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Thread: Education of Significant Scots

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    Education of Significant Scots

    It is generally recognised that Scottish education was once the envy of the world. I took the time to work on many biographies of Significant Scots in part to learn how they were brought up but more generally to see if there were any common threads as to why they were very successful.

    My findings were quite remarkable but don't think these findings can be used in today's world. Let me explain what I found...

    First. I discovered that pretty well all of them were brought up with the Bible in their home. They were expected to commit to memory many passages from it and were tested on this by the family minister on his visits to the homes of his parishioners. This doesn't happen today. However, I deduced from this that the children were thus taught to read and write by using the Bible and that their memories were developed by having to recite passages from the Bible. And then it has to be acknowledged that no matter what your religion the Bible does teach you how to deal with the world and your fellow man.

    Second. I found that again most of these Scots were taught in one room schools and often mixed age groups as well. There were many stories of them having to carry coal or peat to help heat the classroom. One has to conclude that the state of the schools were not good on the whole and thus I have to question anyone that says today that it's the fabric of the school that is causing problems because it clearly wasn't an issue back then.

    Third. Discipline was fierce. Almost all the biographies tell of being beaten at school for inattention, lack of discipline and for not doing homework. Today a teacher would be in court for this type of discipline and yet it really didn't seem to hurt the kids back then as they went on to do amazing things both at home and abroad.

    So as far as school was concerned we see a background of being brought up with the Bible which helped the children to read and write, helped them develop a good memory and gave them a set of standards for dealing with the world and people in it. Then we see the condition of the school was no barrier in learning and that discipline ruled in that it created conditions where the child had to pay attention and do their homework.

    Now I was watching a program the other day about education in China. I was struck with how hard the children had to work and the long hours they put in not only at school but also to do their homework. There didn't seem to be any problems with discipline in those schools either. So in some respects this was somewhat similar to how Scottish children were brought up a century or more ago.

    So there are my findings and I'd be interested in knowing what you think of our standard of education today and what we should be doing to make it better.

    Alastair

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  3. #2

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    Re: Education of Significant Scots

    It's been my observation that some teachers today, deprived of the ability of using corporal punishment, use something which is much worse, in my opinion. They use humiliation tactics and psychological abuse. I remember one (male) teacher telling me that a professor in his college told them that, if all else fails, humiliate them. In my opinion and experience, humiliation tactics only create resentment and anger in the person to whom it's directed, especially if it's an adult humiliating a child who does not have the experience to respond or shrug it off. This can do a lot more damage than a wack with the old tawse.

    Elda

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    Re: Education of Significant Scots

    I agree Elda... I got the tawse myself at school and while it hurt at the time it didn't last long and you moved on. Mind you they did also gives lines so they might give you 100 lines to write out. Problem was that a line was the first rule of the rule book which was itself 3 lines. Mind you we had 2 hours of prep each night where if you finished your homework you still had to sit there and generally read a book. I ended up writing lines and used to sell them so made a nice wee earner :-)

    Alastair

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    Re: Education of Significant Scots

    So, you were a child entrepreneur???

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    Re: Education of Significant Scots

    Indeed I was and I was also the local money lender as well. Like on Thursday one of my fellow borders needed one pound so they'd come to me and say their parents were coming to take them out for the weekend and if I'd lend them one pound they'd give me two pounds back when they came back on the Sunday night. Now that's a good interest rate! <grin>

    Alastair

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  10. #6

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    Re: Education of Significant Scots

    You ratbag Alastair

    My late husband used to bring home "steelies" from work for my boys (ball bearings) until the school complained that the eldest one was selling them

    Elda

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    Re: Education of Significant Scots

    Quote Originally Posted by Alastair View Post
    Indeed I was and I was also the local money lender as well. Like on Thursday one of my fellow borders needed one pound so they'd come to me and say their parents were coming to take them out for the weekend and if I'd lend them one pound they'd give me two pounds back when they came back on the Sunday night. Now that's a good interest rate! <grin>

    Alastair
    I'd say so, gangsters call that "Vig"

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    Re: Education of Significant Scots

    "Scots medical knowledge and training was the best in Europe during the mid 17th Century and many of the recipients traveled to the New World, bringing their advanced education with them. Washington's surgeon at the army fort in Winchester, Virginia was the Edinburgh trained James Craik, originally from Dumfriesshire. His exemplary service record prompted Washington to promote him to physician and surgeon of the whole US army in 1781".

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  14. #9

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    Re: Education of Significant Scots

    Hear in the USA there are teachers who don't give a darn about the education that the children are getting. I was never taught about the first world war or of any war before the vietnam war, I had to do my own education to learn and when I brought it up to the teacher he/she asked me if i had a degree in education and when i said no I got told to keep my opion to my self and shut up. I cant remember how many times i was getting into trouble because the teachers didn't teach a thing.
    If you have no idea where your from you cant go forward.

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