Following the Second World War, the elementary school was recognized by architects, educators, and policymakers as an environment that was crucial to the formation of modern Canadian citizens. A new school model emerged in architectural discourse and progressive pedagogical policy that sought to embody the retrenched ideologies of democracy and individual freedom through design. Typically a one-storey brick and steel-framed building characterized by large windows, the postwar school emphasized the physical and emotional well-being of the student through 'child-centred' design that drew primarily from the users' needs. This functional and flexible space for learning encouraged health, movement, and the democratization of the classroom. Architects and educators no longer discussed the school as just a building, but also as a tool for socialization. This study helps to define the modern vernacular type through analysis of discourse and the built form.