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Scottish Education in the Twentieth Century

Lindsay Paterson


Scotland's education system has been claimed by many to be one of the most successful in the world and its alleged decline in recent decades has generated a great deal of controversy. This book is the first full account of the history of twentieth-century Scottish education, by Lindsay Paterson, a leading specialist in the area.

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1. Introduction
2. Expansion and Democracy
Part I: Competition and Opportunity, 1880s-1930s
3. Elementary Education
4. Post-Elementary Education
5. University Education
6. Technical and Adult Education
Part II: Welfare and Individualism, 1940s-1990s
Introduction: Effects of War
7. Primary Education
8. Secondary Education
9. Higher Education
10. Further and Community Education
11. Conclusions

About the Author

Lindsay Paterson is Professor of Educational Policy at the University of Edinburgh. He has published widely on the expansion and purposes of higher education, on social mobility, on the relationship between education and civic values, on the twentieth-century history of Scottish education, and on Scottish politics. He is a Fellow of the British Academy and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.


An important contribution to our understanding of a relatively under-researched area, which affected many levels of Scottish society … This book should be essential reading for all those interested in Scottish education since it explains how the system has arrived at the present stage of its development.
- Scottish Economic and Social History
This outstanding and meticulously researched book is essentially an overview of the history of 20th century Scottish Education dealing not just with schools but with the entire gamut of post compulsory education … It is without doubt a major contribution to the history fo Scottish education and essential reading for all who claim an interest in the subject. One can only hope that those who shape education policy in twenty-first-century Scotland pay attention to it.
- Scottish Affairs
Paterson can certainly be relied upon to produce a lively, concise and scholarly work.
- Professor Robert Anderson, University of Edinburgh
In this ambitious book Lindsay Paterson provides an incisive analysis of the key features of Scottish education as the system evolved… The author's historical analysis sheds welcome light on whether claims of the distinctiveness of Scottish education are indeed sustainable. It is refreshing that, wherever possible, Scottish education is set against wider international perspectives rather than being examined solely within the more customary British context.
- British Journal of Educational Studies