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Mona Matthews


Ph.D. in Reading Education, University of Georgia, 1987
M.Ed. in Elementary Education, Georgia State University, 1977
B.S. Ed. in Early Childhood Education, Georgia State University, 1975


Cross-disciplinary research merging child development (personal and social resources) and literacy (birth to grade five literacy development; reading acquisition)
Application of learner-centered pedagogy in higher education


Dr. Mona W Matthews is a professor in the Department of Early Childhood and Elementary Education at Georgia State University. She holds a Ph.D. in Reading Education from the University of Georgia and joined the Department of Early Childhood and Elementary Education in 1988. Prior to that time, Matthews was a preschool teacher, first grade teacher and consultant for Harper and Row Publishers. After that, she served for two years as a project director in Georgia State’s Assessment Project, where she oversaw the development of Georgia’s Early Childhood Teacher Certification Test and the Georgia Criterion Reference Tests.

Matthews teaches graduate courses in literacy development and literacy methods. Her research examines how young children’s social resources (e.g., classmates, teachers, family) influence their literacy development.  This work merges research and theories related to young children’s social, literacy, and individual development. Matthews’ grant experience includes serving twice, in 2010 and 2011, as a reviewer for the Department of Education’s Investigating in Innovation (i3) grant. She currently serves as a co-principal investigator on the 2012 Project Partnerships Achieve Literacy (Project PAL South Africa) USAID All Children Reading Competition.


Elish-Piper, L., Matthews, M.W., and Risko, V. J. (2013). “Invisibility: An unintended consequence of standards, tests, and mandates.” Journal of Language and Literacy Education.

Farran, L. F., Bingham, G. E., and Matthews, M.W. (2011). “The relationship between language, and reading in bilingual English-Arabic children.” Reading and Writing, 25(9), 2153-2181.

Matthews, M. W., Dooley, C. M., and Cziplicki, K.  (2011).  “Using parents’ perceptions to gain insights into a young child’s emergent literacy journey: A phenomenological case study.” In P. J. Dunston, L. B. Gambrell, K. Headley, S. K. Fullerton, P. M. Stecker, V. R. Gillis, and C. C. Bates (Eds.). Sixtieth Yearbook of the Literacy Research Association, 294-308.

Matthews, M. W. (2010). “U can’t c what you don’t know: Crossing boundaries in early literacy learning, Presidential Address.” In S. Szabo, T. Morrison, L. Martin, M. Boggs, (Eds.), L. Raine (Guest Ed.) Building Literacy Communities: Yearbook of the Association of Literacy Educators and Researchers, 32, 3-13.

Dooley, C. M., and Matthews, M. W. (2009). “Emergent comprehension: Understanding comprehension development among young literacy learners.” Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, 9(3) 269-294.