Sean Kelly

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Sean Kelly

Sean Kelly

University of Pittsburgh
4308 Wesley W. Posvar Hall
230 South Bouquet Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
Phone: 412-648-7165


Sean Kelly (PhD, Sociology; University of Wisconsin-Madison) is Associate Professor and Director of PhD Studies in the Department of Administrative and Policy Studies at the University of Pittsburgh. He studies the social organization of schools, student engagement, and teacher effectiveness. Dr. Kelly has published more than 40 articles and book chapters, including work appearing in American Educational Research Journal, Educational Researcher, Teachers College Record, Sociology of Education, Social Science Research, and elsewhere. He is the editor of Assessing Teacher Quality: Understanding Teacher Effects on Instruction and Achievement (Teachers College Press). In 2014 he received the Exemplary Research in Teaching and Teacher Education award from AERA’s Division K. Dr. Kelly’s current research includes the CLASS 5.0 development project, an Institute for Education Sciences funded educational technology study of classroom discourse. He teaches courses in educational reform, leadership, the sociology of education, and both introductory and advanced statistics for the social sciences. He is currently serving a two-year position as chair of AERA’s Sociology of Education SIG. He also serves on the editorial board of the American Educational Research Journal, Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, Urban Education, as well as Research in the Teaching of English.

School Affiliations

Recent Grants

  • Automating the Measurement and Assessment of Classroom Discourse
  • How are English teacher preparation programs educating English teachers to teach into the 21st century? A study of the current practices used to educate English teachers in a time of teacher accountability
  • Enhancing the Sociology Pipeline: A Capacity-Building Workshop for Secondary Social Studies Teachers

Recent Publications

  • Kelly, Sean & Yuan Zhang. (2016). Teacher Support and Engagement in Math and Science: Evidence from HSLS. The High School Journal, 99, 141-165.
  • D'Mello, S. K., Olney, A. M, Blanchard, N., Sun, X., Ward, B., Samei, B., & Kelly, S. (2015). Multimodal Capture of Teacher-Student Interactions for Automated Dialogic Analysis in Live Classrooms. Proceedings of the 17th ACM International Conference on Multimodal Interaction (ICMI 2015) (Multimodal Learning Analytics Grand Challenge MLA'15). (pp. 557-566). ACM: New York, NY.
  • Kelly, Sean. (2015). There is still a role for district mergers in promoting equality of educational opportunity. The UCEA Review, 56(3), 18-23.
  • Kelly, Sean & Laura Northrop. (2015). Early Career Outcomes for the "Best and the Brightest:" Selectivity, Satisfaction, and Attrition in the Beginning Teacher Longitudinal Survey. American Educational Research Journal, 52, 624-656.
  • Kelly, Sean & Heather Price. (2014). Changing Patterns of Engagement in the Transition to High School. In Bempechat, J. & Shernoff, D. J. (Eds.) Engaging Youth in Schools: Evidence-Based Models to Guide Future Innovations. National Society for the Study of Education Yearbook, 113, pp. 15-36.