First Educational Conference
Publication Date: 1966
Under The Auspices of The Guelph Board of Education
October 2 & 3, 1964
We wished to improve communications with people in our community and rejected such possibilities as public relations campaign or a planned programme in the local press in favour of a community conference. We reached the conclusion, that if we established favourable relationships with 200 of our most active and interested citizens, this would be more fruitful than a mass campaign.
We began by asking organizations in Guelph to submit the names of 5 to 10 people who might be interested in attending such a conference. Co-operation was excellent and we were able to send out over 200 invitations. These people were given advance information and were asked to select a discussion group from a list of subjects which we were prepared to offer.
The conference opened on a Friday night in October 1965 with an opening speech. From about 9.30 p.m. to 11.00 p.m. the delegates met in the pre-selected groups. We had subjects such as: The Re-Organized Programme in Secondary Schools, new Mathematics in Schools, Reading Programme, Guidance, and Schools in the Community. Not more than 20 people were permitted in any one group, so that it was necessary to have two groups on some subjects. In each group we had a discussion leader and four resource people.
Following the Friday night in which the group members became acquainted with each other and the subject, Saturday morning was used for more complete discussions. The conference re-convened about 11.00 a.m. on Saturday morning to hear reports from each discussion group and a general appraisal of the conference by the Director of Education. The Conference closed with lunch.
We were delighted with the response and by the enthusiasm of the 200 delegates. We plan to hold a second conference this fall and then, perhaps, one every second year.
- From material contributed by
Mr. F. A. Hamilton
Director of Education, 1964.