John MacLean (1879-1923) with a school class, early 20th century.
MacLean's father died when he was eight years old, leaving the family struggling to make ends meet. Maclean was educated at Pollokshaws Academy and later at Queen's Park School. In 1896, aged 17, he became a pupil teacher at Polmadie Public School and then studied at the Free Church Teacher Training College, graduating in 1900. The following year he was appointed as a teacher at Strathbungo Public School and also registered as a part-time student at the University of Glasgow to study Political Economy, graduating in 1904.
Maclean's commitment to education also led him to work as an evening school teacher, offering classes in subject such as Advanced (Marxian) Economics and Industrial History at Sir John Maxwell Public School in Pollokshaws, 1908-1915. MacLean was dismissed by the Govan School Board in September 1915 after he was convicted of "using language likely to cause a breach of the peace|" during a demonstration against the First World War. He continued to speak out against the war, and was imprisoned for sedition and other offences on several occasions.
Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Museums
children, classrooms, demonstrators, First World War, Free Church Teacher Training College, girls, Govan School Board, Marxists, orators, pacifism, pacifists, political activists, political prisoners, Pollokshaws Academy, Polmadie Public School, pupils, Queen's Park School, Sir John Maxwell Public School, socialism, socialists, Strathbungo Public School, teachers, University of Glasgow