Johnitha Watkins Johnson

Assistant Department Chair, Clinical Assistant Professor

Department of Teaching & Learning



Ph.D., Texas A&M University


6401 Airline Rd
Suite 301
Dallas, 75205



Dr. Johnitha Watkins Johnson serves as a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development at Southern Methodist University. In 2013, she earned her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus on Urban Education. During her doctoral studies at Texas A&M University, she mentored pre-service and in-service teachers in various contexts, and began her research agenda, which focuses on equity in education. She also holds a M.S. in Juvenile Forensic Psychology from Prairie View A&M University.

Dr. Johnson began her career as an Associate Psychologist at the Texas Youth Commission (TYC). During her tenure at TYC, she administered and interpreted psychological, personality, and intellectual assessments; assessed juveniles’ risk for suicidality; and provided intermittent individual counseling. She later transitioned into education and has spent several years as a special education teacher and university professor.

Dr. Johnson developed the Urban Education specialization in the Department of Teaching and Learning at SMU. As such, she teaches the specialization's required courses—Race, Power, & Politics: The History of Urban Education; Culturally Responsive Teaching; and Community Partnerships in Urban Education. Additionally, she teaches gifted and talented education, behavior management, educational psychology, and multicultural education graduate courses. Dr. Johnson's courses focus on equipping educators with research-based strategies that beget equitable educational opportunities for marginalized student populations.

Dr. Johnson received her B.S. in Psychology from Prairie View A&M University, a distinguished HBCU. She is both pleased and honored to work in the Simmons School of Education.


Allen Handy, A., Farinde, A., Graham, D., & Johnson, J. (accepted). Black women undergraduates: A phenomenological examination of their lived experiences and identity construction at predominantly white institutions. Journal of African American Women and Girls in Education.

Johnson, J. (2016). “All I do is win…no matter what:” Low-income African American single mothers and their daughter’s unrelenting academic achievement. Journal of Negro Education, 85(2), 156-171.

Mutakabbir, Y., & Johnson, J. (2015). A case study examining the recruitment of “other race” students to a public HBCU. The National Journal of Urban Education & Practice, 8(3), 395-411.

Hubbard, L., Lewis, C., & Johnson, J. (2014). Urban African-American single mothers using racial socialization to influence academic achievement in their young sons. Journal of At-Risk Issues, 18(2), 21-29.

Johnson, J., Lewis, C., & Griffen, A. (2014). The exodus of Black principals from urban to suburban schools. International Journal of Diversity in Education, 13(2), 63-75.

Howell, L., Lewis, C., & Johnson, J. (2013). Computer-assisted instruction: Teachers’ perceptions of using Study Hall 101 in fifth grade science. Ubiquitous Learning: An International Journal, 5(4), 1-17.

Johnson, J., & Gonzalez y Gonzalez, E. (2013). “I’m right by doing with my mother says…”: A pilot study chronicling African American mothers’ influence on their daughter’s intimate relationships. The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Sciences, 7(3), 15-31.