Virginia Goulding Johnson, Ph.D.

Professor, Chair of Special Education
Office: 212 Merion Hall
Phone: (610) 660-1574
Fax: (610)-660-1042

Virginia Goulding Johnson,  Ph.D  joined the education faculty in 1993.  Over the last twenty years, she has taught Teacher and Special Education courses as well as education-based courses in Faith-Justice, Service-Learning,  Policy, and Gender Studies. 

Interested in policy implications for teachers and classrooms, Dr. Johnson analyzes the strengths/weaknesses of proposed federal laws or reform movements embraced as “what schools need.”  She has experience as a classroom teacher, educational psychologist, teacher educator, social justice advocate and twice awarded policy and leadership center studies fellow (PA, UPenn). 

In addition to teaching, Dr. Johnson works with students in the summer scholars program interested in educational research. 


Dr Johnson earned an Associate of Arts degree from Dutchess Community College (NY), a Bachelor of Arts degree with certification from the State University of New York (Cortland), a Masters in Education with certification from Clarion University (PA) and a Masters and Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of Delaware.

She has been a Research Fellow at the University of Delaware, a Policy Fellow at the Education Policy and Leadership Center (Harrisburg, PA) and has earned a Fox Leadership Certificate from the University of Pennsylvania. 

Professional Experience

 At Saint Joseph's University she has been Coordinator of Student Teaching, Department Coordinator, Advising Coordinator,  interim Department Chair and Division Head. She was an original member of the ACESJU Leadership Team and served as Senior Program Director for the ACESJU pilot. Since 2009 she  has been  "on loan" from Teacher Education to direct the University' s Faith-Justice Institute.


Johnson, V. G. & Macrine, S. L. (1998) “Student teachers explain changes in their thinking”. The Teacher Educator. 34 (1), 30-40 Neale, D. C. & Johnson, V. G. (1998). “The development of teachers’ theories of classroom management and control” The Professional Educator, 20 (2) 1-20 Johnson, V. G. (1994). “Student teachers’ conceptions of classroom control”. Journal of Educational Research, 88 (2), 109-117 Neale, D. C., Smith, D. C. & Johnson, V. G. (1990). “Implementing conceptual change teaching in primary science”. The Elementary’ School Journal, 91 (2) 109-131

Grants and Awards

Dr. Johnson is the recipient of two Faculty Merit Awards in Teaching, the College of Arts and Sciences Advising Award, the Ed Brady, SJ "Faith in Action Service Award" and the 2008 recipient of the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching .  In 2012 she received the University Justice Award.


Her scholarly interests are in teacher development, inclusive classroom environments, non-violent conflict resolution, and community-enhanced schooling.