Paul W. Bennett


Paul W. Bennett, Ed.D. (OISE/Toronto) is Founding Director of Schoolhouse Consulting and Adjunct Professor of Education at Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, Nova Scotia. In May 2012, he and the Nova Scotia Small Schools Initiative produced a lively, visionary report entitledSchools at the Centre: A Revitalization Strategy for Rural Communities. This book builds upon the report and is a sequel to Vanishing Schools, Threatened Communities: The Contested Schoolhouse in Maritime Canada, 1850 -2010 (2011)

  • The Last Stand

    Schools, Communities and the Future of Rural Nova Scotia

    By Paul W. Bennett     September 2013

    The hour is late and the clock is ticking for rural and small town communities in Nova Scotia. School closures capture the news headlines, but they signal a more profound development: the gradual, yet relentless, decline in rural populations and a demographic shift that threatens to extinguish what remains of rural communities in Nova Scotia.

  • Vanishing Schools, Threatened Communities

    The Contested Schoolhouse in Maritime Canada 1850–2010

    By Paul W. Bennett     April 2011

    Traditional schoolhouses and neighbourhood schools are disappearing at an alarming rate, making way for “big box” schools that serve multiple communities and adhere to the logic of modernization, centralization and uniformity. In Vanishing Schools, Threatened Communities, author Paul W. Bennett explores the phenomenon of school closures, focusing on Maritime Canada from 1850 until the present day. Here is a lively, stimulating book that examines the rise of common schooling from one-room schoolhouses that encouraged local democratic control through to the rise of “super-sized” schools governed by a vast bureaucracy that silences public participation. Though the public has not always remained silent, local “save our schools” movements have not succeeded in halting the march of “progress.” Bennett sets out, in this colourful history of schools, to remind us of the principles that formed the basis of the public education system and urges us to return to these principles in order to better serve the needs of our children and our communities.