A pioneer of teacher training, born at Paisley on 17 May 1793. In 1827, with the support of the Glasgow Education Society, he founded the first 'Normal School' in the UK, in which religious and moral concern undergirded the curriculum. In 1841 it came under the control of the Church of Scotland, but after the Disruption of 1843 he re-established it as the Free Church Normal College, which he directed until his death. Students were encouraged to follow his novel method of 'picturing out', i.e. encouraging pupils' interest through vivid oral lessons. His teachers proved successful and the WM Education Committee, with money from the Centenary Fund, sent students to Glasgow for training until Westminster College was founded in 1851, largely on Stow's principles. He died at Bridge of Allan, Stirlingshire, on 6 November 1864.