Roman Catholic Schooling in Ontario: Past Struggles, Present Challenges, Future Direction?

By Brennan, Terri-Lynn Kay | Canadian Journal of Education, December 2011 | Go to article overview

Roman Catholic Schooling in Ontario: Past Struggles, Present Challenges, Future Direction?


Brennan, Terri-Lynn Kay, Canadian Journal of Education


Introduction

The fight by Roman Catholic communities across Ontario to achieve equal status and monies has been a public struggle since the earliest European settlements some 200 years ago. In 18th century British North America, English Protestant colonists claimed territory and governance over all other ethnic groups, especially non-Protestant Roman Catholic communities. Associated inferiority came not only with imperially assigned titles on the colonized Indigenous populations, but also with those groups who were historically marginalized in their homelands of Britain, Ireland, and mainland Europe. Diasporic groups who imagined the new lands to which they had immigrated to be free of ethnic, racial or religious judgment were challenged again to accredit their space and identity as legitimate.

Roman Catholics were especially alienated in the newly Protestant-established territory of British North America. Roman Catholics formed community alliances, eventually banding together in their own villages and towns, forming their own network of trade groups and establishing their own schools and schooling practices. The main purpose of creating their own school system by the early 19th century was to avoid assimilation and the erosion of their culture, customs, and values. The rudimentary government system at this time did not demand acculturation, and allowed independent Roman Catholic communities to remain active with limited political involvement (Dixon, 1976; Manzer, 2004). Slander and ridicule haunted Roman Catholic communities, including their educational system, and they were constantly on the defense to nurture and mould their youth on their own terms in the face of illegitimacy.

Roman Catholic high schools in Ontario today house a diverse range of students who identify with being English as Second Language speakers, who cover a diverse scope of socioeconomic conditions, and align with other Christian or non-Christian denominations (Ornstein, 2006; Strategic Research and Statistics, 2005; White, Leake & Hunter, 2005). Parents and students who also admit to not reflecting on faith, or admit to agnosticism or atheism are also amongst the school populations. The inclusive nature of a modern Roman Catholic school now represents the multi-dimensional ethnic, racial, and faith-based communities that exist throughout Ontario and, in particular, the Toronto Census Metropolitan Area.

The public secular school system also represents the multi-dimensional, diverse communities that exist in Ontario but the main difference it shares with the Roman Catholic school system is the acknowledgement of faith as an aspect of spiritual identity. As various adaptations to teaching and learning within an environment of faith evolve across Ontario and around the world, global society must take stock of the nature and existence of "religious" education, and ask whether it is upholding colonial ideals that persist marginalization or if it offers a progressive alternative within an ever-growing secular world.

A single-case study methodology was employed to gather research data on youth identity in schooling, education, and anti-colonial oppression versus community empowerment in Ontario Roman Catholic secondary schools. The methodology incorporated survey and interview data from 10 schools across the Toronto Census Metropolitan Area (CMA), analyzing critical ethnography through an anti-colonial discursive framework. The intent of this research is to present a critique of the current Roman Catholic secondary school environment using the voices of youth. Based on this research, I argue that the modern Ontario Roman Catholic school system is still a site of colonial supremacy, which dictates and delivers Euro-centric assimilationist knowledge while ignoring the lived histories and identities of the current youth in the system.

Prior to confederation: Ryerson's legacy

From its inception, Canada has been a nation molded by religious and lay voices as strong as those of the Fathers of Confederation in laying the foundational itinerary of the Canadian constitution and subsequent political and social policies, including education. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Roman Catholic Schooling in Ontario: Past Struggles, Present Challenges, Future Direction?
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.