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).

Research interests
  • 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)
Books (authored)

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.

Books (edited)

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)

Educational thinkers

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