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Fulfilling a Vision by John Stevenson
John Stevenson
Pickwick Publications
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Description: Education has contributed enormously to the Scottish national character. The emphasis has always been on making a good education available to all and on giving those with talent every opportunity of advancement. At the beginning of the nineteenth century, however, it was clear that the provision of schooling was failing to meet the needs of an expanding population and the growth and diversification of the economy. In 1824 the Church of Scotland began an ambitious program to tackle the problem. In setting up new schools and the first teacher training colleges, the Church saw itself as supplementing an existing system of national education for which it shared a statutory managerial responsibility. This book offers an account of the struggles and achievements of the Church of Scotland over some fifty years as it sought to control and strengthen school education throughout the country. In so doing, it furthered the model of education for which Scotland became famous. Readers interested in current debates about the curriculum and standards in school education, the involvement of parents, the place of religious education, and the desirability or otherwise of faith schools will recognize their beginnings in these pages. Endorsements: ""A commitment to public education is the spine of the Scottish Reformed tradition. John Stevenson's authoritative study of the resilience of the Church of Scotland in sustaining that Reformation commitment in the face of the enormous challenges of a modern society undergoing profound economic and social change is an inspiring example to Reformed churches and educators around the world today. I commend it to that global readership and to all who are concerned for education."" --Dr. William Storrar Director, Center of Theological Inquiry, Princeton, New Jersey ""John Stevenson provides an original and important study into developments in education at a crucial time in Scottish history. This insightful analysis fills a gap in our understanding by focusing on policy at the national level through the work of the Church of Scotland's Education Committee. Education and the National Church were inseparable, making this book essential reading for anyone interested in Scotland's past and, through the Scottish diaspora, its influence on education systems in many other countries."" --Peter Hillis Visiting Professor, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland Author, The Barony of Glasgow: A Window onto Church and People in Nineteenth-Century Scotland (2007) ""John Stevenson provides welcome insight into the important but contested role of the Church of Scotland in school education. Grounded in thorough historical research, this volume explores the different ways in which the church contributed to the national provision of schools. It not only provides us with a much better understanding of the Kirk's input to the development of Scottish education; it will also prove an indispensable accompaniment to current debates about the value of faith-based schools."" --David Fergusson Professor of Divinity and Principal, New College, University of Edinburgh Author, Faith and Its Critics: A Conversation (2009) ""The role of the Kirk in Scottish education has been subjected to much myth-making. John Stevenson's very important book, based on profound scholarship and wide reading of unjustly neglected sources, sheds important new light on one of the most important topics in nineteenth-century Scottish history."" --Ewen Cameron Professor of History, University of Edinburgh Author, Impaled upon the Thistle: Scotland since 1880 (2010) About the Contributor(s): John Stevenson is a retired Church of Scotland minister. He was awarded a PhD by the University of Edinburgh in 2005. As a minister he served in three parishes before being appointed as General Secretary in the Church's Department of Education, which is responsible for the Church's interest in state education and religious education in schools. He has been

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