Emeritus Professor John Furlong

John Furlong undertook his PhD while a teacher in a London comprehensive school. On completion of his thesis he began a full time career for six years as a research fellow, working first at Manchester University and then at Brunel University.

In 1981 he moved to Cambridge University where he was a lecturer in the sociology of education for 11 years; he was also director of studies in Social and Political Sciences at Corpus Christi College.

In 1992 John moved to Swansea University to take up his first Chair; he became head of department in 1993. In 1995 he moved to Bristol University, again serving as head of department, and then joined the School of Social Sciences at Cardiff University in January 2000. He became Director of the Oxford University Department of Education in 2003, a post he held until December 2009.

From 1994 to1997 he was a member of the national executive of the Universities Council for the Education of Teachers. In 1998, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and was elected an Academician of the Academy of Social Sciences in 2003. John is an active member of the British Educational Research Association and served as President during the academic years 2003-5. His current work for BERA includes being chair of the Steering Committee for the BERA/RSA Inquiry into Research and Teacher Education.

In 2008 John was member of the 2008 RAE Education Sub-Panel’; he is also a member of the 2014 REF Education Sub-Panel. In addition, he is Convenor of the Hong Kong 2014 RAE Panel for Education and a member of the 1913 RAE Social Sciences Panel for Latvia

Recent Publications



  • Furlong, J. and Oancea, A. (Eds) Understanding Quality in Applied and Practice-Based Research. London: Taylor and Francis


  • Furlong, J, Cochran Smith, M and Brennan, M (Eds) Politics and Policy in Teacher Education: international perspectives London: Taylor and Francis


  • Furlong, J. and Lawn, M (eds) Disciplines of education: their role in the future of education research London: Routledge
  • Furlong, J (ed) The TLRP in Wales.  Cardiff: Welsh Assembly Government


  • Furlong, J Education: an anatomy of the discipline. Rescuing the university project  London: Routledge

Articles in refereed journals


  • Furlong, J. ‘New Labour and Teacher Education: the end of an era?’ Oxford Review of Education 31(1): 119-134.


  • Furlong, J. and Oancea, A. ‘Assessing Quality in Applied and Practice-Based Research in Education: a framework for discussion’. Review of Australian Research in Education, No 6: Counterpoints on the Quality and Impact of Educational Research
  • Furlong, J., Campbell, A., Howson, J., Lewis, S. and McNamara, O. (2006) ‘Partnership in English Initial Teacher Education: changing times, changing definitions. Evidence from the Teacher Training Agency National Partnership Project’. Scottish Educational Review  37 (1) 32-45


  • Oancea, A. and Furlong, J. ‘Expressions of Excellence and the Assessment of Applied and Practice-based Research’ in Furlong, J. and Oancea, A. (editors), special edition Research Papers in Education, ‘Understanding Quality in Applied and Practice-Based Research’. Vol 22, (2), 213-228
  • Furlong, J., Hagger,H., and Furlong, C. ‘Politics and Evidence-based Policy Making:  the review of initial teacher training provision in Wales’ Welsh Journal of Education. Vol 14 pp 117-132
  • Lawn, M. and Furlong, J. ‘The social organisation of education research in England’, European Educational Research Journal, 6(1): 55–70.


  • Furlong, J., McNamara, O., Campbell, A., Howson, J. and Lewis, S ‘Partnership, Policy and Politics: initial teacher education in England under new Labour’ in  Furlong, J, Cochran Smith, M and Brennan, M (Eds) special edition of Teachers and Teaching: Politics and Policy in Teacher Education: international perspectives  Volume 14 (4) 307-318
  • Furlong, J.  Cochran Smith M. and Brennan, M. ‘Politics, Policy and Teacher Education; Introduction’  in  Furlong, J, Cochran Smith, M and Brennan, M (Eds) special edition of Teachers and Teaching: Politics and Policy in Teacher Education: international perspectives. 14 (4) 265 – 269
  • Furlong, J. Making Teaching a 21st ‘Century Profession: Tony Blair’s Big Prize’ Oxford Review of Education special edition:  Education Under Tony Blair. Volume 34(6)  727 – 739


  • Lawn M and Furlong, J. ‘The Disciplines of Education in the UK: between the ghost and the shadow.’  , in Oxford Review of Education special edition. The Disciplines of Education: confronting the crisis.  J. Furlong and M. Lawn M (eds).  35 (5) 541-552,
  • Furlong, J ‘Who’s Big Prize?; A response to Hall and Gunter’.  Oxford Review of Education. 35, (6 ) 771 – 774


  • Furlong, J. Universities and the Discipline of Education: understanding the impact of the RAE.  Education and Power


  • Furlong, J and Davies, C. Young People, New Technologies and Learning at Home: Taking context seriously.  Oxford Review of Education
  • Furlong, J (2013) Globalisation, neo-liberalism and the reform of teacher education in The Educational Forum, 77:1, 28-50

Chapters in edited collections


  • Furlong, J. ‘Do Teachers Still Need Universities?’ In McLean, R. and Johnson, D. (Eds) Feschrift for Eric Hoyle. London: Sage.


  • Lawn, M and Furlong, J. ‘The Disciplines of Education in the UK: between the ghost and the shadow’ in Disciplines of education: their role in the future of education research: London: Routledge
  • Furlong, J.  and Lawn, M. ‘Disciplines of Education and their Role in the Future of Educational Research; concluding reflections’ in Disciplines of education: their role in the future of education research: London: Routledge.
  • Furlong, J. The English Masters in Teaching and Learning: a new arena for practitioner inquiry? In Mockler, N and Sachs, J (eds)  in Completing the Circle: Practitioner Inquiry for and with Teachers and Students A Festschrift in Honour of Susan Groundwater-Smith.Neew York: Springer



  • Furlong, J, Burn,K, Hagger,H,  Howson, J, and McNamara, O. Review of Teacher Education in Brunei Darussalam. Oxford: Oxford University Department of Education.
  • Furlong, J ‘Teacher Education and Pedagogical Change: What does the Research Tell Us?’ Published in Tereffa, T, Dalelo, A and Kassaye, M (eds) (2009) Proceedings  of the 1st International Conference on Educational Research for Development Addis Ababa: College of Education Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia, Volume 1 pp 97 – 109


  • Furlong, J (ed) The TLRP in WalesResearch evidence and educational policy and practice in Wales. Cardiff: Welsh Assembly Government
  • Furlong, J., Pendry, A and Medrtova, P. The Standing Conference on Teacher Education, North and South (Ireland) (SCoTENS) An evaluation of its first 8 years.   Oxford: University of Oxford Department of Education


  • Furlong, J ‘The Impact of the RAE; a broader view’. Research Intelligence Macclesfield: British Educational Research Association.



  • Furlong, J The Discipline of Education – rescuing the ‘university project  Times Higher Education Supplement


John has had an active research career having directed a large number of externally funded projects. He has a long standing reputation for research and teaching in three fields:

The professional education of teachers 

Over the last 20 years, John has directed many externally funded research projects exploring different aspects of teacher education policy and practice.  His research, much of which has been widely influential, has addressed: the nature of teachers’ professional knowledge; the nature of professional learning for student teachers; changing patterns of teacher education provision and practice in the UK and internationally.  His recent work in this area has included a research project examining the role of universities in the professional education of teachers.  In 2006 he led the Review of Initial Teacher Training Provision in Wales on behalf of the Welsh Assembly Government (The Furlong Report). In 2009, he conducted a similar review on behalf of the Government of Brunei and in 2012 he was a member of the International Review Panel examining the Structure of Initial Teacher Education Provision in the Republic of Ireland.

Learners’ perspectives on their own learning

In this aspect of his work, John Furlong has worked with a number of different groups of learners.  Much of his early work focused on disaffected pupils and their perceptions of schooling.  More recently he has directed a number of projects exploring different groups of learners’ perceptions of using ICTs at home.  ’ScreenPlay’, funded by the ESRC, examined young people’s perceptions of learning at home; ‘Adults Learning @ Home’, also funded by the ESRC, examined the perceptions and practices of adult learners using ICT at home.

Educational research policy

As a highly experienced researcher, and previous President of BERA, John Furlong has researched and published on educational research policy.  In 2001 he completed a major review of educational research capacity in Wales, including its role in CPD.  More recently he has led an ESRC funded project examining the nature of ‘quality’ in applied and practice based research.


  • Professor Emeritus

College affiliation

  • Green Templeton College


  • Emeritus Professor of Education

Subject area

  • MSc Education (Research Training)
  • PGCE

Research groups

  • Learning and New Technologies
  • Teacher Education and Professional Learning