Dr Kirsten Anna Locke

PhD, MEd, BMus, DipTch


I am an educational theorist and philosopher with a particular interest in applying a history of educational ideas to current social and educational challenges and issues. My research has focussed on a diverse range of political, cultural and social sites including Gender Studies, aesthetics, feminist theories and methodologies, and philosophical perspectives and applications of education pedagogy in and outside of the institutional structures of schooling. My background in music and teaching animate and stimulate my writing and thinking, as does my enduring curiosity about the many ways education can be a force for continued good and social change on individual and societal levels.

Research | Current

My latest publication in 2021 is available in open access through the following:

Locke, K., Lund, R. W. B. & Wright, S. Rethinking gender equity in the contaminated university: A methodology for listening for music in the ruins. Gender, Work & Organization. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/gwao.12632

My latest publications in 2020 consist of the following:

Lazo VG, Locke K, Rupcich N, O’Connor G, Yoon C, Longley A. Pedagogy and Social Critique in the Era of Fragmentation: A Collective Writing Experiment as cadavres exquis Video Journal of Education and Pedagogy 1-22 25 Sep 2020 (Journal article). 

Locke K, Jones A, Johnson C. ‘Little paroxysms of rage’: A conversation about academia and feminism with Professor Alison Jones Women's Studies Journal 34(1/2):137-148 2020 (Journal article). 

Turnbull SM, Meissel K, Locke K, O'Neale DRJ. The Impact of Science Capital on Self-Concept in Science: A Study of University Students in New Zealand Frontiers in Education 5:16 pages 02 Apr 2020 (Journal article).

Locke K, Rahman A, Johnson C. Decolonising white feminism in Aotearoa/New Zealand: An interview with Anjum Rahman Women's Studies Journal 34(1/2):149-160 2020 (Journal article). 

Peters MA, White EJ, Besley T, Locke K, Redder B, Novak R, Gibbons A, O’Neill J, Tesar M, Sturm S. Video ethics in educational research involving children: Literature review and critical discussion Educational Philosophy and Theory 1-18 29 Jan 2020 (Journal article). 

My research has a strong interdisciplinary focus where my expertise and knowledge in educational theory and philosophy is brought to bear on a variety of different research contexts. Most recently I am collaborating with scholars at a national and international level in the following:

Gender equity in academia - with Professor Susan Wright (Aarhus university) & Dr Rebecca Lund (Oslo University)
Interprofessional education - with Dr Diana Austin (Victoria University)
Critical citizenship and the role of education - with Dr Charlotta Windahl (UoA), Dr Frauke Meyer (UoA) & Dr Carla Amaral (UoA)
Te Pūnaha Matatini - the Aotearoa New Zealand Centre of Research Excellence for Complex Systems. With Dr Dion O'Neale (UoA) & Steven Turnbull (UoA)

Teaching | Current

EDUC 204: Philosophy and Sociology of Education
EDUC 304: Educational Philosophy and Policy
EDUC 209: The Learning Society
GENDER 700: Critical Theories and Methods in Gender Studies
EDUC 703: Philosophy of Education
EDPROFST 754: Critical Research Methodologies in Education

Postgraduate supervision

Current doctoral thesis students

Aristotle Motii Nandy: Character education on trial
Barry Lee: Passion or bread? A Phenomenological study of musicians' calling
Andrew Thompson: Dewey, state theory, and education
Leal Rodriguez: Masculinities in Filipino Higher Education
Vanessa Cameron-Lewis: Re-considering ethics and erotics in sexuality education: A new materialist rereading of key sexuality education theory
Jay Allnutt: Exploring equality in education
Zeyun (Valerie) Zhang: Experiences of international doctoral students who are mothers at New Zealand universities
Oluwakemi Agagu: Gender policy and women in academic leadership in Nigerian universities
Chris Porteous: The Grammar Man: Exploring the constitution of masculinities at Auckland Boys’ Grammar

Completed doctoral students

Delali Amuzu: Rethinking the Philosophical Approach to Higher Education in Ghana. 
Bronwyn Houliston: Historical thinking in the New Zealand classroom
Veronica Garcia: Critical thinking through images
Zulfa Sakhiyya: The internationalisation of Higher Education in Indonesia
Steven Turnbull: A path drawn out: Understanding Tertiary Science Participation in Aotearoa New Zealand

Completed masters students

Arsalan Abdollahi: The Emergence of the Excellent Subject: A New Zealand Perspective on Educational Promises of New Right and Third Way Governmentality
Zeyun (Valerie) Zhang. The Challenges and Needs of International Postgraduate Student Mothers
Ben Porteous: Cyberbullying, public pedagogy, and rural New Zealand masculinity​

Completed Honours thesis student

Sandra Burgham: Women in Leadership” – a construct providing a veneer of progress in the patriarchy


2019     Awarded the Sustained Excellence in Teaching Award, University of Auckland

2016     Awarded the University of Auckland Early Career Research Excellence Award (ECREA)

2016     Awarded the Innovation in Teaching Excellence Award, Critical Studies in Education, EDSW

2013     Visiting Fellow:  EU FP7-People -Marie Curie – IRSES (International Research Staff Exchange Scheme)                 URGE (University Reform, Globalisation and Europeanisation)

2012     Awarded the Early Career Excellence in Teaching Award at the Faculty of Education, University of Auckland

2011     Name placed on Dean’s List in recognition of excellence achieved in a doctoral thesis, University of Auckland

2008     Awarded the Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia (PESA) Annual Doctoral Award

2006    Awarded a University of Auckland Doctoral Scholarship

Areas of expertise

  • Philosophy of Education
  • History of educational thought
  • Aesthetics and education
  • Political economy of education
  • Gender Studies

Committees/Professional groups/Services

University Committees

  • 2019 - present Member of the University of Auckland Human Participants Ethics Committee (UAHPEC)
  • 2019 Chair of the Critical Studies in Education Research Committee 
  • 2015 - 2017 EDSW Associate Dean of Teaching and Learning
  • 2015 - 2017 EDSW Chair of the Teaching and Learning Quality Committee
  • 2015 - 2017 EDSW Representative on UoA Teaching and Learning Quality Committee
  • 2016 - present Member of the Critical Studies in Education Research Committee
  • 2014 - Faculty of Education Postgraduate Advisor
  • 2013 - 2014 Chair of Teaching and Learning Committee, Critical Studies in Education
  • 2013 - 2014  Member of Faculty of Education Teaching and Learning Quality Committee
  • 2012 - Member of the Critical Studies in Education Research Committee
  • 2012 - Guest editor for the journal Pacific-Asian Education, Volume 24, Number
  • 2009 - present Reviewer, Educational Philosophy and Theory
  • 2010 - present Associate Editor, Educational Philosophy and Theory

I review for:

  • Gender and Education
  • Educational Philosophy and Theory
  • Video Journal of Education Pedagogy
  • New Zealand Journal of Educational Studies
  • Pacific-Asian Education
  • New Zealand Journal of Teachers' Work
  • Women's Studies Journal
  • Critical Studies in Education
  • Higher Education Research Development

Journal Editorships:

Co-Editor for Women's Studies Journal (NZ)
Co-Editor for Video Journal of Education Pedagogy
Associate Editor for Educational Philosophy and Theory

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • Sakhiyya, Z., & Locke, K. (2019). Empowerment vs. meritocracy discourses in Indonesian public universities: The case of female leaders. ASIAN JOURNAL OF WOMENS STUDIES, 25 (2), 198-216. 10.1080/12259276.2019.1610210
  • Turnbull, S. M., Locke, K., Vanholsbeeck, F., & O'Neale DRJ (2019). Bourdieu, networks, and movements: Using the concepts of habitus, field and capital to understand a network analysis of gender differences in undergraduate physics. PloS one, 14 (9)10.1371/journal.pone.0222357
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Frederique Vanholsbeeck, Dion O'Neale, Steven Turnbull
  • Locke, K. (2018). Reflection on ten visual theses: #DoWhatYouCant. Open Review of Educational Research, 5 (1), 92-94.
  • Locke, K. (2018). Intersectionality and inclusive leadership in the university: Case studies from Denmark. In L. Stefani, P. Blessinger (Eds.) Inclusive leadership in higher education: International perspectives and approaches (pp. 46-60). London, UK: Routledge.
  • Locke, K., Gerlich, R., Godfery, M., Fraser, I., Robertson, G., & Roberts, A. (2017). The heart of the matter: A written presentation of the sixth annual Peter Fraser memorial lecture. Knowledge Cultures, 5 (6), 25-44. 10.22381/KC5620173
  • Locke, K., & Wright, S. (2017). Mainlining the motherboard: Exploring gendered academic labour in the university. In C. Hudson, Rönnblom M, K. Tehghtsoonian (Eds.) Gender, governance and feminist analysis: Missing in action? (pp. 59-77). London, UK: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/44242
  • Locke, K., & Yates, S. (2017). Fragments, Lyotard and Earthquakes: A mosaic of memory and broken pieces. In E. Grierson (Ed.) Transformations: Art and the City (pp. 181-196). Bristol, UK: Intellect.
  • Locke, K. (2017). Lyotard's pedagogies of affect in Les Immateriaux. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 49 (13), 1277-1285. 10.1080/00131857.2017.1350934
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/39428

Contact details

Alternative contact

Mobile: 021596822

Office hours

Feel free to email me for availability. 

Primary office location

Level 3, Room 366
New Zealand