As part of UPEI’s 50th anniversary, the Robertson Library is presenting a lecture series to celebrate the historical roots of higher education on Prince Edward Island and its future. The series is named after educator Frank Pigot, honoured as a UPEI Founder for his work building the Library’s PEI Collection and University Archives. Please see a list of confirmed speakers below. More will be added over the coming weeks.
Dr. Edward MacDonald: Informal education, 1825-1965
Dr. Edward MacDonald’s will deliver the first lecture of the series on Tuesday, March 26 from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm in the Faculty Lounge of UPEI’s SDU Main Building. Dr. MacDonald’s presentation is titled “The School of Experience: A Patchwork Quilt of Informal Island Education, 1825-1965.”
While the Island’s formal education system evolved slowly and painfully across the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, other, more informal modes of teaching and learning developed to answer Islanders’ educational needs. From the agricultural societies and mechanics’ institutes of the first half of the 20th century, through the farmer’s institutes that followed, to the adult education underpinning of the Antigonish Movement and the DIY ethos of community schools in the 1960s, these informal systems of education shared one characteristic: they emphasized various kinds of practical, applied learning for Islanders who found themselves outside the province’s structured educational system.
Refreshments will be provided. Everyone is welcome.
John Cousins: Stand for your lessons
PEI historian and folklorist John Cousins will present the second lecture in the series, entitled “Stand for Your Lessons: Educational Change and Cultural Reaction.” This illustrated talk will be Tuesday, April 23 from 7:00 to 8:30 pm in the Eptek Centre in Summerside.
The period between 1960 and the early 1970s brought the most dramatic change in Island education since the creation of the one-room district schools in the early 1850s. The consolidation of the public schools saw the disappearance of a major element in Island culture. This presentation will examine the impact of that change on rural Island communities, on their families and on the children who were “consolidated.” Further, a main question remains to be examined: what lessons can learned by using prior experience as a guide to evaluate how elements of culture may react during dramatic, and sometimes traumatic, change?
Refreshments will be provided. All are welcome.