Professor Susan Groundwater-Smith


Honorary Professor

Chair, Teacher Education Advisory Board


Phone: +61 2 9351 6327

Fax: +61 2 9559 7174

Building.Room: A35.443

Research interests

Educational systems: administration, management and leadership

  • Preschool, primary and secondary

Research on teaching and learning

  • Teacher education and professional learning


Teacher professional learning, student voice, mixed methods in school inquiry

Professional biography

Susan Groundwater-Smith is the convenor of the Coalition of Knowledge Building Schools whose purpose is to engage in ongoing, systematic practitioner inquiry. She has supported a large number of other schools as an academic partner introducing them to innovative methods of inquiry with a particular emphasis upon student voice and the use of images in capturing young people's perspectives on their learning experiences. Susan collaborates with the Audience Research Unit at the Australian Museum assisting in consultation with students and teachers regarding actual and planned exhibitions. She works with a range of universities in Australia, the United Kingdom and The Netherlands.

Selected publications


  • Ewing, R., Kervin, L., Glass, C., Gobby, B., Le Cornu, R., & Groundwater-Smith, S. (2020). Teaching: Dilemmas, challenges & opportunities. (6th ed.), Melbourne: Cengage Learning Australia.
  • Mockler, N. & Groundwater-Smith, S. (2018). Questioning the language of improvement and reform in education: Reclaiming meaning. London and New York: Routledge.
  • Groundwater-Smith, S. (2017). From practice to praxis: A reflective turn: The selected works of Susan Groundwater-Smith. London: Routledge.
  • Groundwater-Smith, S., Ewing, R. & Le Cornu, R. (2015). Teaching: Challenges and dilemmas. (5th ed.), South Melbourne: Cengage Learning.
  • Groundwater-Smith, S. & Mockler, N. (Eds.). (2015). Big Fish, Little Fish: Teaching and learning in the middle years. Melbourne: Cambridge University Press.
  • Groundwater-Smith, S., Dockett, S. & Bottrell, D. (2015). Participatory research with children and young people. Los Angeles: Sage.
  • Mockler, N. & Groundwater-Smith, S. (2015). Engaging with student voice in research, education and community: Beyond legitimation and guardianship. Rotterdam: Springer.
  • Groundwater-Smith, S., Ponte, P., Mitchell, J., Mockler, N. & Ronnerman, K. (2013). Facilitating Practitioner Research: Developing Transformational Partnerships. UK: Routledge.
  • Groundwater-Smith, S., Ewing, R. & Le Cornu, R. (2011). Teaching: Challenges and Dilemmas. (4th ed.), Melbourne: Cengage Learning Australia.
  • Campbell, A. & Groundwater-Smith (Eds). (2010). Connecting Inquiry and Professional Learning in Education. London: Routledge.
  • Campbell, A. & Groundwater-Smith, S. (Eds.). (2010). Action Research in Education. Los Angeles: Sage Publications.
  • Groundwater-Smith, S., Brennan, M., McFadden, M., Mitchell, J. & Munns, G. (2009). Secondary Schooling in a Changing World. (2nd ed.), Melbourne: Cengage.
  • Groundwater-Smith, S. & Mockler, N. (2009). Teacher Professional Learning in an Age of Compliance: Mind the Gap. Rotterdam: Springer.
  • Groundwater-Smith, S., Mitchell, J. & Mockler, N. (2007). Learning in the Middle Years: More than a Transition. Melbourne: Thomson Learning.
  • Campbell, A. & Groundwater-Smith, S. (2007). An Ethical Approach to Practitioner Research: Dealing with Issues and Dilemmas in Action Research . New York: Routledge.
  • Groundwater-Smith, S., Ewing, R. & Le Cornu, R. (2006). Teaching: Challenges and Dilemmas. (3rd ed.), Melbourne: Thomson.

Book chapters

  • Groundwater-Smith, S., & Mockler, N. (2019). Student voice work as educative practice. In I. Berson, M. Berson & C. Gray (Ed.), Participatory methodologies to elevate children's voice and agency (pp. 25–46), Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.
  • Groundwater-Smith, S. (2019). Inquiry-based learning and its enhancement of the practice of teaching. In G. W. Noblit (Ed.), Oxford Research Encyclopedias: Education Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Groundwater-Smith, S. (2017). Moving to praxis: reading the readings. In , From practice to praxis: A reflexive turn: The selected works of Susan Groundwater-Smith (pp. 1–29), Abingdon: Routledge.
  • Mockler, N. & Groundwater-Smith, S. (2017). Teacher research: A knowledge-producing profession?. In P. Grootenboer, C. Edwards-Groves & S. Choy (Ed.), Practice theory perspectives on pedagogy and education: Praxis, diversity and contestation (pp. 215–230), Singapore: Springer.
  • Groundwater-Smith, S. (2017). Partnerships, networks and learning in educational research: Contested practices. In R. McNae & B. Cowie (Ed.), Realising innovative partnerships in educational research: Theories and methods for collaboration (pp. xvii–xxi), Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.
  • Groundwater-Smith, S., & Mockler, N. (2017). The study of education in Australia: Shifting knowledge interests. In G. Whitty & J. Furlong (Ed.), Knowledge and the study of education: An international exploration (pp. 123–144), Oxford: Symposium Books.
  • Groundwater-Smith, S. & Mockler, N. (2015). Practice architecture in the middle years of schooling: Understanding difference and diversity. In A. Macfarlane, S. Macfarlane & M. Webber (Ed.), Sociocultural realities: Exploring new horizons (pp. 117–134), Christchurch: Canterbury University Press.
  • Groundwater-Smith, S. (2015). A fair go and student agency in the middle years classroom. In S. Groundwater-Smith & N. Mockler (Ed.), Big Fish, Little Fish: Teaching and learning in the middle years (pp. 63–76), Melbourne: Cambridge University Press.
  • Groundwater-Smith, S. & Mockler, N. (2015). Challenges for teaching and learning in the middle years. In S. Groundwater-Smith & N. Mockler (Ed.), Big Fish, Little Fish: Teaching and learning in the middle years (pp. 3–14), Melbourne: Cambridge University Press.
  • Groundwater-Smith, S. & Mockler, N. (2015). Why global policies fail disengaged young people at the local level. In H. Proctor, P. Brownlee & P. Freebody (Ed.), Controversies in education: Orthodoxy and heresy in policy and practice (pp. 139–148), Cham: Springer.
  • Mayes, E. & Groundwater-Smith, S. (2013). Ricoprire posizioni alternative: Student voice, riflessione e riforma [Performing alternative positions: Student voice, reflection and reform]. In V. Grion and A. Cook-Sather (Eds.), Student Voice. Prospettive Internazionale e Pratiche Emergenti in Italia [IStudent Voice. International Perspectives and Emergent Practices in Italy]. (pp. 193–211), Italy: Guerini.
  • Groundwater-Smith, S. (2012). Mentoring teacher inquiry: Lessons in lesson study. In S. Fletcher & C. Mullen (Ed.), The Sage Handbook of Mentoring and Coaching in Education (pp. 494–505), London: Sage Publications.
  • Groundwater-Smith, S. & Mockler, N. (2012). Sustaining professional learning networks: The Australasian challenge. In C. Day (Ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Teacher and School Development (pp. 506–515), London: Routledge.
  • Groundwater-Smith, S. (2011). Living ethical practice in qualitative research. In J. Higgs, A. Titchen, D. Horsfall & D. Bridges (Ed.), Creative Spaces for Qualitative Researching: Living Research (pp. 201–210), Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.
  • Groundwater-Smith, S. & Irwin, J. (2011). Action Research in Education and Social Work. In Markauskaite, L., Freebody, P. & Irwin, J. (Ed.), Methodological Choice and Design: Scholarship, Policy and Practice in Social and Educational Research (pp. 57–69), New York: Springer.
  • Groundwater-Smith, S. (2009). Cooperative Change Management through Practitioner Inquiry. In B. Somekh & S. Noffke (Ed.), Handbook of Educational Action Research (pp. 186–194), London: Sage Publications.
  • Groundwater-Smith, S. & Mockler, N. (2008). Ethics in Practitioner Research: an Issue of Quality. In J. Furlong & A. Oancea (Ed.), Assessing Quality in Applied and Practice-Based Research (pp. 79–92), London: Routledge.

Journal articles

  • Groundwater-Smith, S. & Mockler, N. (2016). From data source to co-researchers? Tracing the shift from 'student voice' to student–teacher partnerships in Educational Action Research. Educational Action Research, 24(2), 159–176. DOI:10.1080/09650792.2015.1053507
  • Groundwater-Smith, S., Mitchell, J. & Mockler, N. (2016). Praxis and the language of improvement: Inquiry-based approaches to authentic improvement in Australasian schools. School Effectiveness and School Improvement, 27(1), 80–90. DOI:10.1080/09243453.2014.975137
  • Mockler, N. & Groundwater-Smith, S. (2015). Seeking for the unwelcome truths: Beyond celebration in inquiry-based teacher professional learning. Teachers and Teaching, 21(5), 603–614. DOI:10.1080/13540602.2014.995480
  • Groundwater-Smith, S., Mayes, E. & Arya-Pinatyh, K. (2014). A bridge over troubling waters in education: The complexity of a "students as co-researchers" project. Curriculum Matters, 10, 213–231.
  • Groundwater-Smith, S. (2011). Concerning equity: The voice of young people. Leading & Managing, 17(2), 52–65.