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John K. Lee Named Head of Teacher Education and Learning Sciences

John Lee

RALEIGH, North Carolina—John K. Lee, Ph.D., will be the permanent head of the NC State College of Education’s Department of Teacher Education and Learning Sciences, effective Jan. 1. He has served as the interim head since January 2017 and has been a faculty member with the NC State College of Education for 11 years.

“Dr. Lee’s national leadership and his experience and familiarity with teacher education will contribute to help elevating the department and the NC State College of Education,” said Mary Ann Danowitz, dean of the NC State College of Education. “With his leadership, we will become more innovative and increase our impact and prominence in North Carolina and beyond.”

Lee joined the NC State College of Education in 2006 as an associate professor of social studies education and became a full professor in 2015. His research focuses on teacher knowledge and practices related to using inquiry in the classroom and on best design practices for online collections of historical resources targeted for K-12 classrooms.

Working with colleagues, Lee has pioneered an innovative approach to learning and teaching called the Inquiry Design Model. He has also developed innovative digital historical resources through the Digital History and Pedagogy Project. In addition, he is the co-author of the College, Career and Civic Life Framework for State Standards in Social Studies; he co-founded and co-directs the C3 Teachers project; and he serves as senior director of the Technology Enriching Instruction initiative.

He has authored or co-authored over a 100 publications, including the books “Inquiry-Based Practice in Social Studies Education: The Inquiry Design Model”; “Teaching Social Studies: A Methods Book for Methods Teachers”; and “Guiding Learning with Technology.”

“I am looking forward to working with the leadership in the College of Education and my colleagues in the Teacher Education and Learning Sciences department to move forward our shared priorities for teacher education and learning sciences,” Lee said.

Lee earned his Bachelor of Arts in Social Studies Education from the University of Georgia, Master of Education in Social Studies Education from Georgia State University, and Doctor of Philosophy in Social Studies Education from the University of Virginia.

Before pursuing his Ph.D., he taught social studies and history at public middle and high schools in Georgia and Virginia for nearly 10 years.

As the head of the NC State College of Education’s Department of Teacher Education and Learning Sciences, Lee will provide leadership for a nationally-renowned department that is home to more than 35 full-time faculty members, 20 part-time faculty members and 600 students. They conduct research and study across nearly 10 disciplines and fields within education, including elementary education, literacy, social studies, digital learning, middle grades education, curriculum development, business and marketing, special education, and educational psychology.

The department offers North Carolina’s only STEM-focused elementary education program, only online graduate certificate program in special education, and only technology endorsement for teacher licenses, meaning students learn from faculty conducting research on evidence-based instructional technologies. The department also graduates about 20 master’s level literacy specialist each year, the most in the state.