Carol Lee Elected President of the National Academy of Education

Carol Lee Elected President of the National Academy of Education

Carol LeeProfessor emeritus Carol D. Lee, the former Edwina S. Tarry Professor of Education, has been named president elect of the National Academy of Education. 

Lee, a professor of learning sciences and African-American studies while at Northwestern, is best known in academia for her five decades of work helping minority students excel in an environment of low expectations, poverty, negative stereotypes and other barriers. 

She was among the early scholars to explore ways to scaffold children's' everyday experiences as a resource for learning in school. Today her sophisticated ideas behind "cultural modeling" are a standard approach in the field. 

She is also the author of two books, Culture, Literacy and Learning and Signifying as a Scaffold for Literary Interpretation. Lee is a fellow of the National Conference of Research on Language and Literacy and a former fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences. 

A lifelong learner and enthusiastic reader– she was once spotted buying more than 50 books at the American Educational Research Association conference– Lee began teaching English in Chicago high schools in 1966 and became active in the Black Power Movement, Black Arts Movement, and the Civil Rights movement. She arrived at SESP in 1991 after receiving her PhD in education from the University of Chicago and retired in June of 2018.

The National Academy, a highly prestigious organization limited to 200 U.S. members, is dedicated to advancing high-quality education research and its use in policy formulation.

Lee’s four-year term as president will begin in November 2021.

By Julie Deardorff
Last Modified: 11/5/20