Dr Paul Adams

Senior Lecturer


Personal statement

Born and raised in the West Midlands, Paul 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 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 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, Curriculum and Pedagogy 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).


Measuring quality in initial teacher in the Scottish context : a context-specific endeavour
Kennedy Aileen, Adams Paul, Carver Mark
Teacher Education Policy and Research Global Perspectives (2021) (2021)
Towards initial teacher education quality : epistemological considerations
Adams Paul, McLennan Carrie
Educational Philosophy and Theory Vol 53, pp. 644-654 (2021)
Starting Points for Educational Research in Scotland
Shanks Rachel, Jaap Angela, Darling-McQuistan Kirsten, Adams Paul
The Donaldson Report, partnership and teacher education
Beck Anna, Adams Paul
Teacher Preparation in Scotland (2020) (2020)
A sustainable workforce through Initial Teacher Education (ITE)
Carver Mark, Adams Paul
Sustainability and ethics in teacher education and education policy (2020)
Teacher professional learning and professional update in Scotland
Adams Paul, Mann Kirsten
Education 3-13 (2020)

More publications


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

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 wass a member of the Executive Council for the Association for the Study of Primary Education5 (ASPE) from 2011 to 2015 and is currently a member of the Editorial Board 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. He is currently co-PI (with Professor Aileen Kennedy, University of Strathclyde) for a Scottish Government funded project Measuring Quality in Initial Teacher Education (MQuITE). This project is due to run from 2017 to 2022.

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).

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.

Professional activities

Re/framing Educational Equity: An international collaboration
My Pedagogy Journey
Measuring Quality in Initial Teacher Education in Scotland: a context specific endeavour
Partnership ‘mechanisms’ between universities, local authorities and schools
What I want to be when I grow up…
The Perceptions and Experiences of Midcareer Professionals (Aged 45 years and Over), Who are Masters Level Part-time Students Participating in Health and Nursing Programmes at a Higher Education Institute in Scotland.

More professional activities


Scottish Educational Research Association Pedagogy Project
Adams, Paul (Co-investigator) Carse, Nicola (Co-investigator) Hamilton, Lorna (Co-investigator) Jaap, Angela (Co-investigator)
This SERA sponsored project aims to collaborate on developing an understanding of pedagogy to support those engaged with teacher education and learning across Scotland. Through a series of online events, participants engage with provocations designed to stimulate thinking around the concept of pedagogy and how such views might inform teacher preparatin and CLPL. Funding is curretly being sought to augment the projet so that it might add face-to-face elements.
Academic Fellow Scottish Parliament costs
Adams, Paul (Principal Investigator)
During this 12 month Fellowship, I am undertaking a project titled 'Scottish Initial Teacher Education (ITE): ten years on'. The project is a conceptual, normative analysis of ITE with associated proposals as to what Scottish ITE might be for and what it might seek to achieve. I will identify possible positions for ITE that have been articulated since 2010. The work is desk-based and utilises government publications, academic reports, research articles, print media (in English) and other sources.
01-Jan-2020 - 30-Jan-2021
Development of collaboration between The School of Education, Strathclyde University and The Education University of Hong Kong
Adams, Paul (Principal Investigator) Kenklies, Karsten (Principal Investigator) Lewin, David (Principal Investigator)
Faculty and School funding to develop further collaborative links with EduHK
Global Engagements Fund Collaborative Visit to The Education Univerrsity of Hong Kong
Adams, Paul (Co-investigator) Hunter, Sharon (Principal Investigator) Kenklies, Karsten (Co-investigator) Lewin, David (Co-investigator)
Visit by four members of The School of Education, Strathclyde University to the Department for Policy and Leadership, The Education University of Hong Kong
Measuring Quality in Initial Teacher Education (MQuITE):
Kennedy, Aileen (Principal Investigator) Adams, Paul (Co-investigator) Beck, Anna (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2017 - 31-Jan-2021
The place and role for care in primary education in the twenty-first century
Adams, Paul (Principal Investigator)
Production of a peer rebiew paper and a conference presentation
01-Jan-2010 - 01-Jan-2011

More projects