1a. Addressing education inequity in Australia: How to create an equitable and excellent education system in schools
1b. Going beyond ATAR: Having a mechanism to capture diverse 'inside and outside school' strengths and attributes of young people.
2. Addressing teacher shortages in schools by attracting industry professionals: What can government, industry and schools do to attract and retain career changers in the teaching profession?
Fields of Research (FoR)Inclusive education, Teacher and student wellbeing, Teacher education and professional development of educators, Education policy, sociology and philosophy, Education assessment and evaluation, Applied sociology, program evaluation and social impact assessment
Meera Varadharajan is a Research Fellow (Education) at the Centre for Social Impact at University of New South Wales. She has a lead role in managing and undertaking applied research and social impact projects in the area of education. In 2022, Meera led and completed a series of reports on education inequity. During her time at CSI, she has worked on a range of projects and program evaluations such as on carers' experiences during COVID,...view more
Meera Varadharajan is a Research Fellow (Education) at the Centre for Social Impact at University of New South Wales. She has a lead role in managing and undertaking applied research and social impact projects in the area of education. In 2022, Meera led and completed a series of reports on education inequity. During her time at CSI, she has worked on a range of projects and program evaluations such as on carers' experiences during COVID, evaluation of youth mentoring programs; young indigenous post prison outcomes; support and infrastructure needs in social housing pathways and service innovation during COVID. Meera has also published policy response factsheets during COVID on teacher well-being and home learning considerations for students in vulnerable circumstances.
As a qualitative researcher, she is passionate about connecting human stories and experiences in projects and program evaluations that serve as an enabler to drive purposeful social change in society. Her core research interests include student and teacher well-being, teacher education, teachers’ lives and educational philosophy.
Meera has experience working in the business and education sector in a wide variety of roles. Meera’s thesis examined the lived experience of career change teachers using an interpretive and phenomenological approach. Her doctoral and subsequent work on career change teachers has been recognised by leading teaching bodies, and she has received several external and internal research grants including from the NSW Department of Education. In 2021, she published a book on career change teachers.
Meera is also a steering committee member of the Refugee Education Special Interest Group.
PhD (Education), University of Technology Sydney (2014)
My Research Supervision
Areas of supervision
I am available for co-supervision to both masters and doctoral students. My areas of expertise, within the field of education and social sciences, is teachers, teacher professional learning, teacher education, student teacher experiences, and teacher philosophy. I am also interested in equity in education and the role of equitable education in societal progress. I am a qualitative researcher by background.
I have experience in co-supervision for both masters and doctoral students. I am currently a co-supervisor to two doctoral students at UTS who are completing their PhD in education. I have also been a written examiner to masters thesis and examined doctoral students' presentations in their different stages of completion.
I have experience teaching under-graduate teacher education subject units. Subjects taught: Issues in Education (local and global contexts) and Sociology of Education.
I have also facilitated and run doctoral student workshops on qualitative research and phenomenology.