Dr Geetha Marcus is a Senior Lecturer in Psychology, Sociology and Education.


  • Overview
  • Research Interests
  • Activities and Awards

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. As a South Asian and advocate of black feminist thought and methodology, my work also explores research into the multiple identities and experiences of young people and women on the margins from a postcolonial perspective.

Having worked in primary and teacher education, I am concerned that the rhetoric around young people’s attainment 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 are some of the most marginalised and least achieving in the UK, and yet often ignored or demonised as troublesome Other. I also continue to explore collaborative and participant-led approaches to the lived experiences of Gypsy and Traveller women as their voices remain unheard in mainstream discourses.


Active research interests: 

  • Race, class and gender inequalities in education, families and communities
  • Experiences of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller girls, and women on the margins
  • Closing the educational attainment gap
  • Culturally relevant pedagogy for teaching the new century child

Research Methods:

  • Qualitative approaches, black feminist methodology or intersectionality, oral history
  • Postgraduate Teaching:
  • XM023     Reflective and Critical Practice
  • XM025/26 Education, Theory, Practice and Research (Supervision of Professional Inquiry)

Academic Lead for Placements (BA Hons Education Studies (Primary), BA Hons Education Studies and PGDE Home Economics)


  • Orcid ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5610-5344
  •  General Teaching Council of Scotland (Fully Registered Teacher)
  • Member, British Sociological Association (BSA)
  • Member, Leadership in Scottish Education Network (LiSEN), Scottish Educational Research Association (SERA)
  • Associate Researcher, Centre for Research on Families and Relationships, University of Edinburgh


Marcus, G.  (2018) Scotland's attainment gap: Three ways to bridge the educational divide. [Website]

Marcus, G.  (2018) Scotland’s Imperial Past and Present: Patterns, Complexities and Contradictions. Rethinking Race in Scotland, Glasgow, UK, 27 Jan 2018.

Marcus, G.  (2018) Celebrating Diversity in Academia. Black History Month, Glasgow, UK, 23 Oct 2018.

Marcus, G.  (2018) The Colour of Scholarship. Scottish Race Equality Network Meeting, Edinburgh, UK, 31 Jan 2018.

Marcus, G.  (2018) Race in Education. Race Equality Group Meeting, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK, 19 Nov 2018.

Marcus, G.  (2018) Silence and Stigma in the Lives of Gypsy and Traveller Girls in Scotland. Exploring Legacies of Injustice and Inequality; Enabling Just and Equal Futures (OLIRN event), Edinburgh, UK, 03 Dec 2018.


Marcus, G.  (2017) The Colour of Scholarship. [Website]

Marcus, G.  (2017) The Politics and Complexity of Silence in the Marginalised Lives of Young Gypsy/Traveller Women in Scotland. 5th European Conference on Politics and Gender (ECPG), Lausanne, Switzerland, 8-10 Jun 2017.

Marcus, G.  (2017) Reclaiming Intersectionality. 2nd Annual Black Feminism, Womanism and the Politics of Women of Colour in Europe, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 7 Oct 2017.


Marcus, G.  (2016) Closing the Attainment Gap. Piecing Together the Jigsaw Policy Lab 2, Edinburgh, UK, 25 Nov 2016.

Marcus, G.  (2016) Power, Silence and Agency: The Educational Experiences of Gypsy/Traveller Girls in Scotland. Centre for Research in Families and Relationships Seminar, Edinburgh, UK, 15 Nov 2016.

Marcus, G.  (2016) Race, Gender, Class and Age: The Intersecting Experiences of Gypsy/Traveller Girls in Scotland. The Critical Race and Ethnicity Network (CREN)’s 2 nd Annual Conference: Intersectional Interventions: Connecting Oppression Anywhere to Oppression Everywhere, Sheffield, UK, 21 Oct 2016.

Marcus, G.  (2016) The Racialised and Gendered Experiences of Gypsy/Traveller Girls in Scotland. BSA Postgraduate Forum and BSA Race and Ethnicity Study Group Seminar, London, UK, Oct 2016.

Marcus, G.  (2016) Black Feminism and the Racialised, Gendered Experiences of Gypsy/Traveller Girls in Scotland. 1st Black Feminism, Womanism, and the Politics of Women of Colour in Europe, Edinburgh, UK, 3 Sep 2016.

Marcus, G.  (2016) Plenary Closing Remarks. 1st Black Feminism, Womanism, and the Politics of Women of Colour in Europe, Edinburgh, UK, 3 Sep 2016.

Marcus, G.  (2016) Closing The Attainment Gap: What Can Schools Do? Project Report. Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe), Edinburgh.

Marcus, G.  (2016) 2nd Annual Black Feminism, Womanism and the Politics of Women of Colour in Europe: closing remarks. [Website]


Marcus, G.  (2015) The Intersecting Invisible Experiences of Gypsy/Traveller Girls in Scotland. Children and Youth Studies Network Seminar, Edinburgh, UK, 25 Nov 2015.

Marcus, G.  (2015) Marginalisation and the voices of Gypsy/Traveller girls. Cambridge Open-Review Education Research e-Journal, 1(2), pp. 55-77.


Marcus, G.  (2014) From the Margins to the Centre: The Educational Experiences of Gypsy and Traveller Girls in Scottish Schools. British Educational Research Association (BERA) Annual Conference, London, UK, 23-25 Sep 2014.

Marcus, G.  (2014) From the Margins to the Centre: The Educational Experiences of Gypsy and Traveller Girls in Scotland. Kaleidoscope Graduate Student Research Conference: Opening up the Ivory Tower, Cambridge, UK, 29-30 May 2014.