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Title: A sort of amateur schoolmaster : the life, work and influence of David Stow
Author: White, Glenda Ann
ISNI:       0000 0004 2711 3021
Awarding Body: University of the West of Scotland
Current Institution: University of the West of Scotland
Date of Award: 2010
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In this dissertation it is argued that the concept of ―literary intelligence‖ as used and developed by Frank Raymond Leavis and other members of his Scrutiny circle is a viable theoretical and educational notion and is long due a reappraisal. Their thesis that reading quality texts intelligently assists our personal and moral development is taken up and subjected to philosophical analysis. It is also argued that a theory of intellectual virtue is best suited for such a reappraisal. Literary intelligence is then found to be best interpreted as a form of Aristotelian practical intelligence. This interpretation allows us to theorize the moral salience of literary experiences. This theorization is achieved through an in-depth analysis of relevant articles written by Leavis, Harding and Bantock, assorted writings on the relationship between life and art as envisaged by a number of thinkers, as well as a sustained analysis of the theory of intellectual virtue. In particular, recourse is taken to the theory of intellectual virtue as drafted by American philosopher Linda Trinkaus Zagzebski. Consequently, a number of educational implications of the above theories are identified and commented upon. Also, it is shown that the above-mentioned theoretical insights fit in well with the consistent findings of research into reading. Finally it is argued that if the capacity to read well is best approached as a moral trait, then reading education cannot be legitimately conceptualized as one ‗competence‘ among others. On the contrary: reading education ought to form the moral kernel of the curriculum. A sustained and socially sanctioned emphasis on the fostering of reading and the creation of a culture of literacy will widely expand the social, cultural and moral horizons of children and adults alikeInevitably, this is a multi-disciplinary thesis since David Stow’s contribution to education must be set within an historical period and a framework of religious and ethical beliefs. After an opening chapter (2) which draws on previously unknown information about his family background, upbringing and business, the following four chapters (3 to 6) examine the religious, social, national and educational context of his work. Chapters 7 and 8 describe the achievements of the Glasgow Infant School Society (GISS) and the Glasgow Educational Society (GES) in both of which Stow was the driving force. Chapters 9 to 12 outline the pedagogical and organisational ‘system’ which he evolved for the training of children and their teachers, while the remaining chapters argue that his influence on British education was much greater than previously thought. David Stow was a family man – two wives, five children, unnumbered relatives all living under the shadow of continual bereavement. He may be regarded as a pillar of the church community – Sabbath School teacher, deacon, elder, his persistent presence on endless committees rendering them both quorate and even constructive. We can judge him as a man of commerce – successful, wealthy, safely ensconced in a fine house in Sauchiehall Street and developing his business from the Trongate to a spacious, purpose-built factory in Port Eglinton. We can come to know him as a person – witty, kindly, delighted by the company of children, generous, moralistic, pedantic, inflexible. As with any personal story all of these, and more, are important facets of the unfolding character of the man over his three-score years and ten. For the purpose of this thesis, however, what makes Stow different is his contribution to the growing demand for a national, universal and eventually compulsory system of education during the course of the nineteenth century. Stow’s tangible contribution survives in his writings, in the institutions he created, in the buildings he left behind. His lasting achievement, as Insh remarked, was ‘a life devoted consistently and strenuously to
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available