I have written many articles since 1969, beginning with, Society in the School, based on a lecture I gave on multicultural education at University College, Oxford, in 1969. My articles have been about the politics of the curriculum, social and political education in schools, outstanding schools, youth culture, music education, development education, education in various countries such as Japan and Finland, my travels and visits to schools in other countries, multicultural and anti-racist education, my West African experience in 1974 and 1977, progressive education, history teaching, social science teaching, anthropology and teaching about other cultures for school children, citizenship and disruptive behaviour in schools.
My books are as follows:
The New Social Studies (1973 and 1976)
The substantial handbook (nearly 500 pages), The New Social Studies (Heinemann, 1973) took Denis Lawton and I (with a small contribution from R.J. Campbell and Valerie Burkett) three years to write and went into a second revised edition in 1976. The book was both theoretical and academic but also practical. We surveyed key developments in schools, research and curriculum projects but also wrote a huge section on dozens of teaching topics with suggested resources and ideas for teaching. Apparently the book was very influential with teachers in exploring the role of social and human topics in schools, and with an open approach to encouraging content from the social sciences as useful background in simplified forms for school pupils while also accepting the contribution of looser-based social studies, humanities, civics and social and personal education.
I wrote it with a man who was then a young education lecturer at the London Institute of Education, Denis Lawton, who later went on to become a professor with wide publishing success, world-wide academic recognition, and occupying the directorship of the Institute.
Since some of our ideas were based on curriculum developments in parts of the USA, I enjoyed many visits to the USA throughout the 1970s, attending conferences and speaking, and visiting schools and universities in New York, Boston, San Francisco and Denver, Colorado.
The West African Study Cruises (1974 and 1977)
These were marvellous and possibly unique undertakings and certainly link with my ongoing interests in other cultures and anthropology and on how these perspectives can contribute to a wider appreciation of peoples and cultures around the world. A group of academic staff, including me, at the University of Leicester School of Education, along with several sixth form teachers, formed a committee to organise these trips. Each cruise took two years to plan. This included signing up 1000 sixth formers across the UK and their teachers, organising their saving up and paying for the cruise, booking five aircraft each time to take us to north Africa - Morocco on one cruise, Ceuta on the other - where an education cruise ship, run by the P&O Line, was waiting.
Staff and students met school pupils, teachers, villagers and local dignitaries in the countries we visited – Morocco, Senegal, Gambia, and Sierra Leone. I edited the teaching materials and handouts that students were given before and during the cruise, covering the history, geography, art and culture of this part of the world along with a focus on development and inequality. I wrote the handout on West African cultures, languages and customs, including on the Manding peoples and managed to bargain for and buy (in Dakar, Senegal) two significant cultural items - a decorated piece of mudcloth (called bogolanfini), from Mali, that told a story, and a Tiawara (or Chi Wara) wooden antelope head dress, also traditional and from the Bambara people who live mainly in Mali but also in Senegal: Bambara means ‘the people who refuse to be ruled’.
From the hundreds of memories I still have, one stands out. When our ship was berthed in Banjul, Gambia, I arose very early one morning and took the totally overloaded ferry across the Gambia River to the other side, hoping that we did not capsize - because the saltwater crocodiles were waiting for this! A taxi van took me to the village of Juffureh, made famous by Alex Haley’s 1976 novel, Roots: the Saga of an American Family, and the TV series, about the life and experiences of Kunta Kinte, an African slave from Juffureh. Apart from the dozens of black Americans there trying to trace their roots, I met two significant people. One was the griot (a person, musician or story teller who maintains a tradition of oral history in parts of West Africa), a very old lady who had featured in the Alex Haley story; and the other was the headteacher of the school. When I say school, he took me to a mud hut and told me this was the library - it had nothing in it - no furniture, no books - it was in fact a wishful idea rather than a reality - very poignant, sad and moving, and illustrative of what our sixth formers were learning about some African countries and the contrast between the rich world and the poor world.
If you wish to know more, I later wrote a chapter describing the aims, planning and activities involved in the cruises: West African Study Cruises, by Barry Dufour, chapter 7, pages 102 – 114, in Hicks, D. and Townley, C., (eds), in Teaching World Studies: an Introduction to Global Perspectives in the Curriculum, London: Longman (1982)
The World of Pop and Rock (1977)
In 1977, I realised, while teaching the pupils at Countesthorpe College, in Leicestershire, that school pupils were without an overarching book on pop and rock music that looked at its context (culture, technology) as well as its history, so I wrote The World of Pop and Rock (Macdonald, 1977), a colourful illustrated book that eventually went into five languages. My biggest regret was that I incorporated very little on the emerging punk music scene. In 1976, I had been to CBGBs, the dingy club in New York where Patti Smith and her band had created great excitement. I walked into the club and said I had come all the way from the UK to hear Patti Smith and her band: the doorman said ‘Hard luck! She’s presently touring your country’.
But I had not sufficiently picked up on the UK scene. I am sure this affected sales in the UK, as I watched young people in the bookshop, W.H. Smith, in Leicester, pick up the book to skim through, and not seeing their new punk rock heroes splashed all over the book, put it back and they did not buy it!
Surviving Peoples series (1970s): Advisory Work
Working closely with editors, designers and picture researchers at Macdonald Educational in 1977, on my The World of Pop and Rock book, I saw the potential of this publisher, that produced beautiful colour books for schools and young adults, to create a series on surviving peoples, indigenous peoples such as the Eskimos, Zulus, Aborigines, Indians of the North American Plains, and other groups.
I proposed that these books should treat these communities as thriving groups today, adapting to change and life in the modern world, but with a rich and fascinating history and culture. I drew up and submitted the concept but did not write any of the books because each one needed to be written by someone from the indigenous group or by an anthropologist who had worked with each community. These A4 format, hardback, highly illustrated books were published during the late 1970s and early 1980s. Macdonald Educational also published superb books on different countries and on historical civilisations such as the Egyptians and the Aztecs.
I had been interested in and indeed studied anthropology at university, as part of my social sciences degree. And I became involved in several efforts in the early 1970s to promote anthropology, or at least its concepts and approaches, in schools. As a result in 1977, I was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute (RAI) - and I remain active to this day on their Education Committee, with meetings at the RAI building in London several times a year.
New Movements in the Social Sciences and Humanities (1982)
In 1982, a pulled together a wide-ranging overview of the current state of the social and human subjects at the academic level as well as their growing manifestations in schools. In this edited volume, New Movements in the Social Sciences and Humanities (published by Maurice Temple Smith/Gower, 1982), I surveyed school developments up to that point in chapter 7: The Social Subjects: Learning about People and Society and in chapter 19: Conclusion: The Social Curriculum and the Nature of Schooling in the 1980s. But I also managed to recruit some impressive academics to write some chapters on specific subjects, including Anthony Giddens (later Lord Giddens), the sociologist, who wrote the chapter on sociology (Chaper 1, Trends in the Philosophy of the Social Sciences) and who later wrote the million-selling textbook, Sociology(Polity Press, Cambridge, now in its 8th edition, and now involving Philip Sutton as a co-writer).
The New Social Curriculum: A Guide to Cross-Curricular Issues (1990)
In 1990, with the first-ever government-initiated National Curriculum now entering state schools, as a somewhat academically-defined offer, many important areas related to social and curricular movements had been left out of legislation, so these were added on, by the government, as non-statutory areas called cross-curricular issues (dimensions, skills and themes), including themes such as economic and industrial understanding, career education and guidance, environmental education, health education, and citizenship. The dimensions included personal and social education, cultural diversity, and equal opportunities.
I compiled The New Social Curriculum: A Guide to Cross-Curricular Issues(Cambridge University Press, 1990) that explored several of these areas but I also asked some of the experts who contributed chapters to survey other important areas that I saw developing, linked to growing social movements in society but also being covered in a few schools. I perceived these as contributing an important part of young people’s education: these included Media Education, Global Education, Peace Education, Trade Union Education and Human Rights Education.
I wrote chapters on The New Social Curriculum: The Political, Economic and Social Context for Educational Change (chapter 1), Multicultural and Anti-racist Education: Education for a Just Society (chapter 8) and I composed the concluding chapter on Curriculum Change and Organisation: The Place of the New Social Curriculum within the National Curriculum (chapter 13).
The uptake and status of these important areas were mixed and I would claim that very few schools even today offer the broad social curriculum that I have always advocated and seen as vital for young people growing up in the modern world. These areas might be touched on in PSHE (Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education) but the provision is patchy and amateur, that is, mainly not taught by teachers with a subject background in the social sciences or the cross-curricular areas.
Admittedly, by 1990, key social science subjects were on offer at the 14-16 age range and as A Levels - so this was real progress, and these included Sociology, Psychology, Politics, and Economics. But these were electives, optional subjects that students could choose to study, so they did not form part of the National Curriculum that was conceived for all primary and secondary school pupils in state schools (not the private sector), but History and Geography were compulsory, at least to begin with.
Developing Citizens: A Comprehensive Introduction to Effective Citizenship Education in the Secondary School, edited by Tony Breslin and Barry Dufour, (Hodder Murray, 2006)
This book, published by Hodder Murray, was another drawn-out, monumental enterprise as Tony and I tried to cover more and more curriculum areas and conscript more experts to write the chapters: 36 national experts were involved in the end, if we include Tony and myself given that we wrote several chapters!
We could not cover all school subjects and how citizenship could be explored within them but we did include a wide range - in the arts and humanities, in the social sciences, in technology, science and mathematics, in cross-curricular themes, dimensions and skills, and in aspects of leadership and management of citizenship in schools.
Tony Breslin, who is a social scientist but also has a first class degree in Management, was at that time the chief executive of the Citizenship Foundation still thriving today so it seemed natural that he should write some chapters on curriculum models, the assessment of pupils and quality assurance issues. (The Foundation is now branded as: Young Citizens (www.youngcitizens.org)
Apart from my opening chapter on The Fate and Fortunes of the Social Curriculum and the Evolution of Citizenship: A Historical Overview (chapter 1.1), I wrote three chapters, in a later section on cross-curricular themes, dimensions and skills, that I had a strong educational commitment to - these were:
Education for a Green World: Learning about the Environment and Sustainability
Education for a Just World: Development Education and Global Education
Education for a Safe World: Conflict, Peace Education and Conflict Resolution
(chapter 5.4). This chapter was the most difficult to write because there was then very little school work on peace education - and this is still the case today.
The book received excellent reviews and even endorsements from Lord Adonis, who praised it in a speech in the House of Lords, and from the late Professor Sir Bernard Crick, the founder, really, of Citizenship in schools along with New Labour’s Secretary of State for Education, David Blunkett.
Studying Education: An Introduction to the Basic Disciplines in Education Studies, edited by Barry Dufour and Will Curtis, (Open University Press, 2011)
Will and I felt that there were too many education books for undergraduates that included snippets of different contributory research areas but none that systematically explored the theoretical and research contributions of each of the basic disciplines to education. So we featured the seven subjects: the history, politics, philosophy, economics, sociology and psychology of education along with a final chapter on comparative education. Today, I would have added the anthropology of education which is now developing as a discrete area.
The book was written in accessible language and attractively designed by us and by Open University Press (OpUP), with boxed features on key research and researchers. The book was well-received and reviewed and the publishers hoped to publish it in several countries and languages but, in the end, because of economic uncertainty in places like Brazil, the only foreign language edition was in Croatian.
In 2016, I suggested to the publishers a second edition, but margins are very tight now in academic education publishing so OpUP declined on the grounds that the first edition did not sell sufficiently to justify a second edition - and the US company, McGraw-Hill, the owners of OpUP, were in the driving seat and insisting on rigorous market stringency.
Few university Education Studies courses now feature these disciplines in their own right. Even my own university, De Montfort University, where I now take more of a back seat role, has dropped some of these areas as focussed disciplinary studies.
The Social Curriculum in Schools: Doctorate-by-Publication (2012)
My writing and research on the social curriculum in schools was the subject of my late-in-life doctorate-by-publication now housed in the University of Hull library as: The Development and Consolidation of New Areas of Knowledge and Practice in the School Curriculum and Education Profession (with special reference to the social curriculum in schools), July, 2012.
In this oeuvre document, I was required to self-critique, analyse and discuss all the articles, books and ideas I had developed in connection with social and political education in schools since the 1960s. I am forever grateful to Professor Sir Robert Burgess, former vice chancellor of the University of Leicester, who strongly encouraged me to submit my publications and ideas for this unusual doctorate. I was very moved to be told by the chair of the doctoral viva committee that the committee would like him to say to me that ‘it was an honour and pleasure to spend an hour in discussion with a true scholar’. I think I’ll have this carved on my gravestone.
‘Not Enough Music’: a critique of music education in schools in England
(publication pending - 2019 - possibly by De Montfort University)
The research and writing of this research monograph took between 2016-2019. What follows is the Abstract from the document:
This paper presents a critical overview of music education in schools in England, both generally and historically up to 2019. It was decided early on that justice could not be done to all the nations of the UK - Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales - with their respective rich and important music cultures; neither could there be an international comparative analysis: while these two perspectives are important, it would have required a book rather than a monograph to fully explore these dimensions.
This monograph was researched and written by me from 2016 to 2019. It started as a short article, maybe 3000 to 5000 words, for a journal, but as I read more, visited places and researched more deeply and widely, I realized that a short journal article would not do justice to the subject. I was also persuaded that the finished work should be written in accessible English and should reach a much wider readership than a narrowly academic journal article would allow. So it is now a research monograph, 28,000 words long and with over 100 references.
I consider the current state of teaching and learning in music education by drawing on national and local research projects including online web research, observations, and visits to institutions, as well as on my own insights and experience. The visits included a variety of schools and colleges, interviews, and attendance at key conferences, along with phone conversations and personal discussions with people in music and music education, and extensive reading of major texts and reports.
The monograph includes historical perspectives as well as considering the social, political and economic aspects of music education, including issues related to the substantial inequality in access to instrument learning and the variable quality of the reach and provision of music education in schools. It attempts to offer a balanced view, exploring the negative aspects but also featuring positive coverage of the many successful initiatives at local and national level, often promoted by schools, government policy, concert halls, universities and music colleges, music professional bodies, charities and other third sector organizations.
It also seeks to explore and celebrate the many important manifestations of music in the public domain in England, as a background to questioning, along with music reports and professional organizations attached to the cultural and creative industries, why music education in schools has increasingly suffered underfunding, decreased provision and lowered status in the school curriculum, when England has such a world-renowned, diverse and rich music culture.
Relevant developments and research on music and arts education at De Montfort University are also discussed and Dr Austin Griffiths, my colleague and member of the Education Studies staff, was invited to write a special analysis of elite music education based on his ongoing research.
Disruptive Behaviour in Schools: A Comprehensive Introduction (publication pending)
Apart from the years of teaching undergraduate and MA courses on this important educational area (Loughborough University, 1994 - 2006), I was approached in 2012 and contracted in 2013 to prepare this book for Bloomsbury Publishers, for their academic division, next door in Bedford Square, London, to their fiction division, that signed J.K. Rowling, of Harry Potter fame, after she had approached 12 other publishers.
My editors insisted on an international dimension in every chapter because they were aiming at a world-wide reach. Up to that point, I had not especially investigated the global dimension in behaviour issues, so this added an extra six months to my research and writing.
I researched and wrote the book consistently from 2013 to 2016, submitting the finished book in March 2016. It was way over the word count but the heads of marketing and sales considered that the book, while substantial, could be held at a popular price but with the reduced profitability being made up for in wide sales, including overseas. The finished draft was sent to various confidential reviewers around the world, and the response from Australia and the UK was hugely enthusiastic. Some of my own reviewers, including eminent professors in the field, said the book was comprehensive, wide-ranging and unique.
But, after six months of intensive and amicable editing, my contract was suddenly, with no warning, terminated, on somewhat odd grounds, given that the publishers had possessed the completed manuscript for six months and that we were working together on the editing process. I am now chasing other publishers, in the USA and the UK - and at the same time updating the book and key research up to 2019. So I have been engaged on this project from 2012 (when Bloomsbury Publishers first approached me) to 2019 - seven years of work).
The book is divided into sections, with the first part dealing with historical, theoretical and comparative perspectives on behaviour issues along with an analysis of the position of children and young people today and why many might be misbehaving at school. Other parts range over good practice in schools and classrooms, with several final chapters dealing in depth with a range of major issues, such as bullying.
Outstanding Schools around the World: Schools, Projects, People and Systems that Make a Difference - Success Stories from Across the Globe (research and writing in progress)
The sub-title or fuller explanation that will be displayed on the front cover of the book is as follows:
Inspirational stories and accounts of schools, projects, people, systems, teachers, governments and charities around the globe that have developed schools that make a special difference to pupils’ lives and education, from schools that provide a basic education against the odds, to schools that are successful, creative, innovative, and inspirational in their different ways.
I have visited hundreds of schools in the UK, in my various career roles, but also schools in other countries - the USA, Japan, Finland, Northern Ireland, Germany, and France, as well as schools in West Africa, outlined elsewhere in this website (see The West African Study Cruises, 1974 and 1977). But, in 2017, I experienced a failed attempt to visit a Spanish state school in Madrid - they would not let me in - suspicious of outsiders, researchers and inspectors! Spain’s state schools do not have the best reputation - perhaps that’s why there are so many private schools in Madrid.
I have been formulating ideas and collecting evidence for several years on inspirational people, schools, projects and systems that are different, special and unusual in some way, in terms of the contribution they make to children’s education and to the society or country they operate in. In the main, these are not schools or enterprises that solely earn their inclusion in my coverage because they are academically successful but rather because they are often inclusive, creative, sometimes operate against the odds, and represent the best in human and educational enterprise.
I am also not just writing about the schools or countries I have visited but also searching the world via research, the web and academic books so that I can draw general insights and conclusions in terms of global education. I am critical of standard world education comparison systems, such as PISA, partly because of their methodology but also because of their fundamental theoretical base, which is narrow and context-free.
I am also researching, away from global education, the particular features of excellent schools and excellent teaching. Again, these enquiries are based on my personal experience in schools in many countries but also on the latest evidence and research.
I have no precise completion or publication date for these enterprises but they will see the light of day sometime between 2019 - 2022.
Along the way, during my overseas encounters, I was fortunate to experience two more intense involvements in two cultures and education systems, both highly-regarded in world league tables of education - Japan and Finland.