UNI320Y: Canadian Questions:
Issues and Debates
Week 4: Educating Citizens
Professor Emily Gilbert
I. Moral Reform in Early 20th Century
II. Schools, Education and Citizenship
I: Moral Reform in Early 20th Century
Context of moral reform:
Health concerns, eg: contamination, venereal
Sangster: Children as “future state assets, whose
future role as model adult citizens rested
precariously on their upbringing,
socialization, and ideological embrace of the
norms of law and order” (337)
Moral panics around youth and:
WWI: concern about fatherless families
1920s: Roaring Twenties: materialism,
Depression era: lawlessness, prostitution
WWII: decay of the family, inverted
gender roles, materialism
Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish (1975),
and the Panopticon
Nexus of power/knowledge
Panopticon blueprint by Jeremy Bentham, 1791
1908: Juvenile Delinquents Act (revised 1924; 1929)
Deals with criminal acts of youth ages 7-16 (18 in some
Also criminalized youth for behaviour not illegal among adults
1924 revisions: sexual immorality and other vices
Discretionary and arbitrary review process in name of child’s
State deemed a sympathetic guardian: juvenile treated as
misguided child requiring care and supervision
What kind of citizens?
“Boys it was assumed, should be re-moulded into social
citizens with respect for democracy, law, and the work
ethic, while girls needed protection, discipline, and self-
control in order to become model moral citizens”
“boys needed a firm, guiding hand and an
understanding of democracy, law, and social order to
develop into honest workers and social citizens. Girls,
however, needed protection, discipline, and self-control
to develop into moral citizens” (Sangster 346)
1982: Young Offenders Act (amended 1986; 1992; 1995)
National age of criminality is now set at 12 (so YOA covers 12-17)
Tighter legal framework: more responsibility on offender
Have same rights and privileges as adults: bail; hearing; lawyer; appeal;
But some special provisions: Youth Court; separated from adults;
parental notice; anonymity; etc.
All stautus offences – eg truancy, sexual immorality—eliminated
Sentences range from reprimands, fines, community service to secure
1960s: and supervision, with some “alternative
Provinces provide carediscussions around altering the JDA
No clear philosophy of youth justice with inconsistent and unfair
Overuse of courts
Too lax; doesn’t deal with serious and violent offences (but revisions)
Youth incarceration becomes one of highest in Western World (including
US, Australia, most of Europe)
2002: Youth Criminal Justice Act
After 7 years of debate and 3 drafts; draws from YOA and JDA
includes a “Statement of Principles”:
Prevention: addressing underlying circumstances
Rehabilitation: to reintegrate into society
Subject youth to meaningful consequences
No more adult court, but adult sentences can be imposed from 14
Less emphasis on custody for non-violent or less serious offences
More emphasis on alternative youth sentencing methods (out of
Victim rights: access to court records; information about sentencing
Mandatory intense supervision upon release from jail
“Youth justice committees” reintroduced to assist in community
supervision and provide services
Surveillance and monitoring of the population
Changing ideas regarding crime, youth
responsibility and treatment
Removal of deviants from society: Children’s Aid;
training, industrial and residential schools
Institutions to train and discipline citizens to be
Normalized ideas of citizenship, eg: proper roles
for men and women
Exists within and reflects broader economic and
II: Schools, Education and
Egerton Ryerson: schools and creating ‘safe’ citizens
Impact of “spatial dynamics of capital accumulation” on
education and citizenship (387)
Althusser how to “learn the ‘rules’ of good behaviour – the
rules of morality, civic and professional conscience, and of
course, the respect for the socio-technical division of labor
and rules of order established by class domination” (389)
Role of education in creating workers; reproduction of
consciousness; and state formation
Multiculturalism vs. strategic
As liberalism: individual freedom
As controlling difference
As promoting export of liberalism
Pressures on multicultural ethos
Discourse of failing schools
Shift to competitiveness in world economy
Accountability—performance and financing
Choice and separation—and more role for private
Ontario Safe Schools Act (2000)
(2) The following are the purposes of the code of conduct:
1. To ensure that all members of the school community,
especially people in positions of authority, are treated with
respect and dignity.
2. To promote responsible citizenship by encouraging
appropriate participation in the civic life of the school
3. To maintain an environment where conflict and difference
can be addressed in a manner characterized by respect and
4. To encourage the use of non–violent means to resolve
5. To promote the safety of people in the schools.
6. To discourage the use of alcohol and illegal drugs.
Encompasses: conduct; discipline; safety; access; dress;
(1) Every board shall ensure that opening or closing exercises
are held in each school under the board’s jurisdiction, in
accordance with the requirements set out in the regulations.
(2) The opening or closing exercises must include the singing
of O Canada and may include the recitation of a pledge of
citizenship in the form set out in the regulations.
The Minister may establish different policies and guidelines
under this section for different circumstances, for different
locations and for different classes of persons.
Suspension is mandatory if:
1. Uttering a threat to inflict serious bodily harm on another
2. Possessing alcohol or illegal drugs.
3. Being under the influence of alcohol.
4. Swearing at a teacher or at another person in a position of
5. Committing an act of vandalism that causes extensive
damage to school property at the pupil’s school or to property
located on the premises of the pupil’s school.
6. Engaging in another activity that, under a policy of the
board, is one for which a suspension is mandatory.
Expulsion is mandatory if:
1. Possessing a weapon, including possessing a firearm.
2. Using a weapon to cause or to threaten bodily harm to
3. Committing physical assault on another person that causes
bodily harm requiring treatment by a medical practitioner.
4. Committing sexual assault.
5. Trafficking in weapons or in illegal drugs.
6. Committing robbery.
7. Giving alcohol to a minor.
8. Engaging in another activity that, under a policy of the
board, is one for which expulsion is mandatory.
Ontario Human Rights Commission
report that more visible minorities
and children with disabilities charged