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Manitoba History: Life History as a Window to Understanding the Politics of Teaching and Schooling: Manitoba Teacher Sybil Shack (1911-2004)

by Rosa Bruno-Jofré
Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario

Number 59, October 2008

This article was published originally in Manitoba History by the Manitoba Historical Society on the above date. We make this online version available as a free, public service. As an historical document, the article may contain language and views that are no longer in common use and may be culturally sensitive in nature.

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Sybil Shack helped define education in the province of Manitoba, Canada, as much as Manitoba and its schools defined her. She was a teacher, teaching principal, textbook writer, educational writer, broadcaster, leader of teachers’ organizations, and civil libertarian. Her influence extended to the nation-at-large reaching the profile of a national public figure.

This article sets her life history as the context for a discussion of her ideas and professional involvement. [1] This approach is grounded in the thesis that Sybil Shack’s views on educational issues were rooted in her lived experience not only as a student and as a teacher, but also as a child of Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe who settled in the north end of Winnipeg, an ebullient political neighbourhood. Her parents introduced her to socialist and humanistic ideals instilled in her a love for freedom, egalitarianism, and a sense of identity. Her life history provides a window to recreate life and schooling in Manitoba in the first half of the century while helping to understand how she construed the ideas, she expounded.

Sybil Shack’s ideas were published in various venues, mostly teachers’ magazines and refer to her professional work. She did not pretend to be a scholar. In fact, she distrusted academic educators and their conclusions. Instead, Sybil Shack engaged teachers and the public in the issues of the time. She was guided by her profound belief in the articulation of theory and practice, her own practice, and her belief in the role of public education in cultivating and strengthening the Canadian polity, the professionalization of teaching, women’s rights, and freedom of thought and expression. Rather than creating a new body of knowledge, Sybil critiqued the social institutions and practices of which she was part. At the core of her arguments, there was always the intersection of Canadianism that she absorbed at school, non-marxist socialist ideas, civic humanistic values, and civil libertarian views of freedom. [2] Not surprisingly, at one point or another, she embraced pedagogically progressive ideas and she even applied the project method that was known in Alberta in the 1930s. [3] In the last part of the article, I focus on Sybil Shack’s understanding of the role of public education in articulating a Canadian polity and related issues of freedom, diversity, and nationhood. I examine Sybil’s mistrust of multiculturalism in the early seventies and her notion of a Canada differentiated from the United States. Her own life history provides an explanation of her inability to break with early political and ideological frameworks to embrace new social demands.

Sybil Francis Shack (1911–2004) earned a national reputation as a teacher, writer, and broadcaster. She wrote education texts and general interest books, was president of the Manitoba Teachers Society, director of the Canadian Teachers Federation, and led many professional education committees of the Manitoba Department of Education.
Source: R. Bruno-Jofré

Family Background and Manitoba Context

Sybil Shack’s very presence in Manitoba was the result of the mass immigration movement that brought a diversity of people to Canada. She was the daughter of Alexander Shack and Pauline Katz Shack. Sybil Shack’s father’s family arrived in Canada in 1903 from Odessa (now in Ukraine), when Alexander was nineteen, while her mother’s family, originally from western Ukraine, had come to Canada in 1904, after a sojourn in New Jersey. Both families left behind memories of injustice, compulsory military service in spite of being disenfranchised, and lack of rights even to own their land. [4] Thanks to the pen-strokes of French Canadian immigration officers who shortened a long, and—to their minds—difficult name, Sybil Shack’s father officially became Alexander “Shack.” Thus, he was able to found a family in Manitoba with a Canadianized surname. Her father had graduated in Odessa from a Jewish technical school where he took a trade, half-days in the trade and half-days in the academic program. He was a polyglot whose languages included Russian, Ukrainian, German, Hebrew, and Yiddish (the language spoken by his family) and “had a background rooted in socialism, humanism, and intellectualism.” [5] Both of Sybil Shack’s parents were also literate in English. From the time that her father entered Canada, he began learning English on his own. However, he held blue-collar jobs and his salary was just enough to keep the family well. In an anecdote shared with the author and a group of women, Sybil Shack recalled that her father once told her that his first reading of English was a sign in a shop window the day he got off the train and walked down Main Street in Winnipeg. The sign read: HELP WANTED. NO ENGLISHMAN NEED APPLY. She concluded ironically, by saying “the remittance men were not popular in a town which was founded by Scots.” [6] For Sybil Shack’s mother, Pauline, formal education started in the Italian section of New York and ended at age fourteen, in grade eight, in Winnipeg. Pauline Shack had a strong business sense, and when Mr. Shack was out of work, she opened up and ran a small store with great success, but when he got a permanent job, she closed the shop and returned to her duties as homemaker. She inspired Sybil, and in some ways resembled the women described by Sybil in chapter two of her book Saturday’s Stepchildren. [7]

The Shacks and their families joined a vibrant Jewish community from Eastern Europe that had made Winnipeg, a real centre of Canadian Jewry, their home. [8] Sybil Frances Shack was born in 1911, during a period of marked public consciousness of the demographic shifts in immigration that had brought her parents to Canada. By the mid-and late-1910s educational and political leaders identified the large number of non-British newcomers to Manitoba as a public issue. In 1918, the Minister of Education, R. S. Thornton, in his address to the Manitoba Educational Association, emphasized the need to bring newcomers more quickly into Canadian national life, and into the life of the province. [9]

Schools in Manitoba aimed at a form of Canadianism that was rooted in Anglo-conformity. In 1916, the year before Sybil Shack started school, the legislature repealed the section of the Public Schools Act permitting bilingual instruction, and it unanimously approved the School Attendance Act. While communities such as the Franco- Manitoban one, entered into a phase of active resistance, she argued in her historical writing that such measures were necessary to secure Canadian unity and identity, and to restore some order to the linguistic chaos generated by hundreds of one-room schoolhouses in which no word of English was spoken or taught. [10]

Shack’s Early Life

Sybil Shack’s formal education began in Winnipeg in 1917 at the William Whyte School (a school that had been built in the north end for immigrants and their children), where, according to her recollection, probably twothirds or more of the pupils were Jewish that first year. [11] During Sybil’s early life, the Shack family moved several times, first to northern Manitoba, and then to Veregin, Saskatchewan, home to a Doukhobor community, which Sybil felt offered insight into a very interesting and genuine communal life. Again, there were not many English-speaking families in the district, and Sybil Shack completed two grades in one year in Saskatchewan. In 1920, however, the family returned to Winnipeg, where Sybil was able to complete her studies. [12] The return to Winnipeg underlined the fact that Sybil was indeed a daughter of the north end, where her parents had met, married, and where she was born in 1911 in the bedroom behind her grandparents’ store on Pritchard Avenue. Shack’s detailed descriptions of her colourful neighbourhood on Boyd Avenue also attest to her sense of belonging there:

Our next door neighbours to the west, when I was a little girl, were the Dahlstroms … Her voice, with its interesting Swedish lilt, was a familiar part of my childhood. One of the first things I learned from the Dahlstroms was that homes had different smells. Our house, and the houses of my aunts and cousins, smelled of familiar foods, of fish cooking, and chicken fat being rendered, and onions frying, and bread baking, and clothes being boiled in the large copper boiler on the kitchen range. Mrs. Dahlstrom’s house had completely different smells, because, as I learned very soon, she used fats for frying that were forbidden to Jews. Strictly speaking, I wasn’t supposed to eat anything in her house because it was not kosher, but I can confess now that I loved her cookies, especially those that Tekla, her daughter, used to sneak out to us kids. To the east of us lived the Hinkels, who spoke only German at home because old Mrs. Hinkel, the grandmother, knew no English. She had been a midwife in the old country, and in spite of her age still officiated (illegally, of course) when a doctor was not obtained, or was too expensive. [13]

The interior of Shack’s grandparents’ store on 450 Pritchard Avenue, Winnipeg is seen in this undated photo. The young woman in the centre would become her mother.
Source: R. Bruno-Jofré

The Shack family that included Sybil, her parents, and Freda who was five years younger than Sybil, lived on Boyd Avenue at the time. Later in life Sybil recalled passing shop windows with signs in various languages, Chinese (mostly laundry), German, Yiddish; later Italian, Portuguese, and Japanese. She wrote:

On windy days newspapers in those languages blew against our legs as we walked to school, and demanded our attention. We picked up the laundry and carried home the groceries wrapped in them. It was no accident that so many of the children of that community became teachers and writers and broadcasters, users of language. [14]

This diversity had an impact on school life and the boundaries between private and public personae tended to become blurred in the school experience. Sybil Shack and her classmates often resisted and contested the curriculum, especially when it conflicted with, or reflected poorly upon, their ethnic identities. She recalls that in 1922–1923, at William Whyte, she was one of a group of students who protested having to study The Merchant of Venice giving its depiction of Shylock, the Jew, as an usurer and by vocation a villain. The school principal was sympathetic, but she also tried to convince the students that Shylock was really the hero, not the villain of Shakespeare’s play. However, in a paradoxical way, Miss Redman (the principal in question) also tried to appease the students by suggesting that Shakespeare had lived at a time when there were no Jews in England; therefore, he could not be expected to portray Jews in an authentic manner. Sybil Shack felt that she learned to become a Canadian from the teachers she and her fellow students admired and imitated in speech and manner, from the songs they were taught (e.g., “Rule Britannia,” and “The Maple Leaf Forever”), from the stories told in class, and, of course from the textbooks. However, the process of becoming Canadian for Sybil Shack also entailed accommodation and resistance, as reflected in discussion about the character of Shylock in The Merchant of Venice. These and other examples suggest the origins of the tensions in her understanding of diversity and her concerns with policies associated with multiculturalism.

Her journal for 1923 shows a very active student ready to question poor teaching practices. On Monday, 8 October 1923, she wrote with exasperation that a history teacher, Miss Tompson, did not teach them decently. “Her methods are hard to understand and her notes are practically copied from the book.” She went on to describe the process that morning,

Dora Stuman, Elsie Dubinsky, Mary Schwarty, Bertha Paskod, Roosie Silvert and I went to speak to her about it. The rest of the girls promised they’d stand by us. Tommie (sic) was to going to give us a history exam and we weren’t fit to take it so we were going to complain. We asked the boys to join but one, Morris Pierce, expressed the sentiment of the rest when he said, “you girls, go ahead. We’ll see what you can do. But you won’t dare complain.” So none of them came with us.

Sybil Shack was the first to speak and Dora and Elsie helped her. The rest portrays a school scene of the time, “Tommie flew into a temper and vowed she’d strap us all. She even sent Rosie Goldin for the strap. And Rosie went. But Mr. Hearne wasn’t in the office, I guess, so she got along with knocking us on the head with her pointer and giving a scolding every opportunity she had.” [15]

At the time, St. John High School met the needs of bright students by acceleration. When she was selected to take grades 10 and 11 in one year, her parents said that she was too young, but Sybil Shack said “No, I’m not,” so she took both grades in one year and graduated from grade 11 at fourteen. She recalled, “And I would have probably gone on to take grade 12, because it was free and university cost money, but I got an entrance scholarship that year [the Isbister Scholarship in 1925]. The scholarship was for $100 and paid all my fees and even left $10 for books. I bought all the books second-hand from Adele Churchill who was a year ahead of me.” [16] She recalled later on in a conversation with the members of the Community of Inquirers that during the first two years at the university, she was afraid of her own shadow. She still remembered standing in line waiting to register behind all those gray flannel pants worn by the young men and she was so short. It was humiliating too in those days to have to pay her tuition fees in two instalments because the family did not have money to pay in full at the beginning of the academic year. Although she was very shy socially, she was outspoken in the class and an outstanding student. [17] In 1927, she recorded in her journal her concern over the finances of the family and the fact that she was going to school. She was only sixteen, but the lines are powerful:

I must be able to pay back in part. I must be worth the sacrifice. Sacrifice, I know sounds melodramatic but it is just that on papa’s salary. But I can do it and I will. It isn’t conceit to put down here what Mr. Gardner told papa yesterday. He said that it would have been a shame to deny me a University education, that I was clever and could do anything, that I was capable of great things. I wish, I were … [18]

Mr. Gardner was prophetically right. Sybil graduated from the Faculty of Arts, the University of Manitoba, in 1929 with a four-year B.A. [an Honour’s B.A.]

Stenographer, Nurse, or Teacher: Career Choice and the Forging of Identity

Like many females of her generation, Sybil Shack had extremely limited career choices upon graduating from the University of Manitoba in 1929. As many other female educational leaders of her time—like Agnes McDonald [19] and Myrtle Conway [20], for example—following graduation at the University of Manitoba, Sybil Shack at eighteen years of age had three choices: to become a stenographer, a nurse, or a teacher. [21] She chose the latter, for the following reasons:

I knew I didn’t want to be a stenographer. I had some office experience in my student days, and nursing didn’t appeal to me at all. I should have liked to be either a journalist or a lawyer, but two practicing lawyers told my father that women in law firms at that time were treated almost like office boys or gophers. Besides, my sister was coming up to university, and in our house it was not the age of affluence, and no way could we have coped financially with two students at the university. So I went to Normal School for 10 months and became a teacher. For all its problems, teaching remains a satisfying job. Among other things it confers on its practitioners a kind of immortality: a little bit of us, good, bad or indifferent, live on in our students, forever. [22]

Sybil Shack emerged from the Normal School in 1930 into the Depression. Thus, for two years she improvised a career by marking papers, by substitute teaching in Winnipeg, and by writing for two weekly magazines. At age seventeen, she had already begun writing a column on City Council for Weekly News, which was published by the Independent Labour Party, an organization that her mother and father had joined. After graduation from the Normal School, Sybil also took on another column for an Anglo-Jewish weekly (Western Jewish News) that reported recitals and other social events. She stopped writing such columns when her two-hundredth application brought her a full-time teaching position at a high school in Foxwarren, Manitoba, in 1932.

The Normal School, led by Dr. William McIntyre, who also taught philosophy of education, influenced Sybil’s understanding of teaching and learning. McIntyre, a reader of John Dewey, was an advocate of progressive education. Instead of setting assignments to further or test knowledge, McIntyre listed on the blackboard topics suggested by the students and from which they made their choice for a project. Working in teams with that freedom influenced her approach to teaching. [23] McIntyre’s familiarity with the principles of progressive education is not surprising given that its principles (i.e., child-centered education, the role of experience, the community, and democracy in education) had reached a number of Canadian provinces in the late twenties and early thirties. The traveling of Dewey’s ideas and of the pedagogical progressive tenets along with administrative progressive ideas concerned with social efficiency were part of the syncretic progressive ideological configuration of the time. Non-Marxist socialists like Sybil Shack found a natural affinity with the discourse of social reconstruction, developmentalism, and holistic learning often within a naturalistic framework. Sybil Shack’s understanding of teaching and learning was embedded in the pedagogical progressive vision of education rooted in an optimistic vision of the humane, developmentalism, holistic learning, and a strong belief in a democratic participatory classroom. [24]

During the thirties and forties, Sybil Shack devoted her time to teaching at the elementary level (until 1943), junior high, and high school briefly. She also held an administrative post as a teaching principal in an elementary school during this same period. In addition, Sybil Shack engaged in left-wing political activism (in the 1930s), unionism in the Women’s Local of the Manitoba Teachers’ Society, and she fully contributed to the war efforts.

In 1933, both Sybil Shack and her father Alexander Shack were elected alternate delegates to the founding of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation (CCF), the mother of the New Democratic Party of which she remained a member until she died. They did not go to Regina to the founding convention for they did not have the money for the fare, or for other expenses. She recounts that she got her feet wet—at times literally—in speaking to often indifferent audiences during the 1930s, while campaigning for local Independent Labour Party and CCF candidates. Later in life, she could still remember her embarrassment the first time she stood up at a nominating meeting and had the folding chair collapse with a crash behind her as she opened her mouth to speak.

During World War II, as Sybil Shack said, the open skies of the prairies were the training space for thousands of young men from the Commonwealth and from the “free” segments of the invaded countries, such as Norway, Poland, and Czechoslovakia. The Shacks opened their home to them and treasured the friendships that came from these encounters for years to come. The war brought into the citizenship discourse principles of unity, patriotism, and service as realized through war efforts by children and teachers. These principles became ingrained in Sybil Shack’s understanding of Canada. During the War, Sybil went back part-time to the University of Manitoba to receive a Bachelor of Education degree in 1945 and a MEd in 1946. Her thesis was on the teaching of Latin in junior high school. This is not surprising given her interest in classical virtues in relation to the common good and civic humanism. [25]

No Jew could remain unaffected by the Holocaust. Sybil Shack and her immediate family were not religious but they were profoundly Jewish and very much in touch with family memories of oppression. During the war and after Sybil Shack again wrote a weekly editorial for Western Jewish News. Thus, when in 1947 the Canadian government allowed the Canadian Jewish Congress to sponsor the settlement of 1000 orphan children and adolescents in Canada, the Shack family welcomed two teen-age boys, who were survivors of the Holocaust. They were John Hirsch and David Ehrlich. David later became a successful businessman. John was a leading theatre man in North America who co-founded the Manitoba Theatre Centre. John lived for a number of years with the Shacks and was very close to Sybil who was single and lived with her parents and later on with her mother. [26] He was as faithful a son to Sybil Shack’s mother, Pauline, as any natural-born son could be, and the Jewish Post eulogized him in 1989 as a son of the Jewish North End. [27]

Not surprisingly, Sybil Shack became a member of the Women’s Local Conference Committee of the Manitoba Teachers’ Society that negotiated salaries with the school Board. In 1951 she said yes “to a colleague, a desperate colleague”, who told her that she was the nineteenth woman she had called to fill a position on that committee. Acceptance of this invitation led her not only to executive positions in the Manitoba Teachers’ Society culminating with its presidency in 1960–1961, but opened doors to her involvement with the Canadian Teachers’ Federation and with the world organization of teaching professions. [28] Teachers’ magazines published Sybil Shack’s articles on educational issues of the day. In 1950, she also started to write and air a series of radio programs that brought her in direct contact with teachers and children from all over the province. As a result of her lengthy involvement in school broadcasting, she was invited to talks for CBC’s afternoon radio programs and to local television programs. During this intensive decade, she also became a textbook writer. By the late fifties, she had become a well-known educator and educational commentator.

The Political Context in Manitoba and Shack’s Developing View of Public Education

The fifties were not easy years for educators. At the national level many of the submissions to the Royal Commission on National Development in the Arts, Letters, and Sciences (known as the Massey Commission after its chair Vincent Massey), that worked in the late forties and reported in 1951, lamented lack of knowledge of Canadian issues, students’ low level of skills, and a dual history curriculum, for students were learning two versions of history, one French, and another British. The members of the Commission questioned the reliance of teachers upon graduate schools in the United States, singling out Columbia University, in particular, which was heralded as the centre of progressive education (meaning the holistic, child-centered, inquiry-driven, democratic-oriented, socialreconstructionist variety). The members urged Canadians to produce their own materials, for uncritical acceptance of American materials had compromised the Canadian system. In 1953, Hilda Neatby, the Saskatchewan historian who had been one of the commissioners published So Little for the Mind, an indictment of the teaching of history and citizenship that was also an indictment of progressive education.

In short, during the fifties, the school system and the overall approach to education in Canada were under attack. In a powerful article published in Maclean’s in 1958, Sybil Shack dealt with uninformed criticism of teachers and schools. In particular, she focused on comments about the so-called negative impact of progressive education. She balked at the implication that teaching is not a profession. She relayed what a neighbour had said to her, and her response to him:

“When are you people (whenever I am addressed as ‘you people’ I can guess what is coming) going to throw all those progressive methods overboard, and go back to teaching the three Rs?” I couldn’t explain to him over the back fence that we have never had those “progressive methods;” (about which, incidentally, he knows nothing), that the school is, next to the church, the most conservative institution in our society, and that if he must criticize “us people” for anything, he should be criticizing us for not keeping pace with new ideas as rapidly as he has done in his own business. [29]

During the 1950s, Shack addressed what she perceived as contradictions dominant in public thinking about education. In particular, she spoke out about the tendency to value money over scholarship, and about the existence of a social order based on presumed male superiority. These topics were elaborated and extended in an article entitled “Can our Schools Face Both Ways?” This piece was originally presented as a talk on CBC radio, but later it was also distributed in print by the Canadian Teachers’ Federation to its affiliates. “Every school program in Canada,” she wrote, “states that children are to be educated to be citizens of a democracy. Schools, however are far from democratic; in fact, they are organized on autocratic lines.” [30] Although there was talk of the value of the non-conformist, and of the need to develop the potential of each individual through diversified programs, Sybil maintained that deep down Canadians rejected the non-conformist. “The school may honestly try to respect the non-conforming individual: but we know that when he goes out into the cold world, his struggle to maintain his identity will either embitter him, or be abandoned.” [31]

Sybil Shack continued by referring to the lip service that is paid to the ideal of freedom of thought and expression, while that freedom is kept within well-defined limits in schools. She pointed out such unquestioned assumptions such as that textbooks do not lie, and that teachers are the primary holders of knowledge. In this article, she argued that schools were affected by the fact that the citizens had not made up their minds as to whether they believed in cooperation, or in competition. Further, she stated that racial and ethnic prejudices—which every Canadian would deny having—marked the experiences of minority and poor children. However, the most violent of the contradictions was, in her view, the paradox of preaching peace, while using force (the strap) to discipline children in school. [32]

The fifties were the years of the Royal Commissions on Education in a number of provinces and were the prelude to important changes in the sixties and seventies. Economic changes generated a new setting for education and Manitoba was not an exception. Sybil Shack had been a strong advocate of higher standards for teacher preparation. She also advocated the consolidation of thousands of school districts and well over a thousand one-room schools that were spread throughout the province. She did not romanticize the one-room school which, in her view, represented “the theory of the survival of the fittest in a particularly cruel and crude form.” [33] She had the opportunity to make her case as a representative of the Manitoba Teachers’ Society to the Manitoba Royal Commission on Education (the McFarlane Commission) created in 1957 to review and make recommendations regarding education in the province. Out of the recommendations of the Commission, Manitoba proceeded with the consolidation of schools and school districts, the enhancement of teaching as a profession, and substantial changes in curriculum.

A principled principal. By 1957, Sybil Shack was principal of Lord Roberts School.
Source: R. Bruno-Jofré

“Freedom Implies Dissent”

In 1960–1961, Sybil Shack was the president of the Manitoba Teachers’ Society. During the 1960s, she wrote more intensively, she had extensive involvements in committees, and she was increasingly exposed to a broader public. In 1963, her writing about one controversial incident involving a teacher in Winnipeg illustrates Sybil Shack’s critical view of the rhetoric of citizenship and democracy in the Cold War era. A teacher had introduced visiting students from Minnesota to the Communist Party Secretary in Winnipeg to highlight the fact that this Canadian city was so democratic that it regularly elected a Communist school trustee and a Communist alderman. As a result of this controversial lesson, the RCMP questioned the teacher, and the case went before the school board. Sybil Shack wondered about the effect of such treatment of the teacher on Canadian civil liberties:

Are we so lacking in confidence in our own democratic procedures that we are willing to discard them instantly when they run contrary to our prejudices? Are our famed civil liberties to be limited only to those people whose opinions are the same as ours? [She concluded that,] a good teacher examines things as they are, not as s/he would like them to be. And no one should be penalized for being a good teacher. [34]

Sybil Shack, who was to become president of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, executive chair and, later in her life, honorary president of the Manitoba Association for Rights and Liberties, had a consistent approach to freedom of thought and expression. This is not surprising as post-war civil libertarian associations had in their leadership as well as in their rank and file many of the social democrats, unionists and Social Gospelers who, like, Sybil Shack, had embraced the cause in the 1930s. [35] However, in line with her civic humanistic bent, she objected to radical liberal tendencies that put individual, ethnic, language, religious identities before class, gender, and nation.

The right of children to question was one of the controversial issues that Sybil Shack addressed. She wanted children at school to be exposed to a variety of opinions and facts as part of their civic education. Her aim was “to have a nation of questioners, people who are not afraid to examine ideas and beliefs.” Sybil did not intend to undermine the authority of parents. She explained,

I won’t say to a child, “Don’t believe what your parents tell you.” I also won’t say to them, “Believe everything I tell you.” After all, I don’t have the God-given right to form the children in my mold. I do think that children have the right to be taught to think for themselves, and that can’t happen unless they are permitted to question everything, absolutely everything that comes their way. And many things must come their way so that they do learn to question. Questioners, as I have already said, are disturbing, disturbing to teachers as well as to parents. [36]

Sybil seriously questioned teachers who taught uncritically what she called political fads, in particular, in the seventies. In her view, teachers had the moral responsibility to teach issues critically from a variety of angles rather than to crusade for their political views in the classroom. While the first approach contributed to the educational process, the second was in her view unprofessional and unethical. [37] She strongly believed that a teacher’s leadership in the development of democratic citizenship was exercised by opening the children’s minds to the best information available, by creating opportunities for discussing and formulating their learning, and also in showing a willingness to listen and learn. She said, “It is not the teacher’s business to lead his (sic) students in political activities, or to direct their thinking.” [38] Sybil’s emphasis on educative experiences has obvious roots in her exposure to Dewey’s ideas and is grounded on liberal convictions that led her to reject any potential form of indoctrination.

Public Education and the Canadian Polity: Tolerance of Variety without Tolerance of Injustice

During the 1960s, Sybil Shack became highly focused on the role of public schooling in developing a sense of national community, and she was concerned about continuing postwar Americanization of popular culture and education in Canada. The public school was, in her understanding, the best instrument so far devised for carrying the heritage of human knowledge to all strata of the community. It ranked with the ballot box and the courts of law as an ultimate manifestation of democracy. For Sybil, the very existence of public schooling was proof of humanity’s ability to rise above prejudice and the narrow limitations of “tribal thinking”, an expression she used to refer to parochial understanding of the world. Schools offered children a healthy experience of the community outside their family, and gave them a taste of the world in a safe environment. Finally, public schools set—however imperfectly—a pattern of law, order, and government in a framework that children could learn to constrain the egocentricity of childhood. [39]

The preceding ideas were expounded in the context of the emerging Quiet Revolution, and parallel discussions of bilingualism and biculturalism. On such fronts, Sybil Shack asserted:

I am afraid I don’t think of myself as being part of a bi-cultural nation; I think of myself as Canadian without hyphen and without reservations. I know and feel as part of my background that this country was settled after 1608 by French, and by English, Scots and Irish. I know that English is the predominant language in the part of Canada in which I live; I know that French is the predominant language in other parts of Canada. The British and the French traditions are a part of everything I think and feel, although as far as I know I haven’t a drop of British or French blood in my veins. [40]

The absence of reference to the Aboriginal peoples of Canada becomes noticeable in today’s context.

The 1960s brought forward a discussion about the nature of Confederation, Canadian fears of Americanization (economically, culturally, and politically), bilingualism, multiculturalism, human rights, and the constitution. The break-up of the notion of a common identity for all French Canadians and the emerging understanding that Quebec was the “basic polity” of French Canada created a new political scenario. [41] The question of the rights of Francophones outside Quebec came to the fore in Manitoba, and Aboriginal issues began to take a new political dimension at the national level.

In the midst of a metamorphosis, that was affecting the educational system through the introduction of new curricula, various groups began to question a notion of citizenship that glossed over the realities of class, gender, racial, and ethnic discrimination. The old notion of the common school as a public good was under siege within the context of the equality revolution, and the control of public education quickly became a contested arena. It was not only an issue of political control for which government and the various stakeholders started to struggle, but also one of how to restructure the system (including policy making) to recreate the public school in a pluralistic society, and a polity that was moving toward the acknowledgement of diversity.

Throughout the sixties and seventies Sybil Shack reminded Canadians that public schooling was indeed at the core of the public good. Her articles appeared in provincial teaching magazines, in Liberty, in Canada Young Family Magazine, and consistently in Monday Morning, Canada’s Magazine for Professional Teachers. Her discourse had a degree of consistency over the years and remained grounded in her early formative ideas. For Sybil, the schools were agents of consciousness-raising about what it means to be a Canadian. In her first book, Armed with a Primer (1965), Sybil showed distrust for an evolving move toward a rearticulation of the understanding of the Canadian polity. The use of public schools to maintain ethnic cultures, she wrote in Armed with a Primer, “will not make a mosaic, which presupposes order and pattern and conjunction in a design, but a crazy patchwork wherein one element bears little or no relationship to the other; “ thus, she saw “the need to stress the unifying elements in the nation.” [42]

Sybil Shack made clear that she did not suggest that the public school be a blender or a “mixmaster,” that makes a smooth and indistinguishable paste of all the elements that form the Canadian mosaic. [43] She argued that the school has a responsibility to teach children the meaning and worth of many cultural strains, make them conscious of one another, proud of one another, and grateful to one another for what each one can offer. The key sentence in her argument that shows the intellectual and ideological roots of her thinking is the one that reads: “[the school] must teach tolerance of variety without toleration of injustice,” and she continues, “[the school] has a responsibility to teach Canadian history in the context of world history without encouraging chauvinism.” [44]

In her view, “historically, ethnically, sociologically, geographically Canada is made up of parts, each distinct, each bound up closely to all the others, each independent, each dependent on all others.” For the building and appreciation of these interrelationships Shack knows “no better agency than the school.” [45] Her understanding of the role of history is close to William Galston’s (Liberal Purposes) idea that group solidarity and group cohesion depends upon a binding myth that brings people together. [46] Canadian children, in her view, must acquire a background of experience to make them a part of a past to which their direct ancestors did not perhaps directly contribute, so that Chief Peguis, [47] Henry Kelsey, [48] and LaVerendrye [49] belong to them. [50] She leaves room for other voices, but that common background becomes foundational.

Obvious tensions and contradictions between her universalistic tendencies and her profound conviction of education as child centered appear unresolved in her writing. Sybil Shack pointed out again and again that our schools cater to the needs and interest of those children who come from comfortable homes. The daily life and experiences of many children who come to school with a background different from textbooks and the middleclass values needed in her view a different program to create a new background of experience in which the new learning would fit. [51] Sybil hoped for the integration of Aboriginal children in the school system and in the wider society and deeply felt her own failure to achieve that aim. In an attempt to explore the issue, she wrote, “So we proceed with the integration in our own wellmeaning way. The only thing we lose sight of is the feeling and the humanity of the children whom we are manipulating in the name of a fine, human, and obviously right theory.” [52] However, her proposed solution was an early acculturation of the Aboriginal children to a Canadian set of norms and values by separating them from their mothers during the day in a program that would involve Aboriginal parents (mothers in particular) and was based on dialogue and cooperation. [53] She did not understand or address major issues of race, cultural identity, collective experience, and community rights. Her approach that did not acknowledge the unique position of Aboriginal peoples as First Nations did not break with the parameters of her egalitarian framework that ethically neglected unique experiences and silenced voices. In today’s context, Sybil’s approach to Aboriginal children would be construed as a right-wing and even a colonialist position. It also contradicts her concerns with the need to provide students with backgrounds related to their own experiences. A stand that also contradicts her distrust of Canadian multiculturalism.

Sybil Shack was concerned primarily about the possibility of a democracy based on factional interests, with groups negotiating with the state on behalf of a political system of group policies, and individualism pursued through group interaction with a thin understanding of the common good. This preoccupation clearly appeared in her writing in the 1960s and has persisted until the time of her death. In an article entitled “Widening Horizons” written in 1977, after her retirement, Sybil wrote about girls in a culturally differentiated community: “The real broadening of horizons, however, comes when girls learn, as did the children on our street that individual and smallgroup differences and loyalties must yield to the greater good of the total group. Then the “ethnic” vote ceases to be, and the politics of a community grow out of the needs and welfare of the large rather than the small unit.” [54] She envisioned, however, cultural and religious organizations as sites where girls could develop leadership skills and political savvy.

Sybil Shack feared that multiculturalism had the potential to undermine the principles on which the public school had been based. For instance, areas that could be affected included accessibility through public funding, the generation of a common ground, strengthening the sense of Canadian unity by having children from different backgrounds sharing and knowing one another, and encouraging awareness of Canadian identity. Her belief in learning through experience was profound and it permeated her understanding of the world. The term “multiculturalism” had in her thinking a perceived separatist connotation, for the lack of boundaries when dealing with cultural retention was not an easy issue for her, a feminist teacher.

Sybi l Shack s t rongl y advocated full integration of women and development of their full potential to create a solid democratic polity. The educational system and related organizations remained the focus of her writing. She wrote in 1965, “At the risk of triteness I must say what has been said a hundred times recently without penetrating deeply into our consciousness; in depriving the girls in our school and in our society we are cheating ourselves, since we cannot afford to lose almost half our potential of intelligence and creativity.” [55]

Sybil Shack’s almost classical liberal egalitarian approach to women and men was present in her thinking from her early years. She defined herself as a feminist very early in her professional life. She advocated for equal pay and equal opportunities and was certainly aware of the limitations she encountered as a woman. [56] However, she also made women responsible for their reticence to assume leadership responsibilities although she elaborated on the causes. In this regard, Sybil Shack viewed women’s exclusion as a socio-cultural gender issue that needed to be addressed early in life to deal with prejudice, stereotyping, and established gender roles. In a 1967 article entitled “What’s Wrong with Women?” which summarizes her overall approach, later to be expanded in Two Thirds Minority [57] and in Women in Canadian Education [58], she wrote:

But the time has come when women teachers must act as professional people, must face up to male competition and must train themselves to accept the responsibilities which accompany competition and leadership. To achieve this end they must combat actively the attitudes in themselves and others which push them into and leave them in subsidiary roles. They must also ensure that in their classrooms girls learn to speak their opinions, accept criticism and make independent decisions. [59]

Two-Thirds Minority, published in 1973, made an impression with the assertion that while women were a majority in the teaching profession, they were a definite minority in policymaking and in the hierarchy of school administration, which were almost totally dominated by men. The Winnipeg press took note of the book. [60] But Saturday’s Stepchildren: Canadian Women in Business published in 1977, was not particularly well received. [61] Reviewers indicated that it did not break new ground or present new ideas and that Shack’s scheme for changing male dominance in business was not radical enough. [62] The development of feminist praxis had moved beyond Shack’s ideas.

Meet the author. Shack’s 1965 book Armed With A Primer was launched at the Winnipeg bookstore of local literary institution Mary Scorer, seen at right.
Source: R. Bruno-Jofré

“I am a Product of the Public School System”

Sybil Shack was a committed teacher and a committed Canadian. Her family and the setting of her upbringing provided her with the initial cultural capital that made it possible for her to become an organic teacher in a Gramscian sense, a teacher who played a role in shaping the views of her fellow teachers and of women teachers in particular.

In the last part of the paper, particular attention was given to Sybil Shack’s understanding of Canada and of the relationship between public schooling and the building of a democratic polity. It aimed at demonstrating that her understanding was rooted in the communities where she lived, in her negotiated experiences in the schools she attended in the north end of Winnipeg, and in her lengthy experience as an educator, one who was fully engaged in the shaping of Canada in the unique contours of school life. In her arguments, she articulated elements of civic humanism, socialism, and liberalism in a rather eclectic way. In Sybil Shack’s view, schools were expected to develop children’s understanding of the common good, along with the civic virtues requisite to building a strong national character, with all the nuances implied by an ideal of Canadianism that she did not explain. However, she was unable to break with her early patterns of understanding of social reality and embrace previously unheard voices and experiences and searches for identity. Instead, she reconstituted her early views. This seems evident in her approach to women’s issues, multiculturalism, and Aboriginal education in the 1960s and 1970s. Her pioneering views then took conservative shapes. It may be that her own, lengthy experience in the school had somewhat of an assimilating effect on her.

Shortly before her death, when she was already weak, she wrote to me about the complexity of reflecting upon one’s identity in the context of schooling. I have chosen to end this article in Sybil’s words, for her life demonstrates the role that public education held in her day. She had difficulties in coming to terms with Canadian multiculturalism as expounded in the 1970s although toward the end of her life opened her own door toward the understanding of her multicultural identity. Nonetheless, implicit in these words of 2003 is her concern that individuals develop common core values that somehow transcend ethnicity.

I try to identify myself [with] my “Canadianism.” Therefore, I ask: am I a Canadian Jew, or a Jewish Canadian? I know now that I am both. I have come to understand that it takes commitment to achieve this one-two- or thousand and two Canadian. The public system of education under which I could maintain the duality that I, as a Canadian had a responsibility to weave to make one out of so many. Not to apologize for it, not to use it for self-satisfaction. [63]

Sybil Frances Shack died in Winnipeg on 11 February 2004, at the age of 92.


Sybil Shack was born in Winnipeg, on 1 April 1911. She graduated from the University of Manitoba with a BA in 1929, with a MEd in 1946, and, in 1969, the University of Manitoba conferred upon her the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws. She received a certificate to teach elementary school in 1930 from the Normal School in Winnipeg. In the course of her career, Sybil Shack has had several roles, including that of teacher, principal, feminist writer, school broadcaster, and writer of language arts textbooks. In addition, she has also held a series of other posts, including that of president of the Manitoba Teachers’ Society (1960–1961); Manitoba Director of the Canadian Teachers’ Federation (1959–1962); National President of the Canadian College of Teachers (1967); member of the Board of Governors, University of Manitoba (1961–1967); Chair of the Canadian Teachers’ Federation School T.V. and A.V. Committees (1961–1965); Member of the CBC Advisory Board on School Television and Radio; President of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (1995); lay member of the Manitoba Law Reform Commission (1971–1979); lay Member of the Manitoba Judicial Council (1987–1994); and a member of the Board of the Jewish Child and Family Services, amongst others. She was a Provost, Order of the Buffalo Hunt, Province of Manitoba, (1984), and a recipient of the Order of Canada (1984).

1. Life history is used here as a retrospective account of Sybil Shack’s life as narrated by her orally or in writing. Some of the narrations were elicited through conversations with the interviewer. The narration is placed in the historical, political, and economic context of the time in relation to public education. I did not intend to use Sybil Shack’s narration as a testimony but as a means to understand how Sybil Shack made sense of her world. I did not intend to explore her motivations. See William G. Tierney, “Qualitative Research”, In Norman K. Denzin and Yvonna S. Lincoln, ed. Thousand Oaks, London, New Delhi: Sage Publications, Inc., 2nd ed., 2000, pp. 537-554. Susan N. G. Geiger, “Women’s Life Histories: Method and Content,” Signs, Winter 1986, vol. 11, pp. 334–351. There are a number of biographies of teachers in the form of books that brought innovative feminist interpretations of women teachers’ life by using life history, discourse analysis, oral history, and archival sources. See Casey, Kathleen, I Answer with My Life: Life Histories of Women Teachers Working for Social Change. New York and London: Routledge, 1993; Rousmaniere, Kate, Citizen Teacher: The Life and Leadership of Margaret Haley. New York: State University of New York Press, 2005.

2. Civic humanism as a form of discourse had a place in the eighteenthcentury Anglo-American world and continued having a presence well beyond that time. Peter J. Smith defined it as follows: “Civic humanism was a post-feudal ideology; its inspiration lay in the works of classical historians, philosophers, and rhetoricians who stressed the possibility of liberty and virtue in a republic. Virtue referred primarily to the practice of citizenship in the classical, or Aristotelian, sense of the term. Man was a political animal (zoon politikon) who fulfilled himself by living a public life dedicated to civic concerns and the public good. Virtue necessitated certain moral qualities, for example, the ability to act selflessly for the public good.” Peter J. Smith, “Civic Humanism Versus Liberalism: Fitting the Loyalists In,” In Janet Ajzenstat and Peter Smith, ed., Canada’s Origins: Liberal, Tory, or Republican? Ottawa: Carleton University Press, 1995, 1997, p. 111.

3. For an account of her application of the project method see Sybil Shack, “Teaching as Growth, 1935-1976: One Woman’s Perspective.” In Rosa Bruno-Jofré, ed., Issues in the History of Education in Manitoba: From the Construction of the Common School to the Politics of Voices, Lewiston/Queenston/Lampeter: Edwin Mellen Press, 1993, pp. 472–473. Sybil Shack did not remember whether she actually read Dewey’s writing, or just read about it, but she and her fellow students at the Normal School knew of him. She was more directly influenced by what was happening in Alberta.

4. Jewish Historical Society of Western Canada, Jewish Life and Times, Personal Recollections: The Jewish Pioneer Past on the Prairies. Winnipeg: Jewish Historical Society of Western Canada, 1993. Pauline Shack’s testimony is on page 2 where she described the situation of the family in Ukraine; she related her arrival to Winnipeg in a hot May 1904 by train and her experience with the streetcar (horse-drawn cars) on page 44; she also described the small non-kosher butcher shop at 450 Pritchard Avenue, Winnipeg on page 53.

5. Sybil Shack to Robin Frazer, Winnipeg, 11 March 1987. Photocopy.

6. Rosa Bruno-Jofré and members of the Community of Inquirers, University of Manitoba, interviewed Sybil Shack in Winnipeg on 30 November 1990. The quotation was taken from video transcripts of the interview. The Community of Inquirers was a group of graduate students and women interested in women’s history who led by Rosa Bruno-Jofré collected oral narratives in southern Manitoba. The tapes were deposited in the University of Manitoba Education Library. They met once a month at Sybil Shack’s home. The Community organized a number seminars, theatrical representations, etc. over a period of eight years.

7. Sybil Shack, Saturday’s Stepchildren: Canadian Women in Business. Toronto: Guidance Centre, Faculty of Education, University of Toronto, 1977.

8. Gerald Tulchinsky, Taking Root, The Origins of the Canadian Jewish Community. Toronto: Lester Publishing Limited, 1992, chaps. 7 and 13. See also Gerald Tulchinsky, Canada’s Jews: A People’s Journey. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2008.

9. Minister Thornton noted that the 1916 census showed that 42 percent of the population of the province represented thirty-eight different nationalities. Thornton stated that, “while there are other factors at work, our aim is to plant Canadian schools with Canadian teachers setting forth Canadian ideals and teaching the language of the country.” “Address of the Minister of Education,” Western School Journal 13 (May 1918): p. 185. Note that such concerns were spurred by the patriotism of the World War I period. Although education was (and still remains) under provincial jurisdiction, the postwar era engendered an urgent call for “education and the national spirit” and for character formation. These preoccupations were nourished by the massive presence of “aliens,” by the depression following World War I, and also by the growth of the Canadian labour movement, which inspired 428 strikes across the country, and the Winnipeg General Strike in 1919.

10. Sybil Shack, personal communication faxed to the author on 29 May 2002.

11. Rosa Bruno-Jofré, interview.

12. She entered Machray School for grades 7 and 8, but earned the latter by passing one examination, completed grade 9 at Aberdeen, and grades 10 and 11 at St. John High’s Technical High School.

13. Sybil Shack, “Widening Horizons.” School Guidance Worker January– February 1977, vol. 32, no. 3. p. 44.

14. Ibid., p. 45.

15. Sybil Shack, Journal, Monday, 8 October 1923. Copy given by Sybil Shack to the author.

16. Rosa Bruno-Jofré, interview.

17. Ibid.

18. Sybil Shack, Journal, Monday, 22 August 1927.

19. Agnes McDonald (BA, University of Manitoba 1929; Certificate, Winnipeg Normal School; BEd, University of Manitoba) was the first woman principal of a Winnipeg School Division No. 1, President of the Manitoba Teachers’ Society between 1955 and 1956, and a member of the McFarland Commission.

20. Myrtle Conway (BA University of Manitoba 1927, Winnipeg Normal School 1928, BEd University of Manitoba, LLD University of Manitoba, honorary, 1952) was the first woman President of the Canadian Teachers’ Federation.

21. Rosa Bruno-Jofré (developer and producer), with the History of Education Resource and Research Project. “Women in Education in Manitoba: The Teacher’s Voice” Video. Faculty of Education, University of Manitoba, 1991. Transcripts by Erin T. Payne who served as research assistant for a related project in 2002.

22. Ibid.

23. Personal communication. Progressive education. Fax dated 30 May 2002. In the 1930s, she became interested in Alberta’s experimentation with the project method of teaching. The method tried to integrate various subjects around themes and applied the principle of learning by doing. See also Sybil Shack, “Teaching as Growth,” pp. 472-473. See Heyking, Amy von, Creating Citizens: History and Identity in Alberta’s Schools, 1905 to 1980. Calgary: University of Calgary, 2006.

24. Sybil Shack, personal communication faxed to the author on 30 April 2002. For an understanding of various strands in the progressive education movement see David F. Labaree, “Progressivism, Schools and Schools of Education: An American Romance,” Paedagogica Historica, 2005, vol. 41, nos. 1 and 2, pp. 275-288. Herbert Kliebard, The Struggle for the American Curriculum, 1893-1958. Boston, London and Henley: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1986.

25. “There was no Faculty of Education at the time, just Dr. Woods. And the odd lecturer he could manage to recruit. … I suppose I was a student at heart. I enrolled in the education programmes and while teaching full time I completed courses by attending classes during the summer, on Saturday mornings, and two evenings a week.” Sybil Shack, personal communication faxed to the author on 30 April 2002.

26. Hirsch became associate director of the Stratford Festival in 1969 and artistic director in 1980. From 1974 to 1978, he headed the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation television drama department. He also had a long and distinguished career in the United States. John Hirsch was honoured with a number of honorary degrees and appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada.

27. Sybil Shack to Robin Frazer, Winnipeg, 11 March 1987. Photocopy. Editorial, “The Late John Hirsch—a Son of the Jewish North End”, Jewish Post & News, 16 August 1989, p. A4.

28. Sybil Shack, “Teaching as Growth, 1935-1976: One Woman’s Perspective.” In Rosa Bruno-Jofré ed., Issues in the History of Education in Manitoba: From the Construction of the Common School to the Politics of Voices. Lewiston/Queenston/Lampeter: Edwin Mellen Press, 1993, p. 488.

29. Sybil Shack, “A Teacher Speaks Up to Parents.” Macleans, 6 December 1958, p. 20.

30. Sybil Shack, “Can Our Schools Face Both Ways?” Teachers’ Magazine, Provincial Association of Protestant Teachers of Quebec, xxxix, June 1959, vol. 197: pp. 12-14.

31. Ibid.

32. Ibid.

33. Sybil Shack, “Who Speaks for Children?” ATA Magazine, January 1979, p. 22.

34. Sybil Shack, “It Could Happen to You—How Free are Teachers?” Educational Courier, March 1963, pp. 34-35.

35. George Egerton, “Entering the Age of Human Rights: Religion, Politics, and Canadian Liberalism.” Canadian Historical Review, September 2004, vol. 85, no. 3, pp. 454-456.

36. Sybil Shack, “Who Speaks for Children?”

37. Sybil Shack, “Teachers and Politics.” Monday Morning, October 1971, vol. 6, no. 2, p. 6.

38. Ibid., p. 7.

39. Sybil Shack, “Educating a Canadian.” ATA Magazine, March 1963, p.16.

40. Ibid.

41. Marcel Martel, “French Canada: An Account on its Creation and Break-up, 1850-1967,” The Canadian Historical Association, Canada’s Ethnic Group Series, booklet No. 24, Ottawa, 1998, pp. 3-5.

42. Sybil Shack, Armed with a Primer, A Canadian Teacher’s Look at Children, Schools and Parents. Toronto: The Canadian Publishers, 1965.

43. Sybil Shack, “Educating a Canadian.” p. 19.

44. Ibid., p. 20.

45. Sybil Shack, “We Stand on Guard for Thee,” dated April 1967. See also “We’re all Canadians Here,” Monday Morning, May 1967, vol. 1, no. 3, p. 8.

46. William Galston, Liberal Purposes: Goods, Virtues, and Diversity in the Liberal State. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991.

47. Chief of the Saulteaux people, Peguis led his people in the 1790s from Sault Ste. Marie to settle on the banks of Netley Creek, south of Lake Winnipeg. A friend of the Selkirk Settlers, he supported the Hudson’s Bay Company in its conflict with the North West Company. He was a defender of Native rights.

48. Henry Kelsey worked for the Hudson’s Bay Company since 1684. He was an explorer able to speak Cree and possibly Assiniboine as well.

49. Pierre Gaultier de Varennes, sieur de La Vérendrye (1685–1749) was born in Québec, Canada. He was a Canadian soldier and explorer who traveled farther than any previous European explorer had. He traveled to Winnipeg and then southwest.

50. Sybil Shack, “Educating a Canadian,” p. 20.

51. Sybil Shack, Armed with a Primer, pp. 70-71.

52. Sybil Shack, “What the ‘Indians’ Coming into our Urban Schools Need”, Monday Morning, April 1969, vol. 3, no. 8, p. 9.

53. Ibid., pp. 8-10.

54. Sybil Shack, “Widening Horizons,” School Guidance Worker, January- February 1977, vol. 32, no. 3, p. 48.

55. Sybil Shack, Armed with a Primer, p. 70.

56. Sybil Shack exemplifies with her personal and professional life her understanding of feminism.

57. Sybil Shack, Two-Thirds Minority: Women in Canadian Education. Toronto: Guidance Centre, Faculty of Education, University of Toronto, 1973. In 1977, she also wrote Saturday’s Stepchildren: Canadian Women in Business. Toronto: Guidance Centre, Faculty of Education, University of Toronto, 1977. The book, in the view of reviewers, offered few new insights.

58. Sybil Shack, Women in Canadian Education, The Quance Lecture. 1975, Toronto: Gage Educational Publishing Limited, 1975.

59. Sybil Shack, “What’s Wrong with Women?” Monday Morning, December 1967, vol. 2, no. 4, p. 12.

60. Carol Partridge, “Minority Position of Women Outlined.” Winnipeg Free Press, Tuesday 1 May 1973.

61. Sybil Shack, Saturday’s Stepchildren.

62. Helene Kerr, review of Sybil Shack’s Saturday’s Stepchildren: Canadian Women in Business, in Quill and Quire, October 1977, vol. 13, p. 53. Cullen, Dallas, review of Sybil Shack’s Saturday’s Stepchildren: Canadian Women in Business, in Branching Out, 1978, vol. 5, no. 1, p. 46.

63. Sybil Shack, personal communication faxed to the author in May 2003.

Page revised: 23 November 2014

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