Dr. Paula Johnson is a senior education associate at IDRA with more than 20 years of experience developing educational programs and integrating the STEM and instructional technology into classrooms. She holds a bachelor of science in math and a minor in computer science from Prairie View A&M University, a Master of Arts in education with a concentration in instructional technology from the University of Texas at San Antonio, and a Master of Science in progress with a concentration in mathematics from Prairie View A&M University.
She earned her doctorate in the Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching program at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Her research foci include: (1) curriculum and instruction related to females and minorities in math and science, (2) equity in education, and (3) learner identity. She also is certified in secondary mathematics and has successfully completed the LEAD (Leadership Experiences for Aspiring Deans) program of the Northside Independent School District.
Dr. Johnson directs the IDRA EAC-South, spearheading its work in assisting states and school districts to protect students’ civil rights and provide equal educational opportunities for all students. She leadis the center’s technical assistance and professional development pertaining to diversity, cultural competency and disproportional disciplinary actions against students of color. The IDRA EAC-South builds bridges among administrators, teachers, parents, students and community members so that all stakeholders can find that common higher ground where all students will benefit regardless of race, sex or national origin. The IDRA EAC-South is one of four federally-funded centers that provide technical assistance and training at the request of school districts and other responsible governmental agencies to build capacity of local educators to ensure a more equitable learning environment for all students.
Dr. Johnson has served public schools systems in two of Texas’ largest school districts as a classroom teacher, department chair, academic coach and district curriculum specialist for mathematics. During her service, she has designed and developed several technology-infused math intervention programs for students struggling to master competencies required to meet expectations on state assessments.
She has implemented IDRA’s Math Smart! professional development program that focuses on increasing access to mathematics for all students. Math Smart! presents a shift in mathematical thinking for instructors that develops the five dimensions of mathematical proficiency using scientifically-based researched strategies. Math Smart! is an interactive, high-tech model that addresses teacher knowledge, teacher practice and parent-school collaboration through coaching and mentoring. The impact has been significant with much of schools meeting AYP within one to two years of implementation, and teacher leadership and instructional transformation evident through classroom observations and improved student achievement, as demonstrated through student success on state-mandated tests.
For several years Dr. Johnson led the professional development program for one of IDRA’s Transitions to Teaching projects, MASS (Math and Science Smart), funded by the U.S. Department of Education to recruit and prepare elementary, middle, and high school teachers to serve English language learners and diverse student populations. Similarly, she continues to create and deliver professional training on mathematics instruction, assessment and curriculum standards, fostering positive student-teacher relationships, technology, student engagement, and differentiated instruction.
Dr. Johnson has served in the education field for more than 20 years. From 2001 to 2010, she has held positions as a district curriculum and instructional specialist, mathematics department chair, academic coach and instructor at the high school level. In addition to her high school experience, she was a PREP program logic and problem-solving instructor for many years. This University of Texas at San Antonio Pre-freshman Engineering Program encourages young potential engineers to develop skills in the areas of computer science, engineering, logic and problem solving.
Dr. Johnson has developed and directed two summer transition courses for incoming ninth graders, Algebridge (Cypress-Fairbanks ISD) and Algebra CAMP (Northside ISD). These summer programs were designed to provide a solid foundation of Algebra I for students who had had difficulty with middle school math or assessments. Both programs supported a strong concentration on hands-on activities and high student engagement in an effort to model the level of rigor students would face in Algebra I.
- Schoolwide Restorative Justice Practices – A Guided Tour, September 29, 2021
- Culturally Sustaining Instruction Requires Culturally Sustaining Leadership, June 08, 2021
- How the IDRA EAC-South Helps School Districts Increase Access to Advanced Courses for Students of Color, October 29, 2020
- Models of Instruction to Help Students Interact and Engage in Hybrid, Face-to-Face and All-Remote Settings, October 28, 2020
- Language Development in the Virtual Classroom, October 08, 2020
- Using Choice Boards in the Virtual Classroom, September 10, 2020
- Using Equity Audits to Assess and Address Opportunity Gaps Across Education, April 29, 2020
- Strategies for Increasing Girls’ Participation in STEM, October 31, 2019
- Three Approaches for Dismantling Discriminatory Discipline in Schools, April 08, 2019
- Restorative Practices – Informal and Formal Processes for Addressing Behavior, April 08, 2019
- Still Making a Case for Algebra II, October 30, 2018
- Religion Equity in Schools – Protecting Students and Their Civil Rights, August 30, 2018
- Getting it Just Right! – Rigor and College Prep for All, May 24, 2018
- In-grade Retention National Trends and Civil Rights Concerns, April 30, 2018
- How Using Restorative Practices Can Prevent Exclusionary Discipline Issues, January 31, 2018
- Partnerships, Not Push Outs – Collaboration is Critical to Dealing with Disparities, October 24, 2017
- Investing in Early Childhood Education Programs Yields High Returns, September 21, 2017
- Three Critical Areas of Professional Development for Teaching in 21st Century Classrooms, August 10, 2017
- In-Grade Retention in the Early Years – What’s Holding Children Back?, October 25, 2016
- Fostering Culturally Diverse Learning Environments, August 30, 2016
- The Role of Conversation in the Classroom – Promoting Student Voice through Instructional Dialogue, May 24, 2016
- STEM Pathways for Girls of Color – A Review of the Literature, February 25, 2016
- Three Teaching Strategies for Scaffolding Instruction for English Learners in the Content Classroom, January 28, 2016
- Building STEAM – Changing the Equation for College and Career Readiness for All, August 05, 2015
- The Role of Conversation – Engaging Students in Critical Thinking through Dialogue, May 26, 2015
- Meet Paula Johnson, M.A. – IDRA Education Associate, May 26, 2015
- Valuing Teachers – IDRA’s Approach to Professional Development, March 25, 2015
- The Learner-Centered Approach – Leading with the iPad and Other Tablets, September 17, 2013
- Science Classroom Strategies for English Learners – iPads and Other Tablets for Teachers, September 19, 2012
- Visual Interpretation in Science – Strategies for English Language Learners, August 20, 2012
- Diversifying the STEM Pool – Revisiting the Recruitment of Underrepresented Students in STEM Careers, February 22, 2012
- Technology Integration in Science and Mathematics- The Opportunity to Explore, September 01, 2011
- When It Doesnt Add Up – Developing a New Formula for Math Education, April 01, 2011
- A Culture of Student Engagement Through Schoolwide Restorative Practices – Podcast Episode 210, April 26, 2021
- How Equity Audits Reveal Harmful Education Policies – Podcast Episode 202, June 23, 2020
- Student Voice – Chief Science Officer International Program – Podcast Episode 193, July 22, 2019
- Achieving Integrated Schooling – Podcast Episode 187, November 27, 2018
- Holding Back In-grade Retention – Podcast Episode 182, May 11, 2018
- Strategies for Restorative Student Discipline – Podcast Episode 179, February 13, 2018
- Skills Needed for Teaching in Diverse Classrooms – Podcast Episode 173, August 03, 2017
- 3 ELL Scaffolding Strategies – Podcast Episode 160, February 16, 2016
- Building Numeracy Skills in Early Childhood – Podcast Episode 157, November 09, 2015
- STEAM Education for Every Child Part 2 – Podcast Episode 153, July 16, 2015
- STEAM Education for Every Child Part 1 – Podcast Episode 152, June 30, 2015
- A Valuing Professional Development Model – Podcast Episode 143, July 28, 2014
- Building Critical Thinking through Visual Literacy – Podcast Episode 140, May 19, 2014
- Why Algebra II? – Podcast Episode 133, January 30, 2014
- Substantive Conversation in the Classroom – Podcast Episode 130, October 17, 2013
- Leading with iPads for Diverse Students – Podcast Episode 129, October 01, 2013
- Teaching with iPads for Diverse Students (Science for English Learners #6) – Podcast Episode 122, April 15, 2013
- Learning with iPads for Diverse Students – Podcast Episode 114, October 01, 2012
- Visual Literacy in Math and Science – Podcast Episode 112, August 29, 2012
- How Does it All Add Up? – Podcast Episode 108, May 31, 2012
- Data and Vocabulary in Math and Science – Podcast Episode 103, March 09, 2012
- Advancing American Indian Education – Podcast Episode 101, February 13, 2012
- Parents Modeling Math in Everyday Life – Podcast Episode 95, September 30, 2011
- Higher Math for All – Podcast Episode 87, April 18, 2011
- Creating Dynamic Math Classrooms – Podcast Episode 77, September 08, 2010