Paul Adams


  • United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Education policy; teacher education; politics of education policy; pedagogy and didaktik; educational theorising

Personal profile

Personal Statement

Of Welsh ethnicity, Paul was raised in the English West Midlands and undertook his initial teacher education at the University of Warwick. He then taught a range of subjects and pupils in a Hertfordshire middle school. During his final three years at the school he acted as PSE coordinator.

In the academic year 1998 to 1999 Paul undertook a Masters degree in Health Education and Health Promotion at King’s College, London. For his dissertation he researched primary school teachers’ views of empowerment as a methodology for drugs education.

Following his MSc, betwen September 1999 to February 2001 he worked for Northumberland’s Health Action Zone and LEA as Advisory Teacher (Health Issues) where he was part of the team that developed the county’s Healthy Schools Programme. While there he secured funding for a number of small-scale, professional development research projects in the area of education for personal and social development.

In February 2001, Paul moved to Newman College of Higher Education as a Senior Lecturer in Education and Professional Studies, where he taught on a variety of ITE and non-ITE courses. He joined the University of Hull in January 2006. Whilst there he led the undergraduate programmes in Education Studies and was a member of the Faculty Academic Approvals Committee (AAC). He was chair of the Faculty Ethics Committee and led the research group, Leadership, Policy and Theory.

Paul joined the University on 1st January 2014 as Senior Lecturer (Pedagogy and Curriculum Policy). Since joining the University he has been a member of the School Ethics Committee (2015 to 2017) and Director of PGT (2015 to 2019).

Research Interests

Paul's doctoral study was a Social Constructivist/Social Constructionist theoretcial exposition of policy discourses under the auspices of New Labour. In his publications he explored the epistemological position for contemporary policy which culminated in a new perspective on educational policy-making: policy as positioning.

From 2007 to 2009 Paul was a member of the Evaluation team for  Shape-Up4 a pan-European project concerned with nutrition and movement.

Paul was a member of the Executive Council for the Association for the Study of Primary Education5 (ASPE) from 2011 to 2015 and is currently Deputy Editor for the Peer Reviewed Journal Education 3 to 13: International Journal of Primary, Elementary and Early Years Education6.

Paul’s broad research areas are in the policy and politics of education all under the broad banner of social and educational inclusion. He favours a social constructionist approach to studying education and related issues. Paul's current research is primarily theoretical in orientation, although he does undertake empirical work as well. His current work centres on conceptual matters relating to becoming a teacher, education policy and the limits of truth, and Scottish education policy developments. Between 2017 and 2023 he was co-PI (with Professor Aileen Kennedy, University of Strathclyde) for a Scottish Government funded project Measuring Quality in Initial Teacher Education (MQuITE).

For the academic year 2020 to 2021, he was awarded an Academic Fellowship of the Scottish Parliament. In this work, Paul produced a briefing paper for the Scottish Parliament titled 'Scottish Initial Teacher Education (ITE): ten years on' which considered the structure of ITE 10 years after the publication of the Donaldson Report (2010). Between January and March 2023, Paul was PI for the New Northern Pedagogies Group established following a successful Scottish Government Arctic Connections Scheme and is currently PI on a Royal Society of Edinburgh funded project seeking to extend membership of the NNPG to Greenland and Canada.

Paul welcomes PhD enquiries from anyone interested in education policy, Initial and continuing teacher education and learning; professional development, post-truth thinking, care and education and related matters.

Teaching Interests

In his teaching, Paul is particularly interested in the relationship between the development of professional pedagogic expertise and education policy, systems and processes. He currently has a large number of doctoral and masters students, alongside a smaller number of undergraduate dissertation supervisees. He teaches on both undergraduate and postgraduate modules and courses, including: BA Education Studies; PGDE; MSc Education Studies and the EdD

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, Education, Education Policy and the Politics of Pedagogy, University of Hull

Award Date: 1 Jan 2012

Master of Science, Health Education and Health Promotion, King's College London

Award Date: 1 Jan 1999

Bachelor of Arts, Maths and PE, University of Warwick

Award Date: 1 Jan 1991

External positions

Vice-President, Scottish Educational Research Association (SERA)

Dec 2021Dec 2022

REF output reviewer, University of Aberdeen

Jul 2018

Treasurer, Scottish Educational Research Association (SERA)

Dec 2015Dec 2017

Executive Member, Scottish Educational Research Association (SERA)

Jan 2015Dec 2022

Executive member, The Association for the Study of Primary Education (ASPE)

May 2011Feb 2015


  • Education policy
  • Educational theory
  • Positioning theory
  • Initial Teacher Education


Dive into the research topics where Paul Adams is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
  • 1 Similar Profiles

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or