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The Edinburgh History of Education in Scotland

Edited by Robert Anderson, Mark Freeman, Lindsay Paterson

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Leading historians discuss the distinctive and internationally significant history of Scottish education

The distinctiveness and influence of Scotland’s educational institutions have played a significant role in the construction of national identity. This book investigates the origins and evolution of the main institutions of Scottish education, bringing together a range of scholars, each an expert on his or her own period, and with interests including – but also ranging beyond – the history of education.

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List of figures
List of tables
Editors’ introduction, Robert Anderson, Mark Freeman and Lindsay Paterson
Chapter 1. Education in Scotland from 1000 to 1300, Matthew Hammond
Chapter 2. ‘Through the Keyhole of the Monastic Library Door’: Learning and Education in Scottish Medieval Monasteries, Kimm Curran
Chapter 3. Schooling in the Towns c.1400-c.1560, Elizabeth Ewan
Chapter 4. Education in the Century of Reformation, Stephen Mark Holmes
Chapter 5. Urban Schooling in Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century Scotland, Lindy Moore
Chapter 6. The Universities and the Scottish Enlightenment, David Allan
Chapter 7. Legal Education 1650-1850, John Finlay
Chapter 8. Scottish Schooling in the Denominational Era, John Stevenson
Chapter 9. Education in Rural Scotland 1696 to 1872, Ewen A. Cameron
Chapter 10. A’ Yon Skweelin: The North-East, a Regional Study, David Northcroft
Chapter 11. Education and Society in the Era of the School Boards 1872-1918, Jane McDermid
Chapter 12. Schoolteachers and Professionalism 1696-1906, Christopher R. Bischof
Chapter 13. Democracy or Intellect: the Scottish Educational Dilemma of the Twentieth Century, Lindsay Paterson
Chapter 14. Adult Education c.1750-1950: A Distinctive Mission?, Douglas Sutherland
Chapter 15. The Universities and National Identity in the Long Nineteenth Century c.1830-1914, Robert Anderson and Stuart Wallace
Chapter 16. Alba Mater: Scottish University Students 1889-1945, Catriona M. M. Macdonald
Chapter 17. Gaelic Education since 1872, Fiona O’Hanlon and Lindsay Paterson
Chapter 18. Inventing a Scottish School of Educational Research 1920-1950, Martin Lawn and Ian J. Deary
Chapter 19. Scottish Education in the Twenty-First Century: Continuities, Aspirations and Challenges, Walter Humes
Notes on Contributors

About the Author

Robert Anderson taught history at the University of Edinburgh from 1969 to 2007. He has written extensively on the history of education in Scotland, Britain and Europe. His most recent books are Education and the Scottish People 1750-1918 (1995), European Universities from the Enlightenment to 1914 (2004), and British Universities Past and Present (2006). Current interests include the history of history as a university subject, and the relation between education and modern nationalism. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

MARK FREEMAN is a Senior Lecturer at the UCL Institute of Education, University College London. He has published widely on modern British social, educational and business history, and has also worked at the Universities of Glasgow, York and Hull. He is co-editor of the journal History of Education.

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.


This is an excellent book. It challenges several preconceptions about education in Scotland and provides an authoritative and interesting account of many aspects of its history. It will be immensely valuable to historians of education and to students within Scotland and beyond.

- Pamela Munn, Emeritus Professor of Curriculum Research, University of Edinburgh