Dr. Jason Okonofua is an assistant professor at the University of California, Berkeley. He earned his PhD at Stanford University under the guidance of Jennifer Eberhardt, Gregory Walton, and Carol Dweck.
Jason’s research program examines social-psychological processes that contribute to inequality. One context in which he has examined these processes is that of teacher-student relationships and race disparities in disciplinary action. His research emphasizes the on-going interplay between psychological/mindset processes that originate among teachers (how stereotyping can influence discipline) and students (how apprehension to bias can incite misbehavior) to examine causes for disproportionate discipline according to race. The intersection of these processes, Jason hypothesizes, undermines teacher-student relationships over time, contributes to disproportionate discipline to racially stigmatized students, and ultimately feeds the “school-to-prison” pipeline. By investigating basic processes that contribute to misinterpreted and misguided disrespect among teachers and students, he aims to develop novel interventions that empower teachers to reach their teaching goals and interventions that help students – especially racially stigmatized youth – succeed in school and reduce their risk of discipline problems.
He also designs and tests large-scale psychological interventions for school principals, jails, prisons, and court departments (e.g., probation offices, parole offices).
His research has been published in top journals, including Psychological Science and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The work has been funded by Google, the Tides Foundation, Character Lab, and the Bureau for Justice Statistics. It has been featured on a variety of popular media outlets, including National Public Radio, New York Times, MSNBC, Reuters, Huffington Post, Daily Mail, Wall Street Journal, and Education Week.
Find out more at: http://www.jokonofua.com