Join us on 12 February for the first History Speaker Series event of the Winter 2015 term, From Nicholas Nickleby to High School Graduate: Hockey, Education, and Canadian boys, 1945-1967, presented by J. Andrew Ross, a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Guelph.
In postwar Canada a debate arose over the role of sport in education, especially over the moral and economic implications of sport training for teenage boys, and the institutional environment in which the training took place. This talk looks at this debate through an examination of the interaction of two trends in the early post-Second World War era: the new imperative of a high school education and the concurrent development of a sophisticated extra-curricular amateur hockey player development system that aimed to supply professional clubs. It argues that the public debate over hockey and education went beyond sport and spoke to the greater issue of the future prospects of Canadian boys as moral beings, educated citizens, and skilled workers. The availability of internal sources from Canadian education groups such as the Canadian Education Association (CEA), as well as hockey executives like the National Hockey League (NHL) and the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association (CAHA) allows a nuanced view of how contemporaries contested the issues.