© 2017

Teachers as Self-directed Learners

Active Positioning through Professional Learning


Part of the Self-Study of Teaching and Teacher Education Practices book series (STEP, volume 18)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiv
  2. Teacher Professional Development: Who Owns the Learning?

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Kathleen Smith
      Pages 9-24
    3. Kathleen Smith
      Pages 25-32
    4. Kathleen Smith
      Pages 33-45
  3. Teachers as Self-Directed Learners: Active Positioning Through Professional Learning

  4. Positioning Teachers as Self-Directed Learners

  5. Explicating Teacher Learning: Going Beyond Tasks

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 135-135
    2. Kathleen Smith
      Pages 137-149
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 161-183

About this book


This book redefines teacher in-service education as being less about participation in a program and more about the opportunity for teachers to experience a process of learning that is personally meaningful and contextually relevant to their own teaching practice. The research presented here reveals that teachers have the capacity to think and work differently, yet are rarely provided with opportunities to exercise active decision-making about their personal learning needs. Creating and implementing such an approach involves reimagining all aspects of the learning experience so that teachers are free to articulate their own learning needs and actively work to determine what matters most for their professional practice.

The book breaks new ground by drawing from research related to an in-service program where teachers, their experience and professional thinking were deliberately positioned at the centre of the learning experience. Using this evidenced-based approach, it focuses not only on the learning achieved, but also the conditions that enabled teachers to undertake such learning.


in-service teacher education teacher capacity classroom teaching professional support Teacher professional development Teacher professional learning self-directed learning learning facilitators

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of EducationMonash UniversityMelbourneAustralia

About the authors

Kathy Smith is Senior Lecturer at Monash University with specialisations in primary science education and teacher professional learning. Kathy has worked with the Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD) on a number of science projects including Primary Connections and Coaching workshops. Her work has also included an ongoing 8-year relationship with Catholic Education Melbourne (CEM), where she has developed and facilitated a number of teacher professional learning initiatives aimed at enhancing teacher confidence and supporting the learning and teaching of science at all levels of schooling. Undertaking work as an Education Consultant has also enabled Kathy to gain extensive experience working with schools in the Government and Independent sectors, supporting teachers with planning and pedagogy. This work built upon previous experiences with 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 continues her involvement in teacher professional learning and has particular expertise in primary science education, with a particular interest in the conditions that build teachers’ capacity for self-directed learning.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Teachers as Self-directed Learners
  • Book Subtitle Active Positioning through Professional Learning
  • Authors Kathleen Smith
  • Series Title Self-Study of Teaching and Teacher Education Practices
  • Series Abbreviated Title Self Study of Teaching
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2017
  • Publisher Name Springer, Singapore
  • eBook Packages Education Education (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-981-10-3586-9
  • Softcover ISBN 978-981-10-9914-4
  • eBook ISBN 978-981-10-3587-6
  • Series ISSN 1875-3620
  • Series E-ISSN 2215-1850
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XIV, 183
  • Number of Illustrations 5 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Teaching and Teacher Education
    Professional & Vocational Education
    Learning & Instruction
  • Buy this book on publisher's site