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dc.contributor.authorKent, David A.en
dc.date.accessioned2019-02-15T14:31:59Z
dc.date.available2019-02-15T14:31:59Z
dc.date.issued1975en
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1842/34856
dc.description.abstracten
dc.description.abstractAlthough the administration of the Dick Bequest has been the main pre-occupation of this thesis the Bequest was a force for educational reform beyond the material circumstances of the schoolmaster. The Report for 1854 took stock of the situation prevailing in the schools and showed that the Trustees saw themselves as advocates of educational improvement over and above the measurable objectives of the first twenty years.en
dc.description.abstractThe changing political circumstances of the nineteenth century convinced Menzies of the need for a liberal educational response. Formerly there had been too little regard for "the inherent claims of humanity to the highest culture of the powers of every member of society ". He recognised that in the era of increased political awareness and the progressive extension of the franchise education was vital and of all the means for giving a salutory influence to extended privilege, the most obvious and effective is to raise the intellectual and moral condition of those upon whom political power has thus been conferred ". While Menzies was hopeful that the traditional religious character of the Parish School would act as an antidote to "democratic license" he nonetheless acknowledged that a society with representative government required the schools to produce "reflecting characters capable of appreciating, while they discharge, the responsible trust devolved upon them - capable of forming a discriminating judgement ". To achieve this laudable goal the schools were recommended to concentrate on forming the capacity for independent action among the pupils rather than measuring a good education by the amount of information acquired. The schools had to "breathe an elevated spirit and be animated by a high intellectual activity ". That improvements along these lines occurred in the parish schools of the North East during the middle and later nineteenth century was largely due to the influence of the Dick Bequest.en
dc.description.abstractThe teacher, as the source of all "the creative power of the school" was the principal target of the reforming activity. The operation of the dividend encouraged the schoolmasters scholarship and teaching skills but the Trustees also emphasised the need for moral worth and a sympathy for the pupils. In the Report of 1854 the characteristics felt to be desirable in a teacher were set out at great length. The views of Luther, Niebuhr and Arnold, among others, were cited "more fully than would have been requisite, had there been reason to suppose that the work of those writers were generally or readily accessible to those for whom this report is intended ". After twenty years, during which. the main weaknesses of the parochial system had been eliminated, the managers of the Bequest were in a position to turn their attention to the nature and purpose of education. The Report illustrates this in the concentration on the philosophical context of education which had become possible with the attainment of the material objectives of the early years.en
dc.description.abstractThe discipline prevailing in most Scottish schools was held up for reconsideration. The Trustees maintained that it was more than a matter of good order. Their view that discipline could only really come from the development of independent moral principles in the pupils must have seemed dangerously idealistic to many parish dominies. However, the suggestion that the atmosphere of the school should be one of "LOVE and TRUTH and PIETY" (Menzies' capitals) was not left as a naive statement of faith as so often occurs in educational writing. Menzies systematically set out the advantages of cultivating a sense of duty in the children and the disadvantages of severe punishments. The habitual sternness of the Scottish schoolmaster, it was felt, had to be modified for "there is no room for the kindly growth of a child's native powers under the depressing influence of a Teacher's asperity of language or manner ".en
dc.description.abstractA more universal attention to the needs of all those in school was also recommended in 1854. The lower pupils were not to be neglected and teachers were urged to remember that it was upon the less academic "principally that education will bestow its marvellous blessing ". The teacher who continually passed over the ordinary pupils to deal with the Latin scholars ran the risk of creating a sense of discouragement in "intelligent boys of being set down as incapable ". Similar observations were made about the need to pay particular attention to the needs of the younger children who were just beginning in school.en
dc.description.abstractThe suggestion was made that the operational efficiency of the schools could be improved still further if teachers could be persuaded that pedagogic training was an essential preparation for the office. This insistence on the value of training was in keeping with the long established policy of the Bequest and on many occasions the payment of an allowance had been conditional upon the recipient's attendance at the Normal School. In commending Professor Pillans' 'Principles of Elementary Education' and citing the experiences of Cuvier in Holland who insisted on proper attention being given to the humblest details of school administration, Menzies hoped to make the traditionally academic schoolmaster of the North East more alert to the fundamentals of good organisation. Laurie's observation in the 1860's that many teachers in the area were still unaware of the value of a timetable would suggest that the teachers were resistant to the training that was recommended.en
dc.description.abstractPressure from the Dick Bequest was the principal reason why the 'intellectual method' had come to be accepted as the normal practice in the parish schools. The old method of reading without understanding and handling numbers without an awareness of the principles had become virtually a thing of the past. This was markedly different from the early years when the Visitation Reports had noted many occasions when children read fluently passages of which they had not the slightest comprehension. Between 1833 and 1853 the improvement in the quality of the education offered showed itself in the increased numbers to whom Grammar and Geography were taught, in the introduction of graduated series of schoolbooks, and in the teaching of Mathematics and Latin to more pupils in a more efficient manner. The foundations laid in the first twenty years of the Bequest ti ere the basis for the elevation of the work of the parish schools which enabled Sellar and Maxwell to record in their report to the Education Commissioners in 1866 "that the teachers are more highly educated, and that the whole tone of the parochial school is higher in these counties where the Bequest applies than in any other part of Scotland ". The Endowed Institutions Commission in 1878 revealed that of the 205 graduate teachers in Scottish elementary schools no less than 134 were in the Bequest area. It was also noted that of 1,507 pupils studying the higher branches beyond the third stage 408 were in the Bequest schools; similarly 198 of the 574 pupils in the elementary schools who were preparing for the university were in the three counties. (4) Without the careful management and enlightened policies of Menzies and the Trustees in the early years it is unlikely that the Bequest would ever have developed such a commanding influence.en
dc.description.abstractJames Dick had intended that his legacy should "form a fund for the benefit of that neglected, though useful class of men ", the Parish Schoolmasters, "and to add to their present trifling salaries ". The distribution was to be made in such a way as would "encourage active schoolmasters" and gradually improve their literary character while "taking care that the common branches of education are properly attended to ". All these things and much more the Dick Bequest did and, in so doing, made the schools of the three counties the epitome of the parochial system.en
dc.publisherThe University of Edinburghen
dc.relation.ispartofAnnexe Thesis Digitisation Project 2019 Block 22en
dc.relation.isreferencedbyen
dc.titleParochial education and the administration of the Dick Bequest, 1833-1853en
dc.typeThesis or Dissertationen
dc.type.qualificationlevelDoctoralen
dc.type.qualificationnameMEd Master of Educationen


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