Mackay’s ‘distinguished educator’ is barely distinguishable

Nicola Sturgeon has asked the people of Scotland to judge her on her record over education. Neil McLennan, one of the nation’s most distinguished educators, has judged her … and he finds her record badly lacking. By our Writer at Large Neil Mackay

SPEND a few hours talking to Neil McLennan and it is difficult to imagine him even giving a pass grade to the Scottish Government when it comes to education. His assessment will sting Nicola Sturgeon.—devastating-assessment-sturgeon-schools-leading-scottish-educationalist/

This is going to come across as a bit snobby but, hey, ‘one of the nation’s most distinguished educators?’

I was in schools and teacher education, with a particular interest in history education, from 1980 to 2004 plus another 12 in politics, and I never heard of him.

He’s a senior lecturer, was a local authority adviser, just one of hundreds.

Advanced in years, he has yet to make it to Associate Professor or Professor. Why? Because he has only published one book and some teacher guides? Because he has no PhD nor supervised any?

I suppose, given that I didn’t get a PhD till I was 61 or make prof till 63, there’s time. I did have more than 30 peer-reviewed research papers published though, so he’ll need to put his foot down. By the end, I remained pretty undistinguished. We’re not talking Tom Devine here. Does Tom know Neil?

Neil Mackay, ‘Writer at Large?’ How about getting out a bit more and asking the likes of Devine what he thinks of McLennan’s thesis?


7 thoughts on “Mackay’s ‘distinguished educator’ is barely distinguishable

  1. I taught for 30 years and every time a ‘distinguished educator’ got his/her hands on the curriculum there was a collective groan in the staffroom!

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I can beat you. Taught for 37 years but your point is absolutely spot on. Its the old cliche. “Those who can do. Those who cannot, teach and those who cannot teach; teach teachers.”


  2. Prof, desribing Mr McLennan as “one of the nation’s most-distinguished educators” is Scottish media shorthand. If they’re going to quote someone, bum him up.

    The best example of this is, any player who even sat on the bench for either of the Bigot Brothers is automatically: “Former Rangers/Celtic star So and So”. It’s the way they tell it.

    Liked by 6 people

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