Dr John Watts


John’s research interests include sense making theories, continuing identity and ethos in religious institutions, effective reflexive processes for studying the ontology of deep concepts such as wisdom and love, mathematics teaching and learning, gender-equity-bullying issues, constructionism and critical realism, and the nexus between personality and subject choice.

John is the author of more than 15 national and international research articles and 50 papers and scholarly articles.

His most recent paper, co-presented with a former doctoral student at the Fifth National Symposium on Religious Education and Ministry, is entitled “A hermeneutic case study approach to exploring continuing ethos in religious institutions.” It has since appeared in the journal, Catholic school studies. A related paper, “Continuing the Catholic ethos and identity of a Catholic institution when disengaged from its foundational religious founders or traditions: an Australian case study,” has also appeared in The Australasian Catholic record.

John is currently co-writing two manuscripts relating to values in Catholic religious institutions, and a revised conceptualisation of catholicity.

John is a senior lecturer in mathematics education, assessment and evaluation in the Faculty of Education at Avondale College.


Why is teaching sometimes viewed as being of more lowly status than dentistry, law and medicine?
When any profession is considered to be feminised, it is automatically and unthinkingly considered in our culture to be inferior. The double whammy, of course, is that teaching is a profession dealing with children and young adults, and this is not, in reality, considered to be of high status in our culture.

What are the consequences of these cultural and social attitudes?
Teachers are devalued in society. I cannot imagine what society would be like without the contributions of teachers, however, because of what might be called their high moral conscience, the work of teachers is often taken for granted. So, when teachers do see a need for better conditions for their students and sometimes themselves, the public is taken aback. This should not be the case.

Is the feminisation of the teaching profession problematic?
Yes and no. No, it is not a problem for many women and men, particularly the younger ones, who view one another as equals. Yes, because in actual numeric terms, the minority of male teachers hold a majority of senior positions, so there is still an incipient patriarchal system and sexism at work in the various educational sectors, including universities.


Cert T (BCAE), PhD (QUT), BA (Pacific Union College), MDiv (Andrews), DMin (Andrews)


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Avondale College
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