Prof Barry Cooper
|Emeritus Professor in the School of Education||+44 (0) 191 33 48333|
In October 1998 Barry Cooper moved from the University of Sussex, where he was a Reader in Education, to Durham where he was appointed to a Chair and as Director of Research (1998-2005). Prof. Cooper was co-editor of the British Educational Research Journal (2004-2007, lead editor in 2006). He has also been an adviser to the Commonwealth Scholarships Commission. He taught post-graduate research methods courses for many years at Durham where he is now an Emeritus Professor (though living in Germany). Most recently at Durham he was employed as co-investigator on an ESRC funded project (described below).
He is a social scientist who originally studied maths and science. After undergraduate study in Cambridge, he undertook a PGCE, taught secondary school maths, and then studied at Sussex, with Colin Lacey, for an MA in Sociological Studies and a D.Phil. in the sociology of education. His thesis was published in 1985 as Renegotiating Secondary School Mathematics. This was one of the first attempts to apply sociological perspectives systematically in the study of the maths curriculum.
His research interests have reflected this crossing of disciplinary boundaries. After the 1985 book, he undertook further work in applying sociological perspectives to areas of maths education. For example, he directed two ESRC project in this area focusing on assessment: Understanding Children’s Mathematical Behaviour: Class, Gender & Context (1998/99) and Mathematics Assessment at Key Stages 2 & 3: Pupils’ Interpretation & Performance (1995-97). In these projects, working with Máiréad Dunne, he explored ways in which the ideas of Basil Bernstein and Pierre Bourdieu can be put to use in accounting for socio-cultural differences in children's responses to supposedly realistic maths problems. A prize-winning book on this work, Assessing Children's Mathematical Knowledge: Social Class, Sex and Problem-Solving, was published by the Open University Press in 2000. Between 1989 and 1995 Prof. Cooper was also heavily involved in the evaluation of the state-wide Andhra Pradesh Primary Education Project in India, working with Colin Lacey and Harry Torrance in the UK, and many colleagues in India.
After coming to Durham, Prof. Cooper continued his research in maths education, working with his colleague Tony Harries. He also worked as an evaluation consultant in several developing countries. More recently he has been exploring the use of Charles Ragin’s fs/QCA software (and its associated case-based analytic approach), working with data from the National Child Development Study and other studies. An initial paper using fs/QCA to analyse educational achievement by social class, gender and measured ability was published in Sociological Research Online in 2005. Subsequently he worked with Judith Glaesser (and also his Durham colleagues Richard Gott and Ros Roberts) to explore further the potential of this approach in social and educational research contexts, publishing several papers and a related book on the quantitative/qualitative "divide", with Judith Glaesser, Martyn Hammersley and Roger Gomm. This book,
Challenging the Qualitative-Quantitative Divide: Explorations in Case-focused Causal Analysis, was selected by the Society for Educational Studies as one of the three best books ("highly commended") of the year 2012. During this period, he collaborated with Judith Glaesser, as her research mentor, while she worked as an ESRC Research Fellow, using QCA in a study of educational transitions in Germany and England.
From January 2013, he worked as Co-Investigator on a three-year ESRC project, Qualitative Comparative Analysis: Addressing Methodological Challenges, with particular reference to survey data, led by Judith Glaesser as Principal Investigator. Steph Thomson, Cooper’s ex-PhD student, also worked as an assistant on the first year of this project. An illustrative paper from this work is the 2011 paper with Judith Glaesser, Paradoxes and pitfalls in using fuzzy set QCA: illustrations from a critical review of a study of educational inequality (nominated in 2012 by the SRO editors for the Sage prize for Excellence and Innovation).
Prof. Cooper is continuing to explore some aspects of QCA and more general questions concerning the use of maths in social science.
The selected publications below represent his range of work.
Completed Supervisions (since 2008)
A Configurational Analysis of Parental Involvement in Primary School Mathematics
- mathematics education
- national assessment in mathematics
- evaluation of educational aid projects overseas
- Set theoretic methods in the social sciences
- sociology of education
- Qualitative Comparative Analysis: Addressing Methodological Challenges, with particular reference to survey data
- 2014: Research seminar and informal workshops: As leading experts in QCA applied to survey data, Glaesser and Cooper have been invited to give a research seminar and to hold informal workshops at Zurich University in March 2014
- 2013: Book prize: Awarded a Highly Commended prize by Society for Educational Studies for book:
Cooper, B., Glaesser, J., Gomm, R. and Hammersley, M. (2012) Challenging the Qualitative-Quantitative Divide. Continuum
- 2010: Board of Examiners: Member of ESRC Board of Examiners re studentships.
- 2004: Member of organising team: Member of the organising team for Theme B: Mathematics education in society and culture, for the quadrennial International Congress of Mathematics Education held in Copenhagen, 4-11 July 2004.
- 0000: Co-Editor, British Educational Research Journal: 2004-2007, lead editor in 2006
- 0000: DFID-funded educational development projects: Continuing invitations to work on DFID-funded educational development projects as an evaluation consultant. Taken up most recently for British Council managed DFID projects in Egypt and Nigeria.
- 0000: Member of Panel of Advisers: Member of Panel of Advisers, Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (from 2002 - 2010)
- 0000: Prize awarded: Prize awarded (Nov 2001) by Society for Educational Studies (then named Standing Conference on Studies in Education) for an outstanding contribution to the field, for my (2000) book (with Dunne as second author) Assessing Children's Mathematical Knowledge.
- Cooper, B., Glaesser, J., Hammersley, M. & Gomm, R. (2012). Challenging the Qualitative-Quantitative Divide Explorations in Case-focused Causal Analysis. Continuum.
- B. Cooper & M. Dunne (2000). Assessing Children's Mathematical Knowledge: Social Class, Sex and Problem-Solving. Open University Press.
- B. Cooper, C. Lacey & H. Torrance (1998). The Evaluation of Large Scale Education Development Projects: a Handbook for Evaluators based on the Evaluation of the Andhra Pradesh Primary Education Project. University of Sussex Institute of Education Research Report 6: University of Sussex.
- B. Cooper (1985). Renegotiating Secondary School Mathematics: A Study of Curriculum Change and Stability. Falmer Press.
- B. Cooper (2001). Quantitative methods in educational research: the role of numbers made easy (book review). The Welsh Journal of Education 11(2): 118-120.
Chapter in book
- Cooper, B. (2012). Set theoretic versus correlational methods: the case of ability and educational achievement. In Challenging the Qualitative-Quantitative Divide: Explorations in Case-focused Causal Analysis. Cooper, B., Glaesser, J., Gomm, R. & Hammersley, M. Continuum. 170-206.
- Cooper, B. & Harries, A.V. (2009). Realistic contexts, mathematics assessment and social class: lessons for assessment policy from an English research programme. In Words and worlds: modelling verbal descriptions of situations. Verschaffel, L. Greer, B., Dooren, W.V. & Mukhopadhyay, S. Sense Publications. 93-110.
- Cooper, B. (2009). Authentic testing in mathematics? The boundary between everyday and mathematical knowledge in National Curriculum testing in English schools. In Mathematics education. Bishop, A.J. New York: Routledge. 1 (Mathematics, mathematics education, and the curriculum).
- Cooper, B. & Glaesser, J. (2009). Educational Expansion and Meritocracy in Britain: a Boolean Analysis. In Expected and unexpected consequences of educational expansion in Europe and the US. Theoretical approaches and empirical findings in comparative perspective. Becker, R. & Hadjar, A. Bern: Haupt. 167-177.
- Cooper, B. (2004). Dilemmas in designing problems in 'realistic' school mathematics: a sociological overview and some research findings. In Culture and Learning: Access and Opportunity in the Classroom. Olssen, M. Charlotte, NC.: Information Age Publishing. 183-202.
- Cooper, B. & Dunne, M. (2003). Constructing the ‘legitimate’ goal of a ‘realistic’ mathematics item: comparison of 10-11 and 13-14 year-olds (reprint). In Mathematics Education Exploring the Culture of Learning. Allen, B. & Johnston-Wilder, S. Routledge Falmer. 69-90.
- B. Cooper (2001). Social class and ‘real-life’ maths assessments. In Issues in Mathematics Teaching. Gates, P London, Routledge Falmer. 245-258.
- B. Cooper (2001). Culture, Class and 'Realistic' Mathematics Tests. In Teaching Mathematics in Secondary Schools: A Reader. L. Haggarty Routledge Falmer. 192-208.
- Cooper, B. & Dunne, M. (2000). Constructing the ‘legitimate’ goal of a ‘realistic’ mathematics item: comparison of 10-11 and 13-14 year-olds. In Assessment: Social Practice and Social Product. Filer, A. London: Routledge Falmer. 87-109.
- B. Cooper, C. Lacey & H. Torrance (1997). The role of evaluation in large-scale educational interventions: lessons from the Andhra Pradesh Primary Educational Project. In Education and Development: Tradition and Innovation, Volume 1: Concepts, Approaches & Assumptions. Lynch et al Cassell. 225-238.
- B. Cooper (1996). Secondary mathematics education in England: recent changes and their historical context. In Teaching Mathematics. M. Selinger Routledge. 5-26.
- Cooper, B. & Glaesser, J. (2008), Exploring configurational causation in large datasets with QCA: possibilities and problems, ESRC Research Methods Festival. Oxford, Oxford.
- B. Cooper & M. Dunne (1998). Social class, gender, equity and National curriculum tests in Mathematics. Mathematics Education and Society: An International Conference, University of Nottingham, 6th-11th September 1998.
- B. Cooper & M. Dunne (1997). Using Bernstein and Bourdieu to understand social class differences in children’s responses to national curriculum mathematics testing. Annual Conference of the British Sociological Association, York, April 1997.
- B. Cooper, M. Dunne & N. Rodgers (1997). Social Class, Gender, Item Type And Performance In National Tests Of Primary School Mathematics: Some Research Evidence From England. Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Chicago, March 1997.
- B. Cooper (1996). Using Data From Clinical Interviews To Explore Students’ Understanding of Mathematics Test Items: Relating Bernstein and Bourdieu on Culture to Questions of Fairness in Testing. Annual Meeting of American Educational Research Association, New York, April 1996.
- Cooper, B. & Glaesser, J. (2016). Analysing necessity and sufficiency with Qualitative Comparative Analysis: how do results vary as case weights change? Quality & Quantity 50(1): 327-346.
- Cooper, B. & Glaesser, J. (2016). Qualitative Comparative Analysis, necessary conditions and limited diversity: some problematic consequences of Schneider and Wagemann’s Enhanced Standard Analysis. Field Methods 28(3): 300-315.
- Cooper, B. & Glaesser, J. (2016). Exploring the robustness of set theoretic findings from a large n fsQCA: An illustration from the sociology of education. International Journal of Social Research Methodology 19(4): 445-459.
- Glaesser, J. & Cooper, B. (2014). Exploring the consequences of a recalibration of causal conditions when assessing sufficiency with fuzzy set QCA. International Journal of Social Research Methodology 17(4): 387-401.
- Glaesser, J. & Cooper, B. (2014). Using Rational Action Theory and Bourdieu's Habitus theory together to account for Educational Decision-making in England and Germany. Sociology 48(3): 463-481.
- Glaesser, J. & Cooper, B. (2012). Gender, parental education and ability: their interacting roles in predicting GCSE success. Cambridge Journal of Education 42(4): 463-480.
- Cooper, B. & Glaesser, J. (2012). Qualitative Work and The Testing and Development of Theory: Lessons from a Study combining Cross-Case and Within-Case Analysis via Ragin's QCA. Forum: Qualitative Social Research 13(2): 4.
- Glaesser, J. & Cooper, B. (2012). Educational achievement in selective and comprehensive local education authorities: a configurational analysis. British Journal of Sociology of Education 33(2): 223-244.
- Cooper, B. & Glaesser, J. (2011). Using case-based approaches to analyse large datasets: a comparison of Ragin's fsQCA and fuzzy cluster analysis. International Journal of Social Research Methodology 14(1): 31-48.
- Glaesser, J. & Cooper, B. (2011). Selectivity and Flexibility in the German Secondary School System: A Configurational Analysis of recent data from the German Socio-Economic Panel. European Sociological Review 27(5): 570-585.
- Cooper, B. & Glaesser, J. (2011). Paradoxes and pitfalls in using fuzzy set QCA: illustrations from a critical review of a study of educational inequality. Sociological Research Online 16(3): 8.
- Cooper, B. & Glaesser, J. (2011). Introduction to the Special Issue: Case-Based Approaches to the Analysis of Quantitative Data. Methodological Innovations Online 6(2 (Special Issue): 1-5.
- Glaesser, J. & Cooper, B. (2011). Selecting cases for in-depth study from a survey dataset: an application of Ragin's configurational methods. Methodological Innovations Online 6(2): 52-70.
- Cooper, B. & Glaesser, J. (2010). Contrasting variable-analytic and case-based approaches to the analysis of survey datasets: exploring how achievement varies by ability across configurations of social class and sex. Methodological Innovations Online 5(1): 4-23.
- Glaesser, J., Gott, R., Roberts, R. & Cooper, B. (2009). Underlying success in open-ended investigations in science: using Qualitative Comparative Analysis to identify necessary and sufficient conditions. Research in Science & Technological Education 27(1): 5-30.
- Glaesser, J., Gott, R., Roberts, R. & Cooper, B. (2009). The roles of substantive and procedural understanding in open-ended science investigations: using fuzzy set qualitative comparative analysis to compare two different tasks. Research in Science Education 39(4): 595-624.
- Cooper, B. & Glaesser, J. (2008). How has Educational Expansion changed the Necessary and Sufficient Conditions for Achieving Professional, Managerial and Technical Class Positions in Britain? A Configurational Analysis. Sociological Research Online 13(3): 1-22.
- Cooper, B. (2007). Dilemmas in designing problems in 'realistic' school mathematics: a sociological overview and some research findings. Philosophy of Mathematics Education Journal 20(Special Issue on Social Justice, Part 1).
- Cooper, B. (2005). Applying Ragin's crisp and fuzzy set QCA to large datasets: social class and educational achievement in the National Child Development Study. Sociological Research Online 10(2).
- Cooper, B. & Harries, A.V. (2005). Making sense of realistic word problems: portraying working class 'failure' on a division with remainder problem. International Journal of Research & Method in Education 28(2): 147-169.
- B. Cooper (2004). Editorial. British Educational Research Journal 30(3): 339-341.
- B. Cooper (2004). Editorial: Interesting times, and interested research. British Educational Research Journal 30(4): 475-476.
- Cooper, B. & Harries, A.V. (2003). Children's use of realistic considerations in problem solving: some English evidence. Journal of Mathematical Behavior 22(4): 449-463.
- Cooper, B. & Harries, A.V. (2002). Children's Responses to Contrasting 'Realistic' Mathematics Problems: Just How Realistic Are Children Ready To Be? Educational Studies in Mathematics 49(1): 1-23.
- B. Cooper (2001). Pedagogy, Symbolic Control and Identity: Theory, Research, Critique. British Journal of Educational Studies 49(1): 92-94.
- B. Cooper (1998). Using Bernstein and Bourdieu to understand children's difficulties with 'realistic' mathematics testing: an exploratory study. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education Vol 11(4): 511-532.
- B. Cooper (1998). Assessing National Curriculum Mathematics in England: Exploring Children’s Interpretation of Key Stage 2 Tests in Clinical Interviews. Educational Studies in Mathematics 35(1): 19-49.
- B. Cooper & M. Dunne (1998). Anyone For Tennis? Social class differences in children's responses to national curriculum mathematics testing. Sociological Review 46(1): 115-148.
- B. Cooper, C. Lacey & H. Torrance (1996). Making Sense of Large-Scale Evaluation Data: the case of the Andhra Pradesh Primary Education project. International Journal of Educational Development Vol 16(2): 125-140.
- Cooper, B. (1994). Authentic testing in mathematics? The boundary between everyday and mathematical knowledge in National Curriculum testing in English schools. Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy and Practice 1(2): 143-166.
- B. Cooper, C. Lacey & H. Torrance (1993). Evaluating the Andhra Pradesh Primary Education Project: Problems of Design and Analysis. British Educational Research Journal 19(5): 535-554.
- B. Cooper (1992). Testing National Curriculum Mathematics: Some critical comments on the treatment of 'real' contexts for mathematics. Curriculum Journal 231-243.
- B. Cooper (1990). PGCE students and investigational approaches in secondary mathematics. Research Papers in Education 5(2): 127-151.
- (1983). On explaining change in school subjects. British Journal of Sociology of Education 4(3): 207-222.
Other (Digital/Visual Media)
- Cooper, B. & Glaesser, J. (2016). The set theoretic analysis of probabilistic regularities with fsQCA, QCApro and CNA: Exploring possible implications for current best practice. COMPASSS Working Paper 2016-85.
- B. Cooper (2003). Monitoring and Evaluation Systems Development for the Capacity Enhancement for Lifelong Literature Project (Egypt): Sixth report.
- B. Cooper (2002). Monitoring and Evaluation Systems Development for the Capacity Enhancement for Lifelong Literature Project (Egypt): Report on a fourth consultancy visit.
- B. Cooper (2002). Monitoring and Evaluation Systems Development for the Capacity Enhancement for Lifelong Literature Project (Egypt): Report on a fifth consultancy visit.
- B. Cooper (2002). Monitoring and Evaluation Systems Development for the Capacity Enhancement for Lifelong Literature Project (Egypt): Report on a third consultancy visit.
- B. Cooper (2001). Monitoring and Evaluation Systems Development for the Capacity Enhancement for Lifelong Literature Project (Egypt): Report on a second consultancy visit.
- B. Cooper (2001). Analysis of Enrolment, Retention and Achievement Data for Nigeria Community Education Project: Comparison of Project and Non-Project Areas.
- B. Cooper (2001). Monitoring and Evaluation Systems Development for the Capacity Enhancement for Lifelong Literature Project (Egypt): Report on a first consultancy visit.
- Cooper, B., Glaesser, J. & Thomson, S. (2014). Schneider and Wagemann's proposed Enhanced Standard Analysis for Ragin's Qualitative Comparative Analysis: Some unresolved problems and some suggestions for addressing them. COMPASSS Working Paper 2014-77. COMPASSS (COMPArative Methods for Systematic cross-caSe analySis) 22.