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Meca Williams-Johnson - Georgia Southern University. Statesboro, GA, US

Meca Williams-Johnson

Professor | Georgia Southern University


Meca R. Williams-Johnson's mixed methods research emphasis explores student motivation, emotions, teaching and learning.



Meca Williams-Johnson Publication Meca Williams-Johnson Publication



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Dr. Meca Williams-Johnson holds a Doctorate of Philosophy in Educational Psychology and teaches research methods in the College of Education at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Georgia. Her professional experiences coupled with academic training have forged a particular mixed methods research emphasis exploring emotions and its impact on teaching and learning. Additionally, Dr. Williams-Johnson investigates, student motivation and parents’ efficacy beliefs in homeschooling. Through planning, conducting, and publishing several research studies, Dr. Williams-Johnson has contributed to the larger body of knowledge by reporting recommendations to achieve better educational experiences for all students.

Areas of Expertise (8)

Black Feminist Theory

African-American Education

Qualitative Research Design

Teacher Efficacy

Parental Involvement

Student Motivation

Emotions in Teaching and Learning

Mixed-Methods In Social Research

Accomplishments (3)

Georgia Southern University Award for Excellence in Contributions to Instruction

2016 Georgia Southern University Award for Excellence in Contributions to Instruction

Eagle Leadership Academy – Provost Selected Member

2016 Eagle Leadership Academy – Provost Selected Member, Georgia Southern University

American Educational Research Association Reviewer of the Year

2005 American Educational Research Association Reviewer of the Year, American Educational Research Association, Service, Professional

Education (3)

University of Georgia: Ph.D., Educational Psychology 2006

Florida State University: M.S., Secondary Education 1998

Southern University and A & M College: B.S., Secondary Education in Social Sciences 1997

Affiliations (6)

  • American Psychological Association
  • American Association of University Women
  • American Educational Research Association
  • National Alliance of Black School Education
  • National Black Home Educators
  • National Association for the Advancement of Color People

Articles (6)

Women and Anger in Higher Education

Women in Higher Education


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Boundary dilemmas in teacher–student relationships: Struggling with “the line”

Teaching and Teacher Education

The teacher–student relationship is viewed as integral to successful teaching and learning but, outside of a few exceptions, ethical boundary issues in this relationship have not been explored. The purpose of this study was to examine teachers' perspectives of their relationships with their students as well as how they described and negotiated relationship boundaries. Findings were organised into a typology of 11 categories of boundaries. The balance between demonstrating care while maintaining a healthy, productive level of control in the classroom was a recurring theme when discussing the boundaries.

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It's Not Better or Worse, It's Just Different: Examining Jamaican Teachers' Pedagogical and Emotional Experiences

Teacher Development

2011 The problem of teacher shortage is of grave concern internationally, impacting countries such as the US, England and Australia. One popular approach to addressing issues of teacher attrition has been to hire international teachers (a.k.a. overseas-trained teachers) to fill the gap. In this paper the authors document the challenges and barriers that five Jamaican teachers faced in their first year of teaching in the US school system and the strategies they employed to overcome these difficulties. The study applies qualitative methods, specifically using thematic analysis to thread together the common descriptions the teachers provided of their experiences during that first year. Despite the overwhelming and emotionally charged situations, the teachers were able to draw on their past experiences and a range of cognitive and affective strategies to overcome the challenges. Given the success of these teachers within the US system, the authors believe that an examination of their experiences provides knowledge about ways we can improve the effectiveness of the teacher induction process.

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"There are no emotions in math”: How teachers approach emotions in the classroom

Teachers College Record

2009 Our research describes teacher emotions and the way that teachers manage emotional events in the classroom. Recent work completed by these researchers sug-gests that teachers' emotions and their reaction to student emotions are influenced by the teachers' beliefs.

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Motivations, Sacrifices, and Challenges: Black Parents’ Decisions to Home School

The Urban Review

2008 This study examines home schooling among Black parents by providing insight to Black families’ beliefs, concerns, and desires for their children’s education. To date, the literature remains void of empirical work related to home education among African American families. However, the present study directly addresses this void. Findings demonstrated that parents’ motivations to home school included issues related to race and home-school interaction. In addition, Black parents reported that religious beliefs influenced their decisions to home school. But, unlike their Caucasian counterparts, Black home educators described a more liberatory form of religion.

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Learning to read each other: Female graduate students share their experiences at a research institution

The Urban Review

2005 This paper uses Black Feminist Thought to explain the lived experiences of three Black female graduate students at a White Research I institution. Through mentoring from Black female professors, the students received instrumental and psychosocial support that helped them to navigate through their graduate level work. Common themes of identity, community service missions, and empowerment provides a thread that ties the student’s narratives together. We close by offering some suggestions for further research on the Black graduate experience and mentoring Black graduate students.

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