Professor Megan Watkins


Dr Megan Watkins with trees and the Female Orphan School in the background.Megan Watkins is Professor in the School of Education and Institute Fellow at the ICS. Her research interests lie in the cultural analysis of education and the formation of human subjectivities. In particular, her work engages with issues of pedagogy, embodiment, discipline and affect and the interrelation of these to human agency. These interests mesh with her exploration of the impact of cultural diversity on education and the ways in which different cultural practices can engender divergent habits and dispositions to learning.

Megan also has extensive experience as a literacy educator, conducting pioneering work in the field of genre-based approaches to teaching writing and post-progressivist pedagogies.

She is currently undertaking research into the impact of Asian migration on Australian society in two ARC Discovery Projects: Schooling, Parenting and Ethnicity: Asian Migration and Australian Education and Civic Sinoburbia? New Chinese migrants and everyday citizenship in Sydney.


  • PhD, Humanities, University of Western Sydney, Australia
  • Master of Linguistics, Macquarie University, Australia
  • BA Dip Ed., Macquarie University, Australia

Areas of Research/Teaching Expertise

  • Cultural Pedagogies
  • Affect
  • Habit and Embodiment
  • Education
  • Cultural Diversity
  • Multicultural Education
  • Asian MIgration and Education Cultures
  • Literacy

Selected Publications

Watkins, M. 2021. The Persistence of Inequality: Education, Class and Cultural Capital (opens in a new window) in Bennett, T., Carter, D., Gayo, M. Kelly, M. and Noble, G. (eds) Fields, Capitals, Habitus: Australian Culture, Inequalities and Social Divisions. London, New York, Routledge, pp 188-207.

Watkins, M, Ho, C & and Butler, R 2019, 'Introduction: Asian migration and education cultures in the Anglo-sphere', in M Watkins, C Ho & R Butler (eds), Asian migration and education cultures in the Anglosphere (opens in a new window), London, Routledge.

Watkins, M 2019, '"We are all Asian here": multiculturalism, selective schooling and responses to Asian success', in M Watkins, C Ho & R Butler (eds), Asian migration and education cultures in the Anglosphere (opens in a new window), London, Routledge.

Watkins, M & Noble, G 2019, 'Lazy multiculturalism: cultural essentialism and the persistence of the multicultural day in Australian schools' (opens in a new window), Ethnography and Education, vol.14, no. 3, pp. 295–310.

Watkins, M, Noble, G & Wong, A 2019, It’s complex: working with students of refugee backgrounds and their families in New South Wales public schools (PDF, 2779.61 KB) (opens in a new window), New South Wales Teachers Federation, Sydney.

Watkins, M 2017, ‘Time, space and the scholarly habitus: thinking through the phenomenological dimensions of field’, Educational Philosophy and Theory, pp.1–9.

Watkins, M 2017, 'Little room for capacitation: rethinking Bourdieu on pedagogy as symbolic violence', British Journal of Sociology of Education, pp. 1-14, DOI: 10.1080/01425692.2017.1304202.

Watkins, M 2017, 'Can space teach?: theorising pedagogies of social order', Geographical Research, vol. 55, no. 1, pp. 80-88. DOI: 10.1111/1745-5871.12197.

Watkins, M 2016, 'Gauging the affective: becoming attuned to its impact in education', in M. Zembylas & P. Schultz (eds), Methodological Advances in Research on Emotion and Education, Springer, New York, pp. 71-81.

Watkins, M, Noble, G & Driscoll, C (eds) 2015, 'Cultural pedagogies and human conduct', Routledge, London.

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Related Content

Megan Watkins appeared as a panellist on the ABC's Life Matters program, discussing discipline and punishment of children. Listen to the podcast here: 'Discipline to punish or enable?' (opens in a new window).