Fonds 2020-014 - Paul W. Bennett

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Paul W. Bennett

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    • 1979-2019, predominant 2007-2018 (Creation)
      Bennett, Paul W.

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    Physical description

    4.5 m of textual records (35 boxes)
    7 photographs
    17 digital files: MS Word, MS PowerPoint, PDF, MPLS, CD Audio

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    Biographical history

    Paul Warren Bennett, is an author, education commentator, and consultant. He began his career in education in 1974 as a history teacher in Ontario, then joined Upper Canada College in Toronto in 1980 as Chair of the History Department and served as their academic vice principal until 1997. He then moved to Montreal QC to become headmaster of Lower Canada College from 1997 to 2005. In 2005 Bennett moved to Halifax Nova Scotia to be headmaster at Halifax Grammar School, a post he held until 2009, when he established his own consulting company Schoolhouse Institute and Consulting Inc. As part of his business, Bennett conducted research into education policy and produced reports for the Atlantic Institute of Market Studies (AIMS), the Canadian Accredited Independent Schools (CAIS), the Northern Policy Institute, and Thinkwell Research for the Nova Scotia Department of Education. In addition, he wrote research commentaries, opinion editorials, and book reviews for The Halifax Chronicle Herald Newspaper, and gave public talks on the history of schools in Nova Scotia. Bennett is also a community organizer, being a founding member of two education reform movements in Nova Scotia, an extension of his earlier work with the Ontario School Board Reform Network and the Coalition for Education Reform in Ontario. The Students First NS movement focused on school board reform and was active from 2010 to 2011. The NS Small Schools Initiative citizen activists group formed in 2012. They lobbied school boards and the Department of Education to keep rural schools open and were active until 2017. Bennett also taught graduate education courses at Mount Saint Vincent University and then taught as Adjunct Professor of Education at Saint Mary’s University, both in Halifax. Since 2017, he has been founder and National Coordinator for ResearchED in Canada. As of 2023, Paul W. Bennett continues to teach, write and comment on educational matters.

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    Scope and content

    Consists of records generated by Bennett’s writing and research activities as Director of Schoolhouse Institute including typescripts, drafts, and published versions of his commentary (opinion editorials) news media articles, book reviews, and research reports (2008-2017); and 3 of his published books: Vanishing Schools Threatened Communities (published 2011) on history of rural school closures in NS; The Grammar School (published 2009) on history of Halifax Grammar School; and The Last Stand (published 2013) on the lobbying activities of the NS Small Schools Initiative. Bennett’s research files include interview notes, collected articles and reports by others with his annotations (collected 2005-2019) and were used to support his writing and presentations. Records from The NS Small Schools Initiative include minutes of school board meetings, emails between group members, and their presentations to government. The Students First NS files include public forum discussion notes and emails with organizers (2009-2016).

    The fonds also includes power-point slide presentations Bennett presented to professional educators and historians conferences as well as to local heritage group events, including a video recording of a talk Bennett gave at the Yarmouth County Museum and Archives on the history of school building in Nova Scotia (2010-2017).

    Subjects include history of the education system and governance in Nova Scotia, school closures and consolidations, school board reforms, snow days, e-learning, teacher and student evaluations (standardized testing), Public Private Partnership (P3) schools, bussing of children, and special education and inclusiveness in the last half of the 20th century.

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    Immediate source of acquisition

    Donated by Paul W. Bennett in 2020.


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        Copyright of published articles, reports and books are owned by the publisher(s).

        Copyright of unpublished material owned by Nova Scotia Archives.

        See Nova Scotia Archives’ Services page for information on copying, reproduction, and use of materials.

        Associated materials

        The Archives of Ontario also holds records from Paul W. Bennett, covering his time with the Ontario School Board Reform Network and the Coalition for Education Reform in Ontario, 1981 to 2016.

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        Image: Paul W. Bennett with Ramona Jennex (Minister of Education 2011-2013, NDP Kings South)

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