One Hundred Years of Educational Stability and Change, 1920-2020

In 1920, the Canadian Marconi Company station X-W-A (later CFCF) in Montreal gave the first scheduled radio broadcast in North America, a concert by vocalist Dorothy Lutton who sang from the Marconi factory itself. The concert was such a hit that many Canadians quickly lined up outside stores to buy radios for their homes. The Marconi Company broadcast was but one of the many developments that ushered in the 1920s, a decade marked by profoundly shifting economic, social, cultural, and artistic forces.

The decade’s enthusiasm rippled through education. The school leaving age was raised in several provinces in a bid to elevate moral standards and curtail juvenile employment. British Columbia’s Putman-Weir Commission struck a resonant note for educational progressivism. Saskatchewan transferred teacher education to the university, setting teaching on a path to the modern faculty of education. The Canadian Teachers’ Federation was formed to organize teachers collectively.

The theme of the 2020 CHEA/ACHÉ conference (October 22-25 in Victoria, BC) is “One Hundred Years of Educational Stability and Change, 1920-2020.” The conference will bring together historians, community-based researchers, students, educators, and museum professionals to reflect not only on the dynamism of an expansive decade (the 1920s) – but also to consider the educational constancy and change that have characterized the century since (1920 to 2020). We especially invite proposals focussing one or the other of these eras. 

CHEA/ACHÉ also welcomes proposals outside of the conference theme that relate to the history of education – broadly defined – in Canada and beyond. We welcome both individual and panel presentations and particularly encourage graduate students, new scholars, and educators to submit proposals.

Save the date and keep an eye on the website. More to come …