Staff Profile

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Career Summary

Biography

I commenced as Professor in the School of Education at the University of Newcastle at the start of 2012 following a 36 year career with the NSW Department of Education and Communities (DEC). My appointment as professor followed a long association with the University of Newcastle as a Masters student (1988-1991) and PhD student (1992-1996), several long-term research engagements with academics in the School of Education here, and my appointment as Conjoint Professor in the School of Education (2008-2011). I am a proud alumnist and I feel strongly committed to Newcastle and will work to strengthen this great regional university.

Originally a secondary social sciences and computing studies teacher serving mostly in rural schools, I held a series of senior departmental positions in the areas of quality assurance, assessment and evaluation, school accountability and improvement, research management and strategic initiatives.

I have strong professional interest and ongoing research commitments across a variety of public policy contexts. I am a foundation member of the newly established Teachers and Teaching research program at Newcastle supporting teacher professional learning and innovative curriculum, pedagogy, and assessment with particular emphasis on quality, equity and technology in Education.

 My current research engagements include holding roles as:

  • Chief Investigator on an ARC study of educational and career Aspirations in the middle years of schooling  now entering its third year

  • Chief Investigator on the ARC funded population-based NSW Longitudinal Child Development Study now entering its third year

  • Associate Investigator on a newly funded NHMRC project to identify targets for primary school mental health interventions using population data commencing in 2014

  • Chief Investigator in the Microsoft International Innovation in Teaching and Learning (ITL) project now in its final phases

  • Lead Chief Investigator on the project to evaluate the NSW State Volunteering Strategy including the innovative Timebanking and Pathways to Employment flagship programs

 I am currently supervising 13 Research Higher Degree students studying different aspects of innovative teaching and learning; school leadership; educational reform; and innovative public policy. Topic areas include projects on Quality Teaching Rounds (QTR) and teaching standards; student aspirations through the middle years of schooling; projects on quality assurance in Vietnamese schools and universities in the Philippines; school ethos and school-based management; policy entrepreneurship; and, the educational impact of sleep disorders in children. The unifying theme across this seemingly diverse set of projects is about understanding the ways in which professional learning and innovative policy practice impact on whole system reform.     

My teaching includes courses in research methods and evidence-based practice in education in the Masters of Educational Studies and Masters of Leadership and Management in Education programs. I direct my efforts as a teacher to building capacity and usage of informed professional judgement (professional judgement informed by good evidence) and see this as the critical element needed in the leadership of contemporary systems and schools.

Qualifications

  • PhD (Education), University of Newcastle, 26/09/1997
  • Master of Educational Studies, University of Newcastle, 10/05/1991
  • Diploma in Education, University of New England, 12/04/1975
  • Bachelor of Economics, University of New England, 06/04/1974

Research

Research keywords

  • Assessment and evaluation in Education
  • Child development
  • Pedagogy in the 21st Century
  • Policy innovation and reform
  • Professional learning and leadership in Education

Research expertise

Professor Smith has a strong interest in quantitative research and evidence-based practice in education. This includes the place of empirically based research in mixed methods designs. He is a foundation member of the Teachers and Teaching research program at Newcastle developing and refining aspects of Quality Teaching and assessment, and supporting teacher professional learning and leadership development. Most recently he has been involved in researching Quality Teaching Rounds; students’ post school aspirations; child development and the linkage of school and early childhood data; and, the impact of innovative public policy on system reform.

Fields of Research

CodeDescriptionPercentage
130200Curriculum And Pedagogy40
130300Specialist Studies In Education40
160506Education Policy20

Collaboration

Professor Max Smith’s professional and research interests focus on issues of whole system reform in school education and broader public policy. He has a great belief in teacher professional development as the vehicle for reform and was an industry partner representative in the research validating the NSW model of pedagogy known as Quality Teaching with Professors Gore and Ladwig and their associates. His current research interests include projects to validate the use of Quality Teaching Rounds; technology-based teaching and learning; and, tracking the growth of student aspirations through the middle years of schooling. Research activities in the broader field of public policy include leadership roles in: the NSW Child Development study with the University of New South Wales and NSW Health, Education and Community Services; NSW policy on volunteering including the highly innovative Timebanking trial with the University of Wollongong and the NSW Office of Communities; and, cross-faculty research engagement with academics in Education and Psychology around student attitudes to the study of mathematics and statistics in the first year of university.

Teaching

Teaching keywords

  • Assessment and evaluation in Education
  • Evidence-based practice in Education
  • Quantitative research methods in Education
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Publications

For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.

Click on a category title below to expand the list of citations for that specific category.

Journal article (2 outputs)

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
2013Holmes KA, Bourke SF, Preston GD, Shaw KM, Smith MW, 'Supporting innovation in teaching: What are the key contextual factors?', International Journal of Quantitative Research in Education, 1 85-102 (2013) [C1]
1992Smith M, Bourke S, 'Teacher stress: Examining a model based on context, workload, and satisfaction', Teaching and Teacher Education, 8 31-46 (1992)

Conference (10 outputs)

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
2014Gore J, Holmes K, Smith M, Ellis H, Albright J, Southgate E, Berger N, 'On the relationship between socio-economic status and educational and career aspirations in the middle years of schooling', American Educational Research Association 2014 Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA (2014)
2013Shaw K, Preston GD, Bourke S, Holmes K, Smith M, 'Innovative Teaching Practices: School leader and teacher beliefs in five Australian Secondary Schools', Responsible Teaching and Sustainable Learning, Munich, Germany (2013) [E3]
2013Preston GD, Shaw K, Holmes K, Bourke S, Smith M, 'School Characteristics, teacher beliefs and innovative teaching practice', Responsible Teachingand Sustainable Learning, Munich, Germany (2013) [E3]
2013Gore J, Smith M, Holmes K, Albright J, Southgate E, Berger N, Ellis H, '"I want to be a teacher because I like bossing people around." An initial cross-sectional analysis of student data from the Aspirations Longitudinal Study', Australian Association for Research in Education Conference 2013, Adelaide, SA, Australia (2013) [E3]
2012Smith MW, Gore JM, Albright JJ, Southgate E, Holmes KA, Ellis H, 'Contextualising variations in educational and career aspirations in the middle years of schooling', AARE 2012 Conference Proceedings & Program, Sydney, NSW (2012) [E3]
2012Albright JJ, Gore JM, Smith MW, Southgate E, Holmes KA, Ellis H, 'Operationalising educational and career aspirations in the middle years of schooling', AARE 2012 Conference Proceedings & Program, Sydney, NSW (2012) [E3]
2012Shaw KM, Holmes KA, Preston GD, Smith MW, Bourke SF, 'Exploring 21C teaching practices in schools through ITL dimensions', AARE 2012 Conference Proceedings & Program, Sydney, NSW (2012) [E3]
2012Shaw KM, Holmes KA, Preston GD, Smith MW, 'LEAP21 professional learning in Australia', AARE 2012 Conference Proceedings & Program, Sydney, NSW (2012) [E3]
2012Albright JJ, Gore JM, Smith MW, Southgate E, Holmes KA, Ellis H, 'Conceptualising educational and career aspirations in the middle years of schooling', AARE 2012 Conference Proceedings & Program, Sydney, NSW (2012) [E3]
2012Mhalila JJ, Holbrook AP, Shaw KM, Smith MW, 'Conceptualizing 'synergy' in higher education policy processes', AARE 2012 Conference Proceedings & Program, Sydney, NSW (2012) [E3]
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Other (1 outputs)

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
2005Smith MW, Bell J, Bright J, 'Measuring student self-efficacy to enhance school to work processes : the development of a large-scale on-line survey instrument', Leading and Managing ( issue.2 pp.119-134): ACEL (2005)

Report (2 outputs)

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
2014Smith M, Holbrook A, Lyons K, Macneil J, Forster D, Clement N, et al., 'Evaluation of the NSW Volunteering Strategy 2012-13. Final Report: Timebanking Trial', The NSW Office of Communities (2014)
2013Shaw K, Bourke S, Holmes K, Preston GD, Smith M, 'ITL Australia: Innovative Teaching and Learning- 2013', NSW Department of Communities/ Microsoft, 101 (2013) [R1]
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Grants and Funding

Summary

Number of grants11
Total funding$1,850,338

- Indicates that the researcher may be seeking students for this project.

Click on a grant title below to expand the full details for that specific grant.

2014 (4 grants)

Improving teaching quality through peer observation and feedback: an investigation of the impact of Quality Teaching Rounds $600,000
Funding Body: NSW Department of Education and Communities

Project Team
Professor Jennifer Gore, Ms Julie Bowe, Professor Max Smith, Doctor Nicole Mockler, Associate Professor David Lubans
SchemeRole
Research GrantInvestigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$600,00020142015
GNo:G1400499

Choosing university: The impact of schools and schooling$68,717
Funding Body: National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education (NCSEHE)

Project Team
Professor Jennifer Gore, Doctor Kathryn Holmes, Professor Max Smith, Mr Andrew Lyell, Mr Hywel Ellis
SchemeRole
Research Grants ProgramInvestigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$68,71720142015
GNo:G1400566

Teachers and Teaching$30,000
Funding Body: University of Newcastle - Faculty of Education and Arts

Project Team
Professor Jennifer Gore, Professor Max Smith, Doctor Kathryn Holmes, Doctor Nicole Mockler
SchemeRole
Research Programme 2014Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$30,00020142014
GNo:G1400926

The Changing World of Volunteerism: Challenges and Opportunities$10,000
Funding Body: University of Newcastle

Project Team
Professor Max Smith, Professor Allyson Holbrook, Associate Professor Kevin Lyons, Doctor Daniella Forster
SchemeRole
Linkage Pilot Research GrantChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$10,00020142014
GNo:G1400125

2013 (1 grants)

AARE 2013 (Australian Association for Research in Education), Hilton Adelaide, 1-5 December 2013$750
Funding Body: University of Newcastle - Faculty of Education and Arts

Project Team
Professor Max Smith
SchemeRole
Travel GrantChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$75020132013
GNo:G1301064

2012 (5 grants)

Targeting educational and career aspirations in the middle years of schooling: Understanding complexity for increased equity$634,880
Funding Body: ARC (Australian Research Council)

Project Team
Professor Jennifer Gore, Professor Jim Albright, Doctor Erica Southgate, Doctor Kathryn Holmes, Professor Max Smith, Mrs Michelle Heaney
SchemeRole
Linkage ProjectsInvestigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$634,88020122015
GNo:G1100473

Targeting educational and career aspirations in the middle years of schooling: Understanding complexity for increased equity$379,991
Funding Body: NSW Department of Education and Training

Project Team
Professor Jennifer Gore, Professor Jim Albright, Doctor Erica Southgate, Doctor Kathryn Holmes, Professor Max Smith
SchemeRole
Linkage Projects Partner fundingInvestigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$379,99120122015
GNo:G1100711

Evaluation of the Flagship Projects for the NSW volunteering Strategy$50,000
Funding Body: NSW Department of Education and Communities

Project Team
Professor Max Smith, Professor Allyson Holbrook, Associate Professor Kevin Lyons, Doctor Johanna Macneil, Doctor Daniella Forster
SchemeRole
Research GrantChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$50,00020122013
GNo:G1200610

Investigating Quality Teaching Rounds to support teacher professional learning$11,000
Funding Body: ACT Department of Education and Training

Project Team
Professor Jennifer Gore, Ms Julie Bowe, Doctor Nicole Mockler, Professor Max Smith
SchemeRole
Research ProjectInvestigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$11,00020122012
GNo:G1200010

Investigating 'rounds' to support teacher professional learning$5,000
Funding Body: University of Newcastle

Project Team
Professor Jennifer Gore, Ms Julie Bowe, Professor Max Smith, Doctor Nicole Mockler
SchemeRole
Linkage Pilot Research GrantInvestigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$5,00020122012
GNo:G1101164

2011 (1 grants)

The NSW Child Development Study$60,000
Funding Body: ARC (Australian Research Council)

Project Team
Professor Vaughan Carr, Professor Kristin Laurens, Professor Allyson Holbrook, Professor Rhoshel Lenroot, Ms Sally Brinkman, Doctor Miles Bore, Dr Elizabeth Maloney, Professor Max Smith, Mr Robert Stevens, Associate Professor John Allan
SchemeRole
Linkage ProjectsInvestigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$60,00020112014
GNo:G1200213
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Research Supervision

Number of current supervisions14
Total current UoN Masters EFTSL0.45
Total current UoN PhD EFTSL3.25

For supervisions undertaken at an institution other that the University of Newcastle, the institution name is listed below the program name.

Current Supervision

CommencedProposed
Completion
ProgramSupervisor TypeResearch Title
20142018PhD (Education)Principal SupervisorInnovative Public Policy in Education - An Understanding of the Issues Through Exploring Approaches to Increased School Anatomy in the Australian Context
20132021PhD (Education)Co-SupervisorThe Impact of School-Based Management Reform on Principal Leadership in New South Wales Public Secondary Schools
20132021PhD (Education)Co-SupervisorEducational and Career Aspirations in the Middle Years of Schooling
20122016M Philosophy (Education)Co-SupervisorThe Correlation of School Leadership Behaviours with Student Educational and Career Aspirations
20122016M Philosophy (Education)Co-SupervisorEducational and Career Aspirations in the Middle Years of Schooling: Understanding Complexity for Increased Equity
20122016PhD (Education)Co-SupervisorCritical Reflections on the Current Debate Regarding the Effects of Explicit and Implicit Instruction on Linguistic Pragmatic Development and its Implications for Vietnamese EFL University Students
20122020PhD (Education)Co-SupervisorAn Investigation of the Learning Attributes and Meta-Cognition of Innovative Policy Entrepreneurs
20122016PhD (Education)Principal SupervisorQuality Accreditation and Quality Assurance in Upper Secondary Schools in Hatinh Province in Vietnam
20122017PhD (Education)Co-SupervisorAn Exploration of Factors Which Affect the Christian Ethos of Christian Schools: A Case Study
20122020PhD (Education)Principal SupervisorEducational and Career Aspirations in the Middle Years of Schooling: An Exploration of Factors Influencing Students' Futures, in a Contemporary Australian Context
20112016PhD (Education)Co-SupervisorThe Critical Work of Teaching: Changing Minds, Changing Practice
20112016PhD (Education)Co-SupervisorMasks and Education: A study of masks in the teaching of Drama and Theatre Studies in the Australian Secondary Curriculum
20102015PhD (Education)Co-SupervisorA Mixed Methods Investigation that Explores the Synergy Between University-Based Higher Educational Researchers and Government Higher Education Policy Makers in Australia
20092013PhD (Education)Co-SupervisorThe Development of Professional Standards for Bachelor of Special Education in Saudi Arabia Universities
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Professor Maxwell (Max) Smith

Work Phone(02) 49854957
Cell / Mobile Phone0413009366
Fax(02) 4921 7887
Email
PositionProfessor
Teachers and Teaching
School of Education
Faculty of Education and Arts
The University of Newcastle, Australia
Focus AreaEducation
Office
HC50,
Hunter Building.,
Callaghan
University Drive
Callaghan NSW 2308
Australia
URL:www.newcastle.edu.au/profile/maxwell-smith