John Clarke.

Short studies in education in Scotland online

. (page 1 of 19)
Online LibraryJohn ClarkeShort studies in education in Scotland → online text (page 1 of 19)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook






















A II rights reserved



THIS little book is offered as a contribution
toward the solution of problems many of which
are familiar to students of Public Education in
Scotland. Some of these problems may seem
to be administrative rather than strictly edu-
cational; but the intimate connection of the
two aspects can easily be shown, the former
constantly involving the latter. It may seem,
too, that the topics discussed are to some
extent of merely passing interest, and that
legislation, for which the country has so long
looked in vain, will set a limit to the factitious
importance they at present possess. This is
hardly the case : the principles involved, e.g.,
in the relations of Primary and Secondary
instruction, in those of central and local



authority, in the contrast of urban and rural
conditions, or in the educational outlook, must
all continue operative ; their importance is per-
manent and quite independent of any current
phase which they may underlie.

In our age it is inevitable that one should
be led to regard the educational system as a
growth and development : and, indeed, without
such an attitude no historical institution can
be fully understood. In keeping with this the
purpose has been, in the first two chapters,
to obtain a point of view from which to regard
the development. From this standpoint in the
past the sequence through the present to the
future is by gradual and natural transition.
The general trend is most likely thus to be
caught ; but only the briefest and broadest
outline of the actual course of the movement
has been sketched.

For the facts I have made constant use of
the available official sources in particular the
Census returns for 1901, the Eeports of the
Committee of Council on Education in Scot-
land, and the Eeports of various Koyal Com-
missions. Errors there may be, I fear, both


in fact and in inference : I shall be indebted
to any one who will take the trouble to point
them out for correction. I have endeavoured
to state fairly the conclusions to which the
facts seemed to point, though in more than
one case they have proved contrary to personal
sympathies and predilections.

A word of explanation is necessary regard-
ing the seventh chapter, which has turned out
quite different from my original design. In
deference to what is known to be a widely-
felt want, a somewhat detailed plan has been
sketched of the new local education authority.
This has been done in order to present some-
thing definite and concrete, and to show how
the principles advocated are capable of being
applied in detail ; but I am far from maintain-
ing that this is the sole, if even the best,
method of applying them. It has at least the
merit of being a definite scheme, which carries
us beyond the generalities of "large areas,"
" large powers," " correlation," and so forth,
terms which are very far from precise, but
which all agree to because any required mean-
ing can be read into them. Apart from this,


the principles must stand or fall through their
inherent truth.

What, however, most concerns the nation is
the educational work waiting to be done ; the
topics dealt with in the last chapter are those
of pnramount importance. Much may be
effected through improved grading, through
extension of the Continuation School, through
the realisation of the possibilities of the
Secondary School, hitherto so severely handi-
capped. The practical problems involved here
will tax our energies to the utmost during
the coming years. Undoubtedly the future of
the nation physical, material and moral is
with the Schoolmaster.

I could wish my book were more worthy
of its great theme. The palliation of its short-
comings, in so far as not due to more radical
causes, must be the pressure of two heavy
sessions of University work together with
multifarious other educational activities and
demands on time and thought. It is perhaps
better to make even a small and imperfect
contribution than none at all. If my efforts
either tend to the fuller comprehension of the


issues involved, or serve to aid or cheer the
teacher in his arduous and sometimes thankless
labours, they will be justified and more than
rewarded. J, fuge ; sed poteras tutior esse domi.

Christmas, 1903.



Retrospective The Origins of Existing Educational

Institutions 1

Introductory ambiguity of "Education" and "Educa-
tion question " the present Education question in
Scotland necessity of legislation assumed review of
facts necessary to prove it situation involves institu-
tions of various types, instruction of different grades
Institutions extent of country and distribution of
populition to be provided for Elementary School
the Parish Educational organisation prior to the
Reformation Knox's scheme of reform in education
and its immediate result its importance the old
Parish School and its curriculum Schools in Burghs,
chiefly Secondary efforts of Church in seventeenth and
eighteenth centuries on behalf of education nineteenth
century addition of Schools of various kinds, Side,
Free Church, Society for the Propagation of Christian
Knowledge confused state of matters in 1860-1870
Argyll Commission and its labours progress sinc^
1872 Higher Schools Bnrgh Management of them
successful Academies state of Burgh Schools in
1868 Act of 1872 injurious from many causes to
Secondary Education Endowel Schools and Endow
ments Secondary work performed by Elementary
Schools the evidence of the Leaving Certificate


Higher Grade Schools Universities private enter-
prise in education in Scotland.

Governing Bodies and Funds 65

Bodies enumerated those charged with care of Institutions
each independent of the other Bodies administering
funds alone methods of administration regarded from
the side of the Elementary and Secondary Schools re-
spectivelyconfusion from multiplicity of demands to
be satisfied Secondary School in worse position than
Elementary statistics of educational governing bodies
and their membership Technical included in Secon-
darylegislation necessary in order to the solution of
the "Education question".

Relations of Elementary and Secondary Education . 82

Secondary involves Elementary on one side and University on
other local and central authorities required machin-
ery a necessary evil in education simplest form best
comparative importance of local governing body various
reasons for this arguments for two governing bodies
considerations making for a single governing body
contrast of conditions in urban and rural areas respec-
tivelydifficulties of scheme of two governing bodies
arising from the requirements of pupils detailed ex-
amination of the operation of a single governing body in
town and country relative importance of Secondary
Education in various parts of Scotland, northern and
southern, industrial and agricultural Secondary Edu-
cation in rural areas must continue to a large extent in
its earlier stages attached to the Elementary School
interests of Elementary and Secondary local administra-
tion in some irreasure conflicting reasons in favour of
either being considered paramount line of least resist-
ance to be adopted single control better than dual
Secondary here regulates Elementary.



The School Board 122

Reconstruction of present authorities better than scheme
which breaks with the past variety of judgments on
School Board varieties of School Board theoretical
basis of School Board rendered nugatory in practice
cumulative voting simultaneous demission of office
demands of Elementary Education on early School
Boards more recently Boards have done much for
Secondary Education Burgh School Board well fitted
to be new local governing body small School Boards
difficulties and imperfections the teacher's position
under them the system at once wasteful and in-
efficient, especially for Secondary Education in rural
areas must be replaced by one suitable to conditions
and competent for duties to be performed.

Burgh and County Councils and Committees . . 145

Town Council administration of the Residue Grant not
much opportunity of independent action municipal
affairs more than sufficient to engross attention Burgh
Committee has had little real power and little oppor-
tunity of showing its administrative capacity no
argument here for abolition of Burgh School Board
County Council contrast of County and Burgh
administration in general opportunity of County
Council in Technical Instruction County educational
administration successful where systematically under-
taken County Committee like Burgh Committee has
had little freedom of action its system of distribution
of grants in certain cases administers successfully the
Residue Grant affords a basis for reconstruction of
rural educational local government.



The Teacher The University Endowments . . 162

Importance of the teacher his rights bound up with
national well-being his claims on the State his
presence necessary on local governing body in order
to provide expert opinion not otherwise available
University too much detached from schools mutual
gain from closer contact scheme of representation on
new local governing bodies Educational Endowments
hitherto outside ordinary public management diffi-
culties of question varieties of object of Endowments
suggestions as to treatment permissive, but not
compulsory, union with public administration.

The New Educational Authority 179

Principles involved in adequate system of local government
of education possible administrative areas in rural dis-
tricts the Parish impossible for Secondary Education
the District its merits and demerits preponderance
of latter a new grouping of Parishes suitable for Ele-
mentary but unsuitable for Secondary only efficient
controlling body must be for whole County Burghs
of 50,000 to have separate authorities difficulties of
County body through varying size and circumstances
of individual Counties not insuperable, but require
adjustment a separate educational authority repre-
sentative and specially elected for the purpose
electoral divisions the management of Elementary
Schools co-operation of Parish Council parochial
rate for Elementary Education, County rate of small
amount for Secondary appointment of teachers
management of Secondary Schools advantages of
proposed scheme



The Central Authority 219

Spheres of duty of central and local authority respectively
necessity for independence of each an Advisory
Board undesirable unless representative adjustment
of the curriculum Parliamentary sanction a mere
form central authority in relation to examination
combination of Leaving Certificate and University
Preliminary suggested transference of central depart-
ment from the metropolis itineration in Scotland.

Analogies between Scotland and England . . . 233

Principle involved in adoption of foreign methods certain
enactments of English Education Act of 1902 to be
embodied in reformed Scotch system no close parallel
possible owing to difference in stages of development
Voluntary Schools in Scotland need not be interfered
with no "religious question " involved.

Some Aspects of the Work of the New Local Authority 241

Method of distribution of grants for Secondary Education
principles of allocation to administrative areas the
Continuation School seriousness of the educational
problem for pupils of over fourteen years of age diffi-
culty of obtaining convincing statistics compulsion
to be deprecated meantime physical training indus-
trial education co-operation of masters and workers
with educational authorities moral aspects duties of
citizenship and parenthood training of teachers.



EDUCATION is a subject of perennial interest.
As long as there are children to be educated, the
ways and means of educating them will always
demand forethought and study on the part of
parents and community. In that sense there
is always, and always will be, an " Education
question ".

But this question presents different aspects
from time to time now one, now another
side of it becomes prominent. In one decade
the great problem is how the State is to intro-
duce itself into the domain of Education ; in
the succeeding one, how school fees may be got
rid of ; a later period finds the nation divided
into hostile camps because parties cannot agree

as to the relation of the Church to the School.


Politics, sociology, religion, besides many other
subjects, border on the sphere of Education,
and even enter into it.

Questions of this kind, whatever their origin,
soon become highly controversial ; they lie in
great part outside Education as it is understood
by the philosophic educationist. It is true that
no theory of Education laying claim to any sort
of completeness can ignore, say, the relation of
the School to the Church and to the State. But
these problems, abstractly discussed, do not
introduce questions of party and sect, as they
invariably do when they become matters of dis-
cussion on the public platform.

Two inferences may be drawn from this.
First, it bears testimony to the importance of
Education itself. By common consent the na-
tional welfare is inseparably bound up with the
interests of the school. The influence exerted
by the school is so great that it is worth the
while of great parties and great religious de-
nominations to contend vigorously for the con-
trol of it. We might go further and say that,
apart from all controversial or sectional interest ,
it is held a worthy ambition for every states-


man and public man to promote to the extent
of his power the prosperity and efficiency of
this great means of advancing the nation's best

The second inference is that through the ex-
tent and variety of the meanings attaching to
Education, the use of the term is always more
or less ambiguous. One must be informed of
the exact circumstances before one can so much
as understand what the " Education question "
of the moment means.

From what has been said it will appear
that the Education question is seldom a purely
educational question. The contrast might be
pointed thus : It is a purely educational question
how moral and religious instruction is to be im-
parted, at what age, or, perhaps, to speak more
correctly, during what period, by what agency or
agencies ; and so is the further problem what
the relation of the moral to the religious is or
ought in the school to be. On the other hand,
part of the Education question at present, in
England if not in Scotland, is in what pro-
portions the different religious sects are to be

represented on the authorities that locally con-


trol or manage the public schools. No one will
maintain that the two questions are wholly
unconnected, but the connection is not always
made evident. Thus " Education " and " Edu-
cational " are, in such a context, by no means
co-extensive. Education itself means one thing
to the teacher or the educationist, quite an-
other to the politician or churchman. The
Education question of the moment is very far
from being always a purely educational question.
One might go on to show how the word takes
its colour throughout from the associations of
the rank, occupation or ideal of those who
employ it ; but it is unnecessary to do so here.
So much has been said only in order to make
it plain that when " the Education question "
is spoken of, we must be perfectly certain
what is meant. That we have an Education
question in Scotland at the present moment
needs no proof : that its exact extent and sig-
nificance are, in general, fully understood is less
certain. My purpose in what follows mainly is
to examine the chief factors in the educational
situation , and to endeavour to discover the prin-
ciples that underlie them, in accordance with


which its problems must ultimately be decided.
Manifestly the settlement of the matters in
debate, when it comes, will be permanent and
satisfactory just in proportion as it recognises
and observes the essential facts and causes in-

The Education question, as it appears to the
casual observer, at the present moment seems
to be What is to be the future of the public
administration of Education in Scotland? In
particular we seem to be concerned with the
relative amount of power to be entrusted to the
State and the locality, the central authority and
the local authorities. Mixed up with this there
are the relations of the various stages of Educa-
tion, chiefly of primary and secondary, the so-
called correlation and co-ordination of our sys-
tem ; while the training of teachers and cognate
matters, though things somew T hat apart from
reorganisation pure and simple, have also re-
ceived more or less notice. The assumption is
that the present state of matters, the present
relations of governing bodies , are unsatisfactory ,
and that legislation must be invoked to remove
the disabilities under which we labour.


It has been on some such supposition that
recent discussion has been based. In this con-
nection several valuable contributions have , dur-
ing the past year or two, been made through the
public press, by conferences, pamphlets, etc.,
towards the solution of the question. Many
suggestions, too, have been offered as to the
form that legislation should take, and most of
the important bodies interested have expressed
their views more or less fully on the situation.

This is all as it should be , testifying as it does
to the general interest of the nation and the
store set upon reform. Nothing but good can
come of intelligent discussion. Legislation, to
be beneficial, must have regard to all the issues
and embrace all that may be urged from all
points of view. Legislative change had better
not come at all than be partial and one-sided.

But perhaps the necessity of legislation is too
readily assumed. There is to be sure authority
of the very highest for the assumption. But,
even so, it would be better if we could first
answer distinctly to ourselves the question why
legislation is required at all. Only if we can do
so, shall we understand what direction it ought


to take? I propose devoting the present chap-
ter to the elucidation of this point. At the same
time I do not commit myself to the view that
the Education question is, or ever can be, one
simply of particular legislative enactments.

The conviction has forced itself on most of
those who have devoted attention to educational
affairs in Scotland that the present educational
machinery is defective. Wherein is it defec-
tive? Have we not had a great Education Act
in beneficent operation for thirty years? Has
not its influence been extended and increased
by supplementary Acts until the whole field has
been covered with a perfect network of them?
Add to this that there are zealous local bodies,
a ubiquitous Government to control and direct,
arid what more is there to desire? Such ques-
tions cannot be answered off-hand : we have to
review the facts in some detail if we are fairly
to face the situation.

The subject of our inquiry is in reality the
present position of educational affairs in Scot-
land and how it has arisen ; but manifestly a
full discussion of such a wide topic w^ould re-
quire a large volume to itself. The volume


would form a long and important chapter in
the history of Scotch Education, all the more
valuable if legislation so alter the aspect of our
schools and other educational agencies that the
present phase cannot be recalled. That is,
however, aside from our present aim. All that
can be attempted here is a brief outline of our
system in its main features, a bird's-eye view,
so to speak, which will put us au courant with
the trend of the development of our Scotch
system, indicate very generally how it has come
to be what it is, and enable us to appreciate
proposed changes, being first convinced of their

The facts of the situation as it stands could
be seen most clearly by grouping, under sepa-
rate and distinct heads, the various educational
institutions and forms of government, and de-
scribing each separately. The method is hardly
practicable, even for existing agencies, for the
reason that wholly distinct classes of them can
not be formed. There is a good deal of admix-
ture and some degree of overlapping. Different
authorities and different institutions cannot be
cut off by a definite boundary from one another.


In dealing with one you must treat others also.
A system almost implies a dovetailing of parts
if it is to be secure. For example, the junction
of primary and secondary at once shows how
impossible it is to deal with either as if it were
wholly cut off from the other by a clear line of
demarcation. All that can with safety be said
is that there are prevailing types of educational
activity, and educational authorities whose juris-
diction is predominantly in a certain sphere,
but this does not amount to the exclusion of
mixed types and common spheres of action.

Still more difficult does a definite division
become if we seek to include under it anything
of the past, and attempt to show the relation of
the present system to its growth. Opinions
will differ as to the best method of arranging
and presenting what is confessedly a complex
state of matters, and the position will arrange
itself, to some extent, in accordance with the
relative importance attached to one or other
phase of it.

The situation, as it presents itself to my mind,
seems to embrace and bring into prominence
three things in particular : first, the educational


institutions the schools; second, their govern-
ing bodies ; third , the funds by which they are
supported. Another principle of division which
runs right through the preceding is that fur-
nished by the grades or stages of the curricu-
lum, and here the terms primary or elementary,
secondary and university, seem to answer all
practical purposes. Subdivision might be
carried further by the introduction of a form
intermediate between primary and secondary,
as has sometimes been done : here it is hardly
necessary. However far subdivision were car-
ried within each of the main divisions, some-
thing w r ould still be wanting to a clear-cut
division between part and part. Though the
terms elementary, secondary arid university
may be somewhat illogical, they are well under-
stood, which, after all, is the chief matter. In
some parts of the Kingdom secondary is desig-
nated " Intermediate ".

The scheme would then shape itself as includ-
ing educational institutions, governors, funds,
and these running through the three chief
grades of instruction. But withal there is no
clearly marked division between one part of


the system and another, and it is only for con-
venience that prevalent types are selected.

The principal educational institutions of Scot-
land are :

(A) Elementary Schools ;

(B) Higher Schools, variously designated
Grammar Schools, High Schools, Academies,
Colleges, Institutions; Institute and Collegiate
School are now rare, while Seminary seems to
have entirely dropped : to these may be added
Higher Grade and Technical Schools ;

(C) Universities.

Before anything is said of these individually,
it may be useful to recall some of the pertinent
facts relative to the country for which edu-
cational provision has to be made, for whose
sake the whole machinery of Education exists.
Scotland has a population of about 4,500,000,
spread over an area of some 30,000 square miles,
giving an average distribution of 150 per square
mile, the distribution varying in density from

1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19

Online LibraryJohn ClarkeShort studies in education in Scotland → online text (page 1 of 19)