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Public Education Programs


We are committed not only to raising the critical issues, but to engaging the public in an active dialogue about education and current affairs.


Over his career, our Director has devoted much of his considerable energy and organizational capabilities to a series of ventures in the realm of educating the public. He has organized and chaired many public education forums, most notably the massive founding meeting of the Ontario Coalition for Education Reform at Toronto’s Metro Hall (January 1993).

We have a proven track record in mounting blockbuster public events. While in Montreal, Paul initiated and coordinated the highly successful Lower Canada College Speakers’ Series (1999-2005) featuring an impressive roster of outstanding national and international speakers. More recently, he was instrumental in initiating the first annual Atlantic Conference of Independent Schools (ACIS) Public Lecture and Parent Forum (January, 2007).

Under the auspices of the Schoolhouse Institute, the Institute collaborated with AIMS in helping to stage a Public Forum on "Putting Students First" in March 2011 and in producing the Declaration of Principles for Students First Nova Scotia.

From March to November 2011, Schoolhouse Institute Director Paul Bennett gave a series of ten Public Lectures in Dartmouth, Charlottetown, Fredericton, Lunenburg, Truro, Windsor, Antigonish, Yarmouth,  and West Saint John, NB.  Since the publication of Vanishing Schools, Threatened Communities, he also provides advice and counsel to community school groups across the Maritimes.

As co-founder of the Nova Scotia Small Schools Initiative, Dr. Bennett formed a Public Interest Research Group and lead the tem in producing the 2013 book, The Last Stand: Schools, Communities and the Future of Rural Nova Scotia. During the Fall of 2013 and since, Paul has presented public talks in over 30 different communities in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island.

From January until November 2017, Paul chaired a national committee responsible for organizing, in collaboration with researchED UK, the first Canadian researchED Conference on November 10-11, 2017 at Trinity College, University of Toronto. It featured 29 British and Canadian speakers and attracted 170 leading teacher-researchers from right across Canada. 

“If you’ve tried working with the school system, supplementing the system, and opting out the system, and you still haven’t had enough, there’s always (the option of) trying to change the system.”
Malkin Dare, founder, Society for Quality Education, How to Get the Right Education for Your Child (1998)