Dr O'Grady is a Principal Lecturer; Nottingham Institute of Education. Dr O'Grady leads a number of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. Her research focuses on marginalised groups, and increasingly, on the provision and experience of prison education. She has undertaken a number of research projects across the prison estate, including young offenders, men's and the women's estate, working with prisoners and prison education staff, exploring how education is experienced by prisoners; as well as the professional identity of prison educators. She is co-lead on a number of Learning Together projects with HMP partners, bringing HMP and HEi students together in collaborative learning opportunities. She has presented her research at national and international conferences, as well as journal articles and books. She has successfully supervised a number of doctoral candidates, and continues to supervise doctoral candidates.
Dr O'Grady has previously worked at a number of Higher Education Institutions, including the University of Nottingham and the University of Derby, where she developed a new international MA in Education; and supported the delivery of the Professional Doctorate in Education in Hong Kong. Dr O'Grady also spent several years working at the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education where she undertook a wide range of research, working with stakeholders across a broad agenda of lifelong learning.
Dr O'Grady's research advocates for a dialogic, social justice, approach to education that provides space for people to make informed choices for their future. She focuses on providing a voice to educationally marginalised groups; particularly prisoners, to consider the role, value and purpose of education for them.
She has worked on projects covering:
- Prison education
- Prisoner preparedness for release
- Young offenders
- Children in Challenging Circumstances
- Adult learners
Opportunities to carry out postgraduate research towards an MPhil/PhD in the School of Education exist and further information may be obtained from the NTU Graduate School.
Dr O'Grady has examined a number of doctoral thesis (PhD and EdD) both in the UK and Hong Kong.
Additionally, she has held several External Examiner positions.
- O’GRADY, A. and HAMILTON, P., 2019. ‘There’s more that binds us together than separates us’: exploring the role of Prison-University partnerships in promoting democratic dialogue, transformative learning opportunities and social citizenship, In: Journal of Prison Education and Reentry: https://scholarscompass.vcu.edu/jper/
- O'GRADY, A., 2018. Exploring the contribution of music intervention programmes for children in challenging circumstances: a collaborative research project between soundLINCS and Nottingham Trent University. Lincoln: soundLINCS. ISBN 9781916441408
- COTTLE, V. and O'GRADY, A., 2018. In: J. MARSHALL, ed., Contemporary debates in education studies. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 182-194. ISBN 9781138680234
O’GRADY, A., and deMOTTE, C., 2018. An exploration of the education provision in a HMP Young Offenders Institution: perspectives of young offenders and prison staff. Staffordshire: HMP Swinfen Hall
O’Grady, A and Hamilton, P., 2017. Re-Imagining The Prison Education Paradigm: identity transitions, social learning and ‘de-othering’ in a climate of penal exactitude. In: Crane, P., 2017. Life Beyond Crime . London: Lemos & Crane. ISBN: 9781898001775
Evaluation of the Skills for Life Materials for Embedded Learning. Atkin C, O'Grady A and Rose A, National Research and Development Centre for Adult Literacy and Numeracy, 2007, London
Dr O'Grady can comment on prison education.