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Children in English-Canadian Society

Framing the Twentieth-Century Consensus

Table of contents

Table of Contents for
Children in English-Canadian Society: Framing the Twentieth-Century Consensus edited by Neil Sutherland

Foreword | Cynthia Comachhio


Part I: “Elevate the Home”: Changing Attitudes to Children in English-Speaking Canada, 1870–1900

1. “A Good Home and Kind Treatment”: Late-Nineteenth-Century English-Canadian Attitudes to Children and Child-Rearing

2. “Multitudes Better Equipped. ..than Their Fathers”: A New Childhood for a New Society

Part II: “To Create a Strong and Healthy Race”: Children in the Public Health Movement, 1880–1920

3. “Our Whole Aim Is Prevention”: Public Health in the Schools, 1880–1914

4. “Education. ..Carried on Principally in the Home”: The Campaign to Reduce Infant Mortality, 1895–1920

5. “Invariably the Race Levels Down”: Mental Hygiene and Canadian Children

6. “How Can We Reach Them?”: Making Child Health a Nation-Wide Enterprise

Part III: “Remove the Young from Schools of Crime”: Transforming the Treatment of Juvenile Delinquents, 1885–1925

7. From Reformatory to Family Home: Late-Nineteenth-Century Young Offenders in the Context of Changing Theory and Prevailing Practice

8. Towards “Intelligent and Progressive Legislation for the Prevention of Crime”: Preparing the Way for the Juvenile Delinquents Act, 1886–1908

9. Trying to Make a “Child into What a Child Should Be‘: Implementing the Juvenile Delinquents Act, 1908–1925

Part IV: “The School Must Be the Agent”: Using the New Education to Make the New Society

10 Changing Albert School: The Institutional Context for Education Reform in Canada, 1890–1920

11. “A Very Strong Undercurrent of Dissatisfaction”: Setting the Stage for the. “New” Education, 1885–1900

12. “The Common Centre from which Radiated Plans and Labours”: The Macdonald-Robertson Movement Demonstrates the New Education to Canadians, 1900–1913

13. From Proposals to Policy: The “New” Education Enters the Main Stream, 1910–1920

Part V: Children in English-Canadian Society in the Twentieht Century

14. “Launch a Generation”: Organizing to Implement the New Consensus


Bibliographic Note



“So often a long-awaited book is disappointing. Happily such is not the case with Sutherland’s masterpiece. ” Robert M. Stamp, University of Calgary, in The Canadian Historical Review

“Sutherland’s work is destined to be a landmark in Canadian history, both as a first in its particular field and as a standard reference text. ” J. Stewart Hardy, University of Alberta, in Alberta Journal of Educational Research

Such were the reviewers’ comments when Neil Sutherland’s groundbreaking book was first published. Now reissued in Wilfrid Laurier University Press’s new series “Studies in Childhood and Family in Canada,” with a new introduction by series editor Cynthia Comacchio, this book remains relevant today. In the late nineteenth century a new generation of reformers committed itself to a program of social improvement based on the more effective upbringing of all children. In Children in English-Canadian Society, Neil Sutherland examines, with a keen eye, the growth of the public health movement and its various efforts at improving the health of children.


``Sutherland has undertaken an ambitious project, and from this reviewers perspective, he has been successful in achieving his goal. He has been able to pull together three different reform movements that focused their attention on the reordering of family life. He is adept in his use of examples, be it a disease such as diphtheria, a school such as the Albert Kelso, or cities such as Winnipeg, Hamilton, Toronto, or Vancouver. It should also be pointed out that Sutherland places the Canadian scene in an international perspective, something that is often lacking in American educational studies. ''

- Harvey G. Neufeldt, Educational Studies

``Dr. Sutherland vividly conveys the impact of an amazing variety of reforms through a judicious use of case studies and representative illustrations. This pioneering study of attitudes and policies towards children is primarily concerned with the agencies that were created and revised to reflect the attitudes of reformers. Commendably, the author escapes the dryness and tedium that so often characterizes institutional studies. ''

- Judith Fingard, BC Historical News