Egerton Ryerson’s Commission as Superindentent of Schools in Upper Canada, 1846

This document is one of the most significant in the Ryerson Family Papers because it marks the official start of Egerton Ryerson’s tenure as the chief architect of Ontario’s school system (Ryerson had, in fact, first been appointed Assistant Superintendent under the nominal leadership of the province’s Vice-Chancellor, in 1844). After an extensive study of educational models in Europe and the United States, he submitted a landmark report which culminated in the passing, in 1846, of the first of three School Acts. The changes recommended by Ryerson were numerous and far-reaching: standards for curriculum; the training, inspection and examination of teachers; the selection and distribution of textbooks; the establishment of school libraries; the publication of the Journal of Education to assist teachers with their professional development; and the creation of local boards of trustees. Over a period of time, these innovations and reforms would revolutionize education in Canada and lay the groundwork for the school system as we know it today. (Ryerson Family Papers. p.60, A.1996-099)