A new group comprised of academics, cultural specialists and enthusiasts has been formed to promote Scottish Studies in schools and across wider society. The body, which is being announced just ahead of the formal launch by the Scottish Government of Studying Scotland, a new national online resource, is non-political and non-partisan.
Professor Murray Pittock, Vice-Principal and Head of the College of Arts at the University of Glasgow is the convener of the Champions Group.
“The aim of the group is quite simple. We will do all that we can to promote and explain the importance of Scottish Studies particularly, but not exclusively, in schools.
Bringing together some of the most knowledgeable academic and non-academic enthusiasts from both within Scotland and internationally is hugely significant. We look forward to working closely with Education Scotland on a range of initiatives that will make Scottish Studies not just relevant to school pupils but also enjoyable and inspiring.
All of us are very excited at the prospect of supporting projects that we believe will fire the imagination of our young people in the history, art, sculpture, languages, literature, music and cultures of their country, including resources that explain and explore Scottish studies in a more localised context.
We want to support Curriculum for Excellence as a way of allowing teachers the opportunity to pursue their own approaches – for example through the use of online tools that offer details of medieval charters that explain what was going on in different parts of the country hundreds of years ago.
Members of the group supported the integration of Scottish History and Scottish Literature into Higher English and History, and would like to see further steps towards incorporating elements of Gaelic and Scots (such as place names) within early years teaching and support the work of the Burns Federation in laying emphasis on the works of Robert Burns in schools.”
Early members of the Champions Group include the following:
Murray Pittock, Convenor and Vice-Principal and Head of the College of Arts at the University of Glasgow
Dauvit Broun, Professor of Scottish History, University of Glasgow
Robert Crawford, Professor of Modern Scottish Literature, University of St Andrews
Leith Davis, Director of the Scottish Studies Centre, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver
Rob Dunbar, Research Professor of Gaelic, University of the Highlands and Islands
Matthew Fitt, Scots language education consultant
Gerry Hassan, author and political and cultural commentator
Margaret Kelleher, President of the International Association for the Study of Irish Literatures
Liz Lochhead, National Makar
Murdo MacDonald, Professor of the History of Scottish Art at the University of Dundee
Ronnie Renton, former Depute Head Teacher, St Aloysius College
James Robertson, novelist
Adrienne Scullion, acting chair of the Citizens’ Theatre
Fiona Stafford, Professor of English Literature, Oxford University
Sandy Stoddart, Sculptor in Ordinary to the Queen in Scotland