The introduction provides an overview of some of the prominent themes in the book and of the content of the chapters. Five key themes are identified: the impact of poverty and child poverty on Catholic schooling, the role of the religious and lay female teachers, the training of Catholic teachers, the identity of the Scottish Catholic community and sectarianism. A concise summary of each chapter is outlined, and the introduction concludes with acknowledgements.
The editors would like to offer heartfelt thanks to the academics who have kindly contributed to this book: Geraldine Vaughan, Karly Kehoe, Tom O’Donoghue, Jane McDermid and Mary McHugh. The original aim of this volume was to invite some of the leading academics in the field who have researched and published on the topic of the history of Catholic schools in Scotland. This aim was ambitious and we were delighted that our invitations were so generously accepted and that the chapters were so carefully and skilfully written. Despite the evident high level of scholarship, the chapters are all very readable and we expect that this book will enjoy a wide readership.
As we have undertaken the research for this book, we have presented our research and our ideas at national and international conferences. We owe a debt of gratitude to academic colleagues from Scotland and in other parts of the world who have listened to our papers and have offered critical and scholarly advice. We thank the following: Scottish Catholic Historical Association, Scottish Educational Research Association, Network for Researchers in Catholic Education, Nordic Educational Research Association and History of Education Society. The work for the book has also resulted in a number of spin-off publications for magazines and newspapers and we have published articles in Times Educational Supplement (Scotland), Scottish Catholic Observer, Flourish, The Pastoral Review and Open House. We are grateful to the respective editors for their willingness to allow us to present our work in their publications.
We also offer our deep thanks to the staff at Palgrave. Their continued support and encouragement have been greatly appreciated. They were committed to this project from the very beginning and considered this book to be an important contribution to the research on the history of Catholic schools in Scotland. In particular we thank Eleanor Christie, senior editor, who has advised and guided us and always with great patience and courtesy. We are also very grateful to Becky Wyde, senior editorial assistant, for her attention to detail and perseverance.
It is very interesting to note that one of the legacies of the religious orders and congregations is that a number of their members researched the history of Catholic education and Catholic schooling in Scotland. Some of their works are considered to be seminal and we acknowledge in particular the contributions of James Handley (Brother Clare FMS), Dom Mark Dilworth OSB and Brother Kenneth FMS. Similarly, academic staff in Notre Dame College, Glasgow; St Margaret’s College, Craiglockhart ; and, latterly, St Andrew’s College in Bearsden (Glasgow) also contributed to the field of the history of Catholic education and schooling. We acknowledge in particular the contribution to this field by Dr Tom FitzPatrick, Sister Martha Skinnider SND and Teresa Gourley. This academic endeavour has continued in the School (formerly Faculty) of Education in the University of Glasgow in the work of Professor James Conroy, Professor Bob Davis and Dr Frank O’Hagan. We note the many seminars and discussions in the Faculty and School of Education that have been influential on our thinking and have helped to generate this project. We have greatly valued the work of Dr Frank O’Hagan on the religious orders and congregations in Glasgow. We thank the members of our previous Research and Teaching Group—Creativity, Culture and Faith (2010–2017)—and those in our current Research and Teaching Group, Pedagogy, Praxis and Faith (2017–present), for their unfailing help and assistance. They provided us with opportunities to test our ideas in staff seminars and provided excellent feedback. Finally, we thank Dr Roisin Coll, Fr Stephen Reilly, Dr Leonardo Franchi, Mary Lappin, Clare Fodey, Professor Margery McMahon, Dr Robert Doherty, Dr Maureen Farrell, Catherine O’Hare and Julie Robinson of the St Andrew’s Foundation for Catholic Teacher Education for their great interest and enthusiasm for this project.