Growing up has become marked in school years but at the beginning of the 20th century most children attended primary school only. This bygone era is wonderfully evoked by still photos and archival film showing what children studied and where, from the one-room schoolhouse to a railway car.
School in the 1940s and '50s is brought to life through interviews with adults who remember the first day at kindergarten, feared and loved teachers and encounters with the strap. The '60s and '70s brought television into the classroom and the concept of the open school, which changed the actual building.
School is one of a 6-part series entitled Growing Up Canadian. These documentaries explore the myths and realities of Canadian childhood through family life, schooling, work, play, health and the media. The series marks the contribution of childhood and youth experience in defining Canada as it grew into full nationhood in the 20th century.
Growing Up Canadian: School, Sheila Petzold, provided by the National Film Board of Canada