Gregory Kelly
Pennsylvania State University
Distinguished Professor

Year Elected


Membership status

Gregory Kelly (PhD., Cornell University) is Distinguished Professor of Science Education and Senior Associate Dean for Research in the College of Education at Penn State University. Early in his career he taught physics and mathematics, including four years in the Peace Corps (Togo). His research investigates classroom discourse, epistemology, and science and engineering learning. Kelly's research aims to make science and engineering more accessible to students; he 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. He has authored over 100 research articles and chapters including contributions to major international handbooks across a range of topics (inquiry, discourse, epistemology and learning, and epistemic cognition). His most recent work focuses on how uses of epistemic practices and tools can foster student learning in science and engineering. His co-edited 2019 book, Theory and methods for sociocultural research in science and engineering education, provides theoretical foundations and methodological tools for examining classroom discourse in science and engineering settings. Kelly has been editor of the journal Science Education (2006–2011) and co-editor of the Review of Research in Education (vols. 32 & 34). The Spencer Foundation and the National Science Foundation have supported his research. He has received numerous research awards including a National Academy of Education postdoctoral fellowship; the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (NARST) Early Career Award and Distinguished Contributions to Science Education through Research Award; recognition as an American Educational Research Association (AERA) fellow; and the John J. Gumperz Memorial Award for Distinguished Lifetime Scholarship, Language and Social Processes Special Interest Group, American Educational Research Association (AERA). His contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion were recognized by Penn State's Council of College Multicultural Leadership, which awarded him the University Faculty Way Paver Award in 2018.

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