Prior to my doctoral studies, I taught general and special education for 13 years. My teaching took me to Virginia, Arizona, New Jersey, and Honduras. In this time, I experienced first-hand how school culture can shape teachers’ practice which prompted me to wonder how preparation and induction programs address organizational culture and how this influences the quality of instruction for students with disabilities.
University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA
Ph.D. in Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education
College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA
Master of Arts in Education, Special Education
Post Graduate Professional License
Calvin College, Grand Rapids, MI
Bachelor of Arts, History & English
Secondary Education Michigan Provisional Certificate
My research focuses on special educators' experiences of professional socialization—the process by which individuals integrate the knowledge, norms, and values of a profession into their identity—and how this process influences practice. Using multiple methods, I consider how organizational factors are associated with special educators’ a) understanding of their role, b) relationships with colleagues, and c) instructional practice. These questions are present in teacher preparation, induction, and the informal interactions that take place in schools as organizations. Each of these settings contains multiple embedded experiences (e.g., in preparation, individual courses, field experiences, and learning activities interact) in which special educators learn the norms and values of the profession and then transfer those to their work. Thus, my research examines professional socialization across these settings and interrogates how it is connected to special educators’ enacted practice.
Mathews, H. M., Hirsch, S. E., & Therrien, W. J. (2018) Becoming a critical consumer of research: Understanding replication. Intervention in School and Clinic, 53, 267-275
Mathews, H. M., Rodgers, W., & Youngs, P. (2017). Sense-making for beginning special educators: A systematic mixed studies review. Teaching and Teacher Education, 67, 23 – 36.
Mathews, H. M.. (2018, November). Examining the influence of social context on novice special educators’ instructional practice. Presentation at the Teacher Education Division of the Council for Exceptional Children. Las Vegas, NV.
Mathews, H. M. (2018, October). Becoming an informed and research-driven practitioner: Understanding replication. “Must Read” article of the year for Intervention in School and Clinic paper presented at the Council for Learning Disabilities annual meeting, Portland, OR.
Bettini, E. A., Mason-Williams, L., Mathews, H. M., & Boveda, M. (2018, April). Novice teachers’ role, race, and school poverty: Relationships with social resources and commitment to teaching. Single paper presentation presented at the American Educational Researchers Association annual meeting, New York City, NY.
Mathews, H. (2017, November). Teacher candidates' perceptions of coherence in special education teacher preparation. Single paper presentation presented at the Teacher Education Division of the Council for Exceptional Children, Savannah, GA.