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Each copy must acknowledge the author and the SSTA Research Centre as the source. A complete and authorized copy of each report is available from the SSTA Research Centre.
The opinions and recommendations expressed in this report are those of the author and may not be in agreement with SSTA officers or trustees, but are offered as being worthy of consideration by those responsible for making decisions.
Chapter 1 - Introduction
This literature review is the first component of the Canadian Learning Materials in Elementary and Secondary Education Project, a joint endeavor of the Association of Canadian Publishers and the Canadian School Trustees Association. While the long-term goal of the project is to improve the emphasis upon Canada in learning materials and curricula the short-term objectives are to:
Second, to undertake research activities that would explore the current level of emphasis upon Canadian studies and selection of Canadian learning materials, and
Third, to undertake research which would assess the level of awareness
of educators and others of the availability of Canadian learning materials
in schools. (1)
There is no single definition of what constitutes a Canadian learning resource. The term Canadian has been applied to materials that are written or edited by Canadians, printed and manufactured in Canada, published by Canadian publishers and to those materials which reflect a "Canadian point of view" or include Canadian content. Whenever necessary the term "Canadian" will be defined.
The original intention of this reviewer was to examine the situation as it relates to textbooks, school library books and audio-visual materials. As explained in Chapter 2 there is very little information available regarding the use of Canadian audio-visual materials. By necessity therefore the review concentrates on printed materials. Using the precedent set by the Ontario Royal Commission this reviewer uses the term textbooks to refer to classroom books generally.
While this literature search provides some information about the situation in French Canada, its main focus is the production and utilization of English language educational materials. Information about Quebec is provided in order that a comparison may be made with English Canada.
It is inevitable that technological developments will have an impact on the production and utilization of educational materials. The literature abounds with articles announcing the death of the book and the advent of visual literacy.
Certainly the use of word processors and computerized typesetting equipment will affect the production of printed materials.
The development of government funded media production and distribution agencies such as SaskMedia (Saskatchewan), ACCESS (Alberta) and OECA (Ontario) will increase the range of materials available to schools and may affect the commercial sales of various types of media.
Discussion of the effect of these and other technological developments though, is beyond the scope of this literature review.
Finally it is important to recognize that the production, selection and authorization, distribution and purchasing of learning materials is an incredibly varied and complex procedure. Perhaps if any set of educational activities reflects the level of Provincial and local control in education, it is those which concern learning materials. This review cannot hope to record the many efforts of publishers, both large and small, departments or ministries and boards of education in Canada to improve upon children's exposure to that which is distinctly Canadian. Rather, the review focuses upon the major documents which form the central body of opinion about Canadian authorship and publishing and the appearance of those efforts in schools.
A few comments regarding the nature of the literature are in order. The bulk of the literature relating to Canadian materials in elementary and high schools is written by individuals associated in some way with the publishing industry. Books and articles written by educators are in the minority.
There is more material available about the selection, production and utilization of textbooks than there is about school library books.
Not surprisingly the majority of publications originate in central Canada.
(1) Canadian School Trustees Association, Canadian Learning Materials in Elementary and Secondary Education: A Proposal(Ottawa: The Association, 1980), p.6.
Table of Contents
Chapter 2 - The Problem
This Chapter traces the development of Canadian studies and the current priority given to Canadian learning materials. It describes a number of studies that indicate that the present level of Canadian learning materials is inadequate. The Chapter concludes with a summary of students' impressions of Canada formed on the basis of the information contained in their school books.
Canadian studies and Canadian content in the elementary and high school curriculum became a "cause celebre" in English Canada with the publication of What Culture What Heritage? (1) in 1968. This report (also known as the Hodgett's Report) documented several facts:
The 1975 report of the Commission on Canadian Studies to the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (the Symons Report) "places the need for self-knowledge as the central reason for the importance of Canadian Studies in the Canadian educational system." (6)
The O.E.C.D. Report of 1976 pointed out that provincial education authorities have "no clearly formulated concept of education policy set in the context of a comprehensive framework of general social policies." The report went on to note that reforms or attempted reforms of our education system are almost totally pragmatic and rely heavily on American, British and French models, with only sight adjustments to Canadian conditions. Furthermore, they observed that, in Canada, we have not experienced educational reform rooted in a concept of the future of Canada as a whole. In short, we have never viewed our educational system as a tool that can be used to achieve some desirable goals for our country. Indeed, the same can be said of desirable provincial goals. (10)
Other writers too have documented the need for "Canadian" materials. The Ontario Royal Commission on Book Publishing said:
In 1974 the North York (Ontario) Board of Education conducted a survey to "determine the quantity and quality of Canadian oriented materials, resources and activities going on in their schools." (17) This survey examined the country of origin of both the author and publisher. It showed that "of all materials (i.e. texts, reference books, films, etc.) used in classrooms, only textbooks were predominantly (73 percent) Canadian in origin." (18) However, the term "Canadian publisher" was used "to refer to any publishing house producing books in Canada whether solely Canadian or a subsidiary of a non-Canadian parent operation. (19) It is likely that the percentage of Canadian materials used in the schools of North York would be lower if the term "Canadian" was applied only to those publishing houses in which Canadian individuals or companies hold the controlling interest.
A survey conducted by the Toronto Board of Education asked teachers to rate the Canadian content of the textbooks used by them on a daily basis. (20) While there were great variations in the ratings of textbooks at different levels and in different subject areas, in general the survey indicated that the Canadian content of textbooks used in most subject areas is considered "fair" or "poor" by a majority of teachers. (21)
Using a checklist of Canadian books recommended for elementary school libraries this same study found that the average title could be found in only one out of three libraries; (22) or as the report put it "a student or teacher now has ... a one-in-three chance of finding a Canadian book designated as basic in his or her school library." (23)
Other surveys document a lack of Canadian regional content in the textbooks used in the Atlantic provinces, (24) in fiction purchased by school libraries throughout Canada, (25) and in the Ontario high school English course. (26)
Numerous studies and surveys show that the majority of print materials used in Canadian schools are not written and published in Canada, nor are they written from a Canadian point of view. Most surveys reported in the literature focus only on print materials. Very few analyses of the content or country of origin of audio-visual materials, used in Canadian schools, have been carried out. The 1974 North York survey previously mentioned did include audio-visual material. While the results varied somewhat depending on grade and subject level, the majesty of audio-visual materials used were non-Canadian in origin. (27)
Due to an almost total lack of information regarding audio-visual materials, a thorough analysis of the country of origin of audio-visual materials used in Canadian schools is needed. Unfortunately, such an analysis is beyond the scope of this report.
What are the implications of this lack of Canadian materials in our schools? Paul Robinson states that the major problem is "the subtle inculcation of specific attitudes – ways of seeing yourself and the society in which you live," (28) He concludes that through their textbooks most Canadian students will be left with the following impressions of their country:
Canadian studies became an educational issue following the publication of What Culture? What Heritage? in 1968. Since that time several authors have documented Canadians' lack of knowledge of their own country and culture. Concurrent with this rise of interest in Canadian studies has been an increasing emphasis on the production and utilization of Canadian learning materia1s in elementary and secondary schools. Many surveys and reports have demonstrated that the majority of print materials used in Canadian schools at the present time are not written by Canadians, published by Canadian firms nor reflective of a Canadian point of view.
The use of foreign materials in our schools tends to give children the view that Canadian and American societies are synonymous and de-emphasizes that which is uniquely Canadian.
(1) A. B. Hodgetts, What Culture? What Heritage?
O.I.S.E. Curriculum Series 5 (Toronto: Ontario Institute for Studies in
(2) Lorne W. Downey, "Trends in Canadian Studies", Education Canada, Vol. 16, No. 4 (T4inter, 1976), 18-20.
(3) The address of the Canada Studies Foundation is Suite 5-716-252 Bloor Street West, Toronto, M5S 1V5.
(4) Canada Studies Foundation, The Rationale of the Canada Studies Foundation (Toronto: The Foundation, n.d.).
(5) Mel Hurtig, Never Heard of Them ... They Must Be Canadian, A Report of the Results 0 a Canadian Student Awareness Survey (Toronto: Canada Books, 1975).
(6) Work Group on Educational and Library Materials of the Toronto Board of Education. Canadian Books in Canadian Schools: A Case Study, with an introduction by Evelyn Cotter. Issues in Canadian Book Publishing Number 1 (Toronto: Association of Canadian Publishers, 1977), p. 3.
(7) T.H.B. Symons, To Know Ourselves, The Report of the Commission on Canadian Studies, Volumes I and II (Ottawa: Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, 1975), p. 12.
(8) Paul Robinson, Where Our Survival Lies, Students and Textbooks in Atlantic Canada Halifax: Atlantic Institute of Education, Dalhousie School of Library Service, 1979), p. 12.
(9) Canada, Task Force on Canadian Unity, A Future Together (Ottawa: Supply and Services Canada, 1979 , p. 62.
(10) Roger Elmes, "Technology and the Canadian Context: The Politics of Choices." Canadian Studies Bulletin (December, 1980), 8.
(11) Some examples of Canada Studies curricula are:
R. F. Dilts, "I am a Canadian!" The School Trustee, Vol. 31, No, 1 (February, 1978), 3-4.
Charles Hou, "We Wove a Cultural Tapestry", The B. C. Teacher, Vol. 55, No. 4 (March-April, 1976), 118-120.
Ian Underhill and Peter Telford, "An Integrated Canadian Studies Course". The History and Social Science Teacher, Vol. 15, No. 2 (Winter, 1980), 119-124.
Richard L. Wray, "Alberta Social Studies: Great Increase in Canadian Content", The ATA Magazine, Vol. 59, No. 4 (May, 1979), 42-43.
(12) Viola Elizabeth Parvin, Authorization of Textbooks for the Schools of Ontario, 1846-1950, (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1965), p. 16.
(13) George J. Hodgins, ed., Documentary History of Education in Upper Canada, 1971-1876, 28 vol. 3. (Toronto: King’s Printer, 1894-1910), Vol. 3, p. 250, quoted in Authorization of Textbooks for the Schools of Ontario, 1846-1950, Parvin, p. 16.
(14) Hodgetts, What Culture? What Heritage? p. 120.
(15) Ontario, Royal Commission on Book Publishing, Canadian Publishers and Canadian Publishing (Toronto: Queen's Printer for Ontario, 1973), p. 193.
(16) Canada, Statistics Canada, Education, Science and Culture Division, Service Bulletin, Vol. 5, No. 8 (December, 1976) Catalogue Number 81–00l.
(17) Phil Cassidy, "Canadian Content?" Canada, Vol. 15, No. 3 (Fall, 1975), 21-23.
(18) Cassidy, "Canadian Content?".
(19) The full text of the North York Survey is contained in the following four documents.
Phillippe Cassidy. Canadian Content Survey, Elementary Panel (Toronto: Board of Education or the Borough of North York, 1974).
Phillippe Cassidy. Canadian Content Survey, Junior High Panel (Toronto: Board of Education for the Borough of North York, 1974).
Phillippe Cassidy. Canadian Content Survey, Secondary Panel (Toronto: Board of Education for the Borough of North York, 1974).
Phillippe Cassidy. Canadian Content Survey, Materials List
(Toronto: Board of Education for the Borough of North York, 1974).
(20) Work Group on Educational and Library Materials of the Toronto Board of Education, Canadian Books in Canadian Schools.
(21) James Lorimer, "It's Not in the Library – The Toronto Board Report on Canadian Content", This Magazine, Vol. 11, No. 3 (May-June, 1977), 16-17.
(23) Work Group on Educational and Library Materials of the Toronto Board of Education, Canadian Books in Canadian Schools, p. 13.
(24) Robinson, Where our Survival Lies.
(25) J. P. Wilkinson, Canadian Juvenile Fiction and the Library Market (Ottawa: Canadian Library Association, 1976).
(26) Priscilla Galloway, "Current Canlit and the English Teacher", Orbit, Vol. 10, No. 4 (October, 1979), 15-18.
(27) Cassidy, Canadian Content Survey.
(28) "Canadian Content?" SSTA Trustee News (May 2, 1980).
(29) Paul Robinson, "Atlantic Canada Buys American", Quill and Quire, Vol. 45, No. 2 (February 1979), 4.
Table of Contents
Chapter 3 - The Materials
Chapter 3 explains the difference between textbooks and trade books and examines some general characteristics of textbooks. The difference between the content of a textbook and the context in which that content is presented is discussed. The Chapter includes an outline of the differences between Canadian, adapted and foreign textbooks.
Also included is a discussion of the characteristics of school library fiction and non-fiction holdings.
3.1 Content and Context
Every educational book presents specific content or subject matter. This content is necessarily presented within a certain context. It is useful to clarify the distinction between content and context.
Many educators feel that whenever possible the content or subject matter of textbooks should be presented within a Canadian context, using Canadian examples, situations and references.
Textbooks are those books produced specifically for use in the classroom. Trade books are intended for purchase by the general public.
At the higher-grade levels there is sometimes a degree of overlap. Trade books are often used in secondary classrooms to support or update textbooks.
3.2.1 Some Characteristics of Textbooks
The following characteristics are typical of textbooks:
Textbooks used in Canadian schools may be Canadian in origin, they may be adapted versions of foreign textbooks or imports from another country. These three types of textbooks are discussed below.
188.8.131.52 Canadian Textbooks
There is no clearcut definition of what constitutes a Canadian textbook. Canadian may mean Canadian author, publisher or printer; or, it may mean that the content or point of view is Canadian even though the author or publisher is not.
The major concern of educators seems to be that the content and context of the materials used be Canadian. It is often assumed that purchasing materials authored by Canadians will guarantee Canadian content. This conclusion isn't necessarily accurate, however. The textbook materials evaluated under the auspices of the Cotter Report had presumably all been listed in Circular 14 (Ontario's list of authorized texts) which requires Canadian authorship, yet the majority of these materials were considered inadequate in terms of Canadian content.
This finding may be explained by the fact that the evaluation process for materials to be listed in Circular 14 does not include any questions relating to adequacy of Canadian content.(4)
Similarly, books produced by Canadian publishers do not always feature Canadian content. Neither a Canadian author nor a Canadian publisher guarantees that a book will be Canadian in its theme or contents.
Adaptations make up a significant portion of English language educational sales. An adaptation results when a publisher "Canadianizes" or adapts an imported textbook for Canadian use. For example maps, drawings, content references, photographs or spelling may be changed.(5) In an adapted book the basic format, methodology, and sequence usually are not altered. (6)
In explaining the difference between originally developed Canadian material and adapted material Gladys Neale, representing the Association of Canadian Publishers at the Curriculum Branch Publishers Conference in Edmonton said, "while containing Canadian references, adapted material may not contain a Canadian viewpoint, or deal with the particular nature of the Canadian environment--physical, historical or political."(7) In other words the context or "cultural baggage" associated with an adapted text is most often not Canadian. A content analysis of elementary reading series supports this point of view. (8) Ginn 360 is an elementary reading series developed in the U.S. by an American company owned by Xerox. The Canadian edition of this series has 6% Canadian content in its fiction selections and 9% U.S. content. In its non-fiction sections it has 27% Canadian content and 47% U.S. content. Even in its "Canadianized" edition this particular series contains more American than Canadian references.
184.108.40.206 Foreign Textbooks
Foreign textbooks are those imported from another country (often the U.S.) for use in Canada. Their content is not altered in any way. Both the content and context of these materials reflect their country of origin.
3.3 School Library Materials
School library materials differ from textbooks in several major ways. One difference particularly is worthy of mention. Textbooks are usually purchased in quantity. An order for a single title may range from a classroom set to many thousand copies. This is not the case with school library orders. Individual school libraries rarely order more than two or three copies of a particular title.
School libraries generally contain four types of materials, fiction books, non-fiction books, audio-visual software and periodicals. Only the first two types of material mentioned, fiction and non-fiction books are within the scope of this literature search.
The school library has a major role in the curriculum. It has the potential to be the heart of the school, both from curriculum and recreational viewpoints and serves as a backup to the formal reading program. With the decentralized control of curriculum and inquiry approaches to teaching, the school library is an essential component of the subject curriculum.
The fiction holdings of elementary school libraries consist primarily of children's books, with a smattering of young adult and adult titles. At the high school level the opposite is true. Fiction holdings tend to be mainly adult titles with some young adult and a few children's books. The books purchased are often trade titles; that is, books which are also sold to the general public in bookstores. Some publishers issue special "school" editions of their trade titles.
Various studies indicate that many school libraries do not place sufficient emphasis upon Canadian children’s literature.(9) It is demonstrated, as well, by secondary indicators such as print runs and publishers' sales figures. The well publicized, award winning children's book The Miraculous Hind sold only 891 copies in the fifteen months following its publication. (10) This figure includes bookstore sales to the general public in addition to library sales.
School libraries, depending upon the type of school, hold greater or lesser quantities of adult fiction. Survey figures indicate that few of these titles are Canadian. (11)
School libraries usually contain some textbooks for reference purposes and other materials designed specially for the educational market. However, the non-fiction holdings of most school libraries tend to include a considerable number of trade titles. At the elementary level books written for children and young people predominate, while high school libraries include many adult titles.
Because non-fiction acquisitions are made up of a number of different types of material, it is difficult to provide statistics regarding the quantity of "school library" materials published. Perhaps one approach is to examine the journals reviewing these materials. There are numerous journals and other tools that review Canadian adult and children's nonfiction, (12) including several which focus exclusively on materials appropriate for school use. (13) The number of materials listed by the journals suggests that a considerable quantity of good quality school library material is being produced in Canada.
Textbooks are produced specifically for classroom use. Trade books are intended for purchase by the general public.
Many advocates of the use of Canadian learning materials argue that the context as well as the content of textbooks should be Canadian. That is, subject matter in areas such as math, science and reading should be presented using Canadian examples and references.
Three types of textbooks are used in Canadian schools, Canadian authored or produced (which doesn't necessarily ensure Canadian content), adapted books and foreign books.
School library holdings are a mixture of juvenile and adult books, of books produced specially for the educational market and trade books. Therefore it is difficult to assess the quantity of "school library" books available. The best indication of under-acquisition is found by looking at the low level of Canadian holdings in most school libraries and contrasting this with the large quantity of appropriate materials reviewed in various reviewing journals.
(3) Adapted from Canada, Department of the Secretary
of State, Arts and Culture Branch, English Educational Publishing in
Canada, a report prepared by the Bureau of Management Consulting Ottawa:
Supply & Services Canada, 1978), p. 43-48.
(1) Peter Kidd, "CLMC Now Open", The Atlantic Canada Teacher (Spring, 1980), 8-11.
(4) Work Group on Educational and Library Materials of the Toronto Board of Education. Canadian Books in Canadian Schools: A Case Study with an Introduction by Evelyn Cotter. Issues in Canadian Book Publishing Number 1 (Toronto: Association of Canadian Publishers, 1977).
(5) Canada, Statistics Canada, Culture Statistics, Book Publishing: Textbooks, 1976 (Ottawa: The Department, 1979, Catalogue Number 87-603, p. 25.
(6) Secretary of State, English Educational Publishing in Canada, p. 51.
(7) Gladys E. Neale, (Director of Educational Publishing, Clarke, Irwin and Company Ltd.) "Canadian Publishing", Curriculum Branch Publishers' Conference Proceedings, 1980, Alberta, Department of Education Edmonton: The Department, 1980), p. 45-50.
(8) Rowland Lorimer, "Publishing and the Canadian Content of Readers", Orbit, Vol. 10, No. 4 (October, 1979), 24-26.
(9) Two studies which illustrate this point are:
Work Group on Educational and Library Materials of the Toronto Board of Education, Canadian Books in Canadian Schools.
J. P. Wilkinson, Canadian Juvenile Fiction and the Library Market (Ottawa: Canadian Library Association, 1976).
(10) Ibid, p. 67.
(11) Work Group on Educational and Library Materials of the Toronto Board of Education, Canadian Books in Canadian Schools.
J. P. Wilkinson, Canadian Juvenile Fiction and the Library Market (Ottawa: Canadian Library Association, 197
(12) The following publications include lists of tools which review Canadian materials:
Paul Robinson, Where Our Survival Lies,
Ken Haycock, Canadian Learning Resources: A Brief Summary of Recent Developments in School Resource Centres (Vancouver: Library Services Department, Vancouver School Board, 1977).
Saskatchewan. Department of Education. Selection Aids for Saskatchewan Schools (Regina: The Department, 1980).
(13) Three such journals are:
The Reviewing Librarian, published by the Ontario School Library Association.
Canadian Materials, published by the Canadian Library Association.
In Review, published by the Ontario Provincial library Service.
Table of Contents
Chapter 4 - Selection of Learning Materials
Chapter 4 begins with an outline of textbook selection procedures at both local and provincial levels. Included is a discussion of school library selection procedures. The Chapter concludes with a section on public acceptability and how this requirement affects textbook selection.
Learning materials for classroom use may be selected at any one of several different levels of educational bureaucracy. Each province authorizes textbooks for various courses of study. Supplementary materials and sometimes textbooks may be chosen at the school board and at the individual school level.
4.1.1 Provincial Level
At the provincial level the selection of authorized materials is closely linked to the curriculum development process which is similar in all ten provinces. A curriculum committee is formed by the department or ministry of education and is assigned responsibility for the development of a program for a particular subject. Such committees are made up of teachers, university professors, school trustees and members of the public. Development of a program of studies may take from one to three years. As well as developing a program of studies, the curriculum committee selects the textbooks and supplementary materials to support the program. There is no uniform means of making the existence of curriculum committees known to publishers. Some provinces put an announcement in an appropriate departmental newsletter. Others may send letters to publishers informing them of the establishment of the committee. No information is available as to which publishers receive letters. It is probable that those publishers whose texts are already listed and whose sales representatives call regularly are those who receive information regarding the activities of curriculum committees. (1)
Publishers submit review copies of materials to the curriculum committee and sales representatives attempt to maintain close contact with the committees. In some cases publishers may prepare materials to meet the specific needs of the program being developed. More often they will submit texts from their regular stock for consideration. (2)
While the process varies slightly from province to province, in general a textbook being considered for adoption will pass through these assessment and recommendation stages:
In addition to listings in programs of study each province compiles an annual list of all approved materials. The extent and scope of this list varies. Ontario's Circular 14 is now over 100 pages long. Quebec has two booklets, one for English, one for French, a total of more than 300 pages. Saskatchewan economizes with its lengthy typed and stapled Textbooks Circular. (5)
Provinces vary in their policies regarding approval of new materials between major curriculum reviews, with Ontario and B.C. at opposite ends of the spectrum. Ontario evaluates new materials as they come in. If they meet curriculum criteria, the province adds them to the approved list. British Columbia usually only adds titles after major curriculum reviews. (6)
By definition selection of textbooks requires the use of a set of explicit or implicit criteria. Information on the evaluation and selection criteria used by various provincial departments of education is scattered and scarce in the literature.
No single document could be located which analyzes the evaluation and selection criteria and/or policies of the ten provinces. An examination of curriculum guides and courses of study from various provinces shows that these rarely include the criteria used in selecting materials.
Alberta (7) and British Columbia (8) use an evaluation format modeled on that of the Educational Products Information Exchange (E.P.I.E.) a well known non-profit organization based at the University of New York. In addition, Manitoba (9) has adopted the E.P.I.E. format for a two-year trial period. This format utilizes trained evaluators and an extremely detailed evaluation form.
To what extent is "Canadianness" a criterion in provincial selection of learning materials? Again, the literature does not provide a complete answer.
Ontario is the only province that has a relatively strict Canadian textbook policy. It requires that any items listed in Circular 14 must be written oz edited by a Canadian, manufactured in Canada and reflect a Canadian identity. (10) The Ontario policy doesn't exclude books published by American owned firms, if the writing, printing and binding are done in Canada. (11)
A handbook written as a guide for educational publishers lists only 3 provinces as having policies favoring Canadian materials, Nova Scotia, where "there is a trend toward Canadian written and produced material", Saskatchewan where the "policy is to buy Canadian and to buy regional" and Ontario. (12)
A Quill and Quire article describes the attitude of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick toward Canadian content as "casual'. (13)
4.1.2 Local Level
Many textbooks are selected and authorized at the provincial level. The degree to which selection also occurs at the board and individual school level varies from province to province. This researcher was not able to locate any documents that provided a comprehensive discussion of school board selection policies and procedures.
The literature does suggest that in provinces such as Ontario and Quebec where authorized listings are lengthy and comprehensive a great deal of responsibility for selection rests with local school boards. (14) In at least one province, Saskatchewan, school divisions are required by law to have a written selection policy. (15) Saskatchewan’s legislation does not however, make specific provision for enforcement, nor does it require that Canadian content be addressed in the selection policy.
4.2 School Library Materials
In all provinces except Quebec, school library selection is decentralized. Most provinces have a school library consultant who may issue lists of books recommended for purchase. Some school boards may have school library or media consultants on staff who prepare booklists, assemble displays and otherwise try to inform librarians of new materials. The lists issued by provincial and board consultants are recommendations, not authorizations and schools are not required to buy the materials listed.
The actual choice of materials is most often done by individual school librarians.
The literature relating to selection of school library materials is long on theory and short on practice. Very little information is available about how librarians actually select materials.
Because librarians purchase materials in small quantities they rarely examine the actual materials before purchase. Library theory recommends the use of selection aids, books and journals containing unbiased reviews, in the selection process. The little information that is available on the topic suggests that librarians do not use selection aids consistently and indeed may be unaware of the many tools available which review Canadian resources. (16) The actual means by which selection is carried out and the criteria used are unclear.
What priority do librarians give to Canadian content in materials selected? Again there is little information available. The annual Statistics Canada survey of school libraries does not inquire about priority given to Canadian content. (17) One survey which did examine this issue indicates that when choosing fiction at least, librarians in all areas of Canada except the Prairies did not give Particularly high priority to Canadian materials. (18)
Perhaps a survey of priority given to Canadian content is not necessary. A look at the shelves of many school libraries answers the question quite adequately. The Cotter Survey (19) of elementary libraries was based on 254 recommended Canadian titles. The average Canadian book was found in only 1/3 of the libraries surveyed. The Wilkinson Survey showed that the librarians surveyed ware buying more award-winning American books than Canadian books. (20)
These findings can be attributed to lack of priority and/or lack of knowledge of Canadian materials on the part of the school board, the individual librarian or both.
4.3 Public Acceptability
One criterion which is rarely mentioned in any evaluation policy or set of selection criteria is that of public or political, if you will, acceptability.
In discussing Ontario's Circular 14 Lind alludes to such a criterion when he says "the political judgements that go into it are derived from the bureaucrats' reading of public acceptability..." (21) Lind then mentions Paula Bournes' book Women in Canadian Society. This book, which deals with abortion, rape, prostitution, women's wages and the female image, was not listed in Circular 14 until certain unspecified changes were made. (22)
In 1979 in Huron County Ontario, there was a great deal of controversy surrounding Margaret Laurence’s The Diviners. (23)A group called "Concerned Christians" succeeded in having this book banned from the English reading list. The removal of The Diviners resulted in the formation of the "Society for the Freedom of Choice" a group of individuals opposed to book banning, and the controversy carried on.
The literature has very little to say about the extent to which educational officials do not authorize or list potentially controversial materials. Nor does the literature discuss how those individuals responsible for selection gauge public acceptability.
At the provincial level textbook selection is closely linked to curriculum development, with education officials relying heavily upon publishers to provide information about materials available. Three provinces use an E.P.I.E. format to evaluate materials. Information about the criteria used by the other provinces is not readily available. Provinces vary in the level of priority given to use of Canadian materials.
Selection of textbooks occurs at the board level as well as at the provincial level. No comprehensive information concerning school board selection policies and procedures is available.
The level of priority given to Canadian content in the selection of school library materials is best assessed by examining library holdings. Many libraries show very few Canadian titles.
In selecting curriculum materials educators are influenced to a greater or lesser extent by the public acceptability of the materials. There is a tendency to avoid potentially controversial materials.
(1) F. L. Barrett, "Textbook Selection in the Other
Canadian Provinces", in Background Papers, Ontario Royal Commission
on Book Publishing Toronto: Queen's Printer for Ontario, 1972), p. 331-343.
(2) Canada, Department of the Secretary of State, Arts and Culture Branch, English Educational Publishing in Canada, a report prepared by the Bureau of Management Consulting (Ottawa: Supply and Services Canada, 1978).
(3) Paul Robinson, Where Our Survival Lies, Students and Textbooks in Atlantic Canada (Halifax: Atlantic Institute of Education, Dalhousie School of Library Service, 1979), p. 19.
(4) Secretary of State, English Educational Publishing in Canada, p. 104.
(5) Loren Lind, "Geography Lesson in Text Adoptions", Quill and Quire, Vol. 44, No. 6 (April, 1978), 18-19.
(7) M. Adamson, "Report on E.P.I.E.", in Curriculum Branch-Publishers' Conference Proceedings, 1976, Alberta, Department of Education (Edmonton, The Department, 1976), p. 41-43.
M. Adamson, "E.P.I.E. (Educational Products Information Exchange)", in Curriculum Branch-Publishers' Conference Proceedings, 1978, Alberta, Department of Education Edmonton: The Department, 1978), p. 27-32.
(8) J.J.Mussio. "The School Curriculum: A National Concern?" Education Canada, Vol. 20, No. 1 (Spring, 1980), 11-15, 45.
(9) This information is contained in a form letter to publishers written by S.A.I. Bullock, Director of Program Development, Manitoba Department of Education. A copy of this letter is included in A Basic Handbook for the Canadian Educational Market (Elementary and Secondary) (Toronto: Association of Canadian Publishers, 1980), p. 35.
(10) J. Fraser, "The Circular 14 Story, Approved Textbooks in Ontario", Orbit, Vol. 10, No. 4 (October, 1979), 8-9.
(11) Lind, "Geography Lesson in Text Adoptions".
(12) A Basic Handbook for the Canadian Educational Market.
(13) Lind, "Geography Lesson in Text Adoptions".
(14) Diane Pullan, "Selling in Canada: El-hi College", Quill and Quire, Vol. 44, No. 7 (May, 1978), 15-16.
(15) Regulations to the Education Act, Chapter 17, Statutes of Saskatchewan 1978. (Regina: Queens Printer, 1978) Regulation 33-(1) (a), p. 183.
(16) The following publications include lists of tools which review Canadian materials:
Paul Robinson, Where Our Survival Lies,
Ken Haycock, Canadian Learning Resources: A Brief Summary of Recent Developments in School Resource Centres (Vancouver: Library Services Department, Vancouver School Board, 1977).
Saskatchewan, Department of Education, Selection Aids for Saskatchewan Schools (Regina: The Department, 1980).
(17) Canada, Statistics Canada, Culture Statistics, Centralized School Libraries in Canada, (Ottawa: The Department, annual) Catalogue Number 87-650.
(18) J. P. Wilkinson, Canadian Juvenile Fiction and the Library Market (Ottawa: Canadian Library Association, 1976, p. 40.
(19) Work Group on Educational and Library Materials of the Toronto Board of Education, Canadian Books in Canadian Schools: A Case Study, with an introduction by Evelyn Cotter. Issues in Canadian Book Publishing Number 1 (Toronto: Association of Canadian Publishers, 1977).
(20) Wilkinson, Canadian Juvenile Fiction and the Library Market, p. 27-28.
(21) Lind, "Geography Lesson in Text Adoptions".
(23) "Pornography or Great Literature: Who Decides?" Orbit, Vol. 10, No. 4 (October, 1979), 5.
Lloyd Barth, "The Diviners: The Road to Destruction", Orbit, Vol. 10, No. 4 (October, 1979), 5-6.
Margaret I. Rivers, "Book Banners Deprive Students", Orbit, Vol. 10, No. 4 (October, 1979), 7.
Table of Contents
Chapter 5 - Government Initiatives
Chapter 5 examines the initiatives taken by provincial governments and the federal government, in the area of learning resources.
With increasing emphasis on Canadian learning materials, various provincial governments and the federal government have undertaken a number of initiatives to encourage the development and utilization of Canadian learning materials, including:
A recent report by Saskatchewan's Cultural Policy Secretariat also suggested that such an approach be taken. The report recommends that "texts required for courses with a specific Saskatchewan content be developed and produced by the Department of Education through contracting with local writers and publishers." (9)
Various provincial governments and the federal government have undertaken a series of initiatives to increase the use of Canadian learning materials.
On the provincial level Ontario, Alberta, the Northwest Territories, Manitoba and Saskatchewan have sponsored projects of various types. At the federal level the Department of the Secretary of State and the Canada Council provide assistance to writers and publishers.
At least one publisher views such activities as an encroachment upon the free enterprise system and recommends instead a system of tendering, an approach which is being considered by some provinces.
The first five projects described in this section
are quotes from:
(1) Paul Robinson, Where Our Survival Lies, Students and Textbooks in Atlantic Canada (Halifax: Atlantic Institute of Education, Dalhousie School of Library Service, 1979), p. 16-17.
(2) Ved Arora, The Saskatchewan Bibliography (Regina: Saskatchewan Provincial Library, 1980.
(3) Saskatchewan, Department of Education, Celebrate Saskatchewan, A Bibliography of Instructional Resources (Regina: The Department, 1979).
Until recently the book development program was administered
by the Office of the Secretary of State. The program is described in the
(4) Canada, Department of the Secretary of State, Guide to Participants in the Canadian Book Publishing Development Program (Ottawa: The Department, 1980), p. 10.
(5) Canada Council, 23 Annual Report 1979-1980 (Ottawa: The Council, 1980), p. 19-21.
(6) Ibid, p. 29.
(7) A. G. Cobham, "Where Do We Go From Here?" in Curriculum Branch Publishers' Conference Proceedings, 1980, Alberta, Department of Education (Edmonton: The Department, 1980), p. 51-53.
(8) James Lorimer, "Who is Ready to Blame for the Inadequacy of Canadian Textbooks?" Quill and Quire, No. 46, No. 8, (August, 1980), 14.
(9) "Saskatchewan Blazes Cultural Trail", Quill and Quire, Vol. 46, No. 12 (December, 1980), 17.
Table of Contents
Chapter 6 - Educational Publishing in Canada
This Chapter begins with a look at the historical development of the Canadian English language publishing industry and goes on to identify characteristics of the publishing industry today.
6.1 Development of English Language Publishing
By the late 19th century a number of Canadian owned publishing firms had become established in English Canada. Copp-Clark, Gage Publishing and Ryerson Press date from this period. The general evolution of these publishing houses was from bookseller and stationer to printer to publisher.
The practice of textbook authorization provided an incentive far the development of these publishers. During this period "uniformity was the order of the day". "A small number of textbooks, sometimes a single one, were authorized" for each subject taught. By 1888 the practice of authorization was formalized with the publication of the first edition of Circular14, Ontario's list of authorized textbooks. Gradually other provinces developed their own authorized lists. Selection of authorized materials was done centrally by provincial authorities and schools rarely deviated from the prescribed list. This system of centralized selection of one or two textbooks in a limited number of subject areas meant that there was minimal competition between publishers. Publishers thus invested little time and energy in marketing. "There was some competition at selection time," but once a book was authorized the market was assured. (1)
The end of the Second World War saw a significant change in educational philosophy. Before the war the single textbook structured system had been seen as an efficient means of teaching children facts. (2) Increasingly, however, Canadian educators:
School libraries began to play a more important role, providing the supplementary materials required to support the curriculum. Concurrent with these changes in educational philosophy was the post war baby boom which led to rising enrollments. (5)
During this period of change in the educational system the publishing industry underwent several changes of its own. In the early 20th century the agency system became established in Canada. Some Canadian publishers set up exclusive agency agreements with foreign firms. These agreements gave the Canadian company exclusive rights to market the publications of the foreign firm. During this period as well, a number of foreign publishing houses opened branch offices in Canada, at first marketing the publications of their parent companies, but rapidly expanding to publish textbooks and trade books. "By the time of the Second 'World War, these foreign owned firms were a significant presence in Canadian English-language book publishing, but Canadian firms still retained the major share of the agencies and of the educational market."
The changes in educational philosophy which followed the Second World War had a tremendous effect upon the publishing industry, which was thrown open to competitive forces for the first time. Textbooks and other teaching materials had to be developed to meet the needs and desires of the educational market. The new philosophy required more books per pupil in both the classroom and the library. This fact, along with increasing enrollments and an increase in the subjects taught, resulted in a "demand for many new textbooks, although in smaller numbers per title than in the pre-war days".
With these increased opportunities a great number of American publishing houses, formerly represented by Canadian agents set up offices in Canada. (6)
The nearly uninterrupted period of rapid economic growth which Canadians had experienced since the end of the Second World War provided funds to underwrite the cost of these rapid changes to both educational philosophy and materials required to support the new methods of teaching. (7)
By the mid 1970's inflation and declining enrollments had combined to raise educational costs and decrease the funds available for education. (8)
The past several years have also seen the growth of the "back to the basics movement" in which general broad curricula are replaced with more specific detailed programs of study. (9)
The following characteristics are typical of English educational publishing today.
6.2 Foreign Ownership
At the present time Canadian educational book publishing is dominated by foreign owned firms. In 1976 only "32% of the sales of English language textbooks titles accrued to Canadian controlled firms". (10)
As previously discussed the educational changes which occurred following the end of the Second World War threw the market for educational materials open to competition, causing many American publishing companies to set up offices in Canada.
The multinational firms had a number of competitive advantages over Canadian companies including:
6.3 The Agency System
In its simplest form an agency agreement occurs when a foreign firm headquartered in the U.S. or elsewhere gives a Canadian company rights (usually exclusive rights) to market its books in Canada.
The agency system is complicated, however, by the fact that many American owned companies have set up branch plant offices in Canada. The branch office then serves as an agency and markets the parent firm's publications in Canada. The branch office may also serve as an agent for other American or European publishers, thus depriving Canadian owned companies of revenue producing agencies.
The agency system can also generate the "buying around" problem. Buying around occurs when a Canadian buyer obtains a publication through some means which circumvents the Canadian agent, most often by purchasing from a foreign jobber or whole-saler. The Canadian agent then loses his commission. If that agent is also a publisher who is counting on the commission to finance his publishing Program the result is a reduction in the quantity of Canadian publishing. (12)
6.4 Domination by Large Firms
English language educational book publishing is dominated by a relatively small number of large firms.
Figure 1 slows that in 1976, 48 English publishers were involved in textbook publishing. Only three of these publishers had sales of over four million dollars. Eighteen of them had sales less than fifty thousand dollars with the balance of the publishers falling between these two extremes. (13)
As might be expected these large firms "have a fair degree of ability to retrench and survive in the face of falling markets" (14) and thus will endure long after smaller firms have been forced into bankruptcy.
Prior to the mid-twentieth century schools followed rigid curricula and used one or two textbooks authorized by provincial authorities. Following the Second World War rigid curricula were replaced with general curriculum guidelines which could accommodate many more textbooks. The publishing industry began to produce more textbooks to meet this demand and to competitively market their products.
Figure l. Sales of English Language Textbook Publishers. Source: Statistics Canada
(1) The information contained in this section has
been adapted from: Canada, Department of the Secretary of State, Arts and
Culture Branch, English Educational Publishing in Canada, a report
prepared by the Bureau of Management Consulting Ottawa: Supply & Services
(3) Douglas, A. Lawr and Robert D. Gidney, eds., Educating Canadians, A Documentary History of Public Education (New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1973), p. 159.
(4) Satu Repo, "From Pilgrim's Progress to Sesame Street: 125 Years of Colonial Readers", in The Politics of the Canadian Public School, edited and with an introduction by George Martell (Toronto: James Lewis and Samuel, 1974), p. 130.
(5) Lawr and Gidney, Educating Canadians, p. 232.
(6) This section has been adapted from, Secretary of State, English Educational Publishing in Canada.
(7) Lawr and Gidney, Educating Canadians, p. 232.
(8) N. Clark, M. S. Devereaux and Z. Zsigmond. The Class of 2001, The School-Age Population. - Trends and Implications – 1961 to 2001 Ottawa: Statistics Canada, Canadian Teachers Federation, 1979).
(9) Interchange, Vol. 7, No. 4 (1976-77). This whole issue is devoted to discussion of the "back to the basics" movement.
(10) Canada, Statistics Canada, Culture Statistics, Book Publishing: Textbooks, 1976 (Ottawa: The Department, 1979), Catalogue Number 87- 03, p. 23.
(11) This section has been adapted from Secretary of State, English Educational Publishing in Canada.
(13) Chart from, Statistics Canada, Book Publishing: Textbooks, 1976, p. 18.
(14) Secretary of State, English Educational Publishing in Canada, p. 71-72.
Table of Contents
Chapter 7 - Marketing of Educational Materials
In English Canada there are two distinct educational markets, classrooms and libraries. Chapter 7 examines the ways in which publishers approach these two markets. The function of intermediaries such as book bureaus and jobbers is explained.
The six main techniques Canadian publishers employ to sell educational books are: calls by educational representatives, distribution of free copies, sponsoring of exhibits and displays, issuance of catalogues, direct mail advertising, and space advertising in educational journals.(1) Figure 2 provides an estimated breakdown of promotional expenditures for each technique. (2)
Figure 2. Distribution of Expenditures for Promotion to the Educational Market for 13 Major Publishers.
Source: North York Board of Education.
|Mail and Space Advertising||
Most publishers consider the call by a sales representative to be the most effective method of selling books to the educational market. (3) A major objective of publishers' representatives in all provinces is to have their companies' books authorized by the provincial department of education. As described in Chapter 4 publishers usually stay in close contact with curriculum committees during the process of curriculum development and materials authorization. The representative may meet with the entire committee or may visit with individual members. (4) British Columbia tries to shield the adoption process from over eager sales representatives by refusing to divulge the names of the people on the selection committee. Other provinces make the names of their evaluators freely available. (5) Do sales representatives pressure committee members? Alberta’s director of curriculum, Dr. Eugene Torgunrud, says "The potential is there, but I've never known any lobbying or politicking to go on." (6) Publishers’ representatives talk about "getting the board people on your side." (7) Other than oblique comments there are very few references in the literature to this issue.
The majority of literature that discusses the question of textbook authorizations and marketing of educational materials emphasizes the interdependence of curriculum developers and publishers. The literature would suggest that curriculum developers are highly dependent upon publishers' representatives to inform them of new materials and to provide them with evaluation copies of materials being considered. (8)
This requirement for direct contact greatly reduces the sales power of the many small Canadian owned publishers who cannot afford to hire sales representatives or to give away large numbers of complimentary copies. (9) A sales representative will cost her company about $30,000. per year in salary and expenses. (10) Only larger companies can afford such an expenditure.
This is one explanation for the difficulty small Canadian companies experience in expanding in the educational marketplace.
The evaluation or complimentary copy is also important in the marketing process. The rationale is that a book is its own best advertisement, that a teacher or curriculum official will not prescribe a book without seeing it. (11) Some educational officials routinely ask for up to nine complimentary copies of each book being considered for adoption. (12)
While the literature does include discussions on the effectiveness of the complimentary copy (13) it has little to say regarding the potential for abuse of this system, nor does it mention the dollar and cents cost to the publisher (which is passed on to the consumer]. Does a curriculum committee really need nine copies of a book in order to evaluate it?
Book selection procedures vary somewhat from province to province. Therefore, so do selling techniques. In provinces with non-restrictive listings there is a tendency for school boards to exert more authority over the schools. For example, the Windsor Board of Education produced a shorter local listing based on Circular 14 and the Saskatoon Separate School Board in 1978 trimmed the Saskatchewan list down to four reading programs. (14) In these provinces publishers representatives spend more time working at the local level. One publisher says that his Ontario representatives spend 90% of their time working in individual schools. (15)
In provinces such as B.C., Alberta and in the Maritimes where authorized listings carry more authority the publishers' sales representatives spend more time working with provincial officials and curriculum committees. (16)
In Quebec, selling techniques are very much like those used in the rest of Canada with the major emphasis placed on sales representatives.
In both English and French Canada the educational sales representative rarely receives an order at the time of her sales call. In many provinces the order is placed through an intermediary, such as a jobber or a book bureau, who does the actual buying.
7.2 School Library Materials
There is less information available about the marketing of school library books than there is about the marketing of textbooks and other classroom books. This is perhaps understandable since classroom books make up a much larger portion of the total sales. Moreover, school library acquisitions do not fall into a single category. The average school library contains a mixture of adult and children's textbooks, educational books and trade books, all of which are marketed by slightly different techniques.
In spite of these complications publishers do direct some attention to the school library market. Sales representatives call routinely on provincial and board library consultants to provide information concerning new materials. Since many of these consultants review and recommend materials to school librarians the representatives may view these calls as being more efficient than meeting with a number of individual school librarians.
Publishers representatives spend their time where the greatest sales are to be made. Since individual school libraries buy in small quantities they are often not contacted by publishers' representatives.
A recent survey indicated that only 24.2% of the school librarians questioned had across the board contact with publishers' representatives and only 4.9% had ever had personal contact with a publisher. (17)
Publishers also use catalogues to reach school librarians, often with varying degrees of success.
Almost 100% of librarians surveyed by Wilkinson received publishers' catalogues but only 67.4% reported receiving catalogues from Canadian publishers. Regardless of whether this is due to non-receipt of catalogues or to librarians inability to recognize Canadian publishers it does not indicate a particularly high visibility of Canadian publishers. (18)
While a common way of publicizing textbooks, the complimentary copy is used less frequently in marketing school library books. Usually only provincial or board consultants receive complimentary copies. Various types of advertising are also used in the marketing of school library materials.
7.3 The Book Bureau
In all provinces, except Ontario and Quebec, the government operates a book bureau. The book bureau purchases quantities of authorized materials and warehouses them. Individual schools can purchase materials from the bureau as they are required. (19) It should be noted that in provinces with lengthy listings of approved materials the book bureau does not stock everything on the authorized list. Only core materials and those which are likely to be in heavy demand are warehoused. The job of the book bureau has become more difficult with the trend to multiple authorizations. In many provinces teachers are able to choose from long lists of titles, and if they wish, buy small quantities of each of several titles. Book bureau administrators have difficulty knowing which titles to stock and in what quantities. More warehouse space is needed and orders to each publisher are smaller and more frequent.
Schools usually buy materials not stocked by the book bureau directly from the publisher or from a jobber. In Ontario where the province does not operate a book bureau, schools buy materials directly from the publisher or a jobber.
7.4 "La Politique Du Livre"
Quebec legislation introduced in 1972 (commonly called "La Politique du Livre") requires that educational institutions receiving government subsidies buy their books at accredited bookstores in Quebec. (20)
Depending upon board policy, schools either order directly from the bookstores or send their orders to the board office where orders for all schools under the board's jurisdiction are compiled, sorted and sent to appropriate bookstores.
Many schools and libraries have a preference for buying from one source, rather than sending orders to individual publishers. Jobbers fill this need. Jobbers supply books from a variety of publishers and may also offer services such as cataloguing of books. While Canadian jobbers have in recent years shown significant growth they are still overshadowed by a few giant U.S. firms such as Baker and Taylor. There is no detailed information available comparing the service and prices offered by various wholesalers. However, the consensus seems to be that American jobbers, particularly Baker and Taylor offer somewhat lower prices than do most Canadian jobbers. (19)
A comparison of levels of service provided by wholesalers would have to consider factors such as percentage of fill, turn around time, personalized service, invoicing procedure and supplementary services available such as cataloguing and processing. To date no comprehensive survey of this type has been undertaken.
Textbook marketing depends heavily upon the use of sales representatives. In provinces with restrictive listings representatives tend to focus on provincial authorities. In provinces with comprehensive listings representatives spend more time working with local school boards.
Other marketing techniques include distribution of complimentary copies and catalogues, sponsoring of displays and various types of advertising.
Because fewer sales come from school libraries publishers' representatives spend less time in this area and distribute fewer complimentary copies.
All provinces except Ontario and Quebec operate book bureaus, agencies that warehouse and sell books to schools. Some schools prefer to buy their books through jobbers, while educational institutions in Quebec are required to buy their materials through authorized bookstores in that province.
(1) S. J. Totton, "The Marketing of Educational Books
in Canada", in Background Papers, Ontario, Royal Commission on Book
Publishing (Toronto: Queen's Printer for Ontario, 1972), 270-310.
(2) Chart from: Ibid., p. 284.
(3) Canada, Department of the Secretary of State, Arts and Culture Branch, English Educational Publishing in Canada, a report prepared by the Bureau of Management consulting (Ottawa: Supply and Services, 1978), p. 109.
(4) Diane Pullan, "Selling in Canada: El-hi College", Quill and Quire, Vol. 44, No. 7 (May, 1978), 15-16.
(5) Loren Lind, "Geography Lesson in Text Adoptions", Quill and Quire, Vol. 44, No. 6 (April, 1978, 18-19.
(7) Pullan, "Selling in Canada: El-hi College".
(8) The articles by Lind, Pullan, Totton and the report issued by the Secretary of State’s Office all emphasize this point.
(9) Secretary of State English Educational Publishing in Canada, p. 108.
(10) Pullan, "Selling in Canada: El-hi College".
(11) Totton, "The Marketing of Educational Books in Canada", p. 290.
(12) This request is contained in a form letter to publishers written by J. K. Crossley, Director, Special Projects Branch, Ontario Ministry of Education. A copy of this letter is included in A Basic Handbook for the Canadian Educational Market (Elementary and Secondary) Toronto, Association of Canadian Publishers, 1980), p. 31-32.
(13) In "The Marketing of Educational Books in Canada", Totton discusses this issue at length.
(14) Pullan, "Selling in Canada: El-hi College".
(17) J.P. Wilkinson, Canadian Juvenile Fiction and the Library Market (Ottawa: Canadian Library Association, 1976), p. 62-72.
(18) Ibid., p. 59
(19) This section is based on the following sources:
Secretary of State, English Educational Publishing in Canada, p. 106.
F.L. Barrett, "Textbook Selection in the Other Canadian Provinces", in Background Papers, Ontario Royal Commission on Book Publishing (Toronto: Queen's Printer for Ontario, 1972), p. 339-340.
(20) Canada, Department of the Secretary of State, Arts and Culture Branch English Educational Publishing in Canada, a report prepared by the Bureau of Management Consulting (Ottawa: Supply and Services Canada, 1978), p. 34.
(21) This section is based on the following sources:
Secretary of State, English Educational Publishing in Canada, p. 112.
Wilson, Diane Pullan, "A Progress Report on Canadian Book Wholesaling", Quill and Quire, Vol. 46, No. 2 (February, 1980), 10-11.
Table of Contents
Chapter 8 - The Reasons: An Educator's Perspective
Taking an educator's point of view, this Chapter examines a number of possible explanations for the lack of Canadian learning materials in elementary and secondary schools.
8.1 Lack of Adequate Materials
The Cotter Report lists absence of adequate materials as one explanation for the lack of Canadian text and library books in our schools. (1)
As previously noted, Canadian educational publishing is dominated by American controlled firms.
This absence of adequate material is one reason for the government incentives in the publishing industry described in the previous chapter. Ken Nixon, Director of the Alberta Heritage Learning Resources Project, identifies increasing concern regarding the lack of Canadian materials, and pressure from various groups as the chief factors that led to the development of the project. (5)
On a less grandiose scale some teachers and school boards are developing their own materials when they are unable to find appropriate commercial materials.
Many of the materials developed under the auspices of the Canada West Foundation began when teachers were unable to find appropriate materials.
No comprehensive survey has been done examining the extent to which teachers are producing their own Canadian studies materials. However, descriptions of such materials do occur from time to time in the literature. They are also listed in catalogues of teacher produced materials. For example, the catalogue issued by the Lesson Aids Service of the B.C. Teachers' Federation contains numerous items relating to British Columbia and to Canada. (6)
8.2 Lack of Priority for Canadian Content
The Cotter Report (7) cites lack of priority for Canadian content as another reason for inadequate use of Canadian learning resources. This possible cause is examined as it may occur at both policy and individual teacher levels.
All provinces do not place a high priority on selection of Canadian materials. In those provinces that do emphasize Canadian content the question of enforcement arises. To be included in Ontario's Circular 14 materials, "must be written or edited by a Canadian citizen or citizens, manufactured in Canada and reflect a Canadian identity" (8) in order to "ensure availability of high quality Canadian textual materials for Ontario schools and to foster the Canadian educational publishing industry". (9)
Some six years ago James Lorimer claimed that non-compliance with the Canadian content rule was widespread.
One of Canada's larger school boards, the Saskatoon Boards of Education, emphasizes Canada through their "I Am A Canadian" program. The extent to which school boards have established as one of their overall priorities the need for Canadian content in the curriculum, though is open to speculation.(11)
8.2.2 Individual Teachers
The individual teacher plays a major role in the educational process. Materials used in classrooms are likely to reflect the priorities of the classroom teacher.
This researcher was not able to locate even one study which surveyed directly the attitudes of practicing teachers toward Canadian studies or Canadian learning materials or assessed teachers' knowledge of materials available.
Many of todays' teachers were not themselves, exposed to Canadian studies during their elementary and secondary school years.
An analysis of the program of studies of major Canadian library schools showed similar results. None required future teacher librarians to take a course on Canadian materials or related topics such as Canadian publishing or Canadian government documents. (16)
The potential usefulness of increased Canadian content in teacher training is illustrated by Ralph Kirkland’s research. (17) Kirkland found that a noticeably higher percentage of Canadian literature was being used in Saskatchewan schools by teachers who had taken at least one university class in Canadian literature than by those who had no courses. Kirkland also found that approximately 88% of the teachers he surveyed felt that a class in Canadian literature should be a compulsory course requirement in the preparation of English teachers in Canada.
8.3 Lack of Funds
Lack of funds to purchase materials is seen as the third major reason for inadequate Canadian content in educational materials. (18)
By the mid 1970's enrollments throughout the country had begun to decline. An enrollment decline tends "to raise the cost per student, as teachers cannot be released in proportion to enrollment without doing serious damage to the quality of programs", and the majority of administration costs are fixed. Since "most grant systems provide resources on the basis of enrollment" funds available for education become less with declining enrollments. Meanwhile inflation pushes educational costs steadily upward. The inevitable result is that spending for extra-curricular activities, special facilities, and educational materials is reduced. (19)
In areas where budget materials are not clearly identified and locked in, there is a tendency to treat the acquisition of learning materials as budget residual, a non-essential expenditure that can be increased when times are good and cut when money is scarce. (20)
"Low levels of funding have a particularly serious impact on Canadian oriented books and materials." (21) Canadian books tend to be more expensive than American (22), which makes it difficult for teachers and librarians to purchase and utilize the good Canadian materials that are available. The reasons for the sometimes higher price of Canadian materials are discussed in the next Chapter.
Doris Anderson argues that buying American materials because they are cheaper is false economy. On a per unit price it is true that American materials cost less. However, "if this money spent outside the country were diverted to Canadian authors, Canadian produced textbooks and thus to Canadian publishers, Canadian materials would soon become cheaper." (23)
8.4 Bias Against Canadian Materials
An additional explanation for under utilization of Canadian materials relates to attitude. In some circles there is the assumption that anything Canadian is second rate.
The Symons Commission notes that it encountered "indifference, sometimes even open hostility toward Canadian studies on the part of many university teachers and administrators in every part of Canada". (24) "Many Canadian scholars have adopted, or accepted the attitude that Canada is not a sufficiently interesting subject for study and research. Going further than this, many obviously feel that Canadian problems, events and circumstances are almost by definition of only second rate academic importance." (25)
This general attitude toward things Canadian carries over to Canadian learning materials. Galloway (26) points out that school boards and critics have condemned the work of certain Canadian writers as being inappropriate because of sexual or violent passages, yet approve of foreign books which are even more explicit. Galloway intimates that the Canadian material is rejected not only because if its explicitness but because it is Canadian.
An article appearing in the newsletter of the Canadian Council of Teachers of English said, in part:
From an educator's point of view there are a number of explanations for the lack of Canadian materials in school use. At some grade and subject levels adequate materials are simply not available.
Lack of priority for Canadian materials is another contributing factor. Some provincial departments of education and local boards of education have not assigned a high priority to Canadian materials. Individual teachers often lack knowledge of materials available or fail to give Canadian materials priority.
Lack of funds to purchase appropriate resources and prejudice against Canadian materials are seen as other reasons for the current problem.
(1) Work Group on Educational and Library Materials
of the Toronto Board of Education, Canadian Books in Canadian Schools:
A Case Study, with an introduction by Evelyn Cotter. Issues in Canadian
Book Publishing Number 1 (Toronto: Association of Canadian Publishers,
1977), p. 32.
(2) Ibid., p. 32.
(3) James Lorimer, "Who is Really to Blame for the Inadequacy of Canadian Textbooks" Quill and Quire, Vol. 46, No. 8 (August, 1980), 14.
(4) Canada, Statistics Canada, Culture Statistics, Book Publishing: Textbooks, 1976 (Ottawa: The Department, 19797 Catalogue number 870603, p. 60-61.
(5) K. Nixon, "Alberta Heritage Learning Resources Project, in Curriculum Branch Publishers' Conference Proceedings, 1980, Alberta, Department of Education, Edmonton: The Department, 1980), p. 17-21.
(6) Lesson Aids Catalogue (Vancouver: British Columbia Teachers' Federation, 1980).
(7) Work Group on Educational and Library Materials of the Toronto Board of Education, Canadian Books in Canadian Schools, p. 33.
(8) J. Fraser, "The Circular 14 Story, Approved Textbooks in Ontario", Orbit, No. 10, No. 4 (October, 1979), 8-9.
(10) James Lorimer, "The Political Economy of Canadian Publishing", This Magazine, Vol. 9, No. 3 (July-August, 1975), 22-28.
(11) Saskatoon Board of Education, I Am A Canadian: An Emphasis Curriculum for Kindergarten to Grade VIII, (Saskatoon, The Board, 1978).
(12) Adele Ashby, "Canadian Materials: Past and Present and Future", Education Canada, Vol. 20, No. 1 (Spring, 1980), 20-23.
(13) T.H.B. Symons, To Know Ourselves, The Report of the Commission on Canadian Studies, volumes I and II (Ottawa: Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, 1975), p.125.
(15) This survey is described in an unpublished manuscript written by Rowland Lorimer. The working title of this book is What's Canadian About Canadian Education? Details of publication have not yet been finalized.
(17) Ralph Kirkland, The Use of Canadian Literature in Saskatchewan High Schools, Master of Education Thesis Saskatoon: University of Saskatchewan, 1977).
(18) Work Group on Educational and Library Materials of the Toronto Board of Education, Canadian Books in Canadian Schools, p. 26.
(19) W. Clark, M. S. Devereaux, and Z. Zsigmond, The Class of 2001, The School-Age Population – Trends and Implications - 1961-2001 (Ottawa: Statistics Canada, Canadian Teachers Federation, 1979), p. 65-77.
(20) Work Group on Educational and Library Materials of the Toronto Board of Education, Canadian Books in Canadian Schools, p. 26.
(21) Ibid., p. 31.
(22) Priscilla Galloway, "Current Canlit and the English Teacher", Orbit, Vol. 10, No. 4 (October, 1979), 15-18.
(23) Doris Anderson, "Schools Desert Canadian Books", Skylark, Vol. 13, No. 3 (Spring, 1977), 9-10.
(24) T.H.B. Symons, To Know Ourselves, p. 19.
(25) Ibid., p.27.
(26) Priscilla Galloway, "Current Canlit and the English Teacher".
(27) Phillip McBurney, "Canned Lit", CCTE Newsletter (May, 1977), 3, quoted in "Current Canlit and the English Teacher", Galloway.
(28) May Cutler, "Ah Publishing", in One Ocean Touching, Papers From the First Pacific Rim Conference on Children’s Literature, edited by Sheila Egoff (Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press, 1979), p. 216.
(29) Sonia Craddock, "B.C. Books for B.C. Kids!" The B.C.Teacher, Vol. 57, No. 3 (February, 1978), 103.
Table of Contents
Chapter 9 - The Reasons: A Publisher's Perspective
Publishers as well as educators have a series of explanations for the lack of Canadian content in learning materials in use today. Chapter 9 examines these explanations.
9.1 Market Size
A 1970 survey of the Canadian book publishing industry, identifies the relatively small size of the Canadian market, when compared to the United States and United Kingdom, as the most significant problem faced by Canadian publishers. (1)
The Ontario Royal Commission noted that the "economies of scale possible for original Canadian and original American (or British) publishing are weighted heavily in favour of the latter." (2) "The cost of developing and producing Canadian school materials must usually be spread over a muchsmaller print run." (3) Declining school enrollments further reduce the size of the educational publishing market. (4)
The market is made even smaller by independent curriculum development in each province, by an increase in the number of publications approved for use in schools and by the range of courses offered to students. "Thus there is a demand for a multiplicity of Canadian materials with each publication having a much more limited sale potential than did Canadian publications in the past." (5)
While at least one Canadian educator refers to lack of market size as a myth (6), but fails to offer any explanation, it continues to be an issue of concern to publishers in English Canada.
The market for French language educational materials is considerably smaller than the market for English language materials (7) yet the literature which discusses market size focuses almost exclusively on English language publishing. Is market size not such an issue of concern among French language publishers and if not, why not? Two relevant factors are:
Along with a profit motivation, French publishers 'have a general concern for "cultural survival". Unlike English publishers they operate under one government with a strong sense of its educational and cultural prerogatives. (8)
9.2 Rising Manufacturing Costs
Closely related to the issue of market size is the issue of rising manufacturing costs. As educational expenditures decline the cost of publishing and producing educational materials is steadily on the rise.
Ginn and Company president Richard H. Lee estimates that an elementary reading series would cost 54,000,000.00 to produce, and take ten years from initial planning a»d research to publication and adoption. (9)
It has been estimated that development costs for an elementary mathematics program are $1,405,600.00 including costs of manufacturing but excluding payments to writers. (10)
Estimates of development costs for individual texts range from $33,000.00 for a marketing text to $69,000.00 for a mathematics text. (11)
In discussing the issue of development and manufacturing cast James Lorimer says:
In his discussion of manufacturing costs, Lee comments on what Lorimer calls the "bells and whistles".
9.3 Declining Expenditures
In Chapter 7 lack of funds was cited as a major reason why schools do not purchase Canadian materials. Because any significant change in educational funding or philosophy is felt by the publishing industry, the current fiscal restraint is of serious concern to publishers. (14)
Photocopying is another factor that reduces the size of the educational market. While no dollar figures are available, the president of Nelson publishing describes losses due to copyright infringement as staggering. (15) Copying sometimes occurs because teachers and the general public do not understand the copyright laws. More often it is the result of school budgeting practices and the ways in which teachers utilize materials.
There may be no money for the purchase of instructional materials so teachers photocopy because the money for paper comes from another budget. (16)
A teacher may decide to use a particular exercise or activity, but is prevented by time and budget constraints from ordering a class set of the activity book containing the activity; photocopying results.
Writers who speak for the publishing industry have provided a number of explanations for non-utilization of Canadian learning resources.
The Canadian educational market is seen as being small and fragmented, thus making it difficult for publishers to recover their constantly rising developmental and manufacturing costs. Publishers also view declining educational expenditures and photocopying as serious problems.
(1) Canada, Department of Industry, Trade and Commerce,
Canadian Book Industry prepared by Ernst and Ernst Management Consulting
Services Ottawa: The Department, 1970), p. 63.
(2) Ontario, Royal Commission on Book Publishing, Canadian Publishers and Canadian Publishing, (Toronto: Queen's Printer for Ontario, 1973).
(3) Gladys E. Neale, "Canadian Publishing", Curriculum Branch Publishers' Conference Proceedings, 1980, Alberta, Department of Education Edmonton: The Department, 1980), p. 45-50.
(6) Gary J. Anderson and Ann E. Brimer, "Developing Curriculum for Canadian Schools: What We Learned From the Atlantic Salmon", Interchange, Vol. 8, No. 4, (1977078), 16-31.
(7) Canada, Department of the Secretary of State, Arts and Culture Branch, French Educational Publishing in Canada, a report prepared by the Bureau of Management Consulting (Ottawa: Supply and Services Canada, 1978), p. 87-88.
(9) Richard H. Lea, "Book Production: Ramifications and Problems", in Curriculum Branch Publishers' Conference Proceedings, 1980, Alberta, Department of Education (Edmonton: The Department, 1980), p. 34-44.
(10) Gary J. Scott, and Susan Stos, English El-hi Publishing in Canada, 1980-1986 (West Hill, Ontario: Pepper Wood, 1980), p.309.
(11) Ibid., p. 307.
(12) James Lorimer, "Who is Really to Blame for the Inadequacy of Canadian Textbooks?" Quill and Quire, Vol. 46, No. 8 (August, 1980), 14.
(13) Lee, "Book Production: Ramifications and Problems".
(14) Neale, "Canadian Publishing".
(15) A. G. Cobham, "Where Do We Go From Here?" in Curriculum Branch Publishers' Conference Proceedings, 1980, Alberta, Department of Education (Edmonton: The Department, 1980),p. 51-53.
(16) Neale, "Canadian Publishing".
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Chapter 10 - The Solutions
This Chapter draws conclusions concerning the solutions proposed by various writers and study groups. The conclusions are based upon recommendations made in the reports reviewed.
There appears to he no simple solution to the current lack of Canadian learning materials in the school system. Each author, study group, report or commission has a separate set of recommendations.
While there is a great deal of diversity in the recommendations proposed they do have one common denominator. The vast majority are directed toward the agencies who directly or in-directly fund, purchase or use the materials. Provincial government bodies, local school boards, teachers, and principals are all objects of recommendations concerning policy, budget and changes to curriculum.
Rarely do any recommendations focus on the publishing industry. There are no examinations of profit levels in the industry and few discussions of how the development, production and format of textbooks might be altered to make them more saleable. No recommendations suggest changes in publishers' marketing patterns or distribution mechanisms.
10.1 Policy Recommendations
Most sets of solutions begin with a number of policy recommendations and talk about the policies that departments of education, boards of education and various other official bodies should be setting. Many of these policy recommendations are so broad as to be "motherhood" types of recommendations.
Only rarely are budget structures or other mechanisms that would enforce the policies discussed.
At the policy level Paul Robinson (1) recommended that the departments of education of the Atlantic provinces give priority to the purchase of Canadian learning materials from Canadian owned publishers.
Similarly, Gladys Neale recommended that the provincial departments of education require that all purchases of learning materials be made in Canada and that they actively sponsor and encourage the increased use of curriculum materials developed by Canadian publishers. (2)
The Cotter Report (3) recommends that the Toronto Board of Education establish as one of its priorities that Canadian content be an integral part of the school curriculum in all grade and subject areas and that the Board urge the Ministry of Education to strengthen the Ministry's current requirement that Canadian studies be an aspect of the course content in school curriculum at every subject and grade level.
The Ontario Royal Commission on Book Publishing (4) proposes that the Council of Ministers of Education undertake a survey of Canadian research and development programs with reference to their relationship with future needs for new Canadian learning materials. In addition the Commission suggests that the Council of Ministers seek to establish a national office of educational research which would furnish funds for the development of Canadian classroom books. The Commission also directed its attention to the Ontario Ministry of Education recommending a number of changes in policies relating to authorization of materials.
10.2 Financial Recommendations
Most writers follow their policy recommendations with financial recommendations often suggesting additional expenditure of public funds or reallocation of existing funds.
Several of the recommendations of the Cotter Report (5) deal with funding. It recommended that funds for library acquisitions be "locked in" by means of a separate budget category and that a formula be established to ensure that the library materials budget is not reduced by inflation. It also recommends that a special catch up grant be provided to school libraries to improve their basic collection of Canadian books, and that a special fund be established to match current library expenditures on Canadian materials in order that acquisition of Canadian resources might be increased on a permanent basis.
In discussing classroom materials the report recommends that the Toronto Board establish a basic, per capita textbook allocation for all schools and that a special Canadian learning materials fund be established so that schools can replace existing classroom materials with appropriate Canadian materials.
aul Robinson (6) recommends the establishment of SPAR, (School Publications in the Atlantic Region) an agency to be funded out of existing textbook budgets and a Centre for Canadian Learning Materials to be located in the Atlantic region and funded by grants from universities, publishers organizations, teachers organizations and federal and provincial government agencies. This Centre for Canadian Materials was established early in 1980. Located at Dalhousie University, it was funded by a Canada Council Grant. (7)
One of the major recommendations of the Ontario Royal Commission on Book Publishing would provide book stimulation grants for materials listed in the Ontario Ministry's Circulars 14 and 15. (8)
Ralph Kirkland and Gladys Neale in their suggestions make general statements concerning "significant budget increases" (9) and "program and financial assistance to the publishing industry" (10) but do not provide any specific recommendations as to how such funds might be structured or administered.
The majority of authors recommending heavy financial commitments do not attempt to reconcile these recommendations with the declining educational budgets that are a fact of life throughout Canada. It is worth noting however, that in spite of tight budgets, at least one of the proposals calling for additional funds (The CLMC) has been implemented.
Policy and budget are two topics that appear in almost every list of recommendations. After that, the recommendations become increasingly diverse and range from the significant to the trivial. There are some common themes, however.
10.3 Teacher Training and Professional Development
Recommendations concerning teacher training tend to receive slightly more space in the literature than do recommendations relating to inservice education and professional development. Administrators may find themselves reversing this focus in the coming years.
Declining enrollments are reducing the flow of young teachers into the school system, leaving older teachers who have the potential for a much more conservative philosophy. (11) The teachers left are those whom Ashby describes as having little exposure to Canadian studies and Canadian materials during their own schooling. (12)
The Symons Report, The Ontario Royal Commission on Book Publishing, Paul Robinson, Ralph Kirkland, The Cotter Report and the North York Report all recommend greater Canadian content in teacher training and a variety of activities to build the awareness of practicing teachers.
While teacher training of various types receives some attention, very few authors make suggestions concerning the part that teachers' associations and federations might play in advocating increased Canadian content in learning materials.
10.4 Information About Canadian Materials
A number of authors recommend a variety of informational techniques. Booklists, reference and display collections of materials, mobile displays and free subscriptions to reviewing journals are popular suggestions. (13)
Few authors link these suggestions to inservice education of teachers however. Nor do they mention teacher workshops or seminars that might prevent booklists and journals from languishing in the bottom drawer.
10.5 Other Recommendations
Two other themes which occur with some frequency in the literature are providing teachers with time and funds to develop appropriate learning materials (14) and that old stand-by, the national curriculum (15) Advocates of the national curriculum suggest that it would increase market size and thus make educational publishing a more viable industry.
Most proposed solutions focus on the users or purchasers of educational materials rather than on the publishing industry. Recommendations that advocate policy changes by educational administrators or additional funding at either the provincial or local level are common. Additional emphasis on Canadian materials in teacher training and professional development and increased information about materials available are also seen as solutions.
Two other themes that occur with some regularity are increased emphasis on teacher-developed materials and a national curriculum.
(1) Paul Robinson, Where Our Survival Lies, Students
and Textbooks in Atlantic Canada (Halifax: Atlantic Institute of Education,
Dalhousie School of Library Service, 1979), p. 92-95.
(2) Gladys E. Neale, "Canadian Publishing", in Curriculum Branch Publishers' Conference Proceedings, 1980, Alberta, Department of Education (Edmonton,: The Department, 1980), p. 45-50.
(3) Work Group on Educational Library Materials of the Toronto Board of Education, Canadian Books in Canadian Schools: A Case Study, with an introduction by Evelyn Cotter. Issues in Canadian Book Publishing Number 1 (Toronto: Association of Canadian Publishers, 1977), p. 35-41.
(4) Ontario, Royal Commission on Book Publishing, Canadian Publishers and Canadian Publishing (Toronto. Queen's Printer for Ontario, 1973), p. 265-273.
(5) Work Group on Educational and Library Materials of the Toronto Board of Education, Canadian Books in Canadian Schools, p. 35-41.
(6) Robinson, Where our Survival Lies, p. 92-95.
(7) "Atlantic Region Gets Text Centre", Quill and Quire, Vol. 46, No. 2 (February, 1980),1.
Peter Kidd, "CLMC Now Open", The Atlantic Canada Teacher (Spring, 1980), 8-11.
(8) Ontario, Royal Commission on Book Publishing, Canadian Publishers and Canadian Publishing, v. 265-273.
(9) Ralph Kirkland, The Use of Canadian Literature in Saskatchewan High Schools, Master of Education Thesis (Saskatoon: University of Saskatchewan, 1977), p.60.
(10) Neale, "Canadian Publishing", p. 50.
(11) Campbell, Hughes, "The El-hi Market", Quill and Quire, Vol. 44, No. 6 (April, 1978), 6.
(12) Adele Ashby, "Canadian Materials: Past, Present and Future", Education Canada, Vol. 20, No. 1 (Spring, 1980), 20-23.
(13) The following reports make recommendations concerning teacher training or inservice education:
T.H.B. Symons, To Know Ourselves, The Report of the Commission on Canadian Studies, Volumes I and II (Ottawa: Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, 1975).
Work Group on Educational and Library Materials of the Toronto Board of Education, Canadian Books in Canadian Schools.
Kirkland, The Use of Canadian Literature in Saskatchewan High Schools, p. 60-62.
Robinson, Where our Survival Lies, p. 92-95.
(14) The following authors make recommendations concerning teacher developed materials:
Phil Cassidy, "Canadian Content?" Education Canada, Vol. 15, No.3 (Fall, 1975), 21-23.
Kirkland, The Use of Canadian Literature in Saskatchewan High Schools, p. 60-62.
(15) The following authors advocate a national curriculum:
J.J. Mussio, "The School Curriculum: A National Concern?" Education Canada, Vol. 20, No. 1 (Spring, 1980), 11-15, 41.
Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, Editorial Board, Brief to the Royal Commission on Book Publishing, prepared by John R. Main (Toronto: O.I.S.E. 1971).
Neale, "Canadian Publishing"
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Chapter 11 - Summary
This review of literature, the first part of the Canadian Learning Materials in Elementary and Secondary Education Project, was undertaken to paint a picture, in broad strokes, of Canadian educational publishing and the use of publishers' products in schools. The review was hampered by lack of information about many parts of the picture. While the review doesn't provide the specific details it does describe the boundaries, the foreground and the background of that picture.
Critical to any further attempt to bring the picture into focus is the need for a clearly stated definition of what constitutes a "Canadian learning material." Educators might argue that to be Canadian, learning materials must be written or edited by Canadians. This would provide a Canadian context irrespective of content. Canadian publishers night agree but add that the materials be produced by Canadian owned publishing houses. They would argue that such a requirement would stimulate the industry and lead to the publication of many more Canadian text or library books useful to schools. The review has not opted for a particular definition. Its purpose was to make known the various definitions now used and the apparent need to settle on common terms.
Despite past efforts to improve upon the use of Canadian learning materials little has been accomplished. Even in Ontario where policies have specifically labeled use of Canadian learning materials as important the results have not been as positive as might be expected. This is not to say that such efforts were wasted. They were not, but greater effort seems to be needed. Those surveys conducted show that most print materials used at the present time are not written by Canadians, published by Canadian firms nor do they reflect a Canadian point of view. It can be said that in certain areas of the curriculum Canadian materials are either inadequate or simply not available. However, surveys show too that even school libraries fail to include Canadian materials in their holdings.
The survey findings are curious in view of the fact that print material selection in education must be deliberate. The information children are exposed to in schools is, or is supposed to be, highly regulated by the curricula used and the goals and objectives set for education provincially and locally. How else are parents and education authorities to know of the experiences and information to which children will be exposed in school? To what culture and what heritage, indeed, are they being exposed? Because a large part of that to which children are exposed in school occurs in print, those called upon to confirm the necessity and value of school experiences should address themselves to the content and context of print materials. It seems a great deal more effort should be placed on print materials selection policies and procedures.
Those who have noticed the need for extended effort span the range of government from federal to local. The efforts of Canada Council, the governments of Ontario, Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, the Territories and several boards of education are reviewed. Those governments and boards who have exposed their policies and procedures to critical review deserve warm congratulations. It is these reviews which have exposed our inadequate attention to Canadian studies.
Educational publishers often view themselves as helpless pawns in an increasingly complex educational market place. Proliferation of curricula, lack of standardization, decreasing budgets and little evidence of "Canadian first" purchasing policies are commonly heard concerns.
The review has noted the lack of information about many aspects of the issue. Notably absent are studies which assess the impact of policy. If we change our views about learning materials selection and purchase, our views about the need to answer the questions "What Culture? What Heritage?," and our views about the need for an indigenous publishing industry we must ask what policies will support our new vision.
The second part of the Canadian Learning Materials in Elementary and Secondary Education Project aims to answer the policy question. Surveys designed to determine the policy positions of departments of education and school boards will be developed and circulated. Follow-up surveys and on-site visitations will be used selectively to assess the impact of present policy positions. Our past experience will hopefully serve to guide the hand which paints the picture that is our future.
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