Dr Jim Hordern

Dr Jim Hordern

Senior Research Fellow

Plymouth Institute of Education - School of Society and Culture (Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business)



Senior Research Fellow (part time). Research interests in educational knowledge and practice and curriculum studies. I am currently involved in projects on teacher education, educational expertise, and the development of degree apprenticeships in England. 

Roles on external bodies

Ofsted Research Reference Group for Further Education and Skills (2018-)Editorial Management Committee, Journal of Vocational Education and Training
Editorial Board, Journal of Education and Work
Editorial Board, International Journal of Training and Development
Editorial Board, The Curriculum Journal


Research interests

Educational knowledge and practice, particularly in professional, vocational and teacher educationCurriculum Studies


Hordern, J. (2023) Educational Studies and Educational Practice: A Necessary Engagement, British Journal of Educational Studies, DOI: 10.1080/00071005.2023.2213310

Hordern, J. & C. Brooks (2023) The core content framework and the ‘new science’ of educational research, Oxford Review of Education, DOI: 10.1080/03054985.2023.2182768

Hordern, J. Shalem, Y. Esmond, B. & D. Bishop (2022) Editorial for JVET special issue on knowledge and expertise, Journal of Vocational Education & Training, 74:1, 1-11, http://doi.org/10.1080/13636820.2022.2028365

Fraser, R., & Hordern, J. (2021). How to manage feelings and emotions in a pandemic? the importance of affective containment. Management in Education. https://doi.org/10.1177/08920206211044158

Hordern, J. (2021). Are apprenticeship standards in England supporting expert vocational practice? In The next steps for apprenticeship(pp. 144-151). CEDEFOP. https://www.cedefop.europa.eu/en/publications-and-resources/publications/3087

Hordern, J. (2021). Powerful knowledge and knowledgeable practice. Journal of Curriculum Studies. https://doi.org/10.1080/00220272.2021.1933193

Hordern, J. (2021). Recontextualisation and the teaching of subjects. Curriculum Journal. https://doi.org/10.1002/curj.110

Hordern, J., Muller, J., & Deng, Z. (2021). Towards powerful educational knowledge? Addressing the challenges facing educational foundations, curriculum theory and Didaktik. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 53(2), 143-152. https://doi.org/10.1080/00220272.2021.1891575

Barrett, B., & Hordern, J. (2021). Rethinking the foundations: towards powerful professional knowledge in teacher education in the USA and England. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 53(2), 153-165. https://doi.org/10.1080/00220272.2021.1887359

Hordern, J. (2021). Specialized, systematic and powerful knowledge. London Review of Education, 19(1), [6]. https://doi.org/10.14324/LRE.19.1.06

Hordern, J. 2020. Why close to practice is not enough: neglecting practice in educational research. British Educational Research Journal. https://doi.org/10.1002/berj.3622

Young, M.F.D and Hordern, J. 2020. Does the vocational curriculum have a future? Journal of Vocational Education and Training. https://doi.org/10.1080/13636820.2020.1833078(part of Special Issue on Knowledge and Expertise in Vocational Education and Training, edited by Jim Hordern, Yael Shalem, Bill Esmond and Daniel Bishop).

Morgan, J., Hordern, J. and U.Hoadley. 2019. On the politics and ambition of ‘the turn’: unpacking the relations between Future 1 and Future 3. The Curriculum Journal30 (2), DOI: 10.1080/09585176.2019.1575254

Hordern, J. 2019. Exercise and intervention: on the sociology of powerful knowledge. London Review of Education17 (1), 26-37.

Hordern, J. 2019. Knowledge, evidence and the configuration of educational practice. Education Sciences9 (2), https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci9020070 (special issue on Evidence-informed Practice, editors Tim Cain and Bronwen Maxwell).

Hordern, J. 2019. Higher expertise, pedagogic rights, and the post-truth society. Teaching in Higher Education24 (3), 288-301. (special issue on Experts, Knowledge and Criticality in an age of alternative facts, editors Neil Harrison and Kathy Luckett).

Hordern, J and Tatto, M.T. 2018. Conceptions of teaching and educational knowledge requirements. Oxford Review of Education, 44 (6), 686-701.

Whiting, C, Whitty, G, Menter, I, Black, P, Hordern, J, Parfitt, A, Reynolds, K and Sorensen, N. 2018. Diversity and complexity: becoming a teacher in England in 2015-16. Review of Education, 6 (1). pp. 69-96.

Hordern, J. 2018. Is powerful educational knowledge possible? Cambridge Journal of Education.48 (6), 787-802.

Hordern, J. 2018. Educational knowledge: traditions of inquiry, specialisation and practice. Pedagogy, Culture & Society, 26 (4), 577-591.

Hordern, J. 2018. A ‘region’ under siege? Singularisation, regionalisation and genericism in Early Childhood Studies in England. International Journal of Early Years Education. doi.org/10.1080/09669760.2018.1458601

Hordern, J. 2017. Technical degrees and higher vocational education. Research in Post-Compulsory Education, 22 (1), 87-106.

Hordern, J. 2017. Grammaticality and educational research. British Journal of Educational Studies. 65 (2), 201-217.

Hordern, J. 2016. Differentiating knowledge, differentiating (occupational) practice. Journal of Vocational Education and Training 68 (4), 453-469.

Hordern, J. 2016. On the making and faking of knowledge value in higher education curricula. Teaching in Higher Education 21 (4), 367-380. (special issue on Curriculum as Contestation, editors Suellen Shay and Tai Peseta).

Hordern, J. 2016. Knowledge, practice and the shaping of early childhood professionalism. European Early Childhood Education Research Journal 24 (4), 508-520.

Hordern, J. 2016. Regions and their relations: sustaining authoritative professional knowledge. Journal of Education and Work 29 (4), 427-449.

Hordern, J. 2015. Teaching, teacher formation, and specialised professional practice. European Journal of Teacher Education38 (4), 431-444.

Hordern, J. 2015. Higher apprenticeships in England: professional and vocational formation. International Journal of Training Research13 (3), 174-193.

Hordern, J. 2015. Higher apprenticeships and the shaping of vocational knowledge. Research in Post-Compulsory Education20 (1). pp. 17-34.

Hordern, J. 2015. An unfinished experiment: ambiguity and conflict in the implementation of higher skills policy. Research Papers in Education 30 (2), 248-265.

Hordern, J. 2014. The Logic and Implications of School-based Teacher Formation. British Journal of Educational Studies62 (3), 231-248.

Hordern, J. 2014. Management studies educational knowledge:technical, elite or political? Teaching in Higher Education 19 (4), 385-396.

Hordern, J. 2014. How is vocational knowledge recontextualised? Journal of Vocational Education and Training66 (1), 22-38.

Hordern, J..2014. Workforce Development, higher education and productive systems. Journal of Education and Work, 27 (4), 409-431.

Hordern, J. 2013. Undergraduates and research: connectivity in the university. Educational Studies39 (5), 535-547.

Hordern, J. 2013. Evaluation and implementation: two regeneration programmes. International Journal of Public Sector Management, 26 (4), 298-308.

Hordern, J. 2013. Skills governance and the workforce development programme. Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, 35 (1), 54-65.

Hordern, J. 2013. A productive system of early years professional development. Early Years 33 (2), 106-118.

Hordern, J. 2012. The student as producer within a productive system’, Enhancing Learning in the Social Sciences, 4 (3).

Hordern, J. 2012. Institutional strategies in response to higher skills policy in England’, Higher Education Management and Policy, 24 (1), 125-143.

Hordern, J. 2012. Policy-driven professionalism in the education workforce: England 2004-2010. The New Educational Review, 27, 110-118.

Hordern, J. 2012. Embedding management knowledge: repertoires and reservoirs. Industrial and Commercial Training, 44 (2), 109-115.

Hordern, J. 2011. Issues arising from a study of workforce development in higher education. Educate~, 11 (1), 44-47.

Hordern, J. (2024) Rethinking Knowledgeable Practice in Education. Abingdon: Routledge
Hordern, J. (2022). Specialized Educational Knowledge and Its Role in Teacher Education. In: Menter, I. (ed.) The Palgrave Handbook of Teacher Education Research. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-59533-3_14-1 Specialized Educational Knowledge and Its Role in Teacher Education | SpringerLink



Reports & invited lectures

"Apprenticeships and the shaping of vocational knowledge", University of Huddersfield (2015)
"Degree apprenticeships: higher vocational or vocational higher education?", Society for Research into Higher Education Post Compulsory Network event (2018)
Visiting Researcher at the German Research Centre for Comparative Vocational Education, University of Cologne (2017)
"Recontextualisation and subjects", Knowledge and Quality across School Subjects and Teacher Education Network (2020)
"Recontextualisation and subject specialist teaching", Karlstad University, Sweden (2020)
"Two views of workplace learning", Edge Foundation (2021)
"Why close to practice is not enough", University of Hertfordshire (2022)
"Why close to practice is not enough: neglecting practice in educational research, University West, Sweden (2022).
"Education as an idea and a discipline", 3rd Annual Nordic Educational Conversation (2022) The 3rd Annual Nordic Educational Conversation – NFPF/NERA, the main association for educational researchers in the Nordic countries.