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Queen's University

Josh ColeColeJosh.JPG

Ph.D. Candidate

Phone: 613-533-2150
Fax: 613-533-6298


PhD, History, Queen's University (provisional defense date: July 31st, 2013)

Dissertation: Children, Schools, and Utopias: Education and Modernity in Ontario's Long 1960s. Committee: Dr. Ian McKay, History (supervisor); Dr. Jeffrey L. McNairn, History; Dr. Rosa Bruno-Jofré, Education

Teaching Fields: Post-Confederation Canadian history; Pre-Confederation Canadian history; twentieth century American history

MA, History, Queen's University, 2007
BAH, History, Huron University College at Western, 2006


PhD Research

My current area of research focuses on education reform in Ontario following the Second World War, drawing out its pan-Canadian and international dimensions. More broadly, however, my scholarship lies on the border between educational history and social and cultural history, and deals with several interconnected themes, including state formation and education, the creation and reproduction of liberal political identities through education, political economy and education, and education and modernity in the broadest sense. My SSHRCC-CGS funded dissertation explores the development of 1968's Living and Learning: The Report of the Provincial Committee on Aims and Objectives of Education in The Schools of Ontario. The committee behind this report was struck in late-1964, and was charged with bringing Ontario education out of the nineteenth-century, and 'up to speed' with the dynamic, postwar modern world. Their report was a utopian document that sought to use education as a panacea for a wide-range of social and economic ills, and it influenced teachers and policy-makers inside and outside of Canada. In its successes and failures, it stands as a key example of international trends in postwar school reform. This dissertation is the first full-length study of 'neo-progressivism'  in Canadian educational historiography, and seeks to make a valuable contribution to Canadian social and cultural historiography as well.

Refereed Journal Articles

"Alpha Children Wear Grey: Postwar Ontario and Soviet Education Reform," in Historical Studies in Education /Revue d'histoire de l'éducation 25 (2) 2013

"'La Vida es Movimiento Continuo, la Inercia es Muerte': El Informe Hall-Dennis, la Modernidad y la Educación Progresiva en el Ontario de Posguerra," in Sembrando Ideas 5 (1), 2011 ["'Life is Perpetual Motion and Repose is Death': The Hall-Dennis Report, Modernity, and Progressive Education in Postwar Ontario"]

Articles and Chapters under Review

"The Idea of the University, its Historical Transformation and the Development of Faculties of Education: An International Approach" (co-authored with Rosa Bruno-Jofré) (2012), inTeacher Education in a Transnational World, edited by Rosa Bruno-Jofré and James Scott Johnston, under contract with University of Toronto Press

Articles in Progress

"Education and Architecture in Canada's Long-1960s: Space and Light and Order," to be submitted to Paedagogica Historica, Fall, 2013

Research Groups

Theory and History of Education International Research Group (Associate Member)

Other Publications

The Miss G_Project Project for Equity in Education, "Report on Bill 13: the Accepting Schools Act and Anti-Violence Education" (contributor) (2012)

"DIY U: Can Digital Solutions Save Universities?" (2010) in (reprinted in Best of 2010)

"Raymond Williams and Education – 'A Slow Reach Again for Control'" (2008) in The Encyclopedia of Informal Education:

Conferences Organized

Conference Chair, "'Forward Through the Rearview Mirror'? Re-assessing History as a Medium," McGill-Queen's Graduate Student Conference in History, Queen's University, Kingston, March, 2009

Refereed Conference Presentations

"Industrial Democracy Died, and so did Dewey: the Hall-Dennis Report and the Challenge of the New Left," Canadian History of Education Association/l'Association canadienne d'histoire de l'éducation Conference, Vancouver, October 2012

"The Hall-Dennis Report, the U.S.S.R., and Postwar Ontario Education: a Stimulus Leading to the Morrow's Joy" Canadian Historical Association/Réunion annuelle de la Société historique du Canada, Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Waterloo, May 2012

"Special Education, Cultural Deprivation, and Educational Reform in Postwar Canada," Society for the History of Childhood and Youth Biennial Conference, Columbia University, New York City, June 2011

"Should We Devise a Happening, and Call it a School?: Educational Television, Utopian Pedagogy, and The Hall-Dennis Report," Canadian History of Education Association/l'Association canadienne d'histoire de l'éducation Conference, York University, Toronto, October 2010

Selected Scholarships and Awards

Queen's Graduate Award, 2011-2012
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Canada Graduate Scholarship, Doctoral Scholarship, 2008-2011
Ontario Graduate Scholarship, 2008/2009 (declined)
Women's Canadian Historical Society of Toronto Doctoral Award, 2007/2008
Ontario Graduate Scholarship, 2006/2007
The Nelson Viglianti Memorial Mature Student Award, 2006
The Huron University College Alumni History Award, 2005/2006
The Huron University College Kevin Cunliffe Fourth-Year Scholarship, 2004/2005

Teaching Assistantships Previously Held

History 262: The Canadian Challenge II: 1950-2000 (2007-2008 and 2008/2009) 
History 269: Nineteenth-Century Political History of Canada
History 249: The United States from 1865 to the Present
History 280: Gender in North American History (2011-2012 and Summer 2012)
History 288: The Rise of the British Empire
History 274: The Cultural History of Modern France
History 218: Byzantium

Professional Associations

Canadian Historical Association
Canadian History of Education Association
The History Education Network
Society for the History of Children and Youth
Canadian Society for the Study of Education
The Canadian Association of Foundations of Education
American Educational Research Association


Member of the Miss G_Project Project for Equity in Education's "Bill 13 Expert Committee" examining Ontario's proposed "Accepting Schools Act," January/February, 2012


Queen's University Expert ("Ontario Reaches Deal with Catholic teachers"), Queen's University, News and Media Services, July, 2012

Queen's University Expert ("Teachers vs. Ontario Government"), Queen's University, News and Media Services, from March, 2012

Ontario Election Expert ("Education Reform"), Queen's University, News and Media Services, September/October, 2011

Kingston, Ontario, Canada. K7L 3N6. 613.533.2000