The Historical and Philosophical Foundations of Duncan McArthur Hall: 50 Years of Scholarship at Queen’s University Faculty of Education
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In 1968, the Queen’s University Faculty of Education at Duncan McArthur Hall began to educate professional teachers in an effort to solve the crisis caused by the dramatic increase in Canada’s population during the baby boom era (Gidney, 1999). Built at the same time as the influential Hall-Dennis Report, and named after one of Ontario’s most progressive Ministers of Education, the Faculty adopted new methods of teaching and learning to help inspire the next generation of teachers who were now required to complete a specialized one-year program to earn the professional ranking of Bachelor of Education (B. Ed.) (Gidney, 1999). To mark the 50th anniversary of the Faculty, this paper is a reflection on the origins of the program and how it may have changed over time. Relying on the Queen’s University archives, a vivid understanding of the education program’s inception and growth can be explored. By using a historical analysis of this era along with my own personal perspective of education at Duncan McArthur today, I uncover the intentions, growth, and criticisms of the Queen’s teacher education program in Ontario’s historical context. In this paper I will explain the progressive foundation of the B. Ed. program and how the early courses and ethical concerns were mediated. Once the historical foundation of the school is outlined, I make suggestions for where the B. Ed. program should head for the next fifty years.