Academic Dean, Juliana W. and William Foss Thompson Professor of Education and Society
Harvard Graduate School of Education
Nonie K. Lesaux is Academic Dean and the Juliana W. and William Foss Thompson Professor of Education and Society. Her research focuses on promoting the language and literacy skills of today's children from diverse linguistic, cultural and economic backgrounds, and is conducted largely in urban and semi-urban cities and school districts. Lesaux's work has earned her the William T. Grant Scholars Award, and the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor given by the United States government to young professionals beginning their independent research careers. She has served on the U.S. Department of Education's Reading First Advisory Committee, and the Institute of Medicine and National Research Council's Committee on the Science of Children Birth to Age 8. In addition to her faculty appointment at HGSE, Lesaux currently serves as the chair of the Massachusetts' Board of Early Education and Care. Lesaux's developmental and experimental research on school-age children and youth investigates language, reading, and social-emotional development; classroom quality and academic growth; and strategies for accelerating language and reading comprehension. Her research on our youngest children, with colleague Stephanie Jones, focuses on the challenge of simultaneously expanding and improving the quality of early childhood education, at scale (The Leading Edge of Early Childhood Education, Harvard Education Press, 2016). Lesaux's research appears in numerous scholarly publications, and its practical applications are featured in three books: Teaching Advanced Literacy Skills (Guilford Press, 2016), Cultivating Knowledge, Building Language: Literacy Instruction for English Learners in Elementary School (Heinemann, 2015), and Making Assessment Matter: Using Test Results to Differentiate Reading Instruction (Guilford, 2011). She is also the author of a widely circulated state literacy report, Turning the Page: Refocusing Massachusetts for Reading Success, that forms the basis for a Third Grade Reading Proficiency bill passed in Massachusetts.