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M. B. Wansbrough.

Hamilton, Image Publishing, c1980.
Distributed by Image Publishing, 17 Davenport Rd., Toronto, ON, M5R1H2.
144pp, paper, $4.95.
ISBN 0-9690633-0-X.

Reviewed by Glenn DiPasquale.

Volume 10 Number 4.
1982 November.

Barry Wansbrough has been headmaster of Hillfield-Strathallan College in Hamilton, Ontario for eleven years. This is a private school of over 800 students, the second largest in the Canadian Association of Independent Schools.

Wansbrough also appears to be a right-wing conservative who has seized the opportunity provided by the back-to-basics movement to write a persuasive, easy-to-read little book promulgating his highly opinionated perception of the current state of education (and almost everything else) in Canada. He quotes no experts or research studies and in fact shows some disdain for both. A rather telling quotation in this regard is: "I will do a research study to prove my point someday, but in the meantime I urge you to believe...."

Having made these comments, however, let me hasten to add that this book is, in my opinion, a veritable gem. The author is provocative and can make good common sense and uncommonly bad sense, often in the same paragraph. He ranges far and wide in addressing just about every educational issue, and the book can seem disorganized because of it. Some readers may take umbrage at his predictably partisan views regarding government support for private schools. Nonetheless, both parents and educators will find this book interesting, particularly when it focuses on issues such as parent-school relations, the role of government in education, the funding of both public and private schools, discipline, parenting, and women's rights, to name a few.

Physically, this book is nicely produced. The illustrations, however, are overdone and contribute little, and never have I seen more confusing figures or diagrams.

Glenn DiPasquale, York County Board of Education, Newmarket, ON.
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