“Our objective is to meet the needs of every pupil in accordance with his particular abilities, aptitudes, interests and personality”

In June of 1968, PEI Minister of Education Gordon Bennett sent a letter to Kenneth MacLean, President of the Rural Development Council, inviting his group's participation in a "Consultative Committee" on education. The mandate of the committee was broad and the approach consultative:

The Department of Education and its co-partners – the teachers, trustees and parents – have done much over the past ten years to up date and up grade the quality and content of education, in spite of insurmountable financial problems. For the first time, given an adequate budget, the Department of Education, with the assistance and cooperation of all sectors of the province will be able to develop a total plan to meet the educational needs of our time.

Piecemeal measures, however necessary heretofore, must give way to total planning, flexible enough to meet changing needs each year. The Department's project includes (a) the re-structuring of the Department with provisions for its own self-renewal and programmes of self-development for its personnel and (b) the re-organization of education at all levels – pre-elementary to post-secondary and continuing education.

The policy of the Department will be to provide leadership by defining the objectives of education and to work out plans – to study, to define, to foresee needs and to make decisions at the provincial level. At the same time, change that is imposed seldom is effective. We tend to change merely the packaging and not ourselves. As initiators of change, the Department and its co-partners, must study together the needs of each region and find practical solutions.

You can read the letter and the attached description of the committee to get a full picture of what was planned.

Letter from Gordon Bennett to Kenneth MacLean, 1968