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The Social and Industrial history of Scotland, from the Union to the present time
Nineteenth Century: 10. Education


The condition of Scottish education at the beginning of the nineteenth century was far from satisfactory in two respects. The parish schoolmasters were as a rule poorly paid, and the number of schools was far from adequate. The economic progress of the country, which had raised prices and wages, had not raised the schoolmasters' salaries, and the growth of population, and, especially in the Highlands, the size of the parishes had increased the deficiency of school accommodation. In the Highlands, indeed, the lack of schools was still deplorable in spite of the efforts of the Society for the Propagation of Christian Knowledge to remedy the defect. Dr Shaw, writing in 1775, avers, for instance, that from Speymouth to Lorn there was only one school—that at Ruthven in Badenoch—and that it was unusual to find in a parish three persons that could read and write. In vain the Church had appealed in 1782 to the Government for help. The opposition of the landowners would not be overborne by the forcible arguments on the poor schoolmasters' behalf. "Ninety years (counting from 1698, the date of the Educational Act of the Scottish Parliament) have produced such a change and so great improvements in the agriculture, navigation, commerce, arts, and riches of this country that 15 sterling per annum at the end of last century may be considered as a better income than 45 sterling per annum at this present time. Suppose then that in Scotland there are 900 parochial schoolmasters, which is very near the truth, 800 of them will be found struggling with indigence, inferior in point of income to 800 day labourers in the best cultivated parts of this island, and receiving hardly half the emoluments of the menial servants of country gentlemen and wealthy citizens." The Act of 1803 was an all too belated attempt to remedy these evils. It raised the schoolmaster's salary to a maximum of 400 merks and a minimum of 300 (100 merks = 5, 11s. 1d.) and provided for a revision every twenty-five years. It compelled the heritors to provide a dwelling house, consisting of not more than two apartments, including the kitchen, and a garden, or its equivalent in money—an extravagance which the lairds denounced as erecting "palaces for the dominies." It further required the heritors, in the case of parishes of large extent and population, to erect a second school (or side school, as it was called), furnish a sum of 600 merks, and divide it among the teachers. The act certainly did not err on the side of generosity, and was only a makeshift. A Government investigation in 1818 brought out the fact that 50,000 children of school age were still without instruction from lack of accommodation, while in the Highlands, where the lack was more felt, half the population were unable to read. The General Assembly took up the problem through its Education Committee, which it established in 1824, and which raised subscriptions for the establishment of schools chiefly in the Highlands and Islands ("Assembly Schools") In 1836 it appealed to the Government to provide schools in connection with the 42 Government churches in the Highlands (quoad sacra parishes), and two years later an Act was passed to carry the proposal into effect ("Parliamentary Schools.") In 1839 it started a scheme to provide schools in all the quoad sacra parishes of the country, in addition to the schools of the parishes from which these were detached ("Sessional Schools.") To this end it availed itself of the Grants in Aid sanctioned in the same year.

The Disruption in 1843 led to a great increase in school accommodation, the Free Church building its own schools as well as churches for the education of children belonging to its communion. It led, in fact, in many places, to the overlapping of schools which owed their existence to ecclesiastical rivalry rather than to real educational need. Within five years the Education Committee of the Free Church had raised nearly 40,000 for this object, and it spent this sum in establishing Normal Schools in Edinburgh and Glasgow for the training of its teachers, and a large number of schools throughout the country. In 1850 the number of these schools was 626. In addition to these there were other denominational schools belonging to the smaller religious bodies, besides those maintained by the Church of Scotland and the Society for Propagating Christian Knowledge, and a large number of private schools.

The national or parochial system had thus, by the middle of the century, been materially supplemented by ecclesiastical or private effort. The denominational element in education accentuated the growing feeling against the exclusive control by the Church of Scotland over the parish schools and in favour of a national system under the control of the State. The next important Education Act—that of 1861—not only substantially improved teachers' salaries, making the minimum 35 and the maximum 70, but provided larger dwelling houses. It relaxed the obligation to sign the Confession of Faith and the Formula of the Church of Scotland, and substituted a declaration not to teach anything subversive of the Bible and the Shorter Catechism. It thus opened the parish schools to at least all Presbyterians, irrespective of denomination. It transferred to the Scottish Universities the duty of examining the qualifications of teachers, whilst vesting in the minister and heritors of each parish the power of dismissing the parish teacher in case of neglect or inefficiency and in the Sheriff of the county in case of immorality or cruelty. The State further sought to control education through the Committee of Council, established in 1839 and subsequently known as the Scotch Education Department, by means of Government inspection and grants in aid, and the issue of certificates to properly qualified teachers. In 1850 there was only one Government inspector; in 1860 the number had grown to eight. The partial application to Scotland of the English Revised Code of 1861, with its principle of payment by results, was another step in the direction of State control.

Despite these successive improvements, education in Scotland left much to be desired. The Commission of 1867 reported that of about 500,000 children rather more than 90,000 attended no school, and that of about 400,000 who did only about half were in schools subject to inspection. The conviction had been steadily growing that a thorough organisation of national education, on the basis of State aid and control, was the only remedy, and this remedy was forthcoming in the Education Act of 1872. It set up a School Board in every parish and burgh for the management of the school or schools within them, and made the school independent of Church control. These Boards were elected for three years by the ratepayers who were owners or occupiers of an annual minimum value of 4, and each elector possessed a cumulative vote which he could record in favour of one or more candidates if so disposed. They were empowered to make an assessment through the Parochial Board for the maintenance of education, and to enforce the attendance at the "public" schools of all children between the ages of 5 and 13, though partial exemption was allowed in certain cases. They were required to supply adequate school accommodation out of the local rates, and entitled to grants of public money through the Scotch Education Department. They were responsible for the management of the schools to this Department, whose approval of the time table was requisite, and these schools were subject to inspection by the Department's inspectors. Only on the fulfilment of these conditions were they entitled to share in the Parliamentary grant, and the amount of the grant depended further on the examinations conducted by these inspectors on the questionable principle of payment by results. They were, however, free to adopt or not religious instruction, and to decide on the nature of this instruction, subject to a conscience clause. Moreover, the Department had no power to compel them to use the compulsory powers as to attendance invested in them, for whose exercise they were responsible only to the electors.

The Act of 1872 was modified in important respects by subsequent legislation. In 1878 the employment of children under 10 years of age was absolutely forbidden, and no child between 10 and 14 was to be employed, even for half time, who had not passed a certain standard, subsequently fixed by the Department as the third standard, while for full time employment the standard was the fifth. Another Act, that of 1883, strengthened the compulsory powers of the Boards in dealing with parents who neglected to send their children to school. Hitherto it had been necessary for the Board to prove " gross " neglect, and refractory parents might evade conviction in the Courts by a merely nominal attendance of their children. Such evasion was now rendered impossible by the provision requiring attendance at school on every occasion when the school was open, the penalty for neglect being 20s., or imprisonment. In 1890 the system of individual examination and payment by results based thereon, on which the amount of the Government grant depended, was abandoned in favour of a general report on the work of the pupils and the average attendance. The abandonment of payment by individual results was undoubtedly a step in the right direction. The system was unfair to both teacher and pupil, and was bad educationally. It made the grant dependent on the hazard of a single annual examination by an official inspector, and took no account of the strain on the pupil, who might not be at his best on such an awesome occasion. It tempted the teacher to drill his pupils for the examination rather than to educate them, to concentrate on the dullards rather than on the more gifted children. It ignored the record of the general work of the year, the real test of ability and diligence, and mistook mere proficiency in passing a test of what was liable to be crammed knowledge, for education.

The logical consequence of compulsion is free education, and the change was completed in 1893, when the payment of fees was abandoned in the case of all children between 3 and 15.

In 1890 the Boards were made responsible for the education of blind and deaf-mute children, and were empowered to pay, in cases where the parent was unable to do so, for the education and maintenance of these defective children in institutions such as the Royal Blind Schools and the Deaf and Dumb Schools at Edinburgh and Glasgow, which had been established for this special purpose. By two subsequent Acts (1906 and 1908) the Boards were themselves empowered to make provision for the education of these children between the ages of 5 and 16, and if such special provision was made, they were enabled to prosecute parents who neglected to take advantage of it. Besides these defective children, provision was made for dealing with neglected children by the Day Industrial Schools Act of 1893, which enabled them to establish such schools and to contribute to those established by private philanthropy.

The scope of the Act of 1872 was not limited to elementary education, as was that of 1870 in England. It was meant to provide education "for the whole people of Scotland," and not merely for the children of the working classes. It contemplated the continuation of the higher instruction given in many of the parish schools which had prepared pupils for the Universities, and it was applicable to the Burgh or Secondary Schools, which were managed by Town Councils and were now placed under the jurisdiction of the School Boards. The class of higher schools which remained outside their jurisdiction, though some were subsequently absorbed, were academies and institutions established by subscription or endowment, and managed by their own governors. The large number of schools originated and carried on by private adventure, and the denominational schools maintained by the Episcopal and Roman Catholic Churches, were also independent of their control.

The secondary schools, though managed by the Boards, did not at first share in the Parliamentary grants to any appreciable extent. They were maintained, as before, by endowments or contributions and by the pupils' fees, which, under the regime of the Boards, were no longer paid to the individual master, but were collected into a common fee fund and divided among the teachers according as the Board might determine. Secondary education in Edinburgh greatly benefitted by the reforms of the Merchant Company, which abolished endowed Hospitals in 1869 and (with the exception of Gillespie's Hospital, which became a primary school and later a higher grade school) transformed them into secondary and fee paying educational institutions with thousands, instead of hundreds, of pupils. A similar reform was effected in the case of George Heriot's Hospital in 1885; Allan Glen's School, Glasgow, in 1876; Robert Gordon's Hospital, Aberdeen, in 1881. Improvements in the same direction were effected in many endowed institutions in other places. The Scottish Education Department, under the auspices of Sir Henry Craik, energetically took up the question of higher education, and inaugurated, in 1886, the inspection of secondary schools. It was not, however, till 1892, that State aid, in addition to State control, was materially extended to these higher public schools in the form of a sum of 60,000 placed at the disposal of the Department for this purpose. The distribution of this grant was, however, entrusted, not to the Boards, but to Secondary Education Committees for the counties and the larger burghs, these committees being under obligation to furnish the Department with satisfactory evidence as to the adequacy of the accommodation and the teaching staff and the efficiency of the teaching, as a condition of sharing in its benefit. Six years later (1898) an additional sum of considerable amount became available for this purpose, partly on the ground that further provision was necessary in view of the advance of the teaching of science and the heavy expense of providing specially qualified teachers and apparatus. lu 1906 the amount at the disposal of the Secondary Education Committees was substantially increased from the General Aid Grant. Grants had also been made since 1859 by the Science and Art Department in aid of science teaching in schools which specialised in this branch, and in 1897 these science and art grants were transferred to the Scottish Education Department, which devoted them to the development of the science side of the instruction given in secondary schools, properly equipped for the purpose, as well as in schools in which the instruction was more specifically modern and scientific, such as George Heriot's, Edinburgh; Allan Glen's, Glasgow; and Gordon's College, Aberdeen. Encouragement was also given in 1890 to technical education by placing at the disposal of local authorities a sum, which ten years later had risen to 15,000 (the Residue Grant) and which was applied to this object through the Secondary Education Committees.

In addition to these grants, a great impulse was given to secondary education by the introduction, after several tentative steps in this direction, of the Leaving Certificate Examination in 1888. By this scheme the Department furnished a means of testing the instruction given in these schools and awarded a certificate to the successful pupils. At the same time the scheme tended to foster a more uniform system of secondary education, which had hitherto been conducted in too haphazard a fashion. At first, however, the examination was confined to higher class schools, and it was not till four years later (1892) that it was extended to the Board Schools in which higher instruction was given. The establishment of the entrance examination to the Universities by the Universities Commission in the same year gave an additional impetus to secondary education. Still another was afforded by the policy of the Department, adopted in 1889 and subsequently developed, of affording an avenue, through the establishment of the Higher Grade School for further study, to pupils of elementary schools over 14, who had reached a certain standard of proficiency, and the more capable of whom were ultimately enabled, by means of this higher course, to enter the University. As a test of the instruction in the higher grade and other schools which were unable to retain these pupils up to age 11 to 14 years the the stage of the Leaving Certificate Examination, the Intermediate Certificate was subsequently instituted. Roth these certificates were designed to test the proficiency of the candidate, not in any one subject or number of subjects combined at haphazard, but in groups of subjects in accordance with a definite course of school instruction or curriculum. The examination thus became a test not merely of the knowledge, but of the real education of the pupil, and to this end the school work of the candidates, as adjudicated by the teachers, from 1906 was to be taken into account in judging their merits.

As the result of the Act of 1872 and the legislation in supplement of it, elementary education in Scotland had made remarkable progress during the thirty years between the passing of the Act and the beginning of the twentieth century. Under the Boards, school accommodation had greatly increased all over the country and the character of the accommodation had greatly improved. One has only to think of the large and handsome buildings erected during the period, not merely in the large towns, but in every considerable centre of population. The school attendance showed a corresponding rise, and the staffing of the schools had become more adequate and efficient. Salaries had risen, though the average still left much to be desired. In the 23 years from 1873 to 1896 the schools under inspection rose from 2,000 to over 3,000, the number of school places from 300,000 to 789,000, the number of pupils on the rolls of inspected schools from 280,000 to 708,000, and the average attendance from 220,000 to 587,000. Besides the day schools, a system of continuation classes had come into existence, in which instruction in specific as well as school subjects was provided. In 1897-98 over 95,000 pupils were enrolled, though the average attendance was little more than half the number. Included in the specialised courses given in these classes was, besides literary and commercial subjects, instruction in the various crafts and arts, such as engineering, naval architecture, navigation, textile and chemical industries, women's industries, agriculture, etc.

The Act of 1872 was further supplemented in the first decade of the twentieth century by the Acts of 1901 and 1908, and by special minutes of the Department. The former raised the school age from 13 to 14 years, and that at which children might be employed from 10 to 12, whilst allowing School Boards to grant exemption from attendance for employed children between 12 and 14 on certain conditions. The latter was far more thoroughgoing. It included the physical welfare of the children. It empowered Boards to provide accommodation and apparatus and service for the supply of meals to the children attending schools, though not to pay for these meals out of the school funds, to undertake their medical examination, to call the parents of filthy, or verminous, or ill-clad and underfed children to account, and, in case of insufficient or unsatisfactory explanation, to institute proceedings against them for such neglect, unless unable by reason of poverty or ill-health to provide a remedy. In this case provision must be made out of the school fund, failing aid by voluntary agency. Children between 14 and 16 were required to attend further instruction in day or evening continuation classes, and the Boards were required to provide such instruction in continuation classes with reference to the crafts and industries practised in the district (including agriculture and the domestic arts), in the English language and literature, and in Gaelic speaking districts the Gaelic language and literature, and also in the laws of health and physical training. They might, moreover, make bye-laws requiring attendance at such classes up to the age of 17, provided that the classes were not held beyond two miles from the residence of the pupil. The restriction of the power of School Boards to grant retiring allowances to teachers in the Act of 1898 was repealed, and provision was made for such retiring allowances out of a superannuation fund partly established by the State, partly by the teacher, and partly by the School Board, the allowance to be in proportion to salary and service. The teacher was also granted the right of appeal to the Department against dismissal by the Board, and his tenure of office was thereby safeguarded against arbitrary local action. Provision was likewise made in the form of grants (including bursaries and travelling expenses of pupils) for higher education in intermediate and secondary schools, training colleges, central institutions, and Universities.

The Act of 1908 was not thoroughgoing enough for the more advanced educational reformers, who desired to enlarge the area of the local school authority from the parish to the county, to abolish cumulative voting, to correlate the various classes of schools in a properly organised general system of education, etc. For ten years they continued to agitate in favour of these reforms, the Educational Institute of Scotland taking a leading part in the movement, and the result of their efforts was the Act of 1918, which may be described as marking in some respects an educational revolution. In place of the 947 School Boards, the Act substituted 38 local educational authorities, elected on the principle of proportional representation, and consisting of five of the largest burghs and thirty-three counties. It established committees for the management of schools or groups of schools within each area, consisting of members of the education authority, parents of the children, and at least one teacher of the schools concerned. To the education authority of the area was, however, reserved the raising of money by rate or loan, and the general control of expenditure, the acquisition or holding of land, the appointment, transfer, remuneration, and dismissal of teachers, and the recognition or establishment of intermediate, secondary, and technical schools within the area. Power was given them to make grants to capable pupils to enable them to attend secondary schools, universities, training colleges, central institutions, and continuation classes, and to provide books for general reading not only to pupils, but to the adult population of the area. They were required to submit to the Department, henceforth to be known as the Scottish (not Scotch) Education Department, a scheme for the adequate provision of free primary, intermediate, and secondary education (including the teaching of Gaelic in Gaelic-speaking districts), and were empowered to maintain a limited number of fee-paying schools if deemed desirable, and to establish day nursery schools for children between 2 and 5. They were further required to submit a scheme of salaries which must not fall below a minimum national scale, which superseded what was known as the Craik scale of 1917, and which involved a substantial rise in the remuneration, and therefore gave promise of a corresponding rise in the status of the teacher. Liberty was conceded to continue the custom of giving religioulHnstruction, sublet to PBonsciencc clause. The campul-sory school age was raised to 15, and in the case of blind and deaf-mute children to 18, the age for exemption to 13, that for attendance on continuation classes to 18, the attendance to be given between 8 in the morning and 7 in the evening, and medical inspection was made applicable to the pupils in attendance. Voluntary or denominational schools might be transferred to the Education Authority on terms to be arranged between the parties, and the authorities were bound to accept such transfer on agreement as to the terms being attained. These schools thus obtained recognition as public schools and a share in education grants through the authority, which has the right of regulating their curriculum and appointing their teachers who, however, must have the approval of the Church or denomination to which they belong, and are empowered to give the specific religious instruction hitherto usual, under the supervision of a supervisor appointed by the authority. Another new feature was the Advisory Council for the purpose of advising the Department on educational matters, and consisting, to the extent of two-thirds, of persons qualified to represent the views of bodies interested in education. Local Advisory Councils to advise the Education Authority were also made available for each area.

The Act is the monumental completion of the long series dealing with education in Scotland, and is fraught with great possibilities for the social and industrial welfare of the Scottish people. " It transfers," to quote its editor, Professor Strong, " the administration of education to the county, and introduces a new system of voting in elections; it increases the powers and duties of the new education authorities; it makes possible a close approximation to two ideals of democracy—an educated community and equal opportunity for all—by providing increased facilities for the full educational development of the child and the adolescent; it sets reasonable bounds to the employment of young people in industrial and commercial work; it promotes the education and self-improvement of the adult; it goes far towards solving the voluntary or denominational school problem; and it deals with the vexed question of teachers' salaries In a simple and satisfactory manner. ... It is a serious effort to b*g Scotland, in regard to educational facilities, in line with current ideals in education. It recognises the fact that civilisation is progressive, and that no country, however distinguished in the past, if it intends to keep in line with modern development, can afford to rely merely on tradition." It is, however, proving very expensive to work, and in the poorer and sparsely populated areas the question of providing the huge additional expense out of the rates is one of grave difficulty.

The training of teachers is a supremely important part of any national system of education. Up to 1905 this training was almost entirely in the hands of the Churches. Six training or Normal Colleges had been established by the Church of Scotland and the Free Church—two by each at Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Aberdeen. One belonged to the Episcopal Church, and in 1895 a training college for Roman Catholics was established at Dowan-hill, Glasgow. St. George's College, Edinburgh, founded in 1886, concerned itself with the training of secondary teachers. In the Church Colleges the students consisted mainly of those who had served a five years' apprenticeship as pupil teachers in the Board Schools, and the standard of their preliminary and Normal education underwent a gradual advance from 1873 onwards. Many of the most meritorious of the elementary teachers were trained under this system, and a growing proportion of these managed to combine a University with their Normal course. In 1895 a new class of teacher students came into existence. These were known as Queen's, subsequently King's, students, who received an allowance from the Department to attend the University whilst undergoing their practical training under the supervision of local committees at the University seats. It was not till 1905, however, that the Department (minute of 30th January) directly undertook the training of teachers by taking over the Colleges of the Church of Scotland and the United Free Church, and transferring their management to committees known as Provincial Committees, representing the education authorities of the four University districts, with co-opted members from the churches. To these committees was entrusted the training of primary and secondary teachers and teachers of special subjects. This training was to be taken in two stages—the pupil teacher or Junior Student, and the Senior Student or Training College stages. To enter on the first stage the Junior Student must have obtained the Intermediate Certificate, and thereafter undergo a course of three years' advanced instruction in the usual school subjects. During this course he must receive systematic training in the art of teaching, and at the end of it pass the Leaving Certificate examination. Having obtained, in addition, the Junior Student Certificate, the student then enters the Training College as a Senior Student to prosecute a further course of education and professional training extending over two years, attendance at University classes or those of a central institution, such as an agricultural or technical college, being permissible. Those in training as secondary teachers must, as a rule, have graduated and show a special knowledge of the subject which they desire to teach (graduation with honours in a specific subject), and must undergo a year's professional training in the Training College. For teachers of special subjects, such as Domestic Economy, Drawing, Educational Handwork, the preliminary education was not so high, not exceeding, as a rule, the Intermediate Certificate standard. They must, in addition, possess the diploma of a recognised institution in the subject to be taught, and must undergo a course of professional training with particular reference to the special subject professed.

During the last fifteen years the curriculum for the various classes of senior students has been considerably modified by the Provincial Committees, in co-operation with the Department, in the direction of combining University study with professional training, whether with a view to graduation or not, and extending the duration of the course to three or four years accordingly, while retaining the two years' course for those who are unfitted to attend University classes. There is also a strongly marked tendency to raise the standard of preliminary education, and to require of entrants a preliminary standard equal to that for the other professions.

During the last fifty years, and especially since the opening of the twentieth century, a marked development of University education has taken place. A number of Acts were passed, and successive commissions appointed under them, to investigate and reform University Teaching and administration throughout the nineteenth century. The Act of 1S5S invested the supreme control of financial administration in a body called the University Court in each of the four Universities, and empowered it to review the decisions of the Senatus. It instituted a General Council, consisting of all graduates, with the right of electing the Chancellor who presides over it and, subsequent to 1S6S, a joint member of Parliament for Edinburgh and St Andrews, and Glasgow and Aberdeen respectively, and of making representations to the Court on University affairs. It appointed a Commission to carry out these and other reforms, and this Commission regulated the curriculum for degrees in Arts, Law, and Medicine. It fixed the number of subjects for the M.A. degree at 7—Classics, English, Mathematics, Natural Philosophy, and Mental and Moral Philosophy, and the attainment of this degree was conditional on a pass in all these subjects. It did not, however, venture to propose the institution of a preliminary examination for all students as a condition of their entrance on University study in the Arts Faculty. The course of study for the ordinary degree was four years, but exemption from the junior classes of Latin, Greek, and Mathematics was allowed to students possessing a competent preliminary knowledge of these subjects, and such students might complete their graduating course in three years. It established an Honours degree in groups of these subjects and in the department of Natural Science. For graduation in Medicine the course also extended to four years, to be completed by the degree of Bachelor of Medicine and, in the case of surgeons, Master of Surgery, in place of that of Doctor of Medicine, which was now only attainable, in the cases of Edinburgh, St Andrews, and Aberdeen, after the expiry of two years from the date of the first degree. In the Faculty of Law it instituted the degree of Bachelor of Laws, which could only be taken by those who held the Arts degree, but declined to entertain the proposal for a Bachelors degree in the Faculty of Divinity. It made provision for the co-operation of outside examiners with the professors in the degree examinations and for the appointment of assistants to professors, and recommended the establishment of a number of new chairs.

This reform served its purpose for the time being by improving the administration of the Universities, organising the curriculum for degrees, and sivins an impulse to graduation in Arts, which had been little taken advantage of, as the result of efficient work up to a certain standard. It led to the founding of several new chairs, notably at Edinburgh, where, up to 1576. chairs in Enoineering, Geology,. Political Economv. and Education had been established, and to the union oi King's College and Marischal College at Aberdeen into one flourishing University. Splendid new buildings for Glasgow University were begun at Gilmorehill in 1S69, and ultimately completed at a cost oi nearly half a million. But the Commission left some defects ior the future to remedy. The retention of the junior classes in some of the Arts subjects tended to keep down the standard of University-education, and burden the professors with work which properly pertained to the secondary school. Secondary education in the schools was, however, too inadequate, and the argument on this ground for their continuance was too forcible to be overborne. The same argument told against the institution oi a preliminary examination which is essential to the profitable pursuit of University studies. Another weakness was the lack of facilities and stimulus for higher research work, the advancement o: knowledge, which it is an important function o: a University to further. Moreover, the restriction of the degree curriculum in Arts to certain subjects militated against the study oi important modern subjects like Political Economy, in which graduation was impossible. Greater liberty and elasticity were desirable in the interest of higher modern education, however valuable in itself the training afforded by the favoured seven subjects.

These defects were remedied by the Commission of 1SS9 and the following years. It instituted a preliminary examination in 1892. conducted by a Joint Board of Examiners for the our Universities, from which the candidate might be exempted ii he had passed the Leaving Certificate of the Scottish Education Department. It accorded liberty of choice in the selection of subjects, including Science, to be studied for the ordinary degree, whilst retaining seven as the number to be professed, and including in the number certain of the older graduation subjects which must be taken in any one combination. Thus History, Political Economy, Modern Languages, Education, etc., obtained a place as ordinary qualifying degree subjects, which had hitherto been denied them. Special study was encouraged by the grouping of a wide range of subjects in which the Honours Degree could be taken, and reducing the number of subjects in which the Honours student must, in addition, pass on the ordinary standard. Boards of Studies were instituted to advise the Faculties of Arts and Science as to the instruction given in the four departments into which the subjects qualifying for the Arts degree were divided—one Board in each department. Another step in advance was the institution of a Faculty of Science, with the degrees of Bachelor and Doctor in Pure and Applied Science, and a preliminary examination of the same standard as for those entering on the Arts course, with the option of Modern Languages. for Latin or Greek, and a higher standard in Mathematics. Doctorates were also instituted in Philosophy and Literature, which were attainable by those who had taken an Honours degree in the relative subjects, and after a stated interval of further study produced a thesis adjudged to be an original contribution. To encourage this higher study, the Senatus was empowered to appoint Research Students and Fellows, and the Court to provide stipends for the latter. The Commission also opened the University to women students by admitting women to every degree on the same terms as men, though the Edinburgh Medical Faculty for about twenty years longer declined to admit them to its classes, and they were under the necessity of obtaining instruction in extra-mural institutions. In Glasgow the foundation of Queen Margaret's College for Women, through the generosity of Mrs Elder in 1883, which was incorporated some years later into the University, provided a separate establishment for their education, including the study of Medicine. In the Medical Faculty the Commission instituted a preliminary examination, extended the course from four to five years, introduced four professional examinations during this course in the various departments of Medicine, Surgery, and Midwifery, made it obligatory on the candidate to obtain the Bachelorship of Medicine and Surgery, and made that of Master of Surgery a higher degree equivalent to the Doctorate of Medicine. It made some changes relative to graduation in Law and Divinity, and instituted a Faculty of Music in the University of Edinburgh, and the Degrees of Bachelor and Doctor of Music. It greatly increased the teaching power of the Universities by empowering the University Courts to appoint Lecturers in subjects not already included in the instruction given in the various Faculties, and established new chairs in some of these subjects, such as Chairs of History at Edinburgh and Glasgow, English Literature at St Andrews and Aberdeen, Political Economy and Pathology at Glasgow, Public Health at Edinburgh, and several medical chairs at St Andrews. It consummated the union of St Andrews and University College, Dundee, between which there had been prolonged friction over the question of affiliation, and made provision for the maintenance of University laboratories, libraries, and museums. In addition, large buildings have been erected to meet the needs of the medical and scientific departments, and Edinburgh has contributed the most recent and striking evidence of this kind of advance by the purchase of 100 acres in the southern suburbs for the erection of a grand suite of departmental laboratories. It enlarged the membership and administrative powers of the University Courts, whilst recognising the responsibility of the Senatus for the purely educational side of University work, and instituted a Students' Representative Council in each University, with power to petition the Court and Senatus in matters affecting their interests.

The Report of their long and arduous labours, presented to Her Majesty in 1900, marks the beginning of a new epoch in Scottish academic history. The development of University education during the intervening twenty years since its publication can only be described as phenomenal. A large number of additional ordinances promoted by the University Courts have helped to bring their enactments to fruition, whilst modifying them in important respects for the fuller realisation of this purpose. The munificent liberality of Mr Carnegie in placing, in 1901, at the disposal of the Universities a large fund, administered by the Carnegie Trust, has greatly facilitated this develop-nicnt. Additional professorships have been established in a variety of subjects. Lectureships in great number have reinforced the professorial teaching. The study of Science and Medicine, in particular, has been rendered more comprehensive and efficient by the provision of laboratories and apparatus, and increasing attention has been given to the bearing of University instruction on industrial and commercial requirements. A degree in commerce has been instituted, preparatory to the establishment of a Faculty of Commerce. Technical Colleges have been affiliated to the Universities at Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Aberdeen, and the influence of the Universities on secondary education has made itself felt through the Provincial Committees and the Joint Board of Examiners. The social life of the students has been fostered by the Students' Unions or Clubs, under the management of committees, composed largely of the students themselves, at each of the University seats, and by the movement to provide Hostels, in which they can obtain the advantages of a common life. It may be said that since 1889 the Universities have experienced, in both the intellectual and the social spheres, a renaissance which is at the same time a revolution.

During the period of educational history under review there has been a quickened sense of the importance of education in the national life. This conviction has become a truism among all enlightened people, whether specialists or not. Education is almost universally, if all too tardily, recognised as one of the greatest factors in the making or marring of both the individual and the nation. The more elementary stage is, in some respects, more important, from this point of view, than the more advanced, highly important as this, in its own place, is. It is at this earlier stage that mind and heart are so susceptible to the influences brought to bear on them—the stage when the making of the man or the woman is being accomplished in the boy or the girl. It is not merely a case of shaping the personal life; it is also a case of the making of the citizen, the member of the community and the State. Hence the importance of education from the political and the social point of view. We live in a democratic age—an age in which the democratic system of government flood over the world—and under these conditions education becomes a prime requisite. When a people was governed by an absolute ruler, or by an aristocracy, it counted for little or nothing in legislation, or administration, or policy, and its education was of less importance, though in the long run it invariably proved a blunder and a crime to neglect it. Under a democratic system, where the people is practically sovereign in all departments of the national life, education becomes an absolutely essential condition of national well-being. The development of modern history has been moving steadily in the direction of government by the people for the people in the larger sense of the whole body of the nation—the people in the national, not in the class sense. This is, among the more mature peoples at least, the inevitable, the only possible form of government. But on one indispensable condition—that the people in the mass have the benefit of a sound education in order to fit it to discharge its responsible functions with knowledge, judgment, and uprightness. From this point of view the vocation of the teacher is one of the highest worth, dignity, and utility. His influence is incalculable in the forming of the future citizen. What the national life shall be under such a system depends, in no inconsiderable degree, on his work in imparting sound knowledge, in cultivating the higher qualities of soul and character, in inculcating the ideals in which the true greatness, the real power of a people consist.

Equally important is the part to be played by education in the more strictly social sphere. Human society, apart from its political aspect, stands in need of the directing and elevating influence of education. In our own land, in particular, there is ample need for the training of the public conscience in higher things. There are blots like drunkenness and other social vices to be wiped out. There is the all too prevalent low taste in literature, art, music, to be elevated to a higher level of understanding and appreciation in things of the spirit. There is, too, the fear of God, which is the beginning of wisdom, to be nurtured in young hearts. In these and other respects the teacher can co-operate effectively with the social reformer, may indeed become the greatest of social reformers. He may have to struggle with the adverse influences of what Dr Morgan in his admirable work, Education and Social Progress, calls defective heredity and defective environment. The inherited vicious tendency is there to mar his work. There, too, are the adverse influences of parental neglect, the squalid and overcrowded home, the low tone of a certain section of the Press, the almost epidemic rage for trashy and sensational forms of popular amusement. Even so, the concerted effort of the great army of teachers can, under the more favourable conditions which an enlightened public opinion will more and more contribute, effect much in counteracting the baneful influence of these demoralisers of our social life.


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