Professor David Stephens


  • MAP Role: International Advisory Board
  • Institution: University of Brighton
  • Position: Professor of International Education
  • Location: U.K.
  • Website:

David is a researcher, teacher and creative writer who has spent some 45 years teaching and researching Education in the global South, notably in West and Southern Africa, South-East Asia and the Caribbean. His research areas include qualitative research methodologies – a recent book explores the use of narrative and life history approaches in International Education (Routledge, 2020) –  the relationships between Cuture and International Education, the importance of context in research, and the role of children in Education and Development.

He joined the University of Brighton in 2006 as Professor of International Education. Prior to that he was a professor in Oslo, and has held senior positions at Sussex and the UCL Institute of Education. For a number of years he worked as an academic in Northern Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya. He has advised several leading NGOs such as Save the Children, Child-to-Child and UNESCO.

David is interested in issues of agency and empowerment – particularly of children – and the collaborative relationships that can be established between classroom teachers, universities, and grassroots organisations. Currently he is leading a World Bank funded project to introduce and embed Participatory Action Research (PAR) into Gambian primary schools.

David holds an M.Ed in the Teaching of English Literature and a PhD in Education. His doctoral dissertation focused upon cultural identity and educational change in Northern Nigeria.

David is also a creative writer, and is currently completing his second novel, The Disappeared which is set in Peru. In normal circumstances David divides his time between Brighton and Lima.