I am a PhD candidate at the University of Western Australia, researching 'The influence of an outcomes-based curriculum on the design and implementation of the Western Australian senior-secondary "Philosophy and Ethics" syllabus'. I am particularly interested in the ways in which the conception and practice of philosophy vary according to time and culture.
I originally studied philosophy at University College Dublin, and completed my MA in 1994 on the topic of ‘Language and Ideology: The Significance of Hermeneutics and Semiotics for the Theory of Ideology’.
In 1995 I moved to Cambridge to look into pursuing doctoral research. I had developed an interest in comparative philosophy and religion and was put in touch with John Cooper, a Persianist at the University’s Centre of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies. At his suggestion, I used the excellent facilities of Cambridge University Library to produce a survey of the secondary literature on a mid-17th-century Persian text called the Dabestan. I was provisionally accepted as a postgraduate by King’s College, subject to funding from the British Council, but my application was unsuccessful and I was forced to postpone my research plans.
From 1995 to 1999, I worked in the 'Oriental, African, and Latin American' department of Heffers, Cambridge's premier academic bookstore. This was followed by experience in two small publishing-services companies, first as an editor and project manager at The Running Head, and later as a digital publishing analyst at Griffin Brown. Between 1996 and 1999 I also assisted writer John Cornwell in his role as Director of the Science and Human Dimension Project, a ‘public understanding of science’ program based at Jesus College.
I moved to Perth, Western Australia, in 2003 and became a citizen in 2005. Between 2003 and 2008 I was primarily responsible for my two young children, although I also worked part-time as circumstances permitted, first as a sessional tutor in the School of Philosophy and Theology at the University of Notre Dame in Fremantle, and later in Extension at the University of Western Australia. In 2008 I was appointed a full-time senior research officer at UWA, reporting to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Education. In this role I was the executive officer for several committees and working parties, and was closely involved in the University’s major Review of Course Structures, culminating in the 2009 Future Framework.
Also in 2009 I began my involvement with the WA Association for Philosophy in Schools (APIS), which introduced me to the Philosophy-for-Children (P4C) pedagogy, as well as providing some insight into the implementation of the Philosophy and Ethics syllabus in the WA curriculum. I completed APIS Level-1 training in 2009 and was Secretary from 2010 to 2014, and Treasurer in 2018. I was also Secretary of the national body, the Federation of Australasian Philosophy in Schools Associations (FAPSA), from 2018 to 2019. Through APIS I learnt of the Philosothon, an inter-school annual philosophy competition started by Matthew Wills at Hale in 2007. I was a regular facilitator at this event, and Chief Facilitator in 2010. In 2013 I acted as moderator at a trial of the Ethics Olympiad, in which Hale students competed with two US schools via video conference.
From 2009 to 2011 I completed a Master of Teaching (Primary) at UWA. From May to December 2011 I taught in the Philosophy, Values and Religion department at Hale; and from 2012 to 2015 I was a classroom 'director' in the upper primary (Years 4–6) at Perth Montessori School (now 'Perth Individual - A Progressive Montessori College'). In 2017 I returned to Hale, teaching ATAR Philosophy and Ethics, as well as RAVE (Religious and Values Education) in the Middle School and PVR (Philosophy, Values and Religion) in Years 9 and 10.
From 2018 to 2020 I was once again a sessional tutor in the School of Philosophy and Theology at the University of Notre Dame, and in 2019 I was a teaching assistant in Business Ethics at Curtin University.
My Academia page is here.
I maintain three blogs:
Simon Kidd - Free-Range Philosopher - devoted broadly to topics in the Philosophy of Education
Reflections - now mostly for book reviews
Musings - a place for poetic expression, generally lighthearted verse
I started editing Wikipedia in July 2006, under a different user name. In 2009, unhappy with the problems created by Wikipedia anonymity, I decided to edit under my own name. I have written about this here.