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Bridwell, Sandra

Sandra Bridwell, Cambridge College
Core Faculty
Indiana University, Bloomington
School of Education
School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education: Department of Educational Leadership, Doctoral Program

Academic Focus

Educational leadership, research methods, dissertation research & advising

Community Involvement

Dr. Bridwell has rendered distinguished community service in several capacities including: Boston Women’s Fund Board of Directors; Harvard University Kennedy School of Government and Ash Institute Innovations in American Government Awards Evaluator; American Educational Research Association Qualitative Research Special Interest Group Paper Proposal Reviewer; Earthwatch Institute West Indies Sugar and Slavery Archeological Expedition.  She has served as mentor in the Women-to-Women Program promoting professional development for low-income women; and Women Expanding Literacy Education Action Resource Network Conference Committee.  She has also contributed technical assistance and training to South African Women’s Advisory Group and to the Support Center of Massachusetts non-profit program development.

Courses Taught
  • Advanced Qualitative Research
  • Contexts of Qualitative & Quantitative Research Methodologies
  • Doctoral Research Seminars
  • Transformative Educational Leadership
  • Qualitative Research Methods and Design

Ed.D. - Indiana University, Bloomington,  Higher Education Administration

M.P.A. - Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Public Administration

Harvard University, Graduate School of Education, Postdoctoral Studies: Administration, Planning and Social Policy

M.A.T., B.S. - University of Louisville, Teaching and Social Sciences; Sociology

Professional Experience
  • Assistant Dean and Assistant Professor of Medical Education
  • Associate Director, Office of Medical Student Affairs Center for Student Opportunities
  • Coordinator Adult Learning and Literacy Center
  • Curriculum and Instruction
  • Leadership Development
  • Program Development and Evaluation
  • Professor of Educational Leadership
  • Public and Non-Profit Technical Assistance
  • Teacher Professional Development
Awards & Recognitions
  • Carol Munnelly Research Scholarship
  • Outstanding Teaching and Service Faculty Medal
  • Project Hope Mentoring Award
  • Academic Excellence Committee Mini Grant Award
  • President’s Faculty Development Research Grant
  • Eisenhower Goals 2000 Education Initiative
Research & Publications

Bridwell, S. (2013). A Constructive-Developmental Perspective on the Transformational Learning of Adults Marginalized by Race, Class and Gender. Adult Education Quarterly: A Journal of Research and Theory.

Bridwell, S. (2012). School Leadership: Lessons from the Lived Experiences of Urban Teachers. Journal of Ethnographic & Qualitative Research.

Bridwell, Sandra (2011).  Transformational and Transformative Leadership in High-Poverty and Urban School Contexts:  A Review of the Literature. Book of Abstracts of the International Transformative Learning Conference in Europe, 9th International Conference on Transformative Learning.  Athens, Greece.

Bridwell, S. (2009). Parallels in the Marginalization of ABE Women Educators and Women Literacy Learners. Chapter in King, K. and Miller, M., (Eds.) Empowering Women through Literacy: Views from Experience.  A volume in The Adult Education Special Topics: Theory, Research and Practice in Lifelong Learning. Information Age Publishing. Charlotte, NC 

Bridwell, S. (2007). Transformative Learning and Constructive-Developmental Theory Intersections: Expanding Diversity beyond Race, Class and Gender to Cultures of Mind. In Cranton, P. and Taylor, E. (Eds.) Conference Proceedings, Seventh International Transformative Learning Conference. Albuquerque, NM

Bridwell, S., Donovan, P. and Shea, M. (2006) Human Resource Training for Adult Basic Education Program Directors: Facilitator Guide and Training Manual. System for Adult Basic Education Support, Boston MA

Selected Presentations

Bridwell, S. (2011) Urban School Leadership Theory Literature (2000-2010) and the Principle of Caring. Cambridge College Faculty Forum. Cambridge, MA

Bridwell, S. (2010). New Imperatives for Professional Development: Urban Teacher Narratives.  Paper presented at the Twenty-second Ethnographic and Qualitative Research Conference.  Cedarville, Ohio

Bridwell, S. (2009) Feminism and literacy: Bridging the gap between feminist organizations and feminist literacy workers. Center for New Words, Cambridge, MA

Bridwell, S. (2009).  School Leadership for Teacher Transformative Learning: Theory Based Practices.  Paper presented at the Eighth International Conference on Transformative Learning. Bermuda

Bridwell, S. (2009) Empowering Women through Literacy. Roundtable Presenter, Sixth Annual Conference.  Women Expanding Literacy Education Action Resource Network Conference - Stronger Leadership and Literacy: Empowering Women to Action.  University of Rhode Island, Providence, RI

Bridwell, S. (2009) Leadership in Women’s Literacy: Our Journey and Our Next Step. Town Hall Meeting Panelist, Sixth Annual Conference. Women Expanding Literacy Education Action Resource Network Conference - Stronger Leadership and Literacy: Empowering Women to Action. University of Rhode Island, Providence, RI

Bridwell, S. (2007). New Voices on Adult Learner Transformation from a Developmental Perspective: Theory and Practice. Paper presented at The Women and Literacy Conference, Boston, MA

Bridwell, S. (2006) Moving to Power and Participation, Panel Moderator, Women Expanding Literacy Education Action Resource Network Annual Conference.  Yale University, New Haven, CT

Bridwell, S. (2006). Understanding How Black ABE Learners Make Meaning: Enhancing Possibilities for Growth Using Developmental Theories. Paper presented at The American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Conference, San Francisco, CA

Bridwell, S. (2005). Against the Odds: A Black Woman’s Perspective on ABE Teaching and Learning. Paper presented at The American Association of Adult and Continuing Education Annual Conference, Pittsburgh, PA

Bridwell, S. (2005) Working Smarter in Tough Times to Support Transformational Learning. Keynote Address, Massachusetts Coalition for Adult Education, Network 2005 Conference, Marlboro, MA

Bridwell, S. (2004). Black Women as Learners and Thinkers: Diverse Voices in Adult Education. Roundtable Paper presentation at The American Educational Research Association (AERA) 2004 Annual Conference, San Diego, CA

Professional Memberships & Affiliations
  • American Education Research Association
  • Special Interest Groups
  • Adult Literacy and Adult Education
  • Leadership for Social Justice
  • Mixed Methods Research
  • Qualitative Research
  • Research and Practice
  • American Evaluation Association