Dr Jonathan Doney
Director of PGR / Senior Lecturer in Education
Baring Court BC111
Baring Court, University of Exeter St Luke's Campus, Heavitree Road, Exeter, EX1 2LU, UK
I read Theology and Religious Studies at Bristol University and completed both my Masters (educational research) and PhD in Education (funded by a 1+3 ESRC Studentship) at the University of Exeter. My main research interest is in education policy, methodological and analytical innovation, and I am currently Lecturer in education at the Graduate School of Education, having recently completed a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship in the area of education policy development.
My recent Fellowship project (English Religious Education: A story of indoctrination, Instrumentalization and Ideology) focused on contemporary uses of historical insights, specifically in relation to the policy of compulsory Religious Education in English schools since 1944. My earlier doctoral work investigated the ways in which pedagogical innovation has been undertaken historically. This work is methodologically innovative, setting out an operationalization of methods described in Foucault’s historical work, and has an international purview, considering how the insights from the main study inform histories of RE in other national contexts. The work is being internationally recognised, and I have delivered invited lectures on the methodology in Spain and Norway.
I have previously made methodological and analytical contributions to a number of projects,including acting as: Research Fellow on the Novel training through virtual reality research project funded by National Aerospace Technology Programme (NATEP); Research Fellow on the Face to Faith educational programme research project funded by the Tony Blair Foundation; Research Fellow on the Group thinking measures and collaborative learning in mathematics in the UK and Japan (funded by the British Academy); and as a Consultant to the East Devon Character Building Project, funded by DFE.
Formerly, I was involved in a number of historical projects including The Hidden History of Curriculum Change in Religious Education in English Schools, 1969-1979, an investigation into the history of the Girls’ Day School Trust, and Exe Libris: on-line Bibliography. I have also been involved in contemporary research projects including RE-Flect, The Art of Narrative Theology and RE-Searchers.
BA(Hons) (Bristol), PGCE (Exeter), PGDip (Exeter), MSc (Exeter), PhD (Exeter), FHEA, PCAP
Research group links
Until recently, I was a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at the Graduate School of Education. My main research interest is in methodological and analytical innovation, and I am currently working in the area of education policy development, consolidating work on the method of policy interrogation (Statement Archaeology) that I developed during his doctoral and post-doctoral research.
I have an eclectic research background, having spent a decade working for the Civil Service as a researcher in agriculture, specializing in the interface between farming and wildlife management, the environmental emissions from cow slurry, and deer census techniques. I then worked for eight years in theology and philosophy, focusing on ecumenical theology and relationships between different church groupings. Since 2009, I have been working in Educational research, contributing to a wide diversity of projects, both historical and contemporary.
At Exeter, I have contributed as: Research Fellow on the Novel training through virtual reality research project funded by National Aerospace Technology Programme (NATEP); Research Fellow on the Face to Faith educational programme research project funded by the Tony Blair Foundation; Research Fellow on the Group thinking measures and collaborative learning in mathematics in the UK and Japan (funded by the British Academy); and as a Consultant to the East Devon Character Building Project, funded by DFE.
Formerly, I have been involved in a number of historical projects including The Hidden History of Curriculum Change in Religious Education in English Schools, 1969-1979, an investigation into the history of the Girls’ Day School Trust, and Exe Libris: on-line Bibliography. I have also been involved in contemporary research projects including RE-Flect, The Art of Narrative Theology and RE-Searchers.
I am particularly interested in hearing from prospective PhD researchers in the fields of History of Education, development of Education Policy, Policy Governance, and religious education.
Jonathan's current recent project:
My Fellowship project (English Religious Education: A story of indoctrination, Instrumentalization and Ideology) focused on contemporary uses of historical insights, specifically in relation to the policy of compulsory Religious Education in English schools since 1944. My doctoral work investigated the ways in which pedagogical innovation has been undertaken historically. The project is methodologically innovative, setting out an operationalization of methods described in Foucault’s historical work, and has an international purview, considering how the insights from the main study inform histories of RE in other national contexts. The work is being internationally recognised, and he has delivered invited lectures on the methodology in Spain and Norway.
Currently, I am extending the use of Statement Archaeology to other areas of Education Policy and practice.
Publications by category
Publications by year
jonathan_doney Details from cache as at 2022-12-06 15:30:09
External Engagement and Impact
Member of the RE Research Group at NTNU, Norway
Member the International Seminar on Religions, Education and Values (ISREV) and the Nordic RE Network
Member of International Standing Conference on History of Education (ISCHE)
- Honorary Research Associate with the International Centre for Historical Research in Education (ICHRE) at IOE/UCL
- Awarded funding to attend conferences and summer schools during doctoral study, including three Postgraduate Bursaries and a Brian Simon Bursary from The History of Education Society (totalling approx. £3.5k)
- Awarded a Santander Postgraduate scholarship (2015) to further develop international RE networks with Nordic contacts (£1k)
Advice to Government, Parliament, devolved and English regional administrations, other national, international, regional or local agencies; advice to non-government organisations and to private practice
- Invited participant in Round Table discussions discussions the Royal Society, British Academy and DFE, with others, on the development of an ‘Office for Educational Research’.
- Historical Consultant to Foundation for Education Development (FED)
Competitively funded studentships and postdoctoral fellowships
- ESRC Studentship (1+3 years, 2011-2015) Approximate value £54k plus tuition fees
- British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship Scheme (2016-19), £240k over 3 years
Conferences and invited presentations
Doney, J. (2019) Unearthing Ecumenical Influences on Education Policy using Statement Archaeology. Invited contribution to symposium on ‘A comparative exploration of the role of religious history in forming educational systems of Europe and beyond: possible implications for RE today’, held at NTNU, Trondheim, June 2019.
Doney, J. (2019), Religious Education Policy in Norway and England – a comparison using Statement Archaeology. Invited lecture at International Collaboration on Religious Education policy between University of Exeter and NLA University College, Bergen, held in Exeter, June 2019.
Doney, J. (2019), The Commission on Religious Education Final Report – a Statement Archaeology. Invited lecture at International Collaboration on Initial Teacher Education in Religious Education between University of Exeter, University of Eastern Finland, and University of Helsinki, held in Exeter, May 2019.
Doney, J. (2018), International Transfer of Valid Knowledge in Religious Education: The Case of England and Norway. Invited lecture at Consultation on International Knowledge Transfer, Comenius Institute and Tübingen University, held in Berlin, October 2018.
Doney, J. (2018), Religious Education and the Education Reform Act 1988. Invited lecture at Roehampton University for BERA event ‘The Significance and Enduring Legacies of the 1988 Education Reform Act.
Doney, J. (2018) Interrogating policy processes in education: opening up ways of thinking about what, why and how. A practical exploration. Invited workshop session for EERA Histories of Education Doctoral Summer School, University of Latvia, Riga.
Doney, J. (2017), ‘Religious Education in British Schools’, invited lecture at De Paul University, Chicago, US.
Doney, J. (2015) ‘The development of multi-faith RE in England: Insights for Norwegian histories of RE’, invited presentation at Sør-Trøndelag University College, Trondheim, Norway.
Doney, J. (2015) ‘Asking different questions: Post-structural Methods for Histories of Curriculum Development’, invited presentation at International Centre for Historical Research in Education (ICHRE), lunchtime seminar series, March 2015.
Doney, J. (2015) ‘Beyond inter-national comparisons: Can prioritising supranational ideas over nation-state boundaries tell us more? The case of Religious Education’, invited presentation at International Symposium on ‘Teacher Professionalization and the Professional Quality of Religious Education’, held at The University of Exeter, March 2015.
Doney, J (2014) ‘Del odio al amor de la socialización religiosa al estudio de las religiones de mundo: el cambio de naturaleza de la educación religiosa en un país democrático durante los años 60 y 70’ [From ‘hatred’ to ‘love’, from Religious socialization to the study of world faiths: The changing nature of Religious Education in a democratic country during the 1960s and 1970s]. Invited lecture at Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (UNED), Madrid, November 2014.
Freathy, R. and Doney, J. (2013) 'The Hidden History of Religious Education: Methodological issues’, invited presentation as part of the 'Spotlight on Social Science Research’. University of Exeter CSSIS Research Methods Festival, May 2013.
Doney J. (2012) 'Fostering Metacognition in Religious Education', invited keynote speaker at Westhill Trust Seminars, 2011 Series: ‘The Primary RE Curriculum: Current directions’. Bristol. March 2012.
Doney, J. (2017) ‘State Mandated Plural Religious Education in the UK. Using Statement Archaeology to expose how changes in practice became possible’. History of Education Society (US) Conference, Little Rock, Arkansas, US, November 2017.
Doney, J. (2017) ‘Digging Deeper into the History of Religious Education using Statement Archaeology’. History of Education Society Conference, Winchester, November 2017.
Doney, J. (2017) ‘‘Leaders, Letters and Legislation’: The role of the print media in establishing support for the introduction of compulsory religious education in the 1940s’. International Centre for Research in History of Education (ICHRE), UCL, London, June 2017.
Doney, J. (2016) ‘‘Dear Dr Hertz’ Correspondence between the President of the Board of Education and the Chief Rabbi regarding the development of the 1944 Education Act’. History of Education Society Conference, Exeter, November 2016.
Doney, J. and Wegerif, R. (2016), ‘Extreme measures? Evaluating an educational programme of international dialogue which aims to develop open-mindedness, particularly across religious divides. International Conference on Values and Education, The University of Winchester, September 2016.
Doney, J., Wegerif, R., and Gianchi, G. (2016) ‘Exploring the Pedagogical Affordances of Immersive Virtual Reality in the context of developing Training for Airline Cabin Crew.’ European Conference on Educational Research (ECER), Dublin, August 2016.
Wegerif, R., Fujita, T., Doney, J., and Richards, A. (2016) ‘Measuring Group Thinking.’ European Conference on Educational Research (ECER), Dublin, August 2016.
Doney, J. (2016) ‘Indoctrination, Instrumentalization, and Ideology: The Story of English Religious Education’. International Centre for Historical Research in Education (ICHRE) Summer Conference, London, July 2016.
Doney, J. (2016) ‘Statement Archaeology: Post-structural theories in historical studies’. University of Exeter, GSE Annual Conference, April 2016.
Doney, J. (2015) ‘Compulsory Religious Education in England: Legalised Indoctrination?’. URL, University of Exeter, December 10th 2015.
Doney, J. (2015) ‘Its. Oh. So. Quiet. The marginalization and de-marginalization of education within Ecumenical discourses during the mid-twentieth century.’ History of Education Society Conference, Liverpool, November 2015.
Doney, J. (2015) ‘Post-structural Methods Meet Histories of Curriculum Development’. University of Exeter, GSE Annual Conference, May 2015.
Doney, J. (2014) ‘Ideas do not need passports. Tracing the transmission of ideas ‘beyond borders’; the case of Religious Education’, History of Education Society Conference, Dublin, November 2014.
Doney, J. (2014) ‘In dialogue with Althusser: Ideological State Apparatus and its intersection with English Religious Education’, International Seminar on Education Religions and Values (ISREV), York, August 2014.
Doney, J. (2014) ‘From Enemy to Ally: Ecumenical reconstruction of the 'religious other' and the adoption of world religions teaching in English Schools during the 1960s and 1970s’, International Standing Committee on the History of Education (ISCHE), London, July 2014
Doney, J. (2014) ‘Problematizing existing narratives of English Religious Education. Is it really about the transformation from confessionalism to post-confessionalism? Is ‘Ideology’ a more useful framework?’, University of Exeter, GSE Annual Conference, May 2014.
Doney, J. (2013). 'Its. Oh. So. Quiet.': The Marginalisation and De-marginalisation of Education within the Ecumenical Discourse During the Mid-Twentieth Century. ESRC SWDTC Student Conference: Knowledge Beyond Borders, November 2013.
Allan, A. and Doney, J. (2013) ‘Travel scholarship schemes and the development of global citizenship in high achieving girls.’ History of Education Society Conference, Exeter, 22nd to 24th November 2013.
Doney, J. and Freathy, R. (2013) ‘Testimonies, teaching and testaments’; using Oral History interviews to enrich the historiography of English Religious Education.’ History of Education Society Conference, Exeter November 2013
Doney, J. (2013) 'Transcending National Boundaries: Ecumenical developments and changes in Religious Education during the 1960s and 1970s.' Nordic RE Conference, Reykjavik, Iceland, June 2013.
Doney, J. (2013) ‘Local Manifestations of Supranational ideas: Ecumenical Developments and Schools Council Working Paper 36’, University of Exeter SSIS Annual Student Conference, May 2013.
Doney, J. (2012) 'The 'Birth' of 'Post-confessional', multi-faith RE in English Schools: A Foucaultian analysis of educational and ecumenical discourses’, History of Education Annual Conference, Winchester, Dec 2012.
Doney, J. (2012) ‘The overlooked ecumenical background to the development of English RE’, International Seminar on Education Religions and Values (ISREV), Turku, Finland, Aug 2012.
Parker, S., Freathy, R., and Doney, J. (2102) ‘The Christian Education Movement, c.1965 to 1980’, International Seminar on Education Religions and Values (ISREV), Turku, Finland, Aug 2012.
Doney, J. (2012) ‘Exploring the overlooked ecumenical background to the development of English RE - methodological issues and International perspectives’, European Education Research Association (EERA) Summer School, Lisbon University, Portugal, June 2012.
Doney, J. (2012) 'Through Dialogue and Collaboration; a critique of the existing historiography of English Religious Education', Festival of Research, Exeter University, May 2012.
International recognition, such as international research collaborations, visiting research posts in overseas institutions, involvement at senior levels in international research associations, acting as referee for national and international research councils.
- Involved in international project on transfer of valid knowledge in religious education based at the Comenius Institute and Tübingen University, Germany.
- Involved in international project on international policy development in religious education at the University of Stockholm.
Journal and book series Editorships and Editorial board membership
Previously co-Editor History of Education Researcher
Editor of Sources and Interpretations for History of Education
Vice-President and Trustee of History of Education Society
Member of Publications Committee, British Educational Research Association (BERA)
I have taught on a variety of educational research related courses at level 7 and 8 (including statistics for educational research for MSc and EdD programmes) at Exeter. Earlier, I acted as an Associate Course Tutor on the RE PGCE programme at Exeter. This included teaching focused on RE content, inclusion, meeting special educational needs (inc EAL) and educational theory. As well as teaching, I undertook personal tutor responsibilities and acted as University Visiting Tutor. I also delivered lectures on RE in primary school for the Primary PGCE (Humanities strand).
Further, I have provided private tutoring in statistical methods, including SPSS and R, for a variety of undergraduate and postgraduate students at Universities of Exeter and Plymouth. In addition, he has led workshops on ‘Getting Published’ at conferences in Exeter, Nottingham, Liverpool and Winchester, and on the use of R in educational research.
Until 2020, Jonathan taught at level 4 and 5 at the University of Winchester, contributing to modules on the philosophy and sociology of education, and leading a module of the history of education policy, all of which contribute to their Undergraduate Educational Studies programme. Feedback from students is consistently excellent.
- EFPM007Z1 - Education Leadership
- EFPM007Z3 - Education Leadership
- EFPM007Z5 - Education Leadership
- EFPM900 - The Contemporary Academic in Context
- EFPM914 - Education Studies
Supervision / Group
- Hannah Dunkley Impact of lowest set maths setting on student's wider academic self-belief.
- Nancy Katingima Day
- Warren Speed