Professor Emeritus Lifelong Learning Room B29, Pathfoot
School of Education
University of Stirling
+ 44 (0) 1786 466145 + 44 (0) 1786 466131 (School of Education fax)


Picture of John Field

I worked in the School until 2014, and am now an Emeritus Professor, taking an active role in the School's research and graduate supervision, as well as taking a small amount of teaching. In addition, I serve as an Honorary Professor at the University of Warwick, and chair Scotland's Learning Partnership.

My most recent books are Working Men's Bodies: work camps in Britain, 1880-1939 (Manchester University Press, 2013), and the Sage Handbook on Aging, Work & Society (Sage, 2013).


BBC News Items

Work camps that tackled Depression

How 1930s work camps operated (online video)


Downloadable Papers


Journal articles since 2001

Complete list of publications Aug 2001 - July 2006

Recent Book Chapters

Research Interests

My research interests encompass the social and economic contexts of adult learning, policy in lifelong learning, and the history of adult education and training. Together with Professor Gert Biesta, I co-directed the Learning Lives project (, which is now being written up for publication. The project examines the meaning and significance of formal and informal learning in the lives of adults, and was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council as part of its Teaching and Learning Research Programme. Theoretically, it is concerned with the interplay of learning with structure, agency, identity and change over the life course.

I am also involved in a transnational study of Access and Retention: Experiences of non-traditional learners in higher education ( Our research looks at how non-traditional students in higher education experience the processes of learning, how they perceive themselves as learners and how their identity as learners develops. It involves case studies in seven European countries, and is funded by the European Commission.

Doctoral Supervisory Interests

This member of staff is interested in supervising doctoral students in the following subject areas:

Research Supervision

Research Student | Thesis Title
Evgueni Chepelin | Learning cultures in work-based learning: mediation and dialogic construction of identity
Janita Itaniemi | Young return migrant and English language maintenance: an exploratory study on English language maintenance of children and young people who have recently reimigrated with their guardians from the UK to the Czech republic
Anne Lawrie | An exploration of perceptions of verbal and non-verbal communication strategies on intercultural interaction and how they impact on Learning and Teaching in Higher Education
Blair Matthews | TBC
Elizabeth Noonan | Reconceptualising teaching in a Research Intensive University
Rokyha Salah | A framework for implementing Quality Assurance in the Higher Education sector in Libyan institutions
Maria Tsakiri | "What are you looking at?" - representations of disability in independent documentary films
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