Dr Geetha Marcus

Senior Lecturer in Teacher Education


I am a sociologist, feminist and teacher activist whose research and teaching interests focus on social inequalities within public education systems. I have extensive professional experience in the field of primary education, both in classroom practice and in senior management, and in 2016 published a study for the Scottish Parliament, 'Closing the Attainment Gap', on educational achievement and equity. As a practitioner-researcher, I believe there is an urgent need for teachers to employ education methods that effect justice-oriented social change.

My book Gypsy and Traveller Girls: Silence, Agency and Power (2019) critically explores and documents the racialised and gendered experiences of Gypsy and Traveller girls in Scotland, within public spaces of school and private spaces of home.  And recent publications - Marcus & Van de Peer (2023) and Marcus (2023) continue to detail ongoing racialised narratives within education and society. As a South Asian and advocate of black feminist thought and methodology, my work continues to explore the stories and multiple identities of young people and women on the margins from a postcolonial perspective.


  • PhD (University of Edinburgh), Education
  • MSc (Distinction) (University of Edinburgh), Education
  • PG Cert (Distinction with Merit in Teaching)(Northern College of Education, Aberdeen), Primary Education
  • BA (Hons) (National University of Singapore), English

Responsibilities & affiliations

General Teaching Council of Scotland (Full Registration)




Postgraduate teaching

MSc in Transformative Learning & Teaching  (MSc TLT)

* Course Organiser: Subject Specialism: Nursery and Primary Curricular Areas 1 and 2 (EDUA11381 & EDUA11380)

* University Cluster Link for Student On-site Placements

Postgraduate Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) Primary

* Course Organiser: Developing Pedagogies (EDUA11287)

* Course Tutor: Dimensions of Teaching (EDUA11441)

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Current PhD students supervised

Alana Crawford (University of Strathclyde): The experiences of BAME Teachers in Scotland (SGSSS award)

Research summary

Having worked in primary and teacher education, I am concerned that the rhetoric around young people’s attainment still tends to focus on class related poverty, often ignoring the complex intersection of inequalities that stem from gender, race, religion, sexuality, disability and, of course, age. Framing ‘the child’ as a distinct group, with their different mix/intersection of social locations, I am interested in the lives and multiple identities of young people who have been marginalised. Concerns around social justice for children and young people, their welfare, wellbeing and human rights form core themes of my professional practice. My research with Gypsy and Traveller children sits firmly within these concerns as they remain some of the most marginalised and least achieving in the UK, and yet often ignored or demonised as troublesome Other.  This has led to a growing focus on the lived experiences of "migrant" and "refugee" girls and women, as their voices and needs are increasingly oppressed and silenced  in the UK. 

Active Research Interests:

  • Experiences of BAME teachers and student teachers
  • Experiences of Gypsy/Travellers
  • Experiences of "migrant" and/or "refugee" women and girls 
  • Culturally relevant pedagogies for teaching the new century child
  • Translingualism and Translanguaging
  • Black feminist methodology (otherwise known an intersectionality)
  • Oral history



Current research interests

I am currently working on three research outputs for publication. 1) A journal article interrogating aspects of the Scottish Education system using bell hooks' 'education as the practice of freedom' 2) An edited book that problematises the teaching of language (s) in Scottish schools 3) A single authored monograph which is an auto-ethnographic reflection on race and migration in the UK.

More video

In the press

Marcus, G. (2021) In memory of Stephen Lawrence: ‘Decolonising the Curriculum: Silence is not an Option’, Dr Geetha Marcus's blog, 21st April. https://www.qmu.ac.uk/campus-life/blogs/staff-dr-geetha-marcus/decolonising-the-curriculum-silence-is-not-an-option/

Marcus, G. (2021) 'Pandemic Thoughts: Decolonising COVID', Dr Geetha Marcus's blog, 30 September. https://www.qmu.ac.uk/campus-life/blogs/staff-dr-geetha-marcus/pandemic-thoughts/

Marcus, G. (2020) 'At dawn today', QMU@Home Blogs, 29 April. https://www.qmu.ac.uk/at-home/blogs/at-dawn-today/  

Homelessness Discussion at Edinburgh International Book Festival https://www.sfha.co.uk/news/news-category/sector-news/news-article/homelessness-discussion-at-edinburgh-international-book-festival


Marcus, G. (2023) 'Talking of silence: Young Gypsy/Traveller women in Scotland', in Beasley, C. and Papadelos, P. (eds.) Living legacies of social injustice: Power, time and social change. Taylor Francis.

Marcus, G., & Van de Peer, S. (Eds.). (2023). Anti-racism in Education: Stories of Growing Activism. Critical Publishing.

Marcus, G. (2022) [Review of the book Against White Feminism, by Rafia Zakaria]. Feminist Encounters: A Journal of Critical Studies in Culture and Politics, 6(2), 33. https://doi.org/10.20897/femenc/12356

Marcus, G. (2022) 'Digital and remote models of mentoring', in Eady, S., Essex, J., Livingston, K. and McColl, M. (eds.) Mentoring Teachers in Scotland: A Practical Guide. London, Routledge, pp. 171-186.

Marcus, G. (2019) Gypsy and Traveller Girls: Silence, agency and power. Monograph. London: Palgrave Macmillan

Marcus, G. (2018) Scotland's Attainment Gap: Three Ways to Bridge the Educational Divide, The Conversation

Marcus, G. (2017) The Colour of Scholarship, British Sociological Association

Marcus, G. (2016) Black Feminism, Womanism and the Politics of Women of Colour in Europe Conference Blog: Plenary Closing Remarks

Marcus, G. (2016) Closing the attainment gap: What can schools do?SPICe Briefing SB 16/68

Marcus, G. (2016) The intersecting invisible experiences of Gypsy/Traveller girls in Scotland, Childhood and Youth Studies Network Blog

Marcus, G. (2015) Marginalisation and the voices of Gypsy/Traveller girls, Cambridge Open-Review Educational Research e-Journal (CORERJ),1 (2): p.55-77.  Received 2016 CORERJ Editorial Board and Readership (CEBR) Award for most outstanding paper


Conference Paper/Presentations

Gypsy/Traveller Girls: A Case Study of the Dilemmas and Divisions in Feminist Thinking, Keynote Speaker,Young Women and Girls in Contemporary Scotland and Beyond, Girlhood Gang Conference 2018, Glasgow Women’s Library, Sept 2018.

The Politics of Silence in the Lives of Young Gypsy/Traveller Women in Scotland,Invited Speaker, College of Social Science, University of Hawaii, Manoa, April 2018. 

Closing the Attainment Gap: What Can Schools Do? Invited Speaker, Scottish Educational Research Association, University of Edinburgh, March 2018.

Power, Silence and Agency: The Educational Experiences of Gypsy/Traveller Girls in Scotland, Invited Speaker, Institute for Research and Innovation in Social Services (Iriss), Glasgow, March 2018.

Scotland’s Imperial Past and Present: Patterns, Complexities and Contradictions. Invited Speaker, Rethinking Race in Scotland, Glasgow, Jan 2018. 

The Colour of Scholarship.Scottish Race Equality Network Meeting, Edinburgh, UK, Jan 2018 

Reclaiming Intersectionality, 2nd Annual Black Feminism, Womanism and the Politics of Women of Colour in Europe, Binnenpret, Amsterdam, Oct 2017. 

The Politics and Complexity of Silence in the Marginalised Lives of Young Gypsy/Traveller Women in Scotland, European Conference on Politics and Gender, University of Lausanne, June 2017  https://ecpr.eu/Events/PaperDetails.aspx?PaperID=33541&EventID=114

Piecing Together the Jigsaw: Connecting the politics of childhood poverty, education and welfare, Closing The Attainmen Gap, Invited Speaker, School of Education, University of Edinburgh, December 2016  https://www.commonspace.scot/articles/10017/piecing-together-jigsaw-policy-lab-2-notes

Power, Silence and Agency: The Educational Experiences of Gypsy/Traveller Girls in Scotland, Centre for Research in Families and Relationships, School of Social and Political Science, University of Edinburgh, November 2016 Marcus seminar.pdf - JISCMail

Race, Gender, Class and Age: The Intersecting Experiences of Gypsy/Traveller Girls in Scotland, Critical Race and Ethnicities Network (CREN) Conference: Intersectional Interventions – Connecting oppression anywhere to oppression everywhere, Humanities Research Institute, University of Sheffield, October 2016

The Racialised and Gendered Experiences of Gypsy/Traveller Girls in Scotland, BSA Postgraduate Forum and BSA Race and Ethnicity Study Group Seminar, Postgraduate and Early Career Researchers in Race and Ethnicity Studies, BSA Meeting Room, Imperial Wharf, London. October 2016 https://blogs.city.ac.uk/cci/2016/10/16/bsa-race-and-ethnicity-studies-workshop-and-mentoring-scheme/

Black Feminism and the Racialised, Gendered Experiences of Gypsy/Traveller Girls in Scotland, Black Feminism, Womanism and the Politics of the Women of Colour in Europe, University of Edinburgh, September 2016

The Intersecting Invisible Experiences of Gypsy/Traveller Girls in Scotland, Childhood and Youth Studies Network Seminar, School of Social and Political Science, University of Edinburgh, November 2015

From the Margins to the Centre: The Educational Experiences of Gypsy and Traveller Girls in Scottish Schools, British Educational Research Association (BERA) Annual Conference, Institute of Education, London,  September 2014

From the Margins to the Centre: The Educational Experiences of Gypsy and Traveller Girls in Scotland, Kaleidoscope Conference: Opening Up the Ivory Tower, Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, May 2014

From the Margins to the Centre: The Educational Experiences of Gypsy and Traveller Girls in Scottish Schools, British Educational Research Association (BERA) Postgraduate Symposium, University of Glasgow, October 2013