Sue Knight

My initial academic training was in Philosophy, with the award of a PhD from the University of Adelaide in 1978. I wrote on the problem of universals, a fundamental problem within Metaphysics, and was examined by Professors J.J.C. Smart and David Armstrong. I subsequently turned to the field of Education, convinced that all students should have the opportunity to experience the intellectual growth that Philosophy brings. I completed a BEd in 1981, at the same time becoming aware of the work of U.S. Professor Mathew Lipman, who, through his Philosophy for Children program, was engaging students of all ages (from kindergarten to the senior secondary) in philosophical inquiry.


Having attended an advanced training workshop in Philosophy for Children in Montclair, N.J., I returned to Australia and sought an academic position within Education, working for a number of years at the University of Adelaide, and then at the (now) University of South Australia. My academic work is based on the view that it is through the development of well reasoned and ethically grounded thinking that education fulfills its individual and social goals, and my publications include both theoretical and curriculum-based work.


For many years I have worked with teacher-educators, practicing teachers and principals, as well as pre-service teachers and doctoral students, to embed Philosophy in the Learning Areas at both Primary/Junior Primary and Secondary levels of schooling. Much of this work has been in conjunction with a colleague, Dr. Carol Collins.


I was involved in writing S.A.'s Senior Secondary Philosophy curriculum, and served as inaugural Chair of the Senior Secondary Assessment Board of South Australia's Philosophy Subject Advisory Committee. In relation to Primary and Middle school Philosophy, I established, and held the inaugural Chair of, the South Australian Association for Philosophy in the Classroom and have conducted much of the Association's professional development. I held (jointly with Dr Carol Collins) the editorship of 'Critical and Creative Thinking: The Australasian Journal of Philosophy in Education', from 2006 to 2009.


In 2010 I was appointed chief evaluator of the NSW Ethics Course Trial, and at the end of 2012 I resigned from the University of South Australia to take up the role of lead curriculum author for primary Ethics, the organization responsible for delivering Ethics classes as an alternative to Scripture in NSW Public schools.