Graduating as a geographer, John Gay undertook theological training and a doctorate in the geography of religion at Oxford.
From teaching and parish work in Paddington he went into teacher training first at Culham College of Education and then here in the Department of Education where he was responsible for the RE PGCE course and the organisational theory component of the MSc course.
For many years John represented the Church of England on the Oxfordshire Education Committee and was on the County’s Standing Advisory Council for RE from 1980 – 2003. At the national level he was Treasurer and Company Secretary of the RE Council of England and Wales (2000 – 2009) and chair of its PR committee until 2013. From 2002 – 09 he was also the Church of England’s national spokesman on RE.
From 1980 – 2011 he was Director of the Culham Institute, a small research and development organization working in the areas of Church schools, Church colleges and universities and school-based Religious Education. The Institute moved into the Department in 2002 and John worked closely with the Department to enable RE to be re-established and sustained as a PGCE and research subject and has been heavily involved in creating and working with the Religion Philosophy and Education Research Forum.
Retiring from the Culham directorship in autumn 2011, John’s research and development programme includes:
- Writing the history of the thirty years life and work of the Culham and St Gabriel’s educational trusts.
- Helping the Department build up its research profile in RE.
- Going back through the results and current implications of some of Culham’s earlier work. In recent years a significant amount of ‘market research’ for various projects was undertaken which will repay further analysis.
- Researching the current position of the Church universities. This is a logical next step from work undertaken in the 1980s through the Church Colleges Research Project and in the 1990s through the Engaging the Curriculum Project and the feasibility work on plans for a federal Christian University of the North.
- Undertaking empirical work at the University of Winchester (where he is a visiting professor) in relation to its role as an Anglican university
- Examining the role of the Churches in higher education both in the UK and internationally.
Professor Richard Pring, PhL (Gregorian, Rome), BA (UCL), PhD (London). Honours: Bene Merente Medal (Pope Pius XII, 1959), Hon. D.Litt (University of Kent, 1984), Aga Khan Award of Distinction, 2008), Hon.D.Litt, (University of London: Inst. of Education, 2015).
Retired after 14 years as Director of the Department of Educational Studies at Oxford University in May 2003. Since 2003, he was Lead Director of the Nuffield Review of 14-19 Education and Training. This was a £1,000,000 six year project, funded by the Nuffield Foundation.
Since retiring Professor Pring has completed the following research projects in addition to the Nuffield Review: the evaluation of the Oxford Bursary Scheme with John Fox, a £125,000 project funded from Atlantic Philanthropies, and an evaluation of quality assurance in 11 Arab Universities, with a grant funding of £12,000 from the UNDP (United Nations Development Programme).
- Philosophy of Education
- Review of Education and Training 14-19 (Nuffield Foundation funded)
- Faith based schools (arising from the Leverhulme Fellowship, 2003/4, and from work with the Aga Khan University’s Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations)
Since retirement in 2003
2020 Challenges for Religious Education: is there a disconnect between faith and reason?, Routledge, March 2020.
2019 Philosophy of Education: Collected papers of Richard Pring London: Bloomsbury
2018 The Future of Publicly Funded Faith Schools: a critical perspective, London: Routledge.
2018 Moral Education in the United Arab Emirates, Oxford Review of Education.
2018 Thinking Philosophically about Education, Routledge
2015 Philosophy of Educational Research, (3nd edition) London: Bloomsbury
2013 The Life and Death of Secondary Education for All, London: Routledge
2012 Life and Death of Secondary Education for All, London: Routledge
2009 (with Hayward, G. et al) Education for All: the Future of Education and Training for 14-19 Year Olds, London: Routledge.
2007 John Dewey: Philosopher of Education for the 21st Century, London: Continuum
2004 Philosophy of Education: Aims, Theory, Common Sense and Research, London: Continuum (15 published papers 1972-2004 with introd)
2004 Philosophy of Educational Research, (2nd edition) London: Continuu Whilst Director of Department of Educational Studies
2000 Philosophy of Educational Research, London: Continuum.
1995 (with Crombie-White and Brockington) 14-19: Education and Training – Implementing a Unified Curriculum, London: RSA, pp. 64.
1995 Closing the Gap: Liberal Education and Vocational Preparation, London: Hodder and Stoughton.
Prior to appointment at Oxford DES
1989 The New Curriculum, London: Cassell.
1984 Personal and Social Education in the Curriculum, London: Hodder and Stoughton.
1976 Knowledge and Schooling, Shepton Mallet: Open Books, pp 12
Books in honour of Richard Pring
2016 Education, Ethics and Experience, edited by Michael Hand and Richard Davies, London: Routledge.
2008 Common School and the Comprehensive Ideal: a defence by Richard Pring with Complementary Essays, Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.
2016 (with Martin Roberts) A Generation of Radical Educational Change: stories from the field, London: Routledge.
2012 (with Arther, J. and Davison, J) Education Matters: sixty years of the British Journal of Educational Studies, London Routledge
2008 (with Carr, D. and Halstead, M.) Liberalism, Education and Schooling,Essays, by T.H.McLoughlin, Exeter: Imprint Academic.
2007 (with Marin Roberts) A Generation of Radical Educational Change: Stories from the field, London: Routledge.
2004 (with Gary Thomas) Evidence based Practice in Education, Maidenhead: Open University Press
2004 (with Hewlett, M. and Tulloch, M.) Comprehensive Education: Evolution, Achievement and New Directions, University of Northampton Press.
1997 (with G. Walford) Affirming the Comprehensive Ideal, Falmer Press.
1987 (with Thacker, J. and Evans, D.) Personal and Social and Moral Education in a Changing World, Windsor: NFER-Nelson
1975 (with John Elliott) Social Education and Social Understanding, London: University of London Press
Suggested possible titles for collection, edited by Richard Smith, put into specific themes
2000 ‘The ‘false dualisms’ of educational research’, JoPE 34(2)
2001 ‘The virtues and vices of an educational researcher’, JoPE Special Issue The Ethics of Educational Research. Reprinted in McNamee, M. and Bridges, D. (eds) The Ethics of Educational Research, Oxford: Blackwells, and in Sikes, P., Nixon, J., Carr, W. (eds) The Moral Foundations of Educational Research, Maidenhead: Open University Press).
2007 ‘Reclaiming philosophy for educational research’, Educational Review
Concept of education
2001 ‘Education as a moral practice’, Journal of Moral Education, Annual Lawrence Kohlberg Lecture, 30 (2) pp101-112
2012 ‘Putting persons back into education’, Oxford Review of Education, 38(6), Special Issue on John Macmurray
Educational organisation / Faith schools
2007 ‘The common school’, Journal of Philosophy and Education, 41 (4) (A defence by Richard Pring with complementary essays)
2013 ‘John Dewey: Saviour of American Education or Worse than Hitler?’, in Brooke and Frazer, L. (eds) ?????, refereed (by Alan Ryan, no less) for Oxford Review of Education, Special Issue on ‘educational thinkers’, but put together in a book instead
James Robson is Departmental Lecturer in Higher Education and Associate Director of SKOPE.
He is course leader for the MSc in Higher Education and co-impact lead for the department.
James has spent more than a decade working in educational policy and research funding. His current research focuses on the intersection between higher education, professional learning and training systems; skills supply and demand, employability, and graduate labour markets; digitalization; and social mobility