Higher-degree research being undertaken by Thi Van Su Nguyen




Dr George Odhiambo and Dr Kevin Laws

Thesis title:

Teachers’ conceptual change on learning and teaching in higher education: insights from a compulsory professional development program in Vietnam



Project description

This grounded theory study investigates program participants’ conceptions of learning and teaching in higher education and their conceptual changes when they complete a compulsory teachers’ professional development for higher education teachers. Semi-structured interviews with program participants and presenters were conducted. Documents related to the program and teacher training initiatives were used to supplement interview data. The study responds to the call for researching teachers’ conceptions of teaching, and in particular, how professional development programs impact on teachers’ conceptual change towards teaching. It is expected that a construction of the model on higher education teachers’ conceptions of teaching and learning from a Vietnamese context will provide insights into the design, implementation and possible restructure of teachers’ professional development in higher education contexts.

Thi Van Su Nguyen has a Bachelor degree (Cantho University, Vietnam) and a Master degree in Education (TESOL) (Sydney) and has a few years of experience working as a TESOL teacher. Upon the completion of her Master degree, she returned to Vietnam and worked as a teacher in a university in Vietnam, where she taught English and coordinated a few projects related to developing teachers’ professionalism. It was then her interest in the field of in-service teacher education, especially early career teachers and teachers in rural areas started. This motivated her to pursue her PhD program researching higher education teachers’ professional development in a Vietnamese context. Su is now in her final year of candidature and hopes to graduate in 2017.


  • Australian Awards Scholarship (2013-2017)

Professional and community roles

  • Member of DEPISA (Developing Educational Professionals in Southeast Asia), an organization established to provide educational assistance, and network and its meeting is now held annually to promote knowledge, experience and research exchange among educational professionals in Laos, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Australia.


  • Nguyen, T. V. S., & Khuu, Q. D. (2013). Planning a teachers' professional development project: an action learning approach. In K. Laws, L. Harbon, & C. Wescombe (Eds.), Supporting professional development with learning through action projects: Research from Australia and Southeast Asia (pp. 81-96). Developing Educational Professionals in Southeast Asia (DEPISA).

Conference presentations