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Carmichael Hall

Lee Freeman

Ed.D., The University of Alabama, 1986. Elementary Education. 

M.A., The University of Alabama, 1978. Secondary Education.

B.S., The University of Alabama, 1973.  

B.S., The University of Alabama, 1967. Biology/Geology.

Dr. Lee Freeman has continued to rise above and beyond the call of duty for education and the mission of The University of Alabama. He truly leads, unites, and acts by example. In his retirement, he has become even more passionate about research and sharing research with others, developing innovative teaching practices, and continuing his loyalty to UA and the greater scope of education. 

With 40 years of experience in education, Freeman served in many roles at UA including program coordinator of elementary education, graduate faculty, instructor, and teacher-in-residence.

In the K-12 system, Dr. Freeman served as reading coach at Verner and Rock Quarry Elementary Schools in Tuscaloosa; curriculum coordinator and teacher at Rock Quarry Elementary School in Tuscaloosa; curriculum coordinator and multi-age grade teacher at Stafford Global Studies Center Magnet School in Tuscaloosa; teacher at Carrollton Elementary in Carrollton; teacher at Hambrick Junior High School in Houston, Texas; and teacher at Gordo Elementary School in Gordo.

He has been honored with several awards including the W. Ross Palmer Service to Students Award; the College of Education Outstanding Graduate Student (Elementary Education Teaching) (three times); the College of Education – Outstanding Teaching by a Graduate Student; and Teacher of the Year nominee at each public school in which he had taught.

One of Dr. Freeman’s great contributions to education and research comes from the Clinical Master Teacher (CMT) program. Dr. Freeman worked with this program for six years, mentoring new CMTs in 17 schools across the local area. CMTs help the university manage, teach, and mentor practicum and student teachers across the local schools. In his role, Dr. Freeman made a tremendous impact on the school environments and helped advance the teaching of UA.  

In short, Dr. Freeman does not stop teaching once our teachers have their own classrooms. Instead, he continues to mentor them, ensuring that teaching is at the cutting-edge of research. He has also published two articles and made three presentations about this program to share the research and practice with other universities who may want to emulate the great work at UA.

Dr. Freeman’s passion and interest in research has only increased since his retirement from UA. Currently, he works with Dr. Jee Suh on a large grant funded by the National Science Foundation. The project is focused on integrating language, argument, and dialogue into elementary science classroom and helping 160 teachers and over 6,500 students in underserved areas oflowa and Alabama. In this project, he assists with project implementation which includes recruiting teachers, providing professional development, collecting data, and communicating with school teachers and leadership. Previously, Dr. Freeman worked as grant and program coordinator for a $6.7 million federal grant working with Stafford Global Studies and Rock Quarry Elementary. He helped write the grant as part of a larger team at Tuscaloosa City Schools, then coordinated the program foci and materials.

In addition to focusing on research, Dr. Freeman has consistently been part of innovative teaching practices across the local area and state. Along with Dr. Kathy Hilliker, he helped establish and teach the first multi-age inclusion class in the state of Alabama. This innovative approach to teaching, based on skills and the developmental needs of children, combines Dr. Freeman’s knowledge of research and practice. He also established the first narrative report card assessment in Alabama for students in grades K-5, showing his commitment to diverse methods of assessment for elementary students.

Beyond his commitment to research and teaching, Dr. Freeman is an advocate across the state of Alabama. Along with other esteemed colleagues, he created the initial state standards for the Multiple Abilities Program at UA. This program provided more opportunities for teachers in Alabama and filled a need to train more highly qualified practitioners in these roles. Currently, Dr. Freeman is working on professional development activities at Woodland Forrest Elementary and Matthews Elementary. His dedication to improving the quality of teaching is unyielding.

Finally, Dr. Freeman’s loyalty to UA is unmeasured. He has been named a Clinical Professor Emeritus. After 25 years in K-7 public school education and 16 years at UA, he is still teaching . Not only does he teach undergraduate courses, but he supervises students in the field, provides service to the department and college, and assists with multiple research projects. He is committed to ensuring that the legacy of UA continues.