Gloria Ladson-Billings announces new inductees to the National Academy of Education

February 27, 2020   |   By Annemarie Mountz

From Penn State News

Greg Kelly, senior associate dean for Research, Outreach, and Technology and distinguished professor in the College of Education, is one of 15 people nationwide to be elected to the National Academy of Education (NAEd) in 2020, and the first-ever member from Penn State. He will be formally inducted during the NAEd annual meeting in November. Election to membership in the academy is one of the highest honors accorded to educational researchers by their peers.

“This diverse group of scholars are at the forefront of those who are improving the lives of students in the United States and abroad through their outstanding contributions to education scholarship and research,” said Gloria Ladson-Billings, president of NAEd, in making the announcement.

“It is certainly a great honor to be recognized by prominent colleagues from around the country,” said Kelly. “I look forward to serving the National Academy and advancing the value of educational research.”

Kelly’s research focuses on science and engineering education. His desire to increase access to and participation in these disciplines led him to study how to demystify science and engineering for students. Kelly’s focus on discourse and epistemic practices in K-12 education anticipated changes in research directions leading to current national reform efforts focused on scientific discourse and practices.

His research brings together the fields of sociology and anthropology of science with sociolinguistics to examine ways that teachers and students from elementary school to college frame disciplinary knowledge, negotiate uses of evidence and engage in inquiry practices. A number of his studies offer methodological innovations by considering how discourse processes and actions are situated in broader cultural and social practices.

Kelly has authored approximately 100 research articles and chapters including contributions to major international handbooks across a range of topics including inquiry, discourse, epistemology and learning, and epistemic cognition.

Kelly’s commitment to rendering knowledge and institutions accessible also relates to his leadership as senior associate dean, although in a more indirect way. He strives to improve access to knowledge by supporting his colleagues' research, building educational programs and using technology in effective ways for educational purposes.

“I believe the associate dean for research should lead by example, so I have worked hard to maintain a research agenda while serving the college in this capacity,” Kelly said.

Kelly has indeed maintained his research productivity despite serving in leadership positions at Penn State for over half of his academic career. In addition to his roles as department head and associate dean, he has been dedicated to advancing knowledge through work in professional organizations and research journals. For example, he served as associate editor for the Journal of Research in Science Teaching, and for Science & Education; the Learning Section co-editor for Science Education; co-editor for the Review of Research in Education; and editor-in-chief of Science Education.

Kelly joined Penn State's College of Education as a full professor in 2004 and became head of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction in 2007. He was named associate dean for Research, Outreach and Technology in 2010, and was elevated to senior associate dean and distinguished professor in 2018.

In 2018, Kelly was honored with the Dr. John J. Gumperz Memorial Award for Distinguished Lifetime Scholarship by the American Educational Research Association (AERA). In that same year, he received the University Faculty Way Paver Award from the Council of College Multicultural Leadership at Penn State.

The NAEd advances high quality education research and its use in policy and practice. The academy consists of U.S. members and international associates who are elected on the basis of outstanding scholarship related to education. Nominations are submitted by individual academy members once a year for review and election by the organization’s membership. In addition to serving on expert study panels that address pressing issues in education, members are also deeply engaged in NAEd’s professional development programs.