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School of Education and Professional Studies

Professional Learning Hub



My teaching and research interests focus on creative approaches to curriculum and pedagogy. I am passionate about providing opportunities for students to learn in collaborative and imaginative environments preparing them for life in the 21st century

Dr Madonna Stinson is an experienced teacher and teacher educator, having worked across all sectors of schooling. In 2018, I was co-chair (with Professor Donna Pendergast) of the organising committee of the Creativity Summit in Initial Teacher Education, 12 June, 2018. She is a member of the internationally renowned Applied Theatre team at Griffith University, and is currently working on research projects that encompass age-effective pedagogies in the early years, and arts, community and curriculum partnerships in a Brisbane school with a high proportion of refugee students. She has written extensively on drama and education and is in demand as a keynote speaker and masterclass workshop leader. Madonna was awarded a Life Membership of Drama Queensland in 2014, for her contribution to drama education. She has worked in teacher education in Singapore, UK and Australia. As Director of Publications for Drama Australia, she is Managing Editor of NJ: the Drama Australia journal (a peer-reviewed journal published by Taylor and Francis), the Drama Australia Research Monographs, and on-line publication materials. 

In addition she is a member of the editorial boards of RIDE: the journal of Applied Theatre and Performance; DATE-Asia; and Pedagogies.

Dr Madonna Stinson

School of Education and Professional Studies

Associate Professor in Arts and Drama Education

Fields of Expertise

  • Creative Pedagogy
  • Drama Education
  • Curriculum and Pedagogy
  • Arts Education

Speeches, Seminars and Presentations

Madonna has delivered many presentations both nationally and internationally. Recent highlights include:

  • Age Appropriate Pedagogies in the Early Years (Presentation and Workshop). Co-presented with Prof Bev Fluckiger)., Torrens Valley Regional Cluster, 2019,
  • The arts, creative pedagogies, and what we know about impact, Sydney Opera House 2016
  • Masterclass workshop for teachers, Sydney Theatre Company, 2016

Industry Experience

Teaching Philosophy

My teaching philosophy is based in the belief that all people can learn but not necessarily in the same way or at the same rate. Thus I try to create a learning environment that values the contributions, interests and orientations of all learners, and an environment where they can take the normal risks associated with learning new knowledge in safe and supportive ways. For learning to take place, students must be able to engage cognitively, emotionally and actively in processes that permit experimentation and exploration in areas that are unfamiliar to them, or which are just outside their experience, as well as those which draw on individual students’ considerable personal knowledge and experience. Learning should enable students with the skills to understand and to shape the world in which they live. It should challenge, extend and excite them, and allow opportunities for them to imagine alternative futures for themselves, their families, their communities, and the world at large.

  • Internal Service Roles: Mt Gravatt Advisory Group Committee member, Arts, Education and Law Academic Group; Member of Research and HDR committee, School of Education and Professional Studies; Deputy Head of School – Academic, School of Education and Professional Studies 2013- 2014
  • External Service Roles: Honorary Advisor, Beijing Normal University, Faculty of Education, Applied Drama and Expressive Arts Education Centre; Curriculum Advisor, Singapore Polytechnic; Advisory Panel Member – Centre for Arts Research in Education, National Institute of Education, Singapore; Youth Education Advisory Group member Queensland Theatre Company
  • Professional Memberships: Primary English Teachers Association (PETA), World Alliance of Arts Educators (WAAE), International Drama in Education Association (IDEA), Drama Queensland (DQ), Director of Publications Drama Australia, Australian Association of Research in Education (AARE)
  • Awards: Senior Fellow, Griffith Learning and Teaching Academy 2018, Life Membership (for contribution to drama), Drama Queensland 2014, Senior Fellow, Higher Education Academy 2018 

Research Expertise

Drama theory and pedagogy, oracy, drama and additional language learning, theatre and young audiences, curriculum design and implementation, school-based intervention research, case study, design experiment research, action research.

Recent Publications

· (2018). Curriculum, pedagogy, assessment and reporting. In Learning to Teach in a New Era (pp. 161–197).

· (2017). Connecting Conversations: Finding Ways Forward for Arts Educators. In The Palgrave Handbook of Global Arts Education (pp. 547–557).

· (2016). Exploring emotion in participatory drama about social justice: A case study of Creons decree. In Drama and Social Justice: Theory, research and practice in international contexts (pp. 40–52).

· (2016). Drama in the Australian national curriculum: decisions, tensions and uncertainties. Research in Drama Education: The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance, 21(1), 93–104.

· (2016). Keeping the stage alive: The impact of teachers on young peoples engagement with theatre. Youth Theatre Journal, 30(1), 68–78.


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