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Williams-Johnson edits special issue for top journal

Meca Williams-Johnson, Ph.D.

Meca Williams-Johnson, Ph.D., professor of educational research in the Department of Curriculum, Foundations, and Reading, recently guest edited a special issue for a top journal in the field of educational psychology devoted to the topic of parental involvement. The issue for Educational Psychologist was titled, “Parental Role Construction Leading to Parental Involvement in Culturally Distinct Communities,” and published for the October-December 2022 issue. The issue was also guest edited by Alyssa R. Gonzalez-DeHass, Ph.D., professor of educational psychology at Florida Atlantic University.

In addition to editing the issue, Williams-Johnson collaborated with Cheryl Fields-Smith, Ph.D., Professor and Graduate Coordinator at the University of Georgia, for an article entitled, “Homeschooling among Black families as a form of parental involvement: A focus on parental role construction, efficacy, and emotions.” Williams-Johnson also wrote an introduction to the special issue with Gonzalez-DeHass.

This graphic is featured in the article, “Homeschooling among Black families as a form of parental involvement: A focus on parental role construction, efficacy, and emotions.” It illustrates emotions as a significant factor in parental involvement.

Parental involvement is not often studied in the field of educational psychology, which focuses more on self-determination, cognition and student motivation. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Williams-Johnson recognized the need to devote a special issue to parental involvement. She observed families facilitating instruction for their children during the lockdowns and was interested in the challenges and advantages they were experiencing and how that might look across cultural groups. At the same time, she was assisting her own two children in their eighth and first grade courses.

The resulting special issue includes articles that examine Asian immigrant parents, African-American parents, parents of emerging adults and the effects of technology on parental involvement. Jeff Greene, co-editor of the journal says, “This special issue is a great example of a fascinating topic that needed to be broadened and approached from different perspectives.”

Williams-Johnson continues to study parental involvement and is currently writing a book entitled Critical Analyses of Parental Involvement in School: Working with Families across Sociocultural Contexts. She says, “Beyond just seeing parents in classrooms and schools, let’s understand that parental involvement happens everyday and everywhere.”

Williams-Johnson is also working on a book chapter about rural education among African-American children. Her activities include serving as a member of the Governor’s Teaching Fellows 2022-2023 cohort, and serving as a University Honors Council Faculty Facilitator. She is a faculty advisor for the University’s Statesboro Campus Chapter of NAACP and the Education Chair for Bulloch County NAACP.


Posted in Faculty Highlights, Uncategorized