I am a senior international educator, researcher and academic committed to democracy and socio-ecological egalitarianism in education and society. I specialise in theory and praxis that addresses complex transdisciplinary global challenges associated with social and ecological stresses in 'glocal' context.
PI on UKRI GCRF (ESRC) under EQUITABLE RESILIENCE call.
Project ( £1 million )
WATER AND FIRE: Enhancing capacity and reducing risk through 15 'best bets' for transformative adaptation with vulnerable residents on the Cape Flats.
My research interests and expertise span reconceptualist curriculum perspectives, mathematics education, cultural studies, critical theory, critical / ethical internationalisation in education, democracy in education, and social and ecological justice. I am interested broadly in critical, sociological and political perspectives in education and society. I mostly write from poststructural and de/post-colonial perspectives. In particular, I have expertise in critical global citizenship, democratic education, and indigeneity, especially the African onto-epistemology of Ubuntu. Philosophical and social concerns around poverty, marginalisation, (neo)colonialism, oppression, as well as my research into what I refer to as “the construction of disadvantage” frame much of my work. Research foci on economic development and globalisation in education reflect ongoing concerns around justice and democracy. I also have expertise in critical arts-based and narrative methodologies (especially the qualitative methodological approach I developed, 'critical rhizomatic narrative'), and other creative, post-foundational and counter-hegemonic research and writing methodologies and practices. I also bring arts-based approaches to bear on mathematics education as a decolonising practice.
2016 / 2017 University of Stirling Excellence in Teaching Award, in the Faculty of Social Sciences
2015 / 2016 School of Education teaching award.
2014 / 2015 University of Stirling Postgraduate Supervisor of the Year Award.
2006 International Institute of Qualitative Inquiry Illinois Distinguished Qualitative Dissertation Award.
2006 American Educational Research Association (AERA) Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award (Division B: Curriculum Studies).
2005 Canadian Association for Curriculum Studies Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award.
2005 University of British Columbia Prof. Ted T. Aoki Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Prize in Curriculum Studies.
Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research Affiliation - Centre for Gender and Feminist Studies– University of Stirling
Trustee: SCOTDEC Global Learning Centre / Edinburgh
External Examiner - Faculty of Education, University of KwaZulu-Natal
I am an international educationalist and researcher with diverse, transcultural and transnational experience in education. I have twenty-five years of educational experience in teaching and researching in elementary and secondary schools and universities, with experience in both minority and majority world contexts on four continents. In particular, I have worked with students and communities from diverse cultural, ethnic, socio-economic and linguistic backgrounds, and have engaged in research in these contexts. My research interests and experience include mathematics education, STEM education, curriculum studies, social justice education, democracy in education, critical pedagogy, critical global citizenship, critical intercultural education, and critical educational inclusion. I have taught in multicultural contexts in Canada and in South Africa in highly multi-lingual and multi-cultural and indigenous contexts as well as contexts of socio-economic disadvantage. My work and contributions in the Middle East were also within diverse communities.
In the Faculty of Social Sciences, I am Director of Access to Degree Studies, and lecture on the Initial Teacher Education programme. I currently supervise seven PhD students.
Event / Presentation
Alternative Understanding of Equity and Their Relationship to Ethics. 13th International Congress on Mathematical Education
Power and Poverty – Whose, Where, and Why?: School mathematics, context and the social construction of "disadvantage". 30th Annual Meeting of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education
Power and Poverty - Whose, Where, and Why?: School Mathematics, Context and the Social Construction of "Disadvantage". 30th Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education
Re-imagining social justice in mathematics education through 'imaginative relevance'. 4th International Conference on Imagination and Education: Opening Doors to Imaginative Education: connecting theory to practice Simon Fraser University
Anti-oppressive Education and Imagination: Living in the 'place of the impossible'. 3rd International Conference on Imagination and Education, Imaginative Education Research Group Simon Fraser University
Tytler R & Swanson DM (2019) Unpacking the purposes and potential of interdisciplinary STEM. In: Mansour N & El-Deghaidy H (eds.) STEM in Science Education and S in STEM: From pedagogy to learning. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.
Swanson DM (2019) Critical global citizenship mathematics education and political responsibility in 'glocal' context. In: Subramanian J (ed.) Proceedings of the Tenth International Mathematics Education and Society Conference. MES Conference Proceedings. Mathematics Education and Society 10th International Conference (MES10), 28.01.2019-02.02.2019. Hyderabad, India. http://mes10.uohyd.ac.in/mes/program/conferenceProceedings.php
Chronaki A & Swanson DM (2019) De/Mathematising the Political in Mathematics Education: A De/Postcolonial Critique. In: Subramanian J (ed.) Proceedings of the Tenth International Mathematics Education and Society Conference. MES Conference Proceedings. Mathematics Education and Society 10th International Conference (MES10), Hyderabad, India, 28.01.2019-02.02.2019. Hyderabad, India. http://mes10.uohyd.ac.in/mes/program/conferenceProceedings.php
Guion Akdağ E & Swanson DM (2018) Ethics, power, internationalisation and the postcolonial: A Foucauldian discourse analysis of policy documents in two Scottish universities. European Journal of Higher Education, 8 (1), pp. 67-82. https://doi.org/10.1080/21568235.2017.1388188
Gamal M & Swanson DM (2018) Alterities of global citizenship: education, human rights, and everyday bordering. Justice, Power and Resistance, 2 (2), pp. 357-388. http://www.egpress.org/content/vol-2-no-2-2018-justice-power-and-resistance
Swanson DM (2017) Shadows Between Us: An A/r/tographic gaze on issues of ethics and activism (in Chinese). In: Springgay S, Irwin RL, Leggo C & Gazouasis P (eds.) 与艺游志共在. 美学与羹育研究译丛. Hangzhou, China: Hangzhou University Press, pp. 257-266.
Swanson DM, Yu H & Mouroutsou S (2017) Inclusion as Ethics, Equity and/or Human Rights? Spotlighting School Mathematics Practices in Scotland and Globally. Social Inclusion, 5 (3), pp. 172-182. https://doi.org/10.17645/si.v5i3.984
Gamal M & Swanson DM (2017) Nation state, popul(ar)ism, and discourses of global citizenship: examples from Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellence. In: Akbaba Y & Jeffrey B (eds.) The Implications of 'New Populism' for Education. Stroud: E & E Publishing. http://www.ethnographyandeducation.org/?page_id=411
Swanson DM (2017) Mathematics Education and the Problem of Political Forgetting: In Search of Research Methodologies for Global Crisis. Journal of Urban Mathematics Education, 10 (1), pp. 7-15. http://ed-osprey.gsu.edu/ojs/index.php/JUME/article/view/337/206
Jober A, Chronaki A & Swanson D (2017) Discussion Group : Assessing and Accessing Experiences of Newly Arrived Students and Teachers. 9th International Conference of Mathematics Education and Society: Mathematics and Life at Times of Crisis, Thessaly, Greece, 07.04.2017-12.04.2017.
Swanson DM & Pashby K (2016) Towards a critical global citizenship?: a comparative analysis of GC education discourses in Scotland and Alberta. Journal of Research in Curriculum and Instruction, 20 (3), pp. 184-195.
Swanson DM (2016) Democracy, Education, and a Politics of Indignation. In: Carr P, Thomas P, Porfilio B & Gorlewski J (eds.) Democracy and Decency: What does Education have to do with it?. Critical Constructions: Studies on Education and Society. Charlotte, NC, USA: Information Age Publishing, pp. 21-37. http://www.infoagepub.com/products/Democracy-and-Decency
Atweh B & Swanson DM (2016) Alternative Understanding of Equity and Their Relationship to Ethics. In: Proceedings of the 13th International Congress on Mathematical Education, July 24 - 31, 2016 in Hamburg, Germany. 13th International Congress on Mathematical Education, Hamburg, Germany, 24.07.2016-31.07.2016. Hamburg, Germany: University of Hamburg.
Swanson DM (2015) Ubuntu, Radical Hope, and an Onto-epistemology of Conscience. Journal of Critical Southern Studies, 3, pp. 96-118. http://jcss.our.dmu.ac.uk/files/2013/03/JCSS-Volume-3-Winter-2015.pdf
Tytler R, Swanson DM & Appelbaum P (2015) Subject Matters of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. In: He M, Schultz B & Schubert W (eds.) The SAGE Guide to Curriculum in Education. Los Angeles: SAGE, pp. 27-35. https://uk.sagepub.com/en-gb/eur/the-sage-guide-to-curriculum-in-education/book240926
Swanson DM (2015) Ubuntu, Indigeneity, and an Ethic for Decolonizing Global Citizenship. In: Abdi A, Shultz L & Pillay T (eds.) Decolonizing Global Citizenship Education. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers, pp. 27-38. https://www.sensepublishers.com/catalogs/bookseries/other-books/decolonizing-global-citizenship-education/
Swanson DM (2014) Frames of Ubuntu: (Re)framing an ethical education. In: Smits H & Naqvi R (eds.) Framing Peace: Thinking about and Enacting Curriculum as "Radical Hope". Complicated Conversation, 44. New York: Peter Lang, pp. 49-63. http://www.peterlang.com/index.cfm?event=cmp.ccc.seitenstruktur.detailseiten&seitentyp=produkt&pk=72580&concordeid=312241
Swanson DM (2013) The owl spreads its wings: global and international education within the local from critical perspectives. In: Hebert Y & Abdi A (eds.) Critical Perspectives on International Education. Comparative and International Education: A Diversity of Voices, 15. Rotterdam: Sense, pp. 333-348. http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-94-6091-906-0_24
Swanson DM (2013) Neoliberalism, education and citizenship rights of unemployed youth in post-apartheid South Africa. Sisyphus - Journal of Education, 1 (2), pp. 194-212. http://revistas.rcaap.pt/sisyphus/article/view/3635
Maheux J, Swanson DM & Khan S (2012) From Text to Pretext: An Ethical Turn in Curriculum Work. In: Mason T & Helfenbein R (eds.) Ethics and International Curriculum Work: The Challenges of Culture and Context. Charlotte, NC: Information Age, pp. 143-172. http://www.infoagepub.com/products/Ethics-and-International-Curriculum-Work
Swanson DM (2012) Ubuntu, African epistemology and development: contributions, contradictions, tensions, and possibilities. In: Wright H & Abdi A (eds.) The Dialectics of African education and Western discourses: counter-hegemonic perspectives. Black Studies and Critical Thinking, 21. New York: Peter Lang, pp. 27-52. http://www.peterlang.com/index.cfm?event=cmp.ccc.seitenstruktur.detailseiten&seitentyp=produkt&pk=58924&concordeid=311378
Macfadyen LP, Dombrowski E & Swanson DM (2011) SOCI430B: Perspectives on Global Citizenship Syllabus 2011-2012. University of British Columbia. http://ctlt.ubc.ca/files/2009/09/SOCI430B_Syllabus_11-12.pdf
Swanson DM (2011) Parallaxes and paradoxes of Global Citizenship: Critical reflections and possibilities of praxis in/through an international online course. In: Schulz L, Abdi A & Richardson G (eds.) Global Citizenship Education in Post Secondary Institutions: Theories, Practices, Policies. Complicated Conversation, 35. New York: Peter Lang, pp. 120-139. http://www.peterlang.com/index.cfm?event=cmp.ccc.seitenstruktur.detailseiten&seitentyp=produkt&pk=58320
Swanson DM (2010) Inspiriting a Disembodying of the "Dream of a Single Logic": A Response to Elizabeth Mowat and Brent Davis. Complicity: An International Journal of Complexity and Education, 7 (1), pp. 52-56. http://ejournals.library.ualberta.ca/index.php/complicity/article/view/8838
Swanson DM (2010) The Paradox and Politics of Disadvantage: Narrativizing critical moments of discourse and pedagogy. In: Walshaw M (ed.) Unpacking Pedagogy: New Perspectives for Mathematics. Greenwich, CT: Information Age, pp. 245-263. http://www.infoagepub.com/products/Unpacking-Pedagogy
Swanson DM (2010) Value in Shadows: A contribution to Values Education in our times. In: Lovat T, Toomey R & Clement N (eds.) International Research Handbook on Values Education and Student Wellbeing. Amsterdam: Springer, pp. 137-152. http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-90-481-8675-4_8
Swanson DM (2009) Dark Roots and Murmurings of the moon: Voicing the poetic in living (in) inquiry. Educational Insights, 13 (3). http://www.ccfi.educ.ubc.ca/publication/insights/v13n03/articles/swanson/index.html
Swanson DM (2009) Where have all the fishes gone?: Living Ubuntu as an ethics of research and pedagogical engagement. In: Caracciolo D & Mungai A (eds.) In the Spirit of Ubuntu: Stories of Teaching and Research. Transgressions: Cultural Studies and Education, 48. Rotterdam: Sense, pp. 3-21. https://www.sensepublishers.com/catalogs/bookseries/transgressions-cultural-studies-and-education/in-the-spirit-of-ubuntu/
Swanson DM (2008) States of Nature: Creating ‘the normal’ through the tale of a farm school in South Africa. Journal of Curriculum and Pedagogy, 5 (2), pp. 95-133. https://doi.org/10.1080/15505170.2008.10411713
Swanson DM (2008) A life for Aprile: Social Justice as a Search of/for the Soul - A Response to Eric Gutstein. In: de Freitas E & Nolan K (eds.) Opening the research text: critical Insights and in(ter)ventions into mathematics education. Mathematics Education Library, 46. New York: Springer, pp. 213-219. http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-0-387-75464-2_8
Swanson DM (2008) Breaking silences. In: Jacobs D (ed.) The Authentic Dissertation: Alternative ways of knowing, research and representation. London: Routledge, pp. 83-94. http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415442237/
Macfadyen LP, Hewling A & Swanson DM (2008) Teaching towards social and ecological justice online: Introduction to Global Citizenship at UBC. Skylight (Centre for Learning and Teaching), University of British Columbia. http://hdl.handle.net/2429/1336
Swanson DM (2007) Shadows Between Us: An A/r/tographic gaze on issues of ethics and activism. In: Springgay S, Irwin R, Leggo C & Gazouasis P (eds.) Being with A/r/tography. Rotterdam: Sense, pp. 179-186. https://www.sensepublishers.com/catalogs/bookseries/other-books/being-with-artography/
Swanson DM (2007) Silent Voices, silent bodies: difference and disadvantage in schooling contexts. In: Springgay S & Freedman D (eds.) Curriculum and the Cultural Body. Complicated Conversation, 20. New York: Peter Lang, pp. 63-78. http://www.peterlang.com/index.cfm?event=cmp.ccc.seitenstruktur.detailseiten&seitentyp=produkt&pk=46439&cid=533&concordeid=68686
Swanson DM (2007) Ubuntu: An African contribution to (re)search for/with a 'humble togetherness'. Journal of Contemporary Issues in Education, 2 (2), pp. 53-67. http://ejournals.library.ualberta.ca/index.php/JCIE/article/viewFile/1028/686
Swanson DM (2007) Cultural Beads and Mathematical AIDS: A critical narrative of disadvantage, social context and school mathematics in post-apartheid South Africa, with reflections and implications for ‘glocal’ contexts. Philosophy of Mathematics Education Journal, 21 (Online). http://www.people.ex.ac.uk/PErnest/pome21/index.htm
Swanson DM (2007) Preparing for Post-Secondary Education. Review of: Preparing for Post-Secondary Education: New Roles for Governments and Families, edited by Robert Sweet and Paul Anisef. Montreal, CN: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2005, 304 pp. ISBN: 0773529632. Contemporary Sociology, 36 (4), pp. 398-399. https://doi.org/10.1177/009430610703600457
Swanson DM, Holmes P & Schnellert LM (2006) Situated Meaning-Making: Teacher-Researchers as Bricoleurs (Presentation) 2006 Annual Conference of the Western Canadian Association for Student Teaching, Vancouver Canada, 01.02.2006.
Swanson DM (2006) Power and Poverty - Whose, Where, and Why?: School Mathematics, Context and the Social Construction of "Disadvantage". In: Novotna J, Moraova H, Kratka M & Stehlikova N (eds.) Proceedings 30th Conference of the
International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education, Vol. 5. PME Proceedings. 30th Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education, Prague, Czech Republic, 16.07.2006-21.07.2006. Prague: International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education, pp. 217-224.
Swanson DM (2006) Power and Poverty – Whose, Where, and Why?: School mathematics, context and the social construction of "disadvantage". In: Novotná J, Moraová H, Krátká M & Stehlíková N (eds.) Proceedings 30th Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education, Volume 5. 30th Annual Meeting of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education, Prague, Czech Republic, 16.07.2014-21.07.2006. Prague, Czech Republic: Charles University, pp. (5-217)-(5-224).
Swanson DM (2006) Voices in the Silence: Narratives of Disadvantage, Social Context and school Mathematics in Post-apartheid South Africa. In: Liljedahl P (ed.) Canadian Mathematics Education Study Group Proceedings of 2006 Annual Meeting. The Canadian Mathematics Education Study Group Annual Conference, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, 03.06.2006-07.06.2006. Calgary, Alberta, Canada: CMESG/GCEDM, pp. 129-134. http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED529562.pdf
Swanson DM (2006) Re-imagining social justice in mathematics education through 'imaginative relevance'. 4th International Conference on Imagination and Education: Opening Doors to Imaginative Education: connecting theory to practice, Vancouver, Canada, 12.07.2006-15.07.2006.
Swanson DM (2005) School Mathematics: Discourse and the Politics of Context. In: Chronaki A & Christiansen I (eds.) Challenging Perspectives on Mathematics Classroom Communication. International Perspectives on Mathematics Education - Cognition, Equity & Society. Greenwich, CT: Information Age, pp. 261-294. http://www.infoagepub.com/index.php?id=9&p=1-59311-152-5
Swanson DM (2005) Anti-oppressive Education and Imagination: Living in the 'place of the impossible'. 3rd International Conference on Imagination and Education, Imaginative Education Research Group, Vancouver Canada, 13.07.2005-16.07.2005. http://ierg.net/ierg2005/viewabstract.php?id=198
Swanson DM (2004) Voices in the Silence: Narratives of disadvantage, social context, and school mathematics in post-apartheid South Africa (PhD thesis). Doctor of Philosophy. University of British Columbia.
Swanson DM (2002) “Disadvantage” and School Mathematics: The Politics of Context. Ninth International Literacy and Education Research Network Conference on Learning, Beijing, China, 16.07.2002-20.07.2002. http://lc03.commongroundconferences.com/Other-Conferences/LearningConferenceArchive/2002/abstracts/SwansonD.html
Swanson DM (2002) "Disadvantage" and School Mathematics: The Politics of Context. International Journal of Learning, 9, pp. 1471-1480, Art. No.: LC02-0123-2002. http://www.ijb.cgpublisher.com/product/pub.30/prod.226/index_html
Swanson DM (1998) Bridging the Boundaries?: A study of mainstream mathematics, academic support and "disadvantaged learners" in an independent, secondary school in the Western Cape (South Africa). Masters thesis. University of Cape Town.