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Personal profile


Kathy Smith is Senior Lecturer at Monash University with specialisations in primary science education and teacher professional learning. In her prior position as an Independent Education Consultant, Kathy worked with the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD) on a number of science projects including Primary Connections and Coaching workshops. Her work also included an ongoing 8 year relationship with Catholic Education Melbourne (CEM) where she assisted with the development, implementation and review of a sector wide Science Education Strategy for the Melbourne Archdiocese. Kathy also developed and facilitated a number of teacher professional learning initiatives for CEM which aimed to enhance teacher confidence and support the learning and teaching of science at all levels of schooling. These initiatives and related research, enabled Kathy to actively raise the profile of CEM Science Education through presentations at National and International Science Education conferences and by publishing in International journals. Undertaking work as an Education Consultant also enabled Kathy to gain extensive experience working with schools in Government and Independent sectors, supporting teachers with planning and pedagogy. This work built upon previous experiences as Manager of Education programs for the Monash Science Centre, located at Monash University. In this position she was able to oversee the provision of quality school-based support for science education, particularly in primary schools, across all sectors. Prior to these roles Kathy worked as a Sessional Lecturer in Science and Mathematics Education at RMIT and began her career working as a primary classroom teacher for nine years with the Victorian Department of Education. Critically, Kathy has particular expertise around primary science education, with a particular interest in teacher professional learning and the conditions that build teacher capacity for self-directed learning. Kathy reviews papers for an international science education journal and presents at both national and international conferences.

Research & Supervision Interests

◦                     The conditions that promote student engagement in science education

◦                     scientific literacy and classroom practice

◦                     teacher professional learning and the conditions that enhance teacher decision making and recognition of professional expertise

◦                     effective pedagogy in science education

Research area keywords

  • Teacher Professional Learning
  • primary science education
  • scientific
  • scientific literacy
  • teacher thinking


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