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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 addresses justice-centered STEM education with multilingual learners by integrating multiple STEM subjects, including data science and computer science, 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 contemporary science standards into classroom practice with multilingual learners. The curriculum is in a field trial at New York City Public Schools with funding from the National Science Foundation. 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 and made them available nationally.

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

  • Honorary Doctor of Humanities degree recipient and keynote speaker at Baccalaureate Commencement Ceremony, Michigan State University, 2022
  • National Academy of Education member, 2022
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow: Section Q Education, 2021
  • American Educational Research Association: Exemplary Contributions to Practice-Engaged Research Award, 2021; Division K Innovations in Research on Equity and Social Justice in Teacher Education Award, 2019; AERA Fellow, 2009Distinguished Career Contribution Award from the Committee for Scholars of Color in Education, 2003
  • National Science Teaching Association: NSTA Distinguished Service to Science Education Award, 2020
  • Korean-American Educational Researchers Association: Inaugural Distinguished Researcher Award, 2019
  • University of Miami Provost’s Award for Research Activity, 2008

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Selected Publications

Lee has published more than 125 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.



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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