n for 97 Cur r i cu lum S t u d i e s in Ma rch 1977. "The B C S T A has been suppor t i ve of both the present and the f o r m e r [N.D.P.] gove rnmen t in their bas i c p o s i t i o n that there must be a co re cur r i cu lum de f i ned at the p rov inc i a l leve l w i th an a s s e s s m e n t p rog ram t ied to it." n T h o m a s F l e m i n g , "F rom P r o v i n c i a l to L o c a l C o n t r o l : S c h o o l I nspec to rs , Supe r i n t enden t s , and the Chang ing Charac te r of S c h o o l Leadersh ip in Br i t i sh C o l u m b i a , " Draf t # 1 , U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i sh C o l u m b i a (Apr i l 1985), p. 4 1 . M y app rec ia t i on is g i ven to Dr. F l em ing fo r a l l o w i n g me to use his current research as backg round mater ia l fo r th is chapter . " V a l e r i e G i l e s , "The M i n i s t e r ' s P e r s p e c t i v e : Pe rsona l P e r c e p t i o n s and R e f l e c t i o n s of M i n i s t e r s of Educa t ion in B r i t i sh C o l u m b i a f r o m 1953 to 1979" ( M . A . T h e s i s , S i m o n Fraser U n i v e r s i t y , 1983), p. 126. 1 3 That t e n s i o n ex i s ted w i th in and w i thou t the s c h o o l s y s t e m is e v i d e n c e d by the B C S T A ' s 1976 A G M reso lu t i on that the p r o b l e m of s tandards in educa t ion be d i s c u s s e d w i t h the M i n i s t r y of Educa t i on . For a general o v e r v i e w of th is pe r i od see J . Dona ld W i l s o n , "F rom the S w i n g i n g S i x t i e s to the S o b e r i n g S e v e n t i e s , " pp . 2 1 - 3 6 , in Hugh A . S t e v e n s o n and J . Dona ld W i l s o n , (eds.), Precepts, Policy and Process: Perspectives on Contemporary Canadian Education ( London , Ont. : A l e x a n d e r , B lake A s s o c i a t i o n , 1977). " G i l e s , p. 86. 1 J C J O R , "Talk Back to W e b s t e r , " 2 N o v e m b e r 1976. "A.R.P.S., 1945, p. 439. " G i l e s , p. 109. l 8 C . E . A . Task F o r c e . Results of a Gallup Poll of Public Opinion in Canada about Public Involvement in Educational Decisions (To ron to : The Canad ian Educa t i on A s s o c i a t i o n , 1979) p. 15. 1 9 Verne r R. Nybe rg and Br iget te L e e , Evaluating Academic Achievement in the Last Three Years of Secondary School in Canada (To ron to : The Canad ian Educa t i on A s s o c i a t i o n , 1978), p. 13. The f o l l o w i n g quo ta t i on is f r o m p. 58. " B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a T e a c h e r s ' Fede ra t i on , "Essen t ia l Educa t iona l E x p e r i e n c e s " (January 1977), p. 14. 2 1 l t is w o r t h no t ing that in 1 9 7 2 - 7 3 , the last year o f e x a m i n a t i o n s , 21,738 Grade 12 s tuden ts en ro l l ed in the A c a d e m i c Techn ica l p rog ram wh i l e on l y 325 s tudents w e r e in the unde f ined "o ther " c a t e g o r y . H o w e v e r , in 1973-74 the f i rs t year of l ess res t r i c t i ve cou rse s e l e c t i o n , o n l y 15,580 s e l e c t e d A r t s and S c i e n c e s wh i l e 9,964 s e l e c t e d " c o m b i n e d s tud ies . " In 1 9 7 4 - 7 5 , the A r t s and S c i e n c e ma jo rs had d ropped to 12,385 wh i l e c o m b i n e d s tud ies had soa red to 15,155 s tuden ts . W a s the s m o r g a s b o r d approach a bet ter s y s t e m or a bad tempta t i on? " T h e Canad ian A s s o c i a t i o n fo r Cur r i cu la r S t u d i e s , " A s s e s s i n g Cur r i cu lum in the 1970s; What are our core c o n c e r n s ? " Repor t o f the mee t i ng held in K e l o w n a in Ma rch 1977, p. 15. The f o l l o w i n g quo ta t ion is f o u n d on pp. 5 - 6 . 98 2 3 l n a s e n s e , the B.C.T.F., through its P r o f e s s i o n a l D e v e l o p m e n t D i v i s i o n , has r e s p o n d e d to th is p ressu re . In A p r i l 1978, the B.C.T.F. e n d o r s e d Project T.E.A.C.H. (Teacher E f f e c t i v e n e s s and C l a s s r o o m Hand l ing) . Over 3,500 p e o p l e , m o s t l y teachers but a l so inc lud ing a f e w t r us tees , parents and s t u d e n t - t e a c h e r s , have taken th is c o u r s e in B.C. s i nce it w a s f i rs t o f f e r e d in the 1978 -79 s c h o o l year . Bo th Project T.E.A.C.H. and P.R.I.D.E. ( P r o f e s s i o n a l R e f i n e m e n t s in D e v e o p i n g E f f e c t i v e n e s s ) , wh ich w a s f i rs t o f f e r e d in the 1982-83 s c h o o l y e a r , are r e c o g n i z e d as cred i t c o u r s e s by the U n i v e r s i t y of V i c t o r i a . In the 1984 -85 s c h o o l yea r , a th i rd cou rse w a s o f f e r e d , T.T.L.C. (Teaching Through Learn ing Channe l s ) w h i c h a t tempts to fur ther d e v e l o p the exper t i se o f the c l a s s r o o m teacher . T h e s e c o u r s e s have been c rea ted by P e r f o r m a n c e Learn ing S y s t e m s , Inc., based in E m e r s o n , N e w J e r s e y . " B C S T A , Convention Reporter, 1977, p. 4 1 . The f o l l o w i n g quo ta t i on is f r o m p. 39. " G i l e s , p. 86. ltThe Vancouver Sun, 31 A u g u s t 1977, p. 16. " B C S T A , Convention Reporter, 1978, p. 35 . "The Vancouver Sun, 28 S e p t e m b e r 1978, p. A : 2 8 . " B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a , M i n i s t r y of E d u c a t i o n , Education: A Report from the Minister by Br ian S m i t h ( V i c t o r i a : Queen ' s P r e s s , 1981), p. 158. 3 0 F o r a d i s c u s s i o n on th is t o p i c see T h o m a s F l e m i n g , "Res t ra in t , R e f o r m , and R e a l l o c a t i o n : A Br ief A n a l y s i s of G o v e r n m e n t P o l i c i e s T o w a r d Pub l i c S c h o o l i n g in Br i t i sh C o l u m b i a : 1981 to 1984." U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i sh C o l u m b i a , 1984 (M imeog raphed ) . " I n t e r v i e w w i th B i l l Vander Z a l m , f o r m e r M in i s te r of E d u c a t i o n , 9 February 1985. A f t e r r e v i e w i n g an ear l ie r draf t o f th is chapter , M r . Vander Z a l m c o m m e n t e d "F rank ly , I cou ldn ' t help th ink ing h o w much a s s i s t a n c e this might have been to me when I in i t ia l l y a s s u m e d the ro le of M in i s t e r of Educa t i on . " Let ter , 1 Ma rch 1985. i2The Vancouver Sun, 15 N o v e m b e r 1982, p. A 7. " B i l l Vander Z a l m , "Cha l l enges have to be met . " The Canadian School Executive (March 1983): 18. The f o l l o w i n g quo ta t i on is f r o m p. 19. 3 4 J o - A n n K o l m e s , " S e c o n d debut fo r p rov inc ia l exam ina t i ons , " The Canadian School Executive (March 1983): 5. The f o l l o w i n g quo ta t ions are f ound on pages 4 and 5 r e s p e c t i v e l y . " B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a , M i n i s t r y of E d u c a t i o n , N e w s Re lease 3 3 - 8 3 . Issued 7 J u l y 1983, p. 1. " A s s o c i a t i o n o f B r i t i sh C o l u m b i a S c h o o l Supe r i n tenden ts , " A S ta temen t of C o n c e r n fo r Pub l i c Educa t i on in Br i t i sh C o l u m b i a " (M imeog raph ) Ma rch 1984, p. 3. " B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a , M i n i s t r y of E d u c a t i o n , N e w s Re lease 4 0 - 8 3 . Issued 31 Augus t 1983, p. 1. 99 3 8 B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a , M i n i s t r y o f E d u c a t i o n , P o l i c y C i rcu la r 14. Issued 6 Ma rch 1 9 8 4 , p . 5 . 3 9 J a c k He in r i ch , "Why P r o v i n c i a l Examina t i ons? , " The B.C. Teacher ( N o v e m b e r - D e c e m b e r 1983): 59 . T h e s e arguments can a l s o be found in Jack He in r i ch , "Recent D e v e l o p m e n t s in the G o v e r n a n c e of E d u c a t i o n , " The Canadian School Executive (Oc tober , 1984): 33 . 4 0 T h e r e is a third v i e w w h i c h l ies ou ts ide the present d i s c u s s i o n w h i c h shou ld be n o t e d . The debate about s tandards as a conce rn ove r ach ievemen t cou ld a l s o e x a m i n e whether " s t a n d a r d s " is be ing used to mean "s ta tus . " A s more s tuden ts graduate f r o m High s c h o o l the genera l s tatus of g radua t ion d e c r e a s e s and the graduate in 1975 lacks the s ta tus f o r m e r l y a s s o c i a t e d w i t h a graduate in 1945. T o exp la in th is dec l ine s o m e parents may be inc l ined to think it is due to c o n t e m p o r a r y s tandards rather than un ive rsa l seconda ry e d u c a t i o n . " A l b e r t Bende rson (ed.) Focus 15: Critical Thinking (P r i nce ton ; Educa t iona l T e s t i n g S e r v i c e , 1984): 2. " J W a l t Haney and Geo rge M a d a u s , "Mak ing S e n s e o f the C o m p e t e n c y T e s t i n g M o v e m e n t , " Harvard Educational Review 48 , N o . 4 ( N o v e m b e r 1978): 475 . " B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a , M i n i s t r y of E d u c a t i o n , "Let 's Ta lk A b o u t S c h o o l s : A D i s c u s s i o n Paper on Br i t i sh C o l u m b i a S c h o o l s " (January, 1985): 12. 4 4 H a n e y and M a d e u s , p. 475 . 4 5 F o r a d i s c u s s i o n on rep l i ca t i ve and other t y p e s of k n o w l e d g e see Harry S . B r o u d y , Democracy and Excellence in American Secondary Education (Ch i cago : Rand M c N a l l y , 1964), pp. 5 0 - 6 0 . " 'Na t i ona l A s s e s s m e n t of Educa t i ona l P r o g r e s s , " Resea rch on H i g h e r - O r d e r S k i l l A s s e s s m e n t Techn iques in M a t h e m a t i c s , S c i e n c e and T e c h n o l o g y , " A p r o p o s a l to the N a t i o n a l Inst i tute of E d u c a t i o n . J u n e , 1984 (M imeog raphed ) : 15. " 7 D . W . L i v i n g s t o n e , D.J . Hart and L.D. M c L e a n , Public Attitudes Towards Education in Ontario, 1982 (To ron to : 4th O.I .S.E. Su rvey Repor t , 1982) Tab le 1.3, p. 8. The f o l l o w i n g i n f o rma t i on is f o u n d on page 55. " U e r r o l d R. C o o m b s , "Can M i n i m u m C o m p e t e n c y T e s t i n g be J u s t i f i e d ? " The Educational Digest X L I V 8 (Ap r i l , 1979): 4. " ' M a r y W a r n o c k , Schools of Thought ( London : Faber and Faber , 1977), p. 125. The f o l l o w i n g quote is f r o m p. 172. " " L e t ' s Talk...," p. 9. ^ B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a , Depar tment of Educa t i on , "Depar tment of Educa t i on E x a m i n a t i o n s , " [sic] M e m o r a n d u m , 26 A p r i l 1971, BCTF A r c h i v e s , V a n c o u v e r , B.C., P. 4. 100 Chapter Six Summary W e are no more s a t i s f i e d [ today] than Wh i tehead w a s f i f t y y e a r s ago w i t h the l a r g e - s c a l e external exam ina t i on fo r s c h o o l g radua t ion . J . M . P a t o n , U n i v e r s i t y o f T o r o n t o , 1973. In N o v e m b e r 1971 Br i t i sh C o l u m b i a ' s M i n i s t e r of E d u c a t i o n , Dona ld B ro the rs , announced that regular Grade 12 Depar tmenta l E x a m i n a t i o n s w o u l d be d i s c o n t i n u e d a f ter 1973. Ye t in June 1984 these exam ina t i ons w e r e re i ns ta ted . Th is reve rsa l in p o l i c y by the S o c i a l Cred i t gove rnmen t r a i sed seve ra l q u e s t i o n s w h i c h th is thes i s has exp la ined . In order to add ress these q u e s t i o n s f r o m an i n f o rmed p e r s p e c t i v e , Chapter T w o p resen ted an h i s to r i ca l and e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l r e v i e w of external e x a m i n a t i o n s in an a t tempt to e s t a b l i s h the ra t i ona le B.C. educa t ion p o l i c y makers might have used to j us t i f y i ns t i t u t i ng , a b a n d o n i n g , or re ins ta t ing Depar tmenta l E x a m i n a t i o n s as a m e c h a n i s m fo r high s c h o o l g radua t ion . Th is r e v i e w s h o w e d that external e x a m i n a t i o n s w e r e ins t i tu ted in Ch ina as ea r l y as 622 A D . They were an admin i s t ra t i ve inven t ion used to s e l e c t cand ida tes fo r a d v a n c e d educa t ion at Imper ia l un i ve rs i t i es and reg iona l c o l l e g e s . Even tua l l y s u c c e s s f u l s tuden ts , w h o earned the equ iva len t o f our M . A . or Ph.D. d e g r e e s , q u a l i f i e d to c o m p e t e fo r c i v i l se r v i ce p o s i t i o n s . T w o great N e o - C o n f u c i a n Ch inese e d u c a t o r / p h i l o s o p h e r s , Chu Hs i and W a n g Y a n g - m i n g , s e r i o u s l y ques t i oned the Ch inese e x a m i n a t i o n s s y s t e m . They argued it n e g a t i v e l y a f f e c t e d learn ing of the k ind that requ i red thought cha rac te r i zed by doub t , inqu i ry , c l a r i f i ca t i on o f ideas and the r e c o g n i t i o n of p r i n c i p l e s . In 1905, the C h i n e s e examina t i on s y s t e m w a s abandoned on the g rounds that it d id not p r o m o t e t h i nk ing . I ron ica l l y , as the s y s t e m w a s fa l l i ng in to d is repute in C h i n a , it w a s ga in ing popu la r i t y in the W e s t . For e x a m p l e , many n ine teenth century r e f o r m e r s , such as J . S . M i l l , b e l i e v e d Br i ta in shou ld adopt externa l e x a m i n a t i o n s as a means to p r o m o t e equa l i t y of oppor tun i t y . In the Un i ted S ta tes o f A m e r i c a , Ho race Mann e n d o r s e d th is v i e w . 101 H o w e v e r , as ear ly as the 1890s, a w i d e s p r e a d s o c i a l and in te l lec tua l reac t ion aga ins t us ing external e x a m i n a t i o n s to ascer ta in educa t iona l ach ievemen t l eve ls can be d o c u m e n t e d in B r i ta in . The 1890 c o l l e c t i o n of e s s a y s , Sacrifice of Education to Examinations, the 1911 Report of the Consultative Committee on Examinations in Secondary School, as w e l l as the wr i t i ngs of Wh i tehead and R u s s e l l , sugges t that m a n y Br i t i sh educa to rs f o u n d s e c o n d a r y s c h o o l external examina t i ons to be a bad educa t i ona l p rac t i ce . A l t h o u g h these educa to rs genera l l y c o n c e d e d that external exam ina t i ons we re use fu l as an admin i s t ra t i ve d e v i c e to s tandard ize e x p e c t a t i o n s , they argued that these e x a m i n a t i o n s cou ld not a s s e s s educat iona l mer i t . In p lace of c r i t i ca l t h ink ing , s tudents m e r e l y c r a m m e d . Th is p o s i t i o n w a s w e l l a r t i cu la ted by J o h n D e w e y . He denounced external e x a m i n a t i o n s on the g rounds that they in te r fe red w i th the encouragement of th ink ing charac te r i zed by doub t , inquiry and c r i t i ca l judgement . He b e l i e v e d external exam ina t i ons lead to teach ing p rac t i ces that v i o l a ted in te l lec tua l in tegr i ty and caused s e r v i l i t y . Chapter Three r e v i e w e d the extent to wh ich the arguments f o r and against external exam ina t i ons Ident i f ied in Chapter T w o were pub l i ca l l y used to j us t i f y B.C. Depar tmen ta l Exam ina t i on p o l i c y pr ior to the 1960s. J e s s o p ins t i tu ted these examina t i ons in 1876 and a prima facie c a s e can be made that he w a s in f luenced by preva lent educa t iona l p rac t i ces in Br i ta in and in On ta r i o . No ev idence w a s found to sugges t that the in te l lectua l reac t i on aga ins t external exam ina t i ons w a s a c k n o w l e d g e d by B.C. educa to rs unti l 1918 w h e n Hind le pub l i shed his D.Paed. d i s s e r t a t i o n , The Educational System of British Columbia. The in f luence of th is b o o k , pub l i shed in T r a i l , B.C., is u n k n o w n , but p robab l y it l acked a w i d e aud ience . The 1925 Putman and W e i r Survey of the School System p r o v i d e s the f i rs t in f luen t ia l d i s c u s s i o n of B.C. Depar tmenta l Examina t i on p o l i c y . A l t h o u g h they e n d o r s e d D e w e y ' s p o s i t i o n in theory , they p re fe r red Bobb i t t ' s adm in i s t ra t i ve p r o c e d u r e s , wh i ch u t i l i zed externa l exam ina t i ons as an e f f i c i e n c y measu remen t . P a r a d o x i c a l l y , Pu tman and W e i r c o n d e m n e d the Depar tmenta l Exam ina t i ons but p ra i sed " n e w - s t y l e " s t anda r i zed , ob jec t i ve ach ievemen t t es t s . The 1960 Chant Royal Commission Report a l so r e c o g n i z e d that c r i t i ca l th ink ing must be an a im o f e d u c a t i o n . H o w e v e r , their c o n c e r n fo r in te l lec tua l deve lopmen t w a s undermined by 102 the a s s u m p t i o n that such d e v e l o p m e n t w a s s y n o n y m o u s w i th m a s t e r y of the t rad i t i ona l d i s c i p l i n e s . Th is lead once again to an e m p h a s i s on external e x a m i n a t i o n s w h i c h t es ted m e m o r y rather than " know ledge in a c t i o n . " In r e v i e w , the p r e - 1 9 6 0 s debate ove r external exam ina t i ons in Br i t i sh C o l u m b i a had been s p a r s e , c o n f u s e d and p reoccup ied w i th whether the t rad i t iona l d i s c i p l i n e s shou ld f o r m the b a s i s fo r these t e s t s . The more impor tant i ssue - d id these exam ina t i ons encourage in te l lec tua l exce l l ence - w a s not c o n s i d e r e d . Chapter Four examined the ra t iona le used by the B.C. p o l i c y makers w h o d e c i d e d in 1971 to abandon regular Grade 12 Depar tmenta l E x a m i n a t i o n s . There is l i t t le e v i d e n c e to sugges t that th is d e c i s i o n w a s made on s o u n d educa t iona l g rounds . The a rguments by D e w e y et al we re largely ignored . Instead a more rad ica l argument based on Rogers w a s g i ven by the BCTF to d i sc red i t the Depar tmen ta l E x a m i n a t i o n s . Even s o , the 1971 Cur r i cu lum A d v i s o r y C o m m i t t e e d id not r e c o m m e n d that external exam ina t i ons be abandoned en t i re l y . Thei r "So lu t i on 3 " w a s a c o m p l e x idea wh i ch r e c o g n i z e d po l i t i ca l and educa t iona l cons t ra in ts that any n e w p o l i c y had to a d d r e s s . Th is so l u t i on w a s ignored by Bro thers w h o o p t e d , apparen t l y at the last m o m e n t , f o r S o l u t i o n 1, the abandon ing o f regular Grade 12 Depar tmen ta l Exam ina t i ons af ter 1973. Th i s t hes i s has not exp lo red in depth whether B ro the rs ' s d e c i s i o n w a s in f l uenced by an agende more po l i t i ca l than educa t i ona l , in i t ia l r e s e a r c h , t hough , s u g g e s t s it w a s p o l i t i c a l l y conven ien t fo r h im to accede to S o l u t i o n 1. Chapter F i ve revea led that the d e c i s i o n to re instate regular Grade 12 Depar tmen ta l Exam ina t i ons in Br i t i sh C o l u m b i a w a s a l so m o t i v a t e d by po l i t i ca l c o n s i d e r a t i o n s . M c G e e r c o n c e d e s that he b e l i e v e d this p o l i c y change w o u l d be a popular po l i t i ca l m o v e , s e e m i n g l y a re in t roduc t ion of t rad i t iona l s tandards to coun te rac t a p e r c e i v e d dec l i ne in a c a d e m i c ach ievemen t dur ing the late 1960s and ear l y 1970s. In 1982 Vander Z a l m announced the return of Depar tmenta l E x a m i n a t i o n s at a S o c i a l Cred i t Par ty c o n v e n t i o n . H o w e v e r it w a s not unti l He in r ich b e c a m e M i n i s t e r of Educa t i on that the exam ina t i ons we re ac tua l ly used as a m e c h a n i s m fo r Grade 12 g radua t ion . He inr ich 's argument is that external exam ina t i ons encourage 103 "cha l l eng ing , c o n s i s t e n t s tanda rds , " and " reassure the pub l i c , that qua l i ty educa t ion is a p r io r i t y . " Chapter F ive c o n s i d e r e d these a rguments and found them s e r i o u s l y l ack ing . He in r ich d o e s not d i s c r im ina te b e t w e e n m i n i m a l and m a x i m u m s tandards . He ignores subs tan t ia l e v i d e n c e p r o v i d e d b y the Na t iona l A s s e s s m e n t of Educa iona l P r o g r e s s (N.A.E.P.) that the " B a c k - t o - t h e - b a s i c s " app roach has ac tua l l y h indered the encouragement of in te l lec tua l e x c e l l e n c e . His argument that "qua l i t y " educa t i on w i l l be genera ted by external e x a m i n a t i o n s has no emp i r i ca l or l og i ca l f ounda t i on if "qua l i t y " i m p l i e s educa t ion cha rac te r i zed by c r i t i ca l th ink ing . M o r e o v e r , w e k n o w f r o m the Ch inese exper ience that a l though external exam ina t i ons may be an e f f e c t i v e adm in i s t r a t i ve dev i ce for cen t ra l i z ing con t ro l o f the cu r r i cu lum, p r o m o t i n g s tuden ts , and i nspec t i ng t eache rs , such exam ina t i ons a l so re in fo rce a m e d i o c r e , f o r m a l i s t i c educa t i on s y s t e m because they lead to "super f i c ia l learn ing . " On what educa t iona l g rounds can Heinr ich j us t i f y Depar tmenta l Exam ina t i ons w h i c h reward supe r f i c i a l k n o w l e d g e rather than in te l lec tua l e x c e l l e n c e ? These exam ina t i ons are d e f e c t i v e fo r they tes t r e p l i c a t i v e k n o w l e d g e , not c r i t i ca l t h ink ing . Their m u l t i p l e - c h o i c e f o r m a t r e i n f o r c e s the f o r m a l i s t i c be l ie f that fo r eve ry ques t i on there ex i s t s on l y one right a n s w e r that shou ld be m e m o r i z e d and rep roduced on cue . Ce r ta in l y fo r a great many ques t i ons it w o u l d be f o o l i s h to w a s t e t ime on specu la t i on or r e f l e c t i o n w h e n the answer is o b v i o u s . When asked to name the cap i ta l o f France or Ice land, w e want our s tuden ts to r espond w i t h the cor rec t a n s w e r . But not al l a n s w e r s are o b v i o u s , in f ac t , many of the more in teres t ing q u e s t i o n s are o f ten in te res t ing because w e have on l y ten ta t i ve a n s w e r s that s t i l l need to be t e s t e d . H o w shou ld s o c i a l s e r v i c e s , such as med i ca l care or e d u c a t i o n . b e pa id fo r? W h y do peop le f igh t? What can a m i l l i o n ba ld t i res be used fo r that genera tes a p ro f i t a f ter e x p e n s e s ? T h e s e ques t i ons ent ice sen io r s tuden ts to ponder , to par t i c ipa te in an in te l lec tua l a c t i v i t y w h i c h sharpens the m ind 's ab i l i t y to think c r i t i c a l l y . 1 In f ac t , test researchers at the N A E P and the C o l l e g e Boa rd n o w recogn i ze that c r i t i ca l th ink ing ac t i v i t i es must be i nco rpo ra ted into e x a m i n a t i o n s if t es t s are to measure in te l lec tua l e x c e l l e n c e . Th is is a d i f f i cu l t task . The N A E P in their 1984 p r o p o s a l to the Na t iona l Inst i tute of Educa t i on s ta te that the p r o b l e m is not techn ica l in nature but that "the real c o n c e r n s have to do w i t h the resou rces to s t imu la te the i m a g i n a t i o n , c rea t i v i t y and sheer gen ius n e c e s s a r y to d ream up the measu remen t p r o c e s s e s . " 2 Have the test d e v e l o p e r s in V i c t o r i a independent l y been 104 able to c rea te m u l t i p l e - c h o i c e q u e s t i o n s fo r B.C. Depar tmen ta l Examina t i ons that measu re h i g h e r - l e v e l c o g n i t i v e s k i l l s in a va l i d and re l iab le f ash ion? The e v i d e n c e s u g g e s t s not . Geo rge A d a m s recen t l y r e v i e w e d the January 1985 Grade 12 H is to ry exam ina t i on and r igh t ly c o n d e m n e d it fo r turning h i s to ry in to a game o f Trivial Pursuit? It w o u l d be inappropr ia te m e r e l y to c o n d e m n present p o l i c y and to leave the i ssue w i thou t s o m e s u g g e s t i o n as to a p o s s i b l e r e m e d y . The in te rd i sc ip l i na ry app roach used in th is t hes i s cou ld p rov ide a s o l i d b a s i s f o r just such a r e m e d y , lead ing an inquirer to make p o l i c y that cou ld have a sound e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l f ounda t i on as w e l l as be r e s p o n s i v e to the po l i t i ca l p ressu res genera ted in a pub l i c educa t i on s y s t e m . A s p o l i c y - m a k i n g is i nev i tab ly no rma t i ve in t one , th is thes i s must , then , depart m o m e n t a r i l y f r o m an ob jec t i ve to a mo re sub jec t i ve app roach . 4 The inquirer w h o w i s h e d to i m p r o v e present p o l i c y conce rn ing Grade 12 regular Depar tmen ta l E x a m i n a t i o n s shou ld have an at t i tude s im i l a r to that e x p r e s s e d by Ted S i z e r , f o r m e r Dean of the Harvard Graduate S c h o o l o f Educa t i on . " S e c o n d a r y s c h o o l s shou ld be p r imar i l y p l aces where y o u n g c i t i zens learn to use their minds.. . . [with a].... cur r i cu lum that s t r e s s e s w a y s of k n o w i n g and th ink ing . " 5 This at t i tude w i l l p robab l y be p o l i t i c a l l y popu lar w i t h co rpo ra te execu t i ves in B.C. as the 1982 O.I.S.E. su rvey revea led Ontar io execu t i ves c o n s i d e r e d " c r i t i c a l / c r e a t i v e t h i nk i ng " as the number one p r io r i t y f o r s e c o n d a r y s c h o o l s . 6 M o r e o v e r , in l ight of the current popu la r i t y o f "c r i t i ca l t h i n k i n g " research in the Un i ted S t a t e s , par t i cu la r ly by the C a l i f o r n i a S ta te Depar tment of Educa t ion and the N.A.E.P. , th is at t i tude w i l l be app lauded by those w h o have heard about the i nnova t i ons and w i s h B.C. s c h o o l s to p rov ide a more s t imu la t i ng and in te l lec tua l l y cha l l eng ing e d u c a t i o n . In a s o c i e t y where al l s e c o n d a r y teachers had the k n o w l e d g e , the s k i l l , the d i s p o s i t i o n s and the r e s o u r c e s to s t imu la te in te l lec tua l d e v e l o p m e n t , externa l e x a m i n a t i o n s w o u l d be u n n e c e s s a r y . But unt i l that day a r r i ves - and w e shou ld by d e f i n i t i o n be c o m m i t t e d to its ar r iva l - external e x a m i n a t i o n s have a ro le to p lay in B.C. e d u c a t i o n . H o w e v e r , w e have erred in B.C. by re ins ta t ing the o l d , m e d i o c r e Depar tmen ta l E x a m i n a t i o n s . Instead w e shou ld accept the cha l lenge of c rea t ing a n e w i n t e l l e c t u a l l y - s t i m u l a t i n g t ype of s tandar i zed tes t . 105 These tes ts must tes t more than rote m e m o r y and s t a m i n a . Rather they must d i sce rn those p e r s o n s d i s p o s e d to examine the s o c i e t y and cul ture wh i ch incubated t h e m , those w h o ask awkward q u e s t i o n s , those w h o d ream of a better w o r l d . W e do not advance as a s o c i e t y if w e do not a l l o w our best young th inkers an oppor tun i t y to exp lo re a l te rna t i ves in an e th ica l l y sound and in te l l ec tua l l y d i s c i p l i n e d f a s h i o n . Further, w e shou ld f o l l o w the adv i ce of the 1971 B.C. P r o v i n c i a l A d v i s o r y C o m m i t t e e on S e c o n d a r y S c h o o l Cu r r i cu lum. The C o m m i t t e e , af ter ten yea rs of s t udy , debate and r e f l e c t i o n , r e c o m m e n d e d that external e x a m i n a t i o n s be d i scon t i nued as a means fo r de tern in ing Grade 12 graduat ion . They r e a s o n e d , quite c o r r e c t l y , that the s c h o o l w a s best able to dec i de whether a s tudent had c o m p l e t e d the n e c e s s a r y cou rse requ i rements in a s a t i s f a c t o r y f a s h i o n . H o w e v e r they r e c o m m e n d e d that a new type of externa l examina t ion be e s t a b l i s h e d , in consu l t a t i on w i th the B C T F and the u n i v e r s i t i e s , wh i ch cou ld be used to se lec t s tudents fo r further e d u c a t i o n . To quote the 26 A p r i l 1971 m e m o r a n d u m A c o m p r o m i s e p rocedure wh ich c lea r l y r e c o g n i z e s t w o d i s t i n c t l y d i f fe ren t r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s ; o n e , c e r t i f y i n g that a s tudent has a c c o m p l i s h e d the t asks of s e c o n d a r y educa t i on , and t w o , s e l e c t i n g and p red ic t ing s u c c e s s in subsequent s t u d i e s , and a s s i g n s them to the author i ty bes t ab le to d ischarge these r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s , w o u l d appear to be the m o s t e f f e c t i v e s o l u t i o n . 7 For po l i t i ca l c o n v e n i e n c e th is so lu t i on w a s never enac ted . Yet it wa r ran ts further c o n s i d e r a t i o n . Th is thes i s a s k s p o l i c y makers not o n l y to r econs ide r a t t i tudes and examina t i on f o r m a t s but as w e l l to re f lec t on h o w present g raduat ion e x a m i n a t i o n s re in fo rce n ineteenth century educa t iona l n o t i o n s . The 1969 World Book of Education c l ea r l y i den t i f i ed th is p r o b l e m . The w h o l e of our s o c i a l s y s t e m , and educa t ion w i th it, b e l o n g s to an age when m e m o r y and not imag ina t i on or o r ig ina l i t y w a s thought m o s t useful . . . . The t r a n s f o r m a t i o n through wh i ch W e s t e r n C i v i l i z a t i o n is n o w p a s s i n g w i l l change the ba lance be tween tradition and original ity and g ive s o m e impor tance to the ab i l i t y to f a c e new i s s u e s . Our t es t s o f c o m p e t e n c e , t he re fo re , shou ld have in v i e w the need of c i v i l i z e d l i fe f o r men and w o m e n w i th that ab i l i t y . 8 It is t ime to make exam ina t i on p o l i c i e s w h i c h recogn ize that w e n o w l ive in a compu te r age , an " i n f o r m a t i o n " age. It is no longer appropr ia te m e r e l y to tes t a s tudent 's m e m o r y c a p a c i t y . Rather, as D e w e y sa id in 1933, "The real des ide ra tum 106 is get t ing c o m m a n d of s c h o l a r s h i p and sk i l l under c o n d i t i o n s that at the s a m e t ime exerc i se thought.... i n f o r m a t i o n , mere l y as i n f o r m a t i o n , i m p l i e s no s p e c i a l t ra in ing of in te l lec tua l c a p a c i t y . " W e must turn f r o m f o r m a l i s m and c o n s i d e r h o w seconda ry educa t ion can encourage c r i t i ca l t h i nk i ng . N e w external exam ina t i on p o l i c i e s shou ld be made to re f lec t a more s o p h i s t i c a t e d , twen t ie th century concep t of educa t i on . One last mat ter needs c o m m e n t . Th i s t h e s i s e m p l o y e d a m e t h o d o l o g y not genera l l y adop ted in s tud ies o f educa t iona l p o l i c y . It needs a f ina l e v a l u a t i o n : to what extent w a s th is approach p roduc t i ve and to what extent w a s it l im i ted? The thes i s a s s e s s e d the 1971 and 1983 p o l i c y d e c i s i o n s not on l y to determine their s ta ted and under ly ing r a t i o n a l e s , but as w e l l to sor t out the l og i c of the ra t iona les e m p l o y e d in p o l i c y a rgumen ts . 9 Th i s lat ter task requ i red that key c o n c e p t s be c l a r i f i e d . By f i rs t e s t a b l i s h i n g , as best one c a n , where and h o w a concep t o r ig ina ted and changed be fo re and a f te r it en te red the a rgument , w e can obse rve to what extent major p o l i c y ac to rs use these t e rms app rop r i a te l y . Three concep t s we re s t u d i e d : external e x a m i n a t i o n s , c r i t i ca l th ink ing and s tanda rds . Of the three, " s tanda rds " is m o s t pert inent to our p resen t p o l i c y r e v i e w as it f i gu res large in the 1983 d e c i s i o n to re ins ta te Depa r tmen ta l E x a m i n a t i o n s . " S t a n d a r d s " has at least t w o mean ings as used by major ac to rs in the 1983 d e c i s i o n . M c G e e r , Vander Z a l m and He in r i ch appear to advoca te maximum standards in order to generate a qua l i ty e d u c a t i o n s y s t e m . H o w e v e r , Depar tmen ta l Examina t i ons do not encourage qual i ty e d u c a t i o n cha rac te r i zed by c r i t i ca l t h ink ing . Rather they ensure that minimal s tandards are be ing mas te red . Is there a c o n s c i o u s doub le - t h i nk in ope ra t i on here or is th is d i s c r e p a n c y caused by a lack of c o n s c i o u s re f l ec t i on? The m e t h o d o l o g y used in this t h e s i s has enab led us to i den t i f y th is d i s c r e p a n c y . Ye t th is me thod has not a n s w e r e d seve ra l ques t i ons w h i c h are p r o v o c a t i v e and w o r t h further s tudy . W h o b e n e f i t s in a s o c i e t y where external examina t ions are used to de te rm ine educa t i ona l oppo r tun i t i es? What e f f e c t s do external exam ina t i ons have on character t ra i ts such as h o n e s t y and c o - o p e r a t i o n ? W h y d id Ontar io and other p r o v i n c e s d e c i d e to a b o l i s h their Depar tmen ta l Examina t i ons? W h y d id A l b e r t a dec ide to re ins ta te the exam ina t i ons? M a n y ques t ions ar ise that require other s tud ies and pe rhaps a d i f fe ren t m e t h o d o l o g y . 107 On ba lance the m e t h o d o l o g y e m p l o y e d by th is thes i s is use fu l but l im i ted in i ts a p p l i c a t i o n . In c l o s i n g , th is thes i s w i l l have a c c o m p l i s h e d its pu rpose if it has enab led inqui rers to cons i de r ca re fu l l y whether present Grade 12 regular Depar tmenta l E x a m i n a t i o n p o l i c y s a c r i f i c e s in te l lec tua l exce l l ence to adm in i s t ra t i ve and po l i t i ca l c o n v e n i e n c e . If ev idence a n d / o r a rguments w h i c h p rov ide a con t ra ry v i e w have been m i s s e d or d i s t o r t e d , these shou ld be made pub l ic s o that this i ssue can be o p e n l y and ra t iona l l y deba ted . H o w e v e r , if th is thes is p r o v e s to be subs tan t i a l l y c o r r e c t , then w e shou ld s e r i o u s l y r e c o n s i d e r present p o l i c y . 108 Footnotes K a r l Poppe r makes th is no t i on c leare r . He sugges t s that a book is a mater ia l ob jec t that ex is ts in W o r l d One . The m e s s a g e o f the book is a product of thought and as such it ex i s t s in another w o r l d , W o r l d Three . W h e n a student unders tands the m e s s a g e of the b o o k , he is exper ienc ing a p r o c e s s of th ink ing . Poppe r puts th is menta l ac t i v i t y in W o r l d T w o . Educa to rs need to en t i ce s tudents to s e e k , s e l e c t , interpret and unders tand the ideas f o r m e d in other p e o p l e ' s m inds and n o w s t o r e d in W o r l d Three . Further, w e want our s tudents to add to these ideas or to re ject them on re levant and su f f i c i en t g rounds . In th is manner w e not on l y in t roduce s tudents to in te l lec tua l W o r l d Th ree , but in i t iate them into W o r l d T w o by mak ing them se l f c o n s c i o u s of their th ink ing p r o c e s s , their " know ledge in a c t i o n , " or to co i n a t e rm , "acthinkion." By s t r e s s i n g c o n s c i o u s reason ing w e encourage c r i t i ca l th ink ing . 'Na t i ona l A s s e s s m e n t of Educa t iona l P r o g r e s s , "Research on H ighe r -O rde r S k i l l A s s e s s m e n t Techn iques in M a t h e m a t i c s , S c i e n c e and T e c h n o l o g y . " A p r o p o s a l to the Nat iona l Inst i tute o f E d u c a t i o n . P r i n c e t o n , 1984, ( M i m e o g r a p h e d ) p. 15. 3 G e o r g e A d a m s , "Exams turn H i s t o r y into ' T r i v i a l P u r s u i t ' , " BCTF Newsletter 24 (21 M a y 1985): 8. "For a d i s c u s s i o n of n o r m s and va lues in p o l i c y m a k i n g , see W i l l i a m A s c h e r , " P o l i t i c a l F o r e c a s t i n g : The M i s s i n g L ink , "Jounal of Forecasting, Vol. 1 (1982): pp. 2 3 7 - 2 3 9 and Goran Herner6n," Rat iona l A r g u m e n t s ; on the ro le o f n o r m s and va lues in fu tures s t u d i e s " , pp. 1 6 3 - 1 8 5 , in S fephan S c h w a r z , Knowledge and Concepts in Future Studies, (Bou lder , C o l o . : W e s t v i e w P r e s s , 1976). 5 Q u o t e d by George H. H a n f o r d , "On l y Connec t , " M i m e o g r a p h e d paper p resen ted at the Fi rst Internat ional C o n f e r e n c e on Cr i t i ca l Th ink i ng , Educa t i on and the Rat iona l P e r s o n , S o n o m a S ta te U n i v e r s i t y , Rohnert Park , C a l i f o r n i a . A u g u s t 1983. 6 D.W. L i v i ngs tone et al. Public Attitudes Toward Education in Ontario, O.I .S.E. In fo rmal S e r i e s 151, (1982), Tab le 5.2, p. 55 . 'Depar tmen t of Educa t i on Exam ina t i ons [sic], M e m o r a n d u m fo r P r o v i n c i a l A d v i s o r y C o m m i t t e e , 26 A p r i l 1971, B C T F A r c h i v e s , V a n c o u v e r , B r i t i sh C o l u m b i a , p. 4 . 8 C . D e i i s l e Burns , "Exam ina t i ons and the S o c i a l Needs of the M o d e r n W o r l d " in J o s e p h A . L a u w e r y s and D a v i d G . S c a n l o n (eds.) Examinations. The World Book of Education 1969 ( London : Evans B ro the rs , 1969), p. 920. 'Fo r a d i s c u s s i o n of th is app roach see W i l l i a m A . Bruneau, " In formal L o g i c and the T e a c h i n g and Do ing of H i s t o r y : The P leasu res and Per i l s o f In ference, " History and Social Science Teacher, (December 1985), f o r t h c o m i n g . 109 Selected Bibliography A d a m s , G e o r g e . " E x a m s turn H i s to r y into ' T r i v i a l P u r s u i t ' , " BCTF Newsletter, 24 (21 M a y 1985): 8. A l l e s t e r , B i l l . 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