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40@40 – A portrait of 40 years of educational research through 40 studies

As part of our 40th anniversary celebrations, BERA has collected together a set of 40 landmark studies that have had a significant impact on educational policy,  practice, research methodology and/or theory over the past 40 years.


The final 40 come from across the UK (and beyond where they have had substantial impact in UK settings), from a range of academic disciplines, from researchers of every background and every perspective, and from a range of qualitative and quantitative research traditions.

Accompanying the list of 40 is a publication which provides details of the studies themselves and the policy context in which they were published.


Stenhouse, L. An Introduction to Curriculum Research and Development, London: Heinemann

Bernstein, B. Class Codes and Control; Volume 3: Towards a Theory of Educational Transmissions. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul

Delamont, S. Interaction in the Classroom. London: Methuen

Willis, P. Learning to Labour: how working class kids get working class jobs. Farnham: Ashgate Publishing Limited

Rutter, M., Maughan, B., Mortimore, P. and Ouston, J. 15, 000 hours: secondary schools and their effects on children. London: Open Books

Broadfoot, P. Assessment, Schools and Society. London: Routledge

Galton, M., Simon, B. and Croll, P. Inside the Primary Classroom. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul

Halsey, A.H., Heath A.F. and Ridge, J.M. Origins and Destinations: family, class and education in modern Britain. Oxford: Clarendon Press

Tomlinson, S.  A Sociology of Special Education. London: Routledge

Spender, D. Invisible Women: The Schooling Scandal. London: Writers and Readers Cooperative Publishing Society

Cormack, R.J. and Osborne, R.D. Religion, Education, and Employment: Aspects of Equal Opportunity in Northern Ireland. Belfast: Appletree Press

Driver, R. The pupil as scientist? Maidenhead: Open University Press


Carraher, T.N., Carraher, D.W. and Schliemann, A.D. Mathematics in the streets and in schools. British Journal of Developmental Psychology Vol. 3, Issue 1, pp. 21-29

Pollard, A. The Social World of the Primary School. London: Cassell

MacPherson, A. and Raab, C. Governing Education: a sociology of policy since 1945. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press

Edwards, T., Fitz, J. and Whitty, G. The State and Private Education: an evaluation of the assisted places scheme. London: Falmer Press

Raffe, D. and Willms, J.D. Schooling the discouraged worker: local labour market effects on educational participation. Sociology November 1989, Vol. 23, No.4, pp. 559-581

Ball, S. Politics and Policy Making in Education: Explorations in Policy Sociology. London: Routledge

Gillborn, D. ‘Race’, Ethnicity and Education: teaching and learning in multi-ethnic schools. London: Routledge

Green, A. Education and State Formation:  the rise of education systems in England, France and the United States of America. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan

Mirza, H.S. Young, Female and Black. London: Routledge

Adley, P. and Shayer, M. An Exploration of Long-Term Far-Transfer Effects following an Extended Intervention Program in the High School Science Curriculum. Cognition and Instruction Vol. 11, No. 1, pp. 1-29


Mac an Ghaill, M. The Making of Men: masculinities, sexuality and schooling. Maidenhead: Open University Press

Hodkinson, P., Hodkinson, H. and Sparkes, A.C. Triumphs and tears: young people, markets and the transition from school to work. London: David Fulton

MacGilchrist, B., Myers, K. and Reed, J.  The Intelligent School. London: Paul Chapman Publishing

Black, P. and Wiliam, D. Inside the Black Box: raising standards through classroom assessment. London: Department of Education and Professional Studies, Kings College London

Furlong, J., Barton, L., Miles, S., Whiting, C. and Whitty, G. Teacher Education in Transition: re-forming professionalism? Maidenhead: Open University Press

Alexander, R.  Culture and Pedagogy: international comparisons in primary education. Oxford: Blackwell

Wolf, A. Does Education Matter? Myths about Education and Economic Growth. Harmondsworth: Penguin

Gorard S. and Rees, G. Creating a Learning Society? Learning Careers and Policies for Lifelong Learning. Bristol: Policy Press

Feinstein, L. Inequality in the Early Cognitive Development of British Children in the 1970 Cohort. Economica Vol. 70, pp. 73-97


Sylva, K., Melhuish, E., Sammons, P., Siraj-Blatchford, I. and Taggart B. The Effective Provision of Pre-School: Education (EPPE) Project: Findings from Pre-school to end of Key Stage 1. London: Department for Education and Skills

Jackson, S., Ajayi, S. and Quigley, M. Going to University from Care. London: Institute of Education

Unterhalter, E.   Gender, schooling and global social justice. London: Routledge

Pring, R., Hayward G., Hodgson, A., Johnson, J., Keep, E., Oancea, A., Rees, G., Spours, K. and Wilde, S. Education for all: the future of education and training for 14-19 year olds. London: Routledge

Blatchford, P. Bassett, P., Brown, P., Martin, C., Russell, A. and Webster R.  The Deployment and Impact of Support Staff (DISS) project. London: Department for Children, Schools and Families

Reay, D., Crozier, G. and Clayton, J. ‘Strangers in Paradise’? Working-class students in elite universities. Sociology December 2009, Vol. 43, No. 6, pp. 1103-1121

Iannelli, C., Gamoran, A. and Paterson, L. Scottish Higher Education, 1987-2001: Expansion through Diversion. Oxford Review of Education Vol. 37, Issue 6, pp. 717-741

Goswami, U., Wang, H.L., Criuz , A., Fosker, T., Mead, N. and Huss, M. Language-universal sensory deficits in developmental dyslexia: English, Spanish and Chinese. Journal of Cognition and Neuroscience February 2011, Vol. 23, No. 2, pp. 325-337

Sullivan, A., Joshi, H. & Leonard, D.  Single-sex schooling and labour market outcomes. Oxford Review of Education Vol. 37, Issue 3, pp. 311-332