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Okhee Lee

Professor of Childhood Education

Teaching and Learning


Okhee Lee is a professor in the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development at New York University. She is widely known for advancing research, policy, and practice that simultaneously promote science and language learning for all students, particularly multilingual learners. Lee was a member of the NGSS writing team and served as leader for the NGSS Diversity and Equity Team. She also was a member of the Steering Committee for the Understanding Language Initiative at Stanford University. Her research involves integrating science, language, and computational thinking with a focus on multilingual learners. Her latest work concentrates on justice-centered STEM education to address pressing societal challenges using the case of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lee brings research and policy to practice. Her team developed a yearlong fifth-grade science curriculum called Science And Integrated Language, or SAIL, that translates the new science standards into classroom practice with a focus on multilingual learners. The curriculum will undergo a field trial in New York City Public Schools with NSF funding. Using the SAIL curriculum, Lee’s team published teacher resources in collaboration with the New York State Education Department. In addition, her team published teacher resources in collaboration with the National Science Teaching Association that reaches science and STEM educators across the nation.

Lee is the recipient of numerous honors, awards, and fellowships, including:

  • National Academy of Education member, 2022
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Fellow, Section Q Education, 2021
  • Exemplary Contributions to Practice-Engaged Research Award from the American Educational Research Association (AERA), 2021
  • Distinguished Service to Science Education Award from the National Science Teaching Association (NSTA), 2020
  • Innovations in Research on Equity and Social Justice in Teacher Education Award from the AERA’s Division K Teaching and Teacher Education, 2019
  • Inaugural Distinguished Researcher Award from the Korean-American Educational Researchers Association (KAERA), 2019
  • AERA Fellow, 2009
  • Distinguished Career Contribution Award from the AERA Scholars of Color in Education, 2003

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Selected Publications

Lee has published more than 120 refereed journal articles, five books, five handbook chapters, 30 book chapters, and more than 30 editorials on STEM education for diverse student groups, with a focus on multilingual learners. Here are selective publications that support her efforts to advance K-12 STEM education, especially for multilingual learners.



  • Lee, O., & Campbell, D. T. (2021). Instructional materials aligned to A Framework for K-12 Science Education and the Next Generation Science Standards [Special issue]. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 32(7).


  • Lee, O., & Campbell, D. T. (2020). What science and STEM teachers can learn from COVID-19: Harnessing data science and computer science through the convergence of multiple STEM subjects. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 31(8), 932-944.






  • Lee, O., Miller, E., & Januszyk, R. (Eds.). (2015). NGSS for all students. National Science Teachers Association.


  • Lee, O., Quinn, H., & Valdés, G. (2013). Science and language for English language learners in relation to Next Generation Science Standards and with implications for Common Core State Standards for English language arts and mathematics. Educational Researcher, 42(4), 223-233.





Childhood Education

Examine critical education issues and gain the skills and experience to thrive as a teacher in today's urban classrooms.

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