Reform and Relevance in Schooling: Dropouts, De-streaming and the Common Curriculum


134 pages
Contains Bibliography
ISBN 0-7744-0360-8
DDC 373.713





Edited by Derek J. Allison and Jerry Paquette
Reviewed by Joan McGrath

Joan McGrath is a Toronto Board of Education library consultant.


The Radwanski review of educational policy in Ontario, mandated in 1987,
was intended to recommend ways to make Ontario’s education system
relevant to young people’s needs, and particularly to address the
issue of high-school dropouts.

The present publication, from the Ontario Institute for Studies in
Education, allows an impressive panel of eminent educationalists to
reply to and criticize Radwanski’s Report. Their essays discuss a
variety of subjects: the need for a clearly articulated philosophy of
education; the policy of “streaming”; the socialization of children
to behavioral norms; the common system’s treatment of ethnic and
cultural minorites; the feminist perspective; the lack of understanding
of elementary school curricula and pedagogy evidenced in the Report; the
social and motivational factors of dropping out, along with the
perceived tendency to confuse cause with effect; the primacy of teaching
content over process; and finally, the future of public schooling in

Any educator, or any adult interested in the issues and directions of
education at any level in Ontario, or indeed in Canada, will find these
eight carefully considered and thought-provoking essays to be an
informative—if at times perplexing—overview of a complex and
multifaceted educational policy.


“Reform and Relevance in Schooling: Dropouts, De-streaming and the Common Curriculum,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 22, 2024,