Jamaal Sharif Matthews is an Associate Professor of Educational Psychology at Montclair State University in New Jersey. He earned his joint Ph.D. in Education and Psychology from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. His research explores the connections between social cognition, achievement motivation, identity development and learning during adolescence. He examines these issues among historically disenfranchised populations, specifically Black American and Latinx adolescents in urban schools, applying a critical race perspective on the psychological processes that undergird adaptive and healthy school functioning for these populations.

Dr. Matthews conducts much of his research within the context of mathematics classrooms, math education and learning. The arc of his most recent work details how math instruction, executive functions, and cultural stigma interact in explaining how urban adolescents negotiate their sense of belonging in mathematics classrooms and their value of mathematics. His research has also revealed how racial identity development during adolescence can buffer the negative effects of racial stereotypes and stigma on mathematics motivation, facilitating resilient mindsets toward learning and thriving in mathematics.  He has published this and related research in top academic journals, including the Journal of Educational Psychology, and Developmental Psychology, among others.

Dr. Matthews’ research has been funded by the Spencer Foundation, the National Science Foundation, and the American Psychological Association. He is also the recipient of several national awards and acknowledgements, including three competitive and prestigious dissertation awards from the American Psychological Association and ProQuest.