Guthrie on Education

Guthrie could be described as a bit of a traditionalist when it came to education.  He belonged to the great Scottish school tradition of learning through the Bible and the Westminster Shorter Catechism.  At age four he was sent to be taught by Jamie Stewart who was a local weaver in Brechin.  Stewart was part of the Secession Church and Guthrie says of him; "remarkable for his piety, he was no ascetic, no sour and unhealthy Christian; but enjoyed, and encouraged others to enjoy, innocent recreations" (Autobiography and Remains, page 22) 

Guthrie often speaks against modern teaching as this quote demonstrates ;

Having learned our letters, and some small syllables printed on a fly-sheet of the Shorter Catechism, we were at once passed into the Book of Proverbs. In the olden time time this was once the universal custom in all the common schools in Scotland, a custom that should never be abandoned.  The book is without a rival for beginners, containing quite a repertory of monosyllables and pure Saxon - "English undefiled".  Take this passage, for example, where, with one exception, every word is formed of a single syllable, and belongs to the Saxon tongue - "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." What a contrast to the silly trash of modern schoolbooks for beginners with such sentences as, "Tom has a dog;""The cat is good;""The cow has a calf!" (Autobiography and Remains, page 23).

Dr Guthrie's Association

Following a change in government policy the [Ragged Schools] schools were closed and the Association reconstituted as an unincorporated association in 1987. The remaining funds on the closure of the schools are now the endowment, the income of which is used for the distribution of grants. The objective of the Association is to support organisations devoted to the care and welfare of children and young people.  You can apply for funds here.

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