Educational Thinkers’ Hall of Fame – Edinburgh women

Here are links to 13 extraordinary women whose contributions to education earn them a collective place in the Educational Thinkers’ Hall of Fame. They feature in a 2013 calendar called, Inspiring Edinburgh Women who advanced the cause of education in Scotland.

The calendar is available online at and has brief but informative biographies of each of the women in clickable links for each month.

Members and learners of the WEA Lothian Women’s Forum researched and compiled the calendar. The Forum is a self-organising student group of the WEA concerned with planning and organising women’s education workshops, classes and activities in Edinburgh and the Lothians

It’s worth clicking on the link to start with the striking cover photograph of WEA voluntary member Evelyn Muir who is pictured with the WEA Edinburgh and Lothian banner. Liz Beevers took the photograph as groups from across Scotland gathered at the Meadows in Edinburgh on 10th October 2009 to re-enact the 1909 Women’s Suffrage Procession.

The other featured women are:

Mary Somerville

Mary Somerville

Mary Somerville 1780-1872 – “Queen of 19th century science” – Science writer and polymath (January)
Mary Burton 1819-1909 – Educational and social reformer (February)
Naomi Mitchison 1897-1999 – Writer, politician and matriarch (March)
Priscilla Bright McLaren 1815-1906 – Women’s rights campaigner and mother and stepmother to activists (April)
Phoebe Anna Traquair 1852-1936 – Free spirit of the Arts and Crafts Movement (May)
E B K (Kitty) Gregorson ARCM MBE 1903-2004 – Music Teacher who inspired generations (June)
Dame Anne McLaren 1927-2007 – Pioneering scientist and campaigner (July)
Chrystal Macmillan 1872-1937 – Campaigner for women’s equality (August)
Sarah Elizabeth Siddons Mair DBE LLD 1846-1941- Pioneer, higher education of women (September)
Frances Melville MA BD LLD OBE 1873 – 1962 – Ambassador of women’s education and suffragist (October)
Anna Morton Geddes 1857–1917 – Music teacher, soulmate and partner in Patrick Geddes’ projects (November)
Joyce Connon OBE – Adult education leader and WEA Scottish Secretary, 1991-2012 (December)