Stewart Riddle is an Associate Professor (Curriculum and Pedagogy) in the School of Education at the University of Southern Queensland. His research examines the democratisation of schooling systems, increasing access and equity in education and how schooling can respond to critical social issues in complex contemporary times. He has published extensively on educational disadvantage and the connections between equity and access to quality educational outcomes for young Australians. Stewart’s most-recent book is Schooling for Democracy in a Time of Global Crisis: Towards a More Caring, Inclusive and Sustainable Future (Routledge, 2022). Prior to joining academia, Stewart taught high school English in Queensland schools for eight years.
28 October, Saturday
1:30pm – 2:30pm
The current political and policy context of education in Australia is troubling, given the increasing metrification, standardisation and narrowing of what counts (i.e., what can be counted) as quality teaching and learning. While public debates have focused on teachers and test scores, there have been widening social, economic and educational gaps between young people from different backgrounds. In this presentation, Stewart will consider the possibilities and pragmatisms of a public Montessori as one response to the growing residualisation of public schooling in Australia and increasing educational inequality. In doing so, he poses some provocations and propositions for a public Montessori that works for ‘the public’ in terms of young people’s democratic participation, civic engagement and developing capacities for critical and creative change in the world.