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Constructing a rich curriculum for all: Insights into teaching practices in Queensland secondary schools

Paper PresentationFriday 23rd of June, 2.15pm | 

Professor Martin Mills, Associate Professor Glenda McGregor, and Associate Professor Stewart Riddle


This paper presents initial findings generated from an ARC Linkage Project (LP210100098), which aims to work closely with Queensland secondary teachers to generate pedagogical approaches that make a rich and meaningful curriculum accessible to all students. Working with teams of teachers (n=40) across three case study schools in Australia, a Cycles of Inquiry methodology has been utilised to develop, implement and reflect on curriculum innovations within schools serving low socioeconomic and superdiverse communities in south-east Queensland. Teachers are being supported to develop rich pedagogies that are contextually relevant for their students, to maximise opportunities for all students to engage in a high-quality and meaningful curriculum. In this paper, the research team will share initial findings and emergent themes generated from the first round of empirical data, collected during a Cycle of Inquiry undertaken in Semester 1, 2023. These findings will inform the development of a further Cycle of Inquiry, which will be undertaken with participant–teachers in Semester 2, 2023. In addition to the shared research findings, this paper will outline a conceptual argument for a rich, common curriculum that provides all young people with learning choices that have relevance to their worlds, contribute to the preparation for work or further education, alongside opportunities for engagement with a broader knowledge base connected to critical understandings of culture and society.

Presenter Bios

Stewart Riddle | Associate Professor

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.

Martin Mills | Professor

Martin Mills is a Research Professor in the School of Teacher Education and Leadership at the Queensland University of Technology, Australia. He is also an Emeritus Professor of Education at University College London, where he was the Director of the Centre for Teachers and Teaching Research. His work has principally focussed on social justice issues in education. These areas have included: teachers’ work, curriculum and pedagogical practice, alternative education, and gender and education. He is the editor in chief of Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice.

Glenda McGregor | Associate Professor

Glenda McGregor's research interests include sociology of youth, alternative/democratic/flexible schools, pedagogy and curriculum and, social justice and education. She has researched in this field for over a decade and her books include, -imagining Schooling for Education: Socially Just Alternatives, (McGregor et al., 2017) published by Palgrave Macmillan. Glenda is currently the lead chief investigator on a $154,060, Australian Research Council Linkage Grant with: Edmund Rice Education Australia, Flexible Learning Centre Network; YouthInc SA; and, Community Learning Ltd.’s Jabiru College, Queensland: Supporting teachers and teaching in flexible and non-traditional schools. Her most recent project is as a CI on an ARC Linkage with DoE Qld, QUT and UniSQ - Constructing a rich curriculum for all students: Insights into teaching practices

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