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).
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.
Paul was in the forefront in the struggle to save threatened small schools and to convert emptying schools into community hub schools. From March to November 2011, our Director Paul Bennett gave a series of ten Public Lectures on the history of school closures in Dartmouth, Charlottetown, Fredericton, Lunenburg, Truro, Windsor, Antigonish, Yarmouth, and West Saint John, NB. Since the publication of Vanishing Schools, Threatened Communities in 2011, 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 team 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 on rural schools in over 30 different communities in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island.
Since May of 2015, Dr. Bennett has been active with researchED, a UK-based teacher research organization founded by London teacher Tom Bennett and engaging thousands of classroom teachers committed to education reform through improvements in teaching practice. After attending researchED conferences in New York City (May 2015), London UK (September 2016), and Washington DC (October 2016), Paul brought researchED to Canada in November 2017. chaired a national committee responsible for organizing the first Canadian researchED Conference on November 10-11, 2017 at Trinity College, University of Toronto.
Starting in September 2020, our Schoolhouse Director has been actively engaged in promoting Canadian education reform on a national speaking tour talking up The State of the System: A Reality Check on Canada’s Schools. He has appeared on national and regional television and radio and delivered numerous webinars to a wide variety of audiences, including the Conference Board of Canada (Bright Future Series, September 2020), Cardus Education Foundation (September 2020), and the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada.