A department is born


The McGill Normal School celebrated its 50th anniversary. Since its beginnings in 1857, the School had trained 2,989 teachers.

Later in 1907, the McGill Normal School was renamed the School for Teachers and moved to the newly opened Macdonald College at Ste. Anne de Bellevue. The School for Teachers was under the supervision of the Teachers’ Training Committee and carried on in accordance with the regulations of the Protestant Committee of the Council of Public Instruction. It was the first institution in Canada to offer residential teacher training. Meanwhile, a Department of Education was created in McGill’s Faculty of Arts.


The endowed Macdonald Chair of Education, the first Canadian Chair of Education, was established at the Faculty of Arts. J.A. Dale, who also founded the McGill School of Physical Education, was the first to hold this title.



The first Master of Arts (MA) degree was awarded by the McGill Department of Education in the Faculty of Arts. However, it was not until 1930 that the first formal MA program was approved.



Sinclair Laird was appointed head of the School for Teachers, a position he kept for the next 36 years. Laird implemented a system that placed student teachers in Montreal schools to earn practical experience as part of their studies.