Professor John B Thomas

  • Emeritus Professor of Educational Studies

John B. Thomas is Emeritus Professor of Educational Studies at Loughborough University and formerly Director of Loughborough Summer School. He has published widely in both the history and psychology of education. 

Before joining Loughborough University, Professor Thomas lectured at Redland College, Bristol (now the University of the West of England), and as a recognised teacher of education and psychology in the University of Bristol School of Education after teaching history and economics in schools. He has also served as a part-time tutor for the Open University in Wales.

Professor Thomas is an authority on the history of teacher education and the academic study of education. He has been a Fellow of the British Psychological Society since 1986.


BA History, Nottingham University, 1962
Dip.Ed. Swansea, 1963,
Academic Dip.Ed. London, 1968
M.Ed. Swansea, 1972
PhD Loughborough, 1993

Professor Thomas has published research papers in psychology of education on self-concept, anorexia, and emotional and behavioural disorders. See 

  • Educational Research and Development in Britain 1970-1980 (LondonNFER 1980 jointly edited with Louis Cohen and Lawrence Manion) and 
  • British Universities and Teacher Education: a Century of Change (London, Falmer Press 1990) as well as
  • research papers and reviews in various educational and psychological international journals. 

See also entries in the 

  • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2004)
  • the Welsh Academy Encyclopaedia of Wales (2008) 
  • Routledge International Encyclopaedia of Education (2008)

Featured publications

Books – Authored

  • 1973 Self-Concept in Psychology and Education. Windsor: NFER Publishing Company.
  • 1977 (with G T Page) International Dictionary of Education. London & New York: Kogan Page (paperback edition in 1978].
  • 1979a (with G T Page) International Dictionary of Education. Cambridge Massachusetts: MIT Press.
  • 1979b with G T Page) International Dictionary of Education. London, Pitman.
  • 1980 The Self in Education. Windsor: NFER Publishing Company.

Books – Edited

  • 1982 (with Louis Cohen & Laurence Manion) Educational Research and Development in Britain 1970-1980. Windsor: NFER Publishing Company (48 commissioned reviews of research and development).
  • 1990 (Editor) British Universities and Teacher Education: A Century of Change. London: Falmer Press (11 commissioned essays).

Departmental Working Papers

  • 1985 Loughborough University of Technology Department of Education: Bibliography of Staff Publications and Student Theses and Dissertations. 34 p.
  • 1993 (with Bill Morley) Pastoral Care, Counselling and Personal and Social Education. 26 pp.
  • 1993b (with Bill Morley) Special Educational Needs. 26 pp.
  • 1994a Studying Education: a guide for new students. 26 pp.
  • 1994b (with Bill Morley) “Pastoral Care, Counselling and Personal and Social Education” in Busher, H (Ed). Pupils in the Classroom, chapter 4, pp 68-90.
  • 1994c (with Bill Morley) “Special Educational Needs and Support Services” in Busher, H (Ed). Pupils in the classroom, chapter 5, pp 90-112.

Edited works – Contributions

  • 1982 “Teacher Education in England and Wales” in Thomas, J B (1982) above pp 227-241.
  • 1990 “Victorian Beginnings” in Thomas, J B (1990) above pp 1-18.
  • 1990b “Day Training College to Department of Education” in Thomas, J B (1990) above pp 19-38.
  • 1990c “Professors of Education in the United Kingdom” in Thomas, J B (1990) above pp 193-204.
  • 2004a “Hilda Cashmore”, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford. Oxford University Press.
  • 2004b “Geraldine Hodgson”, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford. Oxford University Press.
  • 2004c “Marion Fry Pease”, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford. Oxford University Press.
  • 2004d “Dame Olive Wheeler”, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford. Oxford University Press. 58, pp 439-440.
  • 2008a “Dame Olive Wheeler” Academic Encyclopaedia of Wales, p 947.
  • 2008b “Psychology of Education”, Routledge International Encyclopaedia of Education, pp 466-468. London. Routledge.
  • 2008c “Emotional and Behavioural Disturbance”, International Encyclopaedia of Education, pp 223-224. London. Routledge.

Journal Letters

  • 1981 “Letter: balance sheet on Burt”, Bulletin of the British Psychological Society, 34, pp 40-41.
  • 1999 “Knighted Psychologists – a letter”, The Psychologist, 13, 11, p 506.
  • 2006 “Appreciating early women psychologists”, The Psychologist, 19, 12, p 72.
  • 2013 “Educational Psychology Origins”, The Psychologist, 26, 11, p 780.

Journal Papers: Academic Journals

  • 1971a “Leadership in the School”, Education for Development, 1, 5, pp 30-40.
  • 1971b “Leadership in the School”, Education Today (October), 4-7 (republished with permission in the College of Preceptors journal).
  • 1971c “Group Teaching in Advanced Level History”, Teaching History, 2, 5, pp 66-69.
  • 1971d “The role of the history teacher in the secondary school”, The New Era, 10, 52, pp 729-732.
  • 1971c (with D A Watkins) “General Studies at Croesyceiliog Grammar School: a survey of pupil attitudes and interests”, General Education, 16, pp 58-66.
  • 1972 (with C F Palfrey) “Adolescent interest in adult education in community colleges”, Adult Education, 42, 2, pp 97-102.
  • 1974a “The self pictures of children in primary school: some qualitative data”, Froebel Journal, 30, pp 31-38.
  • 1974b “Study of self-concepts of pupils in their final year at a streamed junior school”, Education for Development, 3, 1, pp 50-51.
  • 1974c “School organisation and self-concept”, Durham Research Review, 7, 33, pp 929-937.
  • 1975a (with P R King) “Theory of Education in PGCE courses: some key questions and proposed model”, Education for Development, 3, 4, pp 20-29.
  • 1975b “The concept of self in teaching”, The New Era, 4, 56, pp 86-90.
  • 1975c “A literature guide to the day training colleges”, 1837-1901 Journal of the Loughborough University Victorian Studies Group, 3, pp 68-80.
  • 1976 “The College Principal Revisited: a survey of Principals of Colleges of Education”, Vocational Aspect of Education, 28, 69, pp 1-6.
  • 1977 “Self-concept studies in historical perspective”, Durham Research Review, 38, pp 47-55.
  • 1978a “Self-concept and the teacher of physical education”, Health Education Journal, 37, 1, pp 140-142.
  • 1978b (with J C Hall) “Research report: mathematics department headship in secondary schools”, Educational Administration, 5, 2, pp 30-37.
  • 1978c (with J C Hall) “Role specification for applicants for heads of mathematics department in schools”, Educational Review, 30, 11, pp 35-40.
  • 1978d “The Day Training College: a Victorian innovation in Teacher Training”, British Journal of Teacher Education, 4, 3, pp 183-195.
  • 1978c (with K Hodgkinson) “Teaching History: content analysis numbers 1 to 20”, Teaching History, 22, pp 1-5.
  • 1980a “The logbooks of J W Adamson: the curriculum of a day training college”, Journal of Educational Administration and History, 11, pp 29-34.
  • 1980b “Scholarly productivity in psychology: a criticism of citation count research”, British Educational Research Journal, 6, 1, pp 91-95.
  • 1980c (with C V Simmons) “Subsidiary courses in Education: provision and response”, Journal of Further and Higher Education, 4, 2, pp 34-42.
  • 1982a “J A Green, Educational Psychology and the Journal of Experimental Pedagogy”, History of Education Society Bulletin, 29, pp 41-45.
  • 1982b “A note on Masters of Method in the universities of England and Wales”, History of Education Society Bulletin, 30, pp 27-29.
  • 1983a “Teacher Training in Bedford College, London 1891-1922”, Durham and Newcastle Research Review, 10, 50, pp 59-64.
  • 1983b (with J Murfitt) “The effects of peer counselling on the self-concept and reading attainment of secondary aged slow learning pupils”, Remedial Education, 18, 2, pp 73-74.
  • 1983c “The beginnings of teacher training at University College, Bangor”, Transactions of the Caernarvonshire Historical Society, 44, pp 123-154.
  • 1984 “The origins of teacher training at University College, Cardiff”, Journal of Educational Administration and History, 16, 1, pp 10-16.
  • 1985b “Psychologists, psychiatrists and special educational needs in Britain since 1944”, The Exceptional Child, 32, 2, pp 69-80.
  • 1985c (with T Elston) “Anorexia Nervosa: incidence, causation, and prognosis”, Child Care, Health and Development, 11, 6, pp 355-373.
  • 1986a “Amos Henderson and the Nottingham Day Training College”, Journal of Educational Administration and History, 18, 2, pp 24-33.
  • 1986b “University College: London and the training of teachers”, History of Education Society Bulletin, 37, pp 44-49.
  • 1986c “Students, Staff and Curriculum in a Day Training College”, Collected Original Sources in Education, 10, 3, fiche 1 a4.
  • 1988a “University College, Bristol: pioneering teacher training for women”, History of Education, 17, 1, pp 55-70.
  • 1991 “Educational Research in the University of Wales: the half century to 1940”, Welsh Journal of Education, 3, 1, pp 10-20.
  • 1992a “Birmingham University and teacher training: day training college to department of education”, History of Education, 21, 3, pp 307-321.
  • 1992b (with A J Smith) “A Survey of Therapeutic Support for Children with Emotional and Behavioural Disturbance (EBD) in Special Schools in the United Kingdom”, School Psychology International, 13, 4, pp 323-339.
  • 1992c (with A J Smith) “A Survey of Supportive Work with the Families of Pupils in School for Emotionally and Behaviourally Disturbed Children”, Therapeutic Care and Education, 1, 3, pp 135-150.
  • 1993a (with A J Smith) “A Survey of Psychological Support for Children with Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties in Special Schools in Great Britain”, Educational Psychology, 13, 2, pp 119-131.
  • 1993b (with A J Smith) “What’s in a Name: some problems of description and intervention in work with emotionally and behaviourally disordered children”, Pastoral Care in Education, 11, 3, pp 3-8.
  • 1993c (with A J Smith) “The Psychological Support of Children with Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties”, Support for Learning, 8, 3, pp 104-106.
  • 1993d (with C F Kaufman) “The Education System or Argentina”, Collected Original Resources in Education, 17, 3.
  • 1994 “Students, staff and curriculum in a Day Training College: a case study of University College, Cardiff 1890-1914”, Paedagogica Historica, 25, 1, pp 281-299.
  • 1995 (with C F Kaufman) “Antecedents of teacher training in Argentina: Rivadavia and the monitorial schools of James Thomson”, Collected Original Resources in Education, 19, 2, A04.
  • 1996 “The beginnings of Educational Psychology in the Universities of England and Wales”, Educational Psychology, 16, 3, pp 229-244.
  • 1997 “Our Mistresses of Method: Women academics in the day training colleges 1890-1914”, Journal of Educational Administration and History, 29, pp 293-107.
  • 2000 “The Private Papers of Professor C.W. Valentine in the Archives of the British Psychological Society at the University of Liverpool”, Collected Original Resources in Education, 25, 1.
  • 2005 “British adolescence: a history in textbooks”, Educational Studies, 31, 1, pp 55-63.
  • 2007 “Psychology of Education in the United Kingdom: development in the 1960s”, Educational Studies, p31, 1, pp 51-61.

 Journal Papers – Professional Journals

  • 1970 “The case for teaching psychology to sixth formers”, Teacher in Wales, 11, 7, 3.
  • 1975 “Psychology teaching and the cinema: an annotated checklist of feature films”, Psychology Teaching, 3, 2, pp 181-184.
  • 1976 “The study problems of students”, Welsh Secondary Schools Review, 63, 2, pp 43-45.
  • 1978 “Structured seminars in the teaching of educational psychology”, Psychology Teaching, 6, 2, pp 137-141.
  • 1983a “Some thoughts on the history of educational psychology”, Education Section Review of the British Psychological Society, 7, 1, pp 17-20.
  • 1983b “Selected bibliography for the history of educational psychology in Britain”, Education Libraries Bulletin, 26, 3, pp 16-30.
  • 1985 “Articles on teaching psychology published in other journals since 1970”, Psychology Teaching. (August) pp 2-6.

Reviews of Single Academic Books

  • 1974 Review of Pronay, N. et al “The use of Film in History Teaching”, The New Era, 55, 5, pp 131-132.
  • 1975a Review of Perls, F, Hefferline, R and Goodman, P “Gestalt Therapy: Excitement and Growth in Human Personality”, The New Era, 56, 3, pp 83-84.
  • 1975b Review of Duval and Wickland “A Theory of Objective Self Awareness”; Young, T R “New Sources of Self”; Rogers, Carl “Person to Person”; and Rowan, J “The Science of You”, British Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 14, pp 102-103.
  • 1975c Review of Lefebre, G “The Thermidorians” and “The Directory”, Teaching History, 4, 13, pp 75-76.
  • 1975d Review of Hawkins, F “From Ypres to Cambrai”; Young, P “Commando”; Macksey, K “Tank Force” (Pan and Ballantyne Illustrated History of the Second Word War), Teaching History, 4, 13, p 77.
  • 1975e Composite reviews of history textbooks, Teaching History, 4, 14, pp 161-164.
  • 1976a Review of Boorer, D R “When Children Learn”, Psychology Teaching, 3, pp 105-106.
  • 1976b Composite reviews of history textbooks for schools, Teaching History, 4, 15, p 270, p 272.
  • 1977a Review of Kamenka, E “Nationalism: the nature and evolution of an idea”, Teaching History, 17, p 29.
  • 1977b Composite reviews of school history textbooks, Teaching History, 17, p 35.
  • 1977c Composite review of O’Callahan, B “The struggle for Women’s Rights”; Stephenson, N “Scotland and the Act of Union”; Warner, P “Famous Battles of the Midlands”; Warner, P “Famous Scottish Battles”; Seymour, W “Battles in Britain, 1066-1547”; Terraine, J “Trafalgar”, Teaching History, 18, pp 38-39.
  • 1977d Review of Halliday, R J “John Stuart Mill”, Teaching History, 19, p 42.
  • 1977e Review of Conger, J J “adolescence and Youth: Psychological Development in a Changing World”, Psychology Teaching, 5, 2, p 2.
  • 1978 Review of Ruffle, J “History of the Pharoahs” and also Whitehouse, R “The First Cities”, Teaching History, 22, p 42.
  • 1979a Review of Dent, Harold C “The Training of Teachers in England and Wales, 1975-1800” and Fletcher, L “The Teachers Press in Britain” in 1837-1901, Journal of the Loughborough University Victorian Studies Group, 4, 108.
  • 1979b Review of Holland, R “Self and Social Context”, Educational Studies, 5, 3, pp 277-278.
  • 1979c Review of Waterston, N and Snow, L “The development of Communication”, Psychology Teaching, 6, 2, p 213.
  • 1979d Composite reviews of history books for schools, Teaching History, 23, p 27 and p 30.
  • 1980a Composite review of history schools textbooks, Teaching History, 26, p 39.
  • 1980b Review of Burns, R B “The Self Concept”, Educational Studies, 6, 2, p 179.
  • 1982a Review of Leach, K “Sixteenth Century Europe: Documents and Debates”, Teaching History, 32, p 43.
  • 1982b Review of Fontana, D “Psychology for the Teacher”, Child, D “Psychology and the Teacher”, Educational Studies, 8, 1, pp 81-82.
  • 1982c Review of Burns, R B “Self Concept Development and Education”, Educational Studies, 8, 3, p 239.
  • 1983 Review of Gammage, P “Children and Schooling”, Educational Studies, 9, 1, p 65.
  • 1990 Review of Wisniewski, R and Ducharme, E R “The Professors of Teaching”, Higher Education, 20, pp 123-124.
  • 1994 Review of Williams, J Gwynne “The University Movement in Wales”, Welsh Journal of Education, 4, 2, 45.
  • 1995a Review of Wooldridge, A “Measuring the Mind: Education and Psychology I England 1860-1990”, British Journal of Educational Studies, 43, 3, pp 351-353.
  • 1995b Review of Jones, R A “The Child-School Interface: Environment and Behaviour”, British Journal of Educational Studies, 43, 4, pp 486-4.
  • 1997 Review of Jones, G E “The Education of a Nation”, Welsh Journal of Education, 6, 2, pp 116-118.
  • 1998a Review of Gorard, S “School Choice in an Established Market”, Welsh Journal of Education, 7, 1, pp 110-112.
  • 1998b Review of Morgan, P “The University of Wales 1939-1993” and Williams, J Gwynne “The University of Wales 1893-1939”, Welsh Journal of Education, 7, 2, pp 111-113.
  • 1999a Review of Delamont, S, Atkinson, P and Parry, O “Supervising the PhD: a guide to success”, Education Today, 49, 2, pp 44-45.
  • 1999b Review of Simon, B “A Life in Education”, Welsh Journal of Education, 8, 1, pp 107-109.
  • 2001a Review of Daugherty, R, Phillips, R and Rees, G “Education Policy Making in Wales: Explorations in Devolved Governance”, School Leadership and Management, 21, 4, 486-487.
  • 2001b Review of Smith, R “Schools, Politics and Society: Elementary Education in Wales 1870-1902”, Welsh Journal of Education, 10, 2, pp 111-112.
  • 2004 Review of Jones, G E and Roderick, G W “A History of Education in Wales”, Welsh Journal of Education, 12, 2, pp 113-115.
  • 2005 Review of Creese, A and Martin, P “Multilingual Classroom Ecologies: interrelationships, interactions and ideologies”, Journal of Research in International Education, 4, 2, pp 233-235.
  • 2007 Review of Hayden, M, Levy, J and Thompson, J “The Sage Handbook of Research n International Education”, Journal of Research in International Education, 6, 3, pp 377-380.
  • 2008 Review of Evans, W. Gareth, Smith, Robert and Jones, Gareth Elwyn “Examining in the Secondary Schools of Wales 1896-2000”, Welsh Journal of Education, 13, 1m p 110-111.
  • 2009 Review of J Wesley Null and Diane Ravish “ Forgotten Heroes of American Education: the Great Tradition of Teaching Teachers”, History of Education, 38, pp 710-712.
  • 2010 Review of Wendy Robinson “Pupil teachers and their professional training in pupil-teacher centres in England and Wales 1870-1914”, History of Education, 39, 1, pp 139-140.
  • 2010 Reviews of Pam Hirsch and Mark McBeth “Teacher Training at Cambridge: the initiatives of Oscar Browning and Elizabeth Hughes” and Peter Cunningham and Philip Gardner “Becoming Teachers: texts and testimonies 1907-1950”, History of Education, 39, 3, pp 423-427.

Staff Thesis

  • 1993 Studies in the History and Organisation of Teacher Education in England and Wales. Unpublished PhD thesis of Loughborough University, 331 pp.
  • 1997 (with D Blease, K Hodgkinson, P R King and P Wild) “Post-Conference Report”, Conference for Headteachers in the New Leicestershire LEA, 3 pp,