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Mary Kennedy

Faculty/Staff image

Professor Emeritus

Ph.D., Michigan State University

Mary M. Kennedy is a professor emeritus of education at Michigan State University. Her scholarship focused on defining teacher quality and identifying the factors that most influence teacher quality. She examined the influences of teacher education, research knowledge, attitudes and beliefs, credentials, and school context. From 1986 to 1994, she directed the National Center for Research on Teacher Learning. Kennedy consulted with four ministries of education, the World Bank, and a host of national organizations and has published numerous articles on teaching, research, and policy. She has also published four books on these issues and has won five awards for her work, most recently the prestigious Margaret B. Lindsey Award for Distinguished Research in Teacher Education. Her book Inside Teaching: How Classroom Life Undermines Reform (2005) addresses the influence of school context on the quality of teaching practices and shows how local circumstances make it difficult for teachers to live up to reform expectations. Her most recent book, a handbook entitled Teacher Assessment and the Quest for Teacher Quality: A Handbook, reviews the wide variety of strategies that are used to assess teachers. In 2011, Kennedy was named a fellow of the American Educational Research Association.