Dr Kirsten Anna Locke

PhD, MEd, BMus, DipTch


Kirsten is Senior Lecturer in philosophy of education. Her academic research is informed by fifteen years of teaching experience in primary, secondary, and tertiary education in New Zealand and overseas. Kirsten’s research brings poststructuralist and feminist theories and methodologies to bear on a range of intersecting and overlapping interests in education that encompass architecture, gender, policy and practice, art, and music. Currently Kirsten is part of a comparative project that explores the gendered career trajectories of women in Danish and New Zealand universities. Through the approaches of discourse analysis, genealogy, metaphor and narrative, and intersectionality, Kirsten’s overall project is to contribute to the renewal of the field of education studies in ways that highlight and promote the transformative power of education.

Research | Current

  • Philosophical engagements with the work of Jean-François Lyotard in education
  • Issues of gender and inclusion in Higher Education
  • Creativity and artistic engagement in education

2016: Women in the Academy: A Comparative Project between Denmark and New Zealand (with Professor Susan Wright, Aarhus University & Dr Rebecca Lund, Aarhus University).

2015: (PI) A comparative study of gender and management in the university. FRDF. 

2013-14 — (AI) The Liveable University. Transforming Cities: Innovations for Sustainable Futures WUN Urban Research Seeding Fund. (With Stephen Turner [PI], Niki Harré and Sean Sturm from the University of Auckland).

2014- (AI) Student Engagement and Achievement in Large Lecture Settings (SEALLS). (With Jason Stephens [PI], Steven Leichtweis, Catherine Rawlinson, Michael Willimott, Nicoletta Rata, and Damon Ellis from the University of Auckland).


Teaching | Current

  • EDUC 116 – Introduction to Educational Thought
  • EDUC 118 – History and Society in New Zealand Education
  • EDUC 204 – Philosophy and Sociology of Education
  • EDUC 304 - Educational Philosophy and Policy
  • EDUC 703 - Philosophy of Education
  • EDPROF 755 - Promoting Learning through Enquiry: Responsiveness and Creativity

Postgraduate supervision

  • Arsalan Abdollahi, The Emergence of the Excellent Subject: A New Zealand Perspective on Educational Promises of New Right and Third Way Governmentality, thesis, Master of Education, 2014.
  • Zeyun (Valerie) Zhang. The Challenges and Needs of International Postgraduate Student Mothers, thesis, Master of Education, 2016. 
  • Vanessa Cameron-Lewis, Re-considering ethics and erotics in sexuality education: A new materialist rereading of key sexuality education theory. Doctor of Philosophy, [joint supervisor], in process.
  • Veronica Garcia, Critical thinking through images. Doctor of Philosophy, [joint supervisor], in process
  • Andrew Thompson, Dewey, State Theory, and Education. Master of Education, [joint supervisor], in process
  • Delali Amuzu, Rethinking the Philosophical Approach to Higher Education in Ghana. Doctor of Philosophy, [joint supervisor], in process
  • Bronwyn Houliston, Historical thinking in the New Zealand classroom. Doctor of Philosophy, [joint supervisor], in process
  • Barry Man-Kei Lee: Vocational calling, career trajectories and sustainability issues in musicians: a phenomenological study. Doctor of Philosophy, [joint supervisor], in process



2016: Early Career Research Excellence Award, University of Auckland

Locke, K. (2016, Jan). The art of critical and creative teaching. Invited keynote presentation at Epsom Normal Primary Staff Only Day, Waipuna Conference Centre, Auckland, New Zealand. Archived at:  https://youtu.be/L6IYxnz6BPw 

Locke, K. (2015, Dec). Symposium on Modern Learning Environments. Invited Discussant at the 45th Annual Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia Conference. Melbourne, Australia.

Locke, K. (2015, Nov). Female professors in Denmark and New Zealand: Why the inequality? Invited speaker on the Short-term Speaker Scheme, Hong Kong University, Hong Kong.

Locke, K. (2015, Nov). Qualitative research in a quantitative world. Invited discussant to Professor Nicholas C. Burbules on the Short-term Speaker Scheme, Hong Kong University, Hong Kong.

Whitty, G., Morgan, J., & Locke, K. (2015, Oct.). The future role of universities in teacher education. Invited panellist at AUT University, School of Education, Auckland, New Zealand.

Locke, K. (2015, August). Female professors in Denmark and New Zealand: Why the inequality? Invited speaker to the Senior Women’s Leadership Network, University of Auckland.

2014 Invited presenter at the When disaster strikes: Supporting children and young people’s psychosocial wellbeing, seminar. Jointly hosted by the Faculty of Education, University of Auckland and the London School of Economics (LSE)’s School of Social Psychology at the London campus.

2013 Visiting Scholar, Aarhus University, Copenhagen, Denmark. For European Union FP7 University Reform, Globalisation and Europeanisation Project in association with MoRST Project Title: University Reform, Globalisation and Europeanisation (URGE).

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

2011 Name placed on the ‘Dean’s List’ in recognition of excellence achieved in a PhD at The University of Auckland, New Zealand

2011 University of Alberta Grant to attend ‘Rewriting Lyotard’ Conference, Edmonton, Canada

2009 Marion Rayward Memorial Trust Award to present a successfully refereed paper at New Zealand’s first Research and Music Education Conference

2007 AERA music education special interest group student scholarship for refereed paper at a conference

2006 University of Auckland Doctoral Scholarship

1997 Leslie Atkinson Memorial Music Award, University of Canterbury

Areas of expertise

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

Committees/Professional groups/Services

  • 2015 - 2016 EDSW Associate Dean of Teaching and Learning
  • 2015 - 2016 EDSW Chair of the Teaching and Learning Quality Committee
  • 2015 - 2016 EDSW Representative on UoA Teaching and Learning Quality Committee
  • 2016 - Member of the Critical Studies in Education Research Committeem 
  • 2014 - Faculty of Education Postgraduate Advisor
  • 2013 - present Chair of Teaching and Learning Committee, Critical Studies in Education
  • 2013 - present 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
  • 2007 - present Proposal Reviewer for the Annual Meeting of the Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • 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
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/47250
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Frederique Vanholsbeeck, Dion O'Neale
  • 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.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/40874
  • 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
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/40163
  • 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

Office: Room N366

Ext: 48359

Primary office location

Level 3, Room 366
New Zealand

Web links