Skip to content
Skip to navigation menu


Research Profile

Prof David James 

Selected Publications


2011 White Middle Class Identities and Urban Schooling, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan (with Reay and Crozier) [Awarded ‘Highly Commended’ Prize by the Society for Educational Studies].
2007 Improving Learning Cultures in Further Education London and New York, Routledge (with Biesta)
2004 Research in Practice: Experiences, Insights and Interventions from the project Transforming Learning Cultures in Further Education London, Learning and Skills Development agency. 
1999 The Creative Professional: Learning to Teach 14-19 Year Olds London, Falmer (with Ashcroft)
1998 Bourdieu and Education: Acts of Practical Theory London, Falmer (with Grenfell, with contribs. Hodkinson, Reay & Robbins).


Journal articles and book chapters

2011 ‘Policy into Practice: Provider perspectives’, in Hodgson, A., Spours, K. & Waring, M. (Eds) Post-compulsory education and lifelong learning across the UK: Policy, organisation and governance, Bedford Way Papers, Institute of Education, University of London, pp. 105-124
2010 ‘Neoliberal policy and the meaning of counter-intuitive middle class school choices’ Current Sociology  58 (4), pp. 623-641 (with Crozier, Reay, Beedell, Jamieson, Williams, Hollingworth)
2010 ‘Transgression for transition? White Urban Middle Class families making and managing “against the grain” school choices’, in K. Ecclestone, G. Biesta and M. Hughes (Eds) Transitions and Learning through the Lifecourse London and New York, Routledge, pp. 32-46. (with Beedell)
2009 ‘White Middle-Class Identity-Work Through “Against the Grain” School Choices’, in M. Wetherell (Ed) Identity in the 21st Century: New Trends in Changing Times Basingstoke: Macmillan Publishers (with Crozier, Reay, Beedell, Jamieson, Williams, Hollingworth)
2008 'Rapid Reform and Unfinished Business: An overview of the development of education in independent Latvia, 1991-2007’ European Journal of Education 43 (4), pp. 547-561 (with Kangro)
2008 ‘White middle class parents, identities, educational choice and the urban comprehensive school: dilemma, ambivalence and moral ambiguity’ British Journal of Sociology of Education 29 (3) pp. 261-272. (with Crozier, Reay, Beedell, Jamieson, Williams, Hollingworth)
2008 'Re-invigorating democracy? White middle class identities and comprehensive  schooling'  Sociological Review 56 (2) pp. 238-255 (with Reay, Crozier, Beedell, Jamieson, Williams, Hollingworth)
2008 ‘Understanding Learning Culturally: Overcoming the Dualism Between Social and Individual Views of Learning’ Vocations and Learning, 1 pp. 27-47 (with Hodkinson & Biesta)
2007 ‘A Darker Shade of Pale? Whiteness, the middle classes and multi-ethnic inner city schooling’ Sociology 41 (6) pp. 1041-1060 (with Reay, Crozier, Beedell, Jamieson, Williams, Hollingworth)
2007 ‘Understanding learning cultures’ Educational Review 59 (4), pp.415-427 (with Hodkinson and Biesta)
2007 ‘The paradox of professionalism in English Further Education: a TLC project perspective’ Educational Review 59 (4), pp 451-467 (with Gleeson)
2007 ‘The limits of tutor intervention: understanding improvement in a cultural view of Further Education learning and teaching’ Educational Review 59 (4), pp 469-482 (with Wahlberg)
2007 ‘Alternative assessment for engagement in a climate of performativity: lessons from an English case study’ Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy and Practice 14 (3), pp 353-371 (with Simmons)
2007 ‘Unbecoming teachers:  towards a more dynamic notion of professional participation’ Journal of Education Policy 22 (2), pp 173-193 (with Colley and Diment)
2006 ‘Reinventing grounded theory: some questions about theory, ground and discovery’ British Educational Research Journal 32, 6, pp. 767-795 (with Thomas)
2005 ‘Importance and Impotence: Learning, outcomes and research in Further Education’ The Curriculum Journal [Special Issue], 16, 1, pp.83-96
2005 ‘The Love Puddle: A simple story and some difficult questions’ Educational Action Research 13, 1, pp.111-117
2004 ‘Change in the field – Changing the field: Bourdieu and the methodological practice of educational research’ British Journal of Sociology of Education.  [Special Issue on Pierre Bourdieu’s Sociology of Education], 25, 4, pp.507-523. (with Grenfell)
2003 ‘Going Underground? Learning and assessment in an ambiguous space’ Journal of Vocational Education and Training [special issue on TLC project] 55, 4, pp. 407-422 (with Diment)
2003 ‘Learning as becoming in vocational education and training: class, gender and the role of vocational habitus’ Journal of Vocational Education and Training [special issue on TLC project], 55, 4, p. 471-497 (with Colley, Tedder and Diment)
2003 ‘Transforming Learning Cultures in Further Education’ Journal of Vocational Education and Training [special issue on TLC project], 55, 4, pp. 389-406 (with Hodkinson)
2003 ‘From Evidence-based practice to practice-based evidence: The idea of situated generalisation’. Research Papers in Education 18, 4, pp 347-364 (with Simons, Jones and Kushner)
2003 ‘Educational Research in Educational Practice’ Journal of Further and Higher Education 27, 3, pp. 248-256. (with Bloomer)
1998 ‘Key Skills on the Ground: The Meaning of Development in 16-19 Academic and Vocational Programmes’ Redland Papers No 6, pp 33-47 (with Brewer)
1995 ‘Mature Studentship in Higher Education: beyond a “species” approach’ British Journal of Sociology of Education 16, 4, pp.451-466
1995 ‘Universal Teacher Education for the FE Sector: Whatever next?’ Redland Papers No 3, pp 51-59


Selected research reports and other publications

2012 (forthcoming) Independent Evaluationof the RSA Area Based Curriculum Programme in Peterborough, London, Royal Society of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce
2012 The impact of the pursuit of ASDAN’s Certificate of Personal Effectiveness (CoPE) on GCSE attainment.  Research Report on study commissioned by ASDAN (with Harrison and Last).
2011 Beginning with Bourdieu in educational research.  Commissioned online resource for British Educational Research Association (published May) (Available here)
2010 The Development of Enhanced Partnerships with Schools in Bristol – Final Report for HEFCE. University of the West of England, Bristol (with Ritchie, Raphael Reed, Sutherland and Keith-Miller)
2010 Secondary Curriculum Development and Innovation in Bristol – Final Report for Bristol City Council. BRILLE, School of Education, University of the West of England, Bristol (with Ritchie, Jones, Fitzgerald, Orr-Ewing and Harrison)
2010 ‘Foreword’, ‘Postscript’ case studies and background advice to teacher resource booklet Inspiring Learning published jointly by Bristol City, Bath & North East Somerset, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Councils.
2010 ‘Professionalism matters’ ATL Post-16 News (Association of Teachers and Lecturers) Summer Issue, p. 4
2010 Evaluation of the Learning and Skills Council (West of England) Work-related learning project – Interim and Final Reports, BRILLE, School of Education, University of the West of England, Bristol (with Bathmaker and Waller)
2008 Research to assist a Voluntary and Community Sector National Learning Alliance (VCS NLA) response to the DIUS consultation on Informal Adult Learning - Outcomes of the survey BRILLE, School of Education, University of the West of England, Bristol (funded by NIACE).
2008 Enhancing tutor community - A research-based tutor consultation for the Workers’ Educational Association BRILLE, School of Education, University of the West of England, Bristol (funded by WEA) (with Harrison)
2007 ‘Research in FE: Core business or a distraction’? Broadcast No. 76, September. Stirling: Scottish Further Education Unit
2005 The Impact of different modes of assessment on achievement and progress in the learning and skills sector Report published by the Learning and Skills Research Centre, LSDA, London (Main author Torrance, with Colley, Ecclestone, Garratt, James, Jarvis and Piper).
2003 ‘Martin Bloomer and the TLCFE Project’ Learning and Skills Research Journal, Summer 6, 3.
2001 Final Evaluation Report TTA School-based Research Consortium Initiative (with Kushner, Simons, Jones and Ching Yee).
1999 Final Evaluation Report, Self Assessment in Professional and Higher Education (SAPHE) ,HEFCE Fund for the Development of Teaching and Learning.
1993 ‘Developing an Institutional Culture for Research’ Research Intelligence No 48, pp 16-18 (British Educational Research Association)
1990 ‘Chances to learn for the Enemy Within: A Strategy for Teaching Life Chances’ Social Science Teacher, 19, 2, pp 49-53