Ph.D. in Education, 2016
School of Education
July 1, 2010
Doctoral Student Values Graduate Research Experience in Technology and the Arts
David Lee is a Ph.D. student in Education with a specialization in Language, Literacy, and Technology, with concurrent interest in Learning, Cognition, and Development. David grew up in the Chicagoland area and attended the University of Illinois with plans on studying Biochemistry and pursuing a career in medicine or pharmacy. However, while taking undergraduate classes, his interests drastically changed as he realized the joys of working with various young individuals. While enrolled in college, David taught tennis, worked with youth orchestras, and individually tutored two struggling students. He also worked as an undergraduate researcher in a lab studying infant language acquisition and another lab that studied cognitive development in mathematics. During his senior year, he completed an independent research study in educational psychology that investigated the effects of different number structures in various languages on math fluency and then graduated with dual B.S. degrees in Psychology and Biochemistry in 2003. These experiences led to his desire to learn more about individual differences in learning and work with struggling students.
Upon graduation, David obtained his Master’s and Specialist Degrees in school psychology in 2006. As a practicing school psychologist in metro Atlanta and a regional representative for the Georgia Association of School Psychologists, he found himself frequently referring to the current research to guide his recommendations and appreciated the need for high quality educational research as a support mechanism to guide best practices in schools. He also observed the high frequency of literacy difficulties in schools and the potential spillover effects of these problems to other aspects of students’ lives. He noticed that while many students possessed the basic math and reading skills, they continued to struggle in the classroom.
David believes that education is not simply about learning facts, but rather learning how to learn, to think like experts, and to be resourceful. Therefore, David is interested in individual differences in complex cognitive skills such as metacognition, self-regulated learning, and critical thinking as it relates to literacy development and science. He is also interested in the role of higher-order cognition in early childhood education and English language learning.
During the first year in the PhD program, David had the fortunate opportunity to work with Professor Mark Warschauer as a graduate student researcher on a project that evaluated the implementation and effects of a 21st century learning reform. This project will continue into his second year where they will investigate the methods for the direct assessment of 21st century skills. David also earned valuable experience under the guidance of Professor Liane Brouillette, contributing as a student reviewer for the Journal for Learning Through the Arts. He looks forward to continuing his contribution through his second year.
David hopes to pursue a career in academia as a university professor while continuing his involvement in the school psychology profession as a trainer, consultant, or supervisor.