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Dr Azumah Dennis

Dr Carol Azumah Dennis

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Professional biography

I have worked in Higher Education since 2010, first at the University of Hull where I was employed initially as a Lecturer in Education: Programme Director for Post-16 Teacher Education and later as Programme Director for Postgraduate Taught provision. I have worked for the Open University as a Senior Lecturer: Education, Leadership and Management since 2017. I am a Senior Fellow of the HEA.

Prior to working in Higher Education, I had worked for a number of years in Further Education Colleges where I was responsible for teaching, training and managing adult basic skills. I completed my EdD at the UCL, Institute of Education in 2010, with a thesis exploring leading and managing quality in adult literacies provision. 


Research interests

I have published in a wide range of peer reviewed international journals including Educational Management Administration & Leadership, International Journal of Lifelong Education and Research in Post Compulsory Education.

My research interests centre around three areas of specialization:

  • Post-16 policy, professionalism and practice
  • Leading and managing quality in vocational education
  • Teacher education, critical pedagogy, ethics and social justice

Research Projects:

2016  Principal Investigator, University Council for the Education of Teachers, Adult Learners at Cape Coast University, Ghana

2014 to 2016 Principal Investigator, Further Education Trust for Leadership, Leadership and Ethics in Further Education 

2020 - 2021 Principal Investogator: 50 naratives @ 50: Research Report


Selected Pubications

  • Dennis, C. A. (in press) Further Education, Leadership and Ethical Action: Thinking with Hannah Arendt, Educational Management Administration & Leadership
  • Dennis, C. A. (in press) Strategic Myths and Machiavellian Indulgences, The Prince: invited book chapter
  • Dennis, C. A. (2016) The ‘even more’ quality, Post Compulsory Teacher Educators: Connecting Professionals, 8: invited book chapter
  • Dennis, C. A. (2016) Further education colleges and leadership: Checking the ethical pulse. London Review of Education14(1), 116-130.
  • Dennis, C.A. (2015) Blogging as public pedagogy: creating alternative educational futures. International Journal of Lifelong Education34(3), 284-299.
  • Dennis, C. A. (2015). Locating post-16 professionalism: public spaces as dissenting spaces. Research in Post-Compulsory Education, 20(1), 64-77.
  • Dennis, C.A. (2014) Positioning further education and community colleges: Text, teachers and students as global discourse, Studies in the Education of Adults 46 (1), 91 - 107
  • Dennis, C.A. (2014) Quality: an ongoing conversation over time, Journal of Vocational Education & Training 64 (4), 511-527
  • Dennis, C.A. (2011) Measuring Quality: framing what we know, Literacy, 45 (3), 119-125
  • Dennis, C. A. (2010) Is the professionalisation of adult basic skills teaching possible, desirable or inevitable? Literacy and Numeracy Studies: an international journal, Vol 18 (2)
  • Dennis, C. A. (2010) Quality and Worthwhile Professional Knowledge, Journal of Research and Practice in Adult Literacy Issue: 7

Research Group



Teaching interests

My research interests are in postgraduate education. I have taught research methods on both an MA (Masters) and EdD (Professional Doctorate) programme. At the OU I chair two MA modules in Educational Leadership and Management. One module focusses on strategy; the other is concerned with agency, professional learning and change. I am also an EdD Co-ordinator for students on the Leadership and management pathway.

I have supervised PhD students and EdD students in diverse areas including

  • Neo-colonial tensions and identity conflict amongst international students – completed PhD 2015
  • Teenage pregnancy and motherhood as a positive turning point – completed PhD 2015
  • Marketization of Higher Education
  • Reflective practice as capacity building for leaders in Higher education
  • Academic Writing amongst HE students
  • Human Rights Education in Thailand secondary schools


[Book Review] International Perspectives on Leadership in Higher Education (2021-10-01)
Dennis, Carol Azumah
Management in Education, 35(4) (pp. 200-200)

Looking forward to the long ago (2021-01-01)
Dennis, Carol Azumah
Management in Education, 35(1) (pp. 62-63)

Adult postgraduate students’ learning in online spaces—Images of identity and belonging (2021)
Dennis, Carol Azumah and Clifton, Gill
Zeitschrift für Weiterbildungsforschung, 44(2) (pp. 133-150)

Further education college leaders: securing the sector’s future (2020-01)
Dennis, Carol Azumah; Springbett, Octavia and Walker, Lizzie
Futures, 115, Article 102478

[Book Review] Identity and resistance in further education by Bennett, P., & Smith, R., Routledge, London 2018 (2020)
Dennis, Carol Azumah
Journal of Vocational Education & Training, 72(4) (pp. 595-596)

Further Education, Leadership and Ethical action: thinking with Hannah Arendt (2019-03-01)
Dennis, Carol Azumah; Springbett, Octavia and Walker, Lizzie
Educational Management Administration & Leadership, 47(2) (pp. 189-205)

Further education colleges and leadership: Checking the ethical pulse (2016-04-01)
Dennis, Carol Azumah
London Review of Education, 14(1) (116 - 130)

Blogging as public pedagogy: Creating alternative educational futures (2015)
Dennis, Carol Azumah
International Journal of Lifelong Education, 34(3) (pp. 284-299)

Locating post-16 professionalism: public spaces as dissenting spaces (2015)
Dennis, Carol Azumah
Research in Post-Compulsory Education, 20(1) (pp. 64-77)

Positioning further education and community colleges: Text, teachers and students as global discourse (2014)
Dennis, Carol Azumah
Studies in the Education of Adults, 46(1) (pp. 91-107)

Measuring quality, framing what we know: A critical discourse analysis of the Common Inspection Framework (2011-11)
Dennis, Carol
Literacy, 45(3) (pp. 119-125)

Is the Professionalisation of Adult Basic Skills Practice Possible, Desirable or Inevitable? (2010)
Dennis, Carol
Literacy and Numeracy Studies, 18(2) (pp. 26-42)

Researching from home. Doctoral research in a pandemic (2021-06)
Álvarez, Inma; Dennis, Carol Azumah and Waterhouse, Philippa
In: Ubachs, G. ed. The Envisioning Report for Empowering Universities (pp. 10-12)
Publisher : EADTU | Published : Maastricht, NL

Decolonising Education: A Pedagogic Intervention (2018-08-20)
Dennis, Carol Azumah
In: Bhambra, Gurminder K.; Nişancioğlu, Kerem and Gebrial, Dalia eds. Decolonising the University (pp. 190-207)
ISBN : 9780745338217 | Publisher : Pluto Press

A letter from Niccolò: Machiavellian indulgences and strategic myths (2017-09-04)
Dennis, Carol Azumah
In: Daley, Maire; Orr, Kevin and Petrie, Joel eds. The Principal: Power and professionalism in FE
Publisher : Trentham Books

Post Compulsory Teacher Educators: the 'even more' quality (2016-10-10)
Dennis, Carol Azumah; Ballans, Jane; Bowie, Marie; Humphries, Sally and Stones, Sandra
In: Crawley, Jim ed. Post Compulsory Teacher Educators: Connecting Professionals. Critical guides for teacher educators
ISBN : 9781910391860 | Publisher : Critical Publishing | Published : St Albans

Exploring perceptions of social presence among researching professionals
Waterhouse, Philippa; Dennis, Carol Azumah and Álvarez, Inma
In: Golam, Jamil and Morley, Dawn eds. Agile Learning Environments ((In press))
Publisher : Palgrave Macmillan | Published : London