For forty-years we've been witnessing a struggle between the province and the British Columbia Teachers' Federation for control of public education. It has been a costly struggle. One consequence of this is the currently disastrous state of labour relations in schools, something that stands as the most serious impediment to educational progress in a province long polarized in its political and economic affairs.
Worlds Apart, a history of provincial schools, examines the roots of this conflict, the turbulent nature of organizational relationships in public schools and the profound changes that have marked the social world before and after 1972. It describes and compares two very different "worlds"of schooling. During the first century of its operation the public education system was regarded as among the best in the nation and a source of immense provincial pride. Since 1972, however, public schooling has fallen on hard times, surrendering its once-prominent place in the hearts of British Columbians.
Worlds Apart chronicles the social, structural, and political changes that produced today's troubled state in British Columbia's schools and documents how a once-harmonious educational community has been torn apart. It analyzes the origins of the struggle between government and the teachers' federation for control of schools and, indeed, public policy. It also suggests that an archaic and now-adversarial governance structure is, in itself, problematic and should be replaced.