Carol Lee
Northwestern University
Professor of Education and Social Policy

Year Elected


Membership status

Carol D. Lee is the Edwina S. Tarry Professor Emeritus of Education in the School of Education and Social Policy and in African-American Studies at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, U.S.A, and the President of the National Academy of Education. She is currently Chairman of the National Board of Education Sciences. She is a past president of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), AERA’s past representative to the World Educational Research Association, past vice-president of AERA’s Division G (Social Contexts of Education), past president of the National Conference on Research in Language and Literacy, and past co-chair of the Research Assembly of the National Council of Teachers of English. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a fellow of the American Educational Research Association, a fellow of the National Conference on Research in Language and Literacy, and a former fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences. She is a recipient of the Distinguished Service Award from the National Council of Teachers of English, Scholars of Color Distinguished Scholar Award from the AERA, the Walder Award for Research Excellence at Northwestern University, the Distinguished Alumni Award from the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Illinois-Urbana, the President’s Pacesetters Award from the American Association of Blacks in Higher Education, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education and an honorary doctorate from the University of Pretoria, South Africa. Most recently she has received the Distinguished Contributions to Research in Education award from AERA and the McGraw Prize in Education. She has led three international delegations in education on behalf of the People to People’s Ambassador Program to South Africa and the People’s Republic of China. She is the author or co-editor of eleven books, monographs and special issues, the most recent being The Handbook of Cultural Foundations of Learning (co-edited with Na’ilah Nasir, Roy Pea, and Maxine McKinney de Royston), and has published over 108 journal articles and book or handbook chapters in the field of education. Her research addresses cultural supports for learning that include a broad ecological focus, integrating learning sciences and human development framing, with attention to language and literacy and African American youth. Her career spans a 50-year history, including work as an English Language Arts teacher at the high school and community college levels, a primary grade teacher, and a university professor. She is a founder of four African-centered schools that span a 50-year history, including three charter schools under the umbrella of the Betty Shabazz International Charter Schools where she serves as chair of the Board of Directors.

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