Associate Professor Megan Watkins

Dr Megan Watkins with trees and the Female Orphan School in the background.Megan Watkins is Associate Professor in the School of Education and member of 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 a recipient of two Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkages grants: 'Rethinking Multiculturalism/ Reassessing Multicultural Education' and 'Discipline and Diversity: Cultural Practices and Dispositions of Learning'.

She has worked in a consultancy capacity for the New South Wales Department of Education and Training and the Australian Curriculum Corporation.


PhD, 2003, Humanities, University of Western Sydney, Australia

Master of Linguistics, 1997, Macquarie University, Australia

BA Dip Ed., 1982, Macquarie University, Australia


Areas of Research/Teaching Expertise

Cultural Pedagogies; Affect; Habit and Embodiment; Education; Literacy; Qualitative Research Methodologies

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Grants/Current Projects


2010 - 2013: Watkins, M & Noble, G, 'Rethinking Multiculturalism/ Reassessing Multicultural Education', ARC Linkage Grant, research partners: NSW Department of Education and Training, NSW Institute of Teachers.

2008 - 2009: Watkins, M & Noble, G, 'Reassessing Multicultural Education Pilot Project', NSW Department of Education and Training Commissioned Research.

2006 - 2008: Noble, G & Watkins, M, 'Parents, Diversity and Cultures of Home and School', Department of Education and Training Commissioned Research.

2005 - 2007: Noble, G & Watkins, M, 'Discipline and Diversity: Cultural Practices and Dispositions of Learning', ARC Linkage Grant, research partner: NSW Department of Education and Training.


2004: Watkins, M, University of Western Sydney Seed Grant, Questions of Desire and Subjectivities of Teaching.

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Selected Publications


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

Watkins, M & Noble, G 2013, Disposed to learn: schooling, ethnicity and the scholarly habitus (opens in a new window), Bloomsbury, London & New York. 

Watkins, M 2011, Discipline and learn: bodies, pedagogy and writing, Sense Publishers, Rotterdam.

Knapp, P & Watkins, M 2005, Genre, text, grammar: technologies for teaching and assessing writing, UNSW Press, Sydney. [US Edition, 2005, University of Washington Press; Korean Language Edition, 2007, Pagijong Press; Indian Edition, 2010, Orient BlackSwan]

Book Chapters

Noble, G & Watkins, M 2014, 'The "schooled identities" of Australian multiculturalism: professional vision, reflexive civility and education for a culturally complex world', in R Race & V Lander (eds), Advancing race and ethnicity in education, Palgrave Macmillan, UK, pp. 162-177.  

Watkins, M 2014, 'Multicultural education: contemporary heresy or simply another doxa' in H Proctor, P Freebody & P Brownlee (eds), Controversies in education: orthodoxy and heresy in policy and practice, Springer, Switzerland, pp. 129-137.  

Noble, G & Watkins, M 2011, 'The productivity of stillness: composure and the scholarly habitus', in D Bissell & G Fuller (eds), Stillness in a mobile world (opens in a new window), Routledge, London & New York, pp. 107-24.

Watkins, M 2010, 'Desiring recognition, accumulating affect', in M Gregg & GJ Seigworth (eds), The affect theory reader, Duke University Press, Durham, pp. 269-85.

Watkins, M 2010, 'Discipline, diversity and agency: pedagogic practice and dispositions to learning', in Z Millei, TG Griffiths & RJ Parkes (eds), Re-theorizing discipline in education: problems, politics, and possibilities (opens in a new window),  Peter Lang, New York, pp. 59-75.

Watkins, M 2009, 'Deleuze, habit and the literate body', in D Masny & DR Cole (eds), Multiple literacies theory: a Deleuzian perspective, Sense Publishers, Rotterdam, pp. 31-49.

Refereed Journal Articles

Dunn, K, Lean, G, Watkins, M & Noble, G 2014, 'The visibility of racism: perceptions of cultural diversity and multicultural education in state schools', The International Journal of Organizational Diversity, vol. 15, no. 1, pp. 18-28. 

Bennett, T, Dodsworth, F, Noble, G, Poovey, M & Watkins, M 2013, 'Habit and habituation: governance and the social', Body & Society, vol. 19, no. 2&3, pp. 3-29.

Watkins, M 2011, 'Complexity reduction, regularities and rules: grappling with cultural diversity in schooling', Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies, vol. 25, no. 6, pp. 841-56.

Watkins, M & Noble, G 2011, 'Losing touch: pedagogies of incorporation and the ability to write', Social Semiotics, vol. 21, no. 4, pp. 503-16.

Watkins, M 2011, 'Teachers' tears and the affective geography of the classroom', Emotion Space and Society, vol. 4, no. 3, pp. 137-43.

Noble, G & Watkins, M 2009, 'On the arts of stillness: for a pedagogy of composure' (opens in a new window), Media/Culture Journal, vol. 12, no. 1.

Watkins, M 2008, 'Teaching bodies/learning desire: rethinking the role of desire in the pedagogic process', Pedagogy, Culture and Society, vol. 16, no. 2, pp. 113-24.

Watkins, M 2007, 'Disparate bodies: the role of the teacher in contemporary pedagogic practice', British Journal of the Sociology of Education, vol. 28, no. 6, pp. 767-81.

Watkins, M 2007, 'Critical theory and critical pedagogy today: toward a new critical language in education - a review', Theory, Culture and Society, vol. 24, no. 4, pp. 146-52.

Watkins, M 2007, 'Thwarting desire: discursive constraint and pedagogic practice', Qualitative Studies in Education, vol. 20, no. 3, pp. 301-18.

Watkins, M 2006, 'Pedagogic affect/effect: embodying a desire to learn', Pedagogies, 1(4): 269-282.

Watkins, M 2005, 'The erasure of habit: tracing the pedagogic body', Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, vol. 26, no. 2, pp. 167-81.

Watkins, M 2005, 'Discipline, consciousness and the formation of a scholarly habitus', Continuum, vol. 19, no. 4., pp. 545-57.

Watkins, M 2005, 'No body, never mind: interest, affect and classroom practice' (opens in a new window), M/C Journal, vol. 8, no. 6.

Noble, G & Watkins, M 2003, 'So, how did Bourdieu learn to play tennis? Habitus, consciousness and habituation', Cultural Studies, vol. 17, no. 3&4, pp. 520-39.

Watkins, M 1999, 'Policing the text: structuralism's stranglehold on Australian language and literacy pedagogy', Language and Education, vol. 13, no. 2, pp. 118-32.

Watkins, M 1997, 'Textual recipes: language pedagogy and classroom discourse', Southern Review, vol. 30, no. 3, pp. 287-301.

Watkins, M 1997, 'The damnation of Demidenko-interview or inquisition? Towards a pragmatic interpretation of genre', Social Semiotics, vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 53-73.


Noble, G & Watkins, M 2014, Rethinking multiculturalism reassessing multicultural education: project report number 2: perspectives on multicultural education. An ARC Linkage grant in partnership with NSW Department of Education and Communities, The Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards, and The University of Western Sydney. University of Western Sydney. 

Watkins, M & Noble, G 2014, Rethinking multiculturalism reassessing multicultural education: project report number 3: knowledge translation and action researchAn ARC Linkage grant in partnership with NSW Department of Education and Communities, The Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards, and The University of Western Sydney. University of Western Sydney.  

Watkins, M, Lean, G, Noble, G & Dunn, K 2013, Rethinking multiculturalism reassessing multicultural education: project report number 1: surveying New South Wales public school teachersAn ARC Linkage grant in partnership with NSW Department of Education and Communities, The Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards, and The University of Western Sydney. University of Western Sydney.

Cardona, B, Watkins, M & Noble, G 2009, Parents, diversity and cultures of home and school, Centre for Cultural Research, University of Western Sydney, Parramatta.

Watkins, M & Noble, G 2008, Cultural practices and learning: diversity, discipline and dispositions in schooling, University of Western Sydney, Sydney.


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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).