Dr Dorothy

Dr Dorothy Smith

Senior Lecturer

College of Arts, Social Sciences and Commerce


Department of Education

Melbourne (Bundoora)


B.Sc(Hons), Dip Ed. Ed.D.



Brief profile

Dorothy Smith teaches in the School of Education and does research into a range of aspects of science education. She is 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.


Dorothy 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 a range of aspects in science curriculum and the social contexts of science. These include aspects of pedagogy and leadership.

Teaching units

EDU5IEP International Education Policy and Management

EDU5STC Science and Technology in Contemporary Society

EDU5LTB Leadership and Teams

EDU5PCL Critical Perspectives in Curriculum Leadership

EDU5RME Research Methods in Education

Recent publications

Refereed Journal Articles

Smith, D. V., Mulhall, P. J., Hart, C. E., & Gunstone, R. F. (2016). Contemporary high-profile scientists and their interactions with the community. International Journal of Science Education. doi:10.1080/09500693.2016.1201236


Smith, Dorothy V, Mulhall, Pamela, Gunstone, Richard F, & Hart, Christina. (2015). What Account of Science Shall We Give? A Case Study of Scientists Teaching First Year University Subjects. International Journal of Science Education. 37(9), 1504-1523. doi:10.1080/09500693.2015.1042942


Smith, D. V. (2012). Gender, Science and Essentialism: the use of science to support single-sex schooling. International Journal of Gender, Science and Technology, 4(3)

Smith, D. V. (2012). Becoming a scientist means becoming a citizen. In C. Bruguiere, A. Tiberghien, & P. Clement (Eds.), The ESERA 2011 Conference, Lyon, France, 6 September 2011 (Vol. 9): European Science Education Research Association

Smith, D.V. (2011). Neo-liberal individualism and a new essentialism: comparison of two Australian curriculum documents. Journal of Educational Administration and History, 43(1), 25-42.

Smith, D.V. (2011). One brief shining moment? The impact of neo-liberalism on science curriculum in the compulsory years of schooling. International Journal of Science Education, 33(9), 1273-1288.

Smith D.V., & Gunstone, R.F. (2009). Science Curriculum in the market liberal society of the 21st Century: 'Re-visioning' the idea of Science for All. Research in Science Education, 39, 1-16.

Refereed Book Chapters

Smith, Dorothy V. (2014). A rhetoric of certainty: modern knowledge practices in contemporary education. In T. Fitzgerald (Ed.), Advancing Knowledge in Higher Education: Universities in Turbulent Times (pp. 107-122): IGI Global.

Smith, Dorothy V. (2014). On the production line? Academics in modernized universities. In T. Fitzgerald (Ed.), Advancing Knowledge in Higher Education: Universities in Turbulent Times (pp. 287-297): IGI Global.

Refereed Conference Proceedings

Smith, D. V., & Mulhall, P. (2015, 25 November). Getting it on the Table: Using Diagrams and Graphs within an Interview. Paper presented at the 2015 Contemporary Approaches to Research Symposium, Deakin University Melbourne City Centre.


Smith, D. V. (2011, 6 September). Becoming a scientist means becoming a citizen. Paper presented at the The ESERA 2011 Conference, Lyon, France.

Smith, D.V. (2007). Reframing priorities in Australian science education for a new century. Paper presented at the Sustainable, Responsible, Global: CONASTA 56 and ICASE 2007 World Conference on Science and Technology Education, The Sheraton Hotel and Mercedes College, Perth, Western Australia.

Articles in Professional Journals

Smith, D. V. (2012). Teachers note: science and society are intertwined. The Conversation. https://theconversation.edu.au/teachers-note-science-and-society-are-intertwined-8697 

Smith, D.V. (2012). Educating for competent outsiders to science. LabTalk 56(2), 13-16.


Older publications

Kearney, D.V. (1993). A decade of debate on the schooling of girls in physics: Where are we now? Research in Science Education, 23, 146-155.

Kearney, D., & Ormiston-Smith, H (1993). LIghtning: teaching physics in context. The Australian Science Teachers' Journal, 39 (4), 16-20.

Kearney, D., & Ormiston-Smith, H (1991). The Graduate Diploma in Physics and Education: a teacher training initiative. Research in Science Education, 21, 217-223.

Kearney, D., & Macdonald, J. (1987). Don't Step on my Dream. Melbourne: Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Board.




Research projects

2012 - 2015 Articulate Science: rethinking the school education of prospective scientists. ARC DP 120102714 (Dorothy Smith and Richard Gunstone).

2012 Can emerging technologies support the development of reflection in pre-service science teachers?. (Dorothy Smith and Ian Bentley)

1986 The Girls and Physics Project. Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Board. (Dorothy Kearney and Judith Macdonald)