The Department of Education is established as a separate department of the provincial civil service. The public school system is no longer a responsibility of the Provincial Secretary's Department.

The position of Registrar is established in the Education Office. Among other duties, the Registrar served as secretary to the Local Committee of the Strathcona Trust. The Trust organized certificate courses in Physical Training at the Normal School and provided physical training programmes in the public schools. The Trust also administered the military cadet corps which were established in many city and municipal schools.

Victoria College, precursor of the University of Victoria, opens in affiliation with the University of British Columbia.

1921 The Teachers' Bureau is established to help place unemployed teachers in rural school districts. The Bureau is administered by the Registrar in the Department of Education.

1922 The Department of Education assumes responsibility for the School for the Deaf and the Blind at Jericho Hill in Vancouver.

Local PTAs form a provincial association known as the British Columbia Parent-Teacher Federation [BCPTF]. The association is formed on 22 April 1922 and is based in New Westminster, B. C. In 1927 the BCPTF joined the national Canadian Home and School Federation. The provincial body was renamed the B.C. Home and School & Parent-Teacher Federation.

1923 Good-will Day. The provincial Parent-Teacher Federation and the British Columbia Teachers' Federation endorse a movement (conceived by the World Federation of Education Associations at a convention in July 1923) "to advance world peace and to promote international good-will." In British Columbia, May 18th is designated as Good-will Day.

According to a Department of Education directive, "the work in every class-room on Good-will Day should include exercises which tend to arouse in the minds of the pupils an interest in the movement and a desire to assist in promoting good-will and advancing the cause of peace throughout the world." [British Columbia Manual of School Law].

The University of British Columbia establishes a Teachers' Training Course "for the purposes of giving professional training for students intending to become [secondary] school teachers." Dr. George M. Weir, principal of the Saskatoon Normal School, is appointed professor of education and director of the new programme.

1924 Dr. J. H. Putman and Dr. G. M. Weir are commissioned to carry out comprehensive survey of provincial public school system. Putman and Weir's Survey of the School System (known generally as the Putman-Weir Survey) is published in 1925. This landmark report endorses the concept of progressive education and paves the way for curriculum reform in the 1930s.


Vancouver School of Applied and Decorative Arts is established. Staff include Group of Seven artist F. H. Varley. B. C. Binning, who studied under Varley in 1927, joined the staff in 1934. Jack Shadbolt, who taught art in B. C. schools between 1929 and 1937, also instructed at the Vancouver School of Art.


Home Economics becomes a separate branch within the Department of Education. Jessie L. McLenaghen is appointed Director of Home Economics and so becomes the first woman director in the Department. An Inspector and Assistant Director of Home Economics (Bertha Rogers) is appointed in 1941.

The province's first junior high school opens in Penticton. A second junior high - Kitsilano - opens in Vancouver in 1927.

1927 The Department of Education publishes a "tentative" Programme of Studies for Junior High Schools. The junior high school programme is innovative, experimental and progressive. It includes a new Social Studies curriculum that is decidedly internationalist in tone, one that promotes "tolerance and respect for other nations and races."
1928 Lottie Bowron is appointed Rural Teachers' Welfare Officer (Women). She was responsible for visiting schools and investigating the social and living conditions of female teachers in rural and assisted schools. Her position was abolished in 1934.

1929 The High School Correspondence Branch established. J. W. Gibson is named Director of the new branch. The Elementary Correspondence School is also elevated to branch status within the Department.

A four year high school course is inaugurated. Thereafter, in most cities and municipalities, high schools comprise grades 9, 10, 11 and 12. Junior high schools consist of grades 7, 8 and 9.