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Kennedy-Lewis, Brianna L.

Kennedy-LewisAssistant Professor, Curriculum, Teaching, & Teacher Education
School of Teaching and Learning
College of Education

University of Florida
PO Box 117048
2423 Norman Hall
Gainesville, FL 32611
(352) 273-4041

Research Biography

Dr. Kennedy-Lewis’ research centers on under served public school students who do not demonstrate traditionally defined academic and social success. Her current scholarship focuses specifically on the discipline gap between White students and students of color, examining the role of ideological assumptions, policy implementations, and daily classroom and school practices that result in disproportionate discipline experiences among student groups. Her work highlights the experiences of persistently disciplined students with school push-out, including their assignments to alternative schools.

Her broader research interests include alternative education; assessment and evaluation; policy implementation; early adolescence and middle grades education; alienation and resilience; philosophy of education; and qualitative research methods. She has taught both online and on-campus courses on the social context of urban education, human differences and teaching special populations, and teacher leadership for school change. Dr. Kennedy-Lewis comes to the University of Florida as a former middle school teacher who worked in the Los Angeles Unified School District. During her teaching career, she gravitated toward the most marginalized students in her classes and chose to teach for several years in a community day school with expelled students.


Ph.D., Education
University of Southern California, August 2009
Dissertation: Enacting competing ideologies: How classroom dynamics influence the education of disaffected early adolescents at a community day school Committee: Amanda Datnow (Chair), Ron Astor, Adrianna Kezar

M.Ed., University of California, Los Angeles, 1999
CLAD Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, current in California

B.A., University of California, Riverside, 1997
Major: Liberal Studies
Areas of Emphasis: Sociology and Philosophy
Minor: German

Summa cum laude

Key Professional Appointments

Assistant Professor, School of Teaching and Learning, University of Florida, 2010-present

Adjunct Assistant Professor, Master of Arts in Teaching Program, University of Southern California, 2009-2010

Activities and Honors

Finalist, Qualitative Research SIG Outstanding Dissertation Award, American Educational Research Association, 2011

Recognition of Merit, Phi Delta Kappa Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award, 2010

Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society Induction, University of Southern California, 2009

Selected Publications

Kennedy-Lewis, B. L. (In Press). Classroom management. In S. B. Mertens, M. M. Caskey, & N. Flowers (Eds.), The encyclopedia of middle grades education (2nd ed.). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

Kennedy-Lewis, B. L., & Murphy, A. S. (In Press). Listening to “frequent flyers”: What persistently disciplined students have to say about being labeled as “bad.” Teachers College Record.

Kennedy-Lewis, B. L. (2015). Office referrals. In W. G. Scarlett (Ed.), Classroom management: An A-to-Z guide. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Kennedy-Lewis, B. L. (2015). Second chance or no chance? A case study of one urban alternative middle school. Journal of Educational Change. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1007/s10833-014-9242-0 (39 pages)

Adams, A., Bondy, E., Ross, D., Dana, N., & Kennedy-Lewis, B. L. (2014). What “job- embedded” means in an online professional practice doctoral program: Process, structure, and implementation challenges. Journal of School Public Relations, 35(3), 363-382.​

Kennedy-Lewis, B. L., Murphy, A. S., & Grosland, T. J. (2014). Using narrative inquiry to understand persistently disciplined middle school students. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/09518398.2014.974718

Gagnon, J. C., Kennedy-Lewis, B. L., & Gurel, S. (2014, September). Corporal punishment in Florida schools: Trends in reactive, punitive, and ineffective approaches to youth behavior. Montgomery, AL: Southern Poverty Law Center.

Kennedy-Lewis, B. L. (2014).  Using diagrams to make meaning in grounded theory data collection and analysis. In P. Brindle (Ed.), SAGE cases in methodology.   http://srmo.sagepub.com/cases: SAGE.

Kennedy-Lewis, B. L. (2014). Using critical policy analysis to examine competing discourses in zero tolerance legislation: Do we really want to leave no child behind? Journal of Education Policy, 29(2). 165-194.

Kennedy-Lewis, B. L. (2013). Persistently disciplined urban students’ experiences of the  middle school transition and “getting in trouble.” Middle Grades Research Journal, 8(3), 99-116.

*Murphy, A. S., Acosta, M. M., Kennedy-Lewis, B. L. (2013). “I’m not running around with my pants sagging, so how am I not acting like a lady?”: Intersections of race and gender in the experiences of female middle school troublemakers. The Urban Review 45(5), 586-610.

Datnow, A., Park, V., & Kennedy-Lewis, B. L. (2013). Affordances and constraints in the context of teacher collaboration for the purpose of data use. Journal of Educational Administration, 51(3), 341-362.

Kennedy-Lewis, B. L. (2012). What happens after students are expelled? Understanding teachers’ successes and failures at one alternative middle school. Teachers College Record, 114(12), 1-38.

Datnow, A., Park, V., & Kennedy-Lewis, B. L. (2012). High school teachers’ use of data to inform instruction. Journal of Education for Students Placed At Risk, 17(4), 247-265.

Kennedy-Lewis, B. L. (2012). When a teacher becomes a researcher: Using self-narrative to define one’s role as participant observer. Theory Into Practice, 51(2), 107-113.

Kennedy, B. L., & Datnow, A. (2011). Student involvement and data-driven decision-making: Developing a new typology. Youth and Society, 43(4), 1246-1271.

Kennedy, B. L. (2011). Teaching disaffected middle school students: How classroom dynamics shape students’ experiences. Middle School Journal, 42(4), 32-42.

Kennedy, B. L. (2011). The importance of student and teacher interactions for disaffected middle school students: A grounded theory study of community day schools. Urban Education, 46(1), 4-33.

Kennedy, B. L. (2009). Infusing participants’ voices into grounded theory research: A poetic anthology. Qualitative Inquiry, 15(9), 1416-1433.

Kennedy, B. L. (2008). Educating students with insecure attachment histories: Toward an interdisciplinary theoretical framework. Pastoral Care in Education, 26(4), 211-230.

Selected Links

Kennedy-Lewis, B. L. (2015, November 8). Courageous step [letter to the editor]. Gainesville Sun​, p. F3.

Kennedy-Lewis, B. L., Gamble, M. P., Rhodes, L., & Murphy, A. S. (2015, March). Developing a school-wide approach for taking responsibility for the success of all students. Invited presentation to the Florida League of Middle Schools Regional Conference, Gainesville, FL. PDF of Slides

Kennedy-Lewis, B.L.& Gamble, M.P.  (2015, March).  One School’s Approach to Keeping Students, in Class.  The Gainesville Sun, p. 5F.

Kennedy-Lewis, B. L. (2013, August). Challenges, successes, and next steps toward effective discipline in Title I middle schools [webinar]. PDF of Consequences Used By Participants; PDF of Prevention Strategies Used By Participants

Kennedy-Lewis, B. L. (2013, July 22). Addressing the discipline gap: Students of color are punished more frequently and harshly for similar offenses. The Gainesville Sun, p. 5A.

Research Gate Profile:  https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Brianna_Kennedy-Lewis