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Associate Professor and Head of Department (STEM Education), University of New England

Dorothy Smith investigates science knowledge in the social contexts of its use and scientists whose work brings them into contact with their communities. As a Science Education researcher her interest is in developing STEM curricula that reflect the human faces of science. As a policy researcher, she is interested in the impacts of naïve views of science on education policy and practice.

Dorothy was lead Chief Investigator on the Australian Research Council Discovery Project Articulate Science: rethinking the school education of prospective scientists. This project stems from Dorothy's deep interest in contemporary relationships between science and society, the ways in which school science education frames this relationship and what such framing means for science curriculum in schools and tertiary education. She also has research interests in leadership and gender that stem from her extensive experience as a leader and teacher of mathematics and science in secondary schools. She has substantial experience in curriculum innovation in primary and secondary school and university level: much of this work was done in her previous name of Dorothy Kearney.

Dorothy offers Higher Degree by Research supervision in:
• Science curriculum in schools and tertiary education
• Discourses of science in education policy
• Science/STEM governance
• Gender in science/STEM
• STEM policy and STEM Education policy
• Science communication/public engagement with science
• Biopolitics and humans as biocultural creatures.
• Pedagogies of STEM in schools, tertiary and adult education, including informal settings.

Dorothy would welcome opportunities to work with school and tertiary educators. She is looking to build collaborative research and supervision relationships with practicing teachers, practicing STEM professionals, including in medical and allied health fields and with environmental educators. She has an interest in research that critiques the misuse of numerical data in education policy and practice


  • –present
    Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Education, La Trobe University