Dennis is a Visiting Professor at the University of Buckingham and an Emeritus Professor of Education at the University of Derby . In late autumn 2006 he founded the campaign group Academics For Academic Freedom (AFAF).
He taught in secondary schools, special schools and further education before moving into teacher education and describes himself as a philosopher manqué. He was a panel member of the Mayor of London’s Education Inquiry which reported in October 2012 and led to the award of over £24 million to improve London’s schools.
He was appointed to the Editorial Board of the Times Higher Education magazine in 2007 and has been a columnist for the TES. He became the first education columnist of the UK edition of The Conversation in February 2014.
He is one of the authors of three post-compulsory education textbooks, including the best-selling Teaching in Post-14 Education and Training (5th Edition 2016). For education students he recommends his edited book The Routledge Guide to Key Debates in Education (2004) for its many powerful short articles that might stimulate them to do some original thinking. His controversial co-authored book The Dangerous Rise of Therapeutic Education (2019 ) has been described as ‘one of the most important books to have been written in at least the last twenty years in that crucial area where philosophy, policy and practice coincide’.
April 2017 saw the publication of an edited book: Beyond McDonaldization: visions of higher education (Routledge). Two monographs It’s Teaching NOT Therapy and The ‘Limits’ of Academic Freedom will appear later in 2022.
His latest book The Death of Academic Freedom? Free speech and censorship on campus will be published by Routledge in 2023.
Dennis was made a National Teaching Fellow in 2010, the equivalent of a Carnegie Scholar in the US.