Posted by: bwoof | February 24, 2015

“Living and Learning” (the Hall-Dennis Report circa 1965-68)

LIVING AND LEARNING50 years ago right now the Ontario Ministry of Education commissioned a report about learning — and by 1968 a transformational if not controversial report was published. I vaguely remember the commotion it caused. But now I’m astonished to realize how MUCH it has influenced learning today and also how LONG it takes for change to actually take place.

The photo to the right shows the hard-cover book loaned to me by a friend, the daughter of Lloyd Dennis, co-author of this report. I feel like I’m looking at holy ground.

Believe it or not, the following quotes are 50 years old but are never more relevant than today.  I’m amazed!

“The fixed positions of pupil and teacher…must give way to a more relaxed teacher-pupil relationship which will encourage discussion, inquiry, and experimentation, and enhance the dignity of the individual.”

“A good curriculum must meet the needs and expressed desires of pupils. It creates in the school a pleasant and friendly environment in which young children know that they are appreciated and accepted; in which maturing young people will find that they and their ideas are respected; and in which all pupils find interest and satisfaction in learning. It gives a realistic and objective exposition of society and its institutions. It encourages pupils to ask questions, to contribute further information, and to express their opinions freely, and it encourages teachers to answer pupils’ questions truthfully as often and as fully as possible.”

“…arbitrary measures of achievement and the concepts of promotion and failure should be removed from the schools not to reduce standards, but to improve the quality of learning. The evaluation of pupils’ progress should be a continuous part of the learning process, not a separate periodic exercise. It should be a co-operative endeavor of teacher and pupil.”

“The modern professional teacher is a person who guides the learning process… places the pupil in the center of the learning activity and encourages and assists him in learning how to inquire, organize, and discuss, and to discover answers to problems of interest to him. The emphasis is on the process of inquiry as well as on the concepts discovered.”

Grateful for:

  • hockey moms and a wonderful weekend of tears, laughter, food, fun
  • my Twitter feed which is turning into a rich seam of professional learning — unexpected surprise
  • several amazing conversations with teachers (Wendy, Derek, Ingrid, Mandy, Susan, Joe, Dave etc) today who are totally on fire with eagerness to edit and refine their assessments — can’t stop these folks!

Inside cover of Living and learningCurious about:

  • how to find ‘next generation PLTs’
  • how much $$$ was raised at SoupFest tonight?
  • who was the artist who created this inside cover of “Living and Learning”?  For a major government report this is a pretty fun cover!


  1. […] Get a bit of an overview here. See also, Beth Woof’s post: Living and Learning” (the Hall-Dennis Report circa 1965-68) […]

  2. […] Get a bit of an overview here. See also, Beth Woof’s post: Living and Learning” (the Hall-Dennis Report circa 1965-68) […]

  3. […] Get a bit of an overview here. See also, Beth Woof’s post: Living and Learning” (the Hall-Dennis Report circa 1965-68) […]

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