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John Lee

Associate Dean for Faculty and Academic Affairs

Interim Department Head of Educational Leadership, Policy and Human Development and Professor of Social Studies Education

602M Poe Hall



Dr. John Lee is Head and Professor in the Department of Teacher Education and Learning Sciences in the College of Education at North Carolina State University. He was an author of the College, Career and Civic Life Framework for Standards in Social Studies ( and is a founder and co-director of the C3 Teachers project ( He develops innovative digital historical resources through the Digital History and Pedagogy Project ( He has authored or co-authored several books books including, Inquiry-based Practice in Social Studies Education: Understanding the Inquiry Design Model; Teaching Social Studies: A Methods Book for Methods Teachers; Teaching the C3 Framework; Visualizing Elementary Social Studies Methods; and Research on Technology in Social Studies; and Guiding Learning with Technology.

Research Description

Dr. Lee focuses on issues related to teacher knowledge and practices related to using inquiry in the classroom. His scholarly work, with colleagues, has resulted in an innovative approach to learning and teaching called the Inquiry Design Model ( He is also interested in the uses of digital historical resources in learning and teaching as well as efforts to theorize and develop tools related to new literacies. His current research focuses on inquiry design and classroom implementation as well as best design practices for online collections of historical resources targeted for K-12 classrooms.


Doctor of Philosophy in Social Studies Education from University of Virginia
Master of Education in Social Studies Education from Georgia State University
Bachelor of Arts in Social Studies Education from University of Georgia

Curriculum Vitae


Selected Scholarly Publications

  • Hicks, D. vanHover, S., Yeager, E. L., & Lee, J. K. (accepted for publication). Internet literacies for active citizenship and democratic life: In search of the intersection. (pp. ). In W. B. Russell (Ed.). Contemporary Social Studies. The term “technology in schools” has often been viewed as an educational panacea in which students would be able to learn (almost) in spite of their teacher, and countless school reform measures have been suggested (or mandated) that advocate “state of the art” technology (see Friedman & Hicks, 2006). State of the art technology has evolved from radio and motion pictures to television, microcomputers, educational software, static web pages, and currently, Web 2.0 technologies that foster interaction and communication. For each new development, there has been a parallel prediction that its use would revolutionize teaching and learning in social studies education (see Christensen, Johnson, & Horn, 2008; Gardner, 2009). However, the promises and potential of technology have not materialized (Cuban, 2001; Martorella, 1998). Lee, J. K., & Spires, H. A. (2009). What students think about technology and academic engagement in school: Implications for middle grades teaching and learning. AACE Journal, 17(2).
  • Spires, H. A., Lee, J. K., Turner, K. A., & Johnson, J. (2008). Having our say: Middle grade student perspectives on school, technologies, and academic engagement. Journal of Research on Technology in Education 40(4), 497-515.

Courses Taught

  • ECI 435 Methods and Materials in Social Studies Instruction
  • ECI 525 Contemporary Issues in Social Studies Instruction
  • ECI 526 Theory and Research in Social Studies Education
  • ECI 727 Digital History and Pedagogy

Research Areas