Educational studies in the Scottish Universities : 1870-1970
In 1876, atter an enthusiastic campaign by the main teachers' organisation,
Edinburgh and St. Andrews became the first English-speaking uni versi ties in
the world to establish permanent chairs of Education. Half a century later
Scotland became the first country in the British Isles to demand university
graduation of all male and secondary teachers in the public sector, except
for those involved in art, crafts and physical education. Yet by the 1970s the
Education Departments in the Scottish Universities were considerably smaller
than in most English universities and,indeed,St.Andrews had abandoned the
study of Education altogether.
The thesis suggests that the primary reason for this course of events lay in
the persistent refusal of the Scottish Education Department ,except for a
few years at the turn of the century ,to allow the universities any role in
the professional, as opposed to the general higher education of teachers.
With the training role denied them, the universities had thus to seek other
tasks in the field of Educational Studies, notably the teaching of a postgraduate
honours degree, unique within Britain,the old Scottish Bachelor of
Education. Established a1: the end of the first world war, this degree was
also recognised as a professional qualification by the British Psychological
Society and during the next fift'l years it not only provided a maj or
stimulus to the professional development of school-teachers, training
college lecturers and educational administrators but also became a key
factor in the development of mental testing and of the educational
psychology service throughout the United Kingdom.
The final chapters of the thesis ex?lore the· nature and teaching ·Jf this
degree along with the eventual career patterns of graduates. This exploration
is based on the hitherto unpublished findings of a questionnaire survey and
series of interviews carried out by the author during the late 1960s.