Peter Cunningham

Emeritus Fellow
Contact number: 
(+44)1223 47264
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Peter Cunningham is an historian and educationist, with specialist interests in social and cultural history, histories of childhood and pedagogy, educational policy and practice, visual and oral history. He studied history at St John’s College, Cambridge, history of art at the University of East Anglia, and education at Balliol College, Oxford, followed by doctoral research at the University of Leeds.

Research Interests: 

Published books and articles on the social and cultural history of education with particular interests in school curricula and pedagogies, teachers and their professional identities, higher education and educational policy development. He has researched and written on educational innovators and progressives, and is a contributor to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. He has been active nationally and internationally in organisations for the study of educational history, convening conferences and on the editorial boards of learned journals.

Teaching And Professional Interests: 

Teaching in primary schools in Oxfordshire and Leicestershire, in the Faculty of Education as Senior Lecturer 2001-2008, and subsequently a member of the Faculty’s team for teacher professional development in Kazakhstan.


Recent publications include:

Picturing progressive texts: images of 'democratic schooling' in the work of John and Evelyn Dewey and contemporaries. History of Education (2018) 
Space and Time in the Creative Curriculum: Drama and education in two island nations in the early twentieth century. Espacio, Tiempo y Educación 5(2) (2018) 
Dewey In Our Time, co-edited with Ruth Heilbronn (2016) 
Professional identities and the watershed of war: teachers, histories and memories. Historia y Memoria de la Educación (2014)  The
Decorated School: Essays on the Visual Culture of Schooling (2013)