Clinton takes a philosophically-based approach to issues of teaching, learning and research. His research specialisms include education for thinking, postgraduate education, inquiry and dialogue, metaphilosophy, interdisciplinarity and comparative epistemology. His interdisciplinary research contributes to the fields of Education, Higher Education, Metaphilosophy and Philosophy of Education.
He has taught at the University of Auckland, Massey, Victoria, Melbourne and Otago and at Auckland University of Technology. This teaching was in a range of Faculties including Medicine, Business, Arts, Education, Land & Environments (which includes Engineering and Architecture). His current cross-Faculty teaching is with postgraduate students and academic staff across the University of Otago.
He was previously a senior lecturer at the University of Melbourne Graduate School of Education, and an Honorary Senior Fellow of the Centre for the Study of Higher Education, the chair of the New Zealand branch of the Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia, the Philosopher in Residence and the Thinking Coordinator in three NZ schools, and the co-founder and past coordinator of the Philosophy for Children Association of New Zealand. He has also taught in a range of primary, secondary and professional contexts in New Zealand, Australia and Singapore, with numerous partnerships and consultancies with schools, cultural institutions such as museums and galleries, and business and government organisations.
Based on his expertise as an educator and facilitator, he has won several local, national and international teaching awards in Australia and New Zealand.