Diane E. Levin

Clinical Professor

Professor Diane Levin’s work focuses on how various factors in society, such as violence and war, poverty, media and commercialization, and educational mandates and testing affect children’s development, learning, behavior and play. She also recommends what we can do to protect children and promote optimal development and learning in relation to each of the societal factors she studies. Dr. Levin has authored (or co-authored) dozens of articles and eight books, including: The War Play Dilemma, Beyond Remote-Controlled Childhood, So Sexy So Soon, and Teaching Young Children in Violent Times.

She is the co-founder of Defending the Early Years (www.deyproject.org), which advocates for developmentally appropriate education in a time of ill-conceived standards and mandates, and Teachers Resisting Unhealthy Children’s Entertainment (www.TRUCEteachers.org), which prepares materials to help parents promote appropriate media and quality play in these times.

She has spoken widely about her work in the U.S. and around the world, and for 15 years has taken her students to Northern Ireland on a service learning program to study how early childhood programs can help communities that have experienced war and conflict heal. To learn more about Dr. Levin’s work go to www.dianeelevin.com.

For more information, visit Dr. Levin’s website: dianelevin.org.

Ph.D. (Interdisciplinary) in Sociology, Development Psych & Child Development from Tufts University
M.Ed. in Special Education from Wheelock College
B.S. in Child Development & Family Relations from Cornell University

Meaning & Development of Play
How War & Conflict Affect Children & How We Can Help Them Heal
Development & Deviations in Language & Cognition
Action Research in Early Childhood Programs

• How school reform mandates undermine developmentally appropriate practice & what educators can to do advocate for appropriate practice in these times.
• How media, technology, commercial culture and other factors in today's society affect development, learning and play and what parents and educators can promote the positive and counteract the negative.
• How we can prepared early childhood professionals to promote optimal development and learning and adapt teaching practice to meet the needs of children growing up in today's media culture.

Visit Dr. Levin's Faculty Profile

• “Mandates to Teach Academic Skills to Young Children: Teachers Voice Concern.” With Judith Van Hoorn. Exchange Magazine. Jan.-Feb. 2018.

• “Preschool Winter Family Play Plans“ With Blakely Bundy. Teaching Young Children (NAEYC). July-August, 2018.

• “What Has Happened to Play? An Alarming Effect of Academic Mandates in Early Childhood Settings.” Schwierige Kinder. Summer, 2017.

• Teachers Speak Out: How School Reforms Are Failing Low-Income Young Children. (With Judith VanHoorn). Published by Defending the Early Years, Jan. 2017. [Download at: www.deyorganization.org].

• Media Influences on Play. Sage Encyclopedia of Contemporary Early Childhood Education. D. Couchenour & J.K. Chrisman (Eds.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2016.

• The Impact of Commercialism on Development, Learning & Behavior: What’s the Problem and What We Can Do about It? Sage Encyclopedia of Contemporary Early Childhood Education. D. Couchenour & J.K. Chrisman (Eds.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2016.

• What Has Happened to Play? An Alarming Effect of Academic Mandates in Early Childhood Settings.” Community Playthings Newsletter. Sept.6, 2016.

• Time Matters: The Importance of Sustained Play in Child Development. Exchange Mag. May/June 2016.

• “Learning to Count to “14” the Common Core Way and the Constructivist Way: What’s the Difference? Why Does It Matter? (G.Mclaughlin, co-author). Exchange Magazine. March/Apr, 2016.

• Play with Violence: Understanding and Responding Effectively. Play from Birth to Twelve: Contexts, Perspectives, and Meanings (3rd Ed.), D. Fromberg & D. Bergen (Eds.), New York: Garland Pub., 2015.

• Levin, D.E. Beyond Remote-Controlled Childhood: Teaching Young Children in the Media Age (2nd Ed.). Washington, DC: National Association for the Education of Young Children, 2013.

• Young Children’s Understanding of Poverty: A Case Study in Greece. Exchange Mag. May/June 2013.

• Objectified Self, Objectified Relationships: The Sexualization of Childhood Promotes Social Injustice. Promoting Social Justice for Young Children. In, Beatrice S. Fennimore & A. Lin Goodwin (Eds.), New York: Springer, 2011.

• War: U.S. Children and Parental Deployment. In Encyclopedia of Peace Psychology, D. Christie, (Ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell, 2011. [J. Van Hoorn, co-author]

• Not In Harms Way. Or Are They? War, Social Justice, and Young Children in the United States. Promoting Social Justice for Young Children. In Beatrice S. Fennimore & A. Lin Goodwin (Eds.), New York: Springer, 2011. [With J. Van Hoorn].

• University of Mass-Boston. Boston. February 2018. Community Talk: "So Sexy So Soon! So Violent So Soon! Promoting Children’s Healthy Development & Behavior in Today’s Violent, Sexualized & Commercialized Media Culture."

• Wheelock College Alumni Assoc. at Wheelock. February 2018. “Sharing Key Lessons Learned from Lucy Wheelock.”

• Needham Human Rights Commission. Needham, MA. February 2018. Community Talk: “The Impact of the News Media on Young Children’s Thinking and What Parents Can Do about It.”

• Belmont Public Schools Parents’ Association. Belmont, MA. January 2018. “Beyond Remote Controlled Childhood: Helping Families Deal Effectively with Media and Technology in These Times & Why It’s So Important to Do So.”

• David Hawkins Curiosity & Learning Conference. Wheelock College. October 2017. KEYNOTE: "Play......More Important Now Than Ever."

• World Forum on Early Care and Ed. Auckland, N.Z. May 2017. Panel Leader: "Building Resilience to Help Young Children Deal with Trauma from Natural Disasters, Political Turmoil or Family Conflict: Lessons from Around the World."

• Association for Early Childhood Education International. April 2017. Invited 125th Anniversary Banquet Talk. “Lucy Wheelock: Pioneer in Early Childhood Whose Ideas and Vision Live On & Grow Today.” Washington, DC.

• Wheelock College Alumni Symposium. April 2017. “Teachers Speak Out How School Reform Mandates Are Failing Low-Income Young Children.”

• National Assoc. for the Education of Young Children Annual Conference. Los Angeles, CA. November 2016. “School Reform Mandates Versus the Whole Child: Special Challenges for Low Income Children.” [With Denisha Jones.]

• Broad Institute of MIT & Harvard. Cambridge, MA. October 2016. "Endangered Play, Endangered Development: Why Play Is Even More Important in the 21st Century."

• Children’s Trust Fund. Central & Southern Massachusetts. Sept. 2016. Family Center Coordinators Full-Day Training. “Beyond Remote Controlled Childhood: Helping Families Deal with Today's Media and Technology & Why It’s So Important to Do So.”

• California Association for the Educ of Young Children Annual Conference. March 2016. Keynote: “Endangered Play.”

• Sonoma State Univ County Conf. Rohnert Park, CA. March 2016. Keynote : “Endangered Play, Endangered Development: Supporting Play in a Changing World.”

• North Shore of Chicago Preschool-Kindergarten Summit. October 2015. Keynote Address: “Endangered Play, Endangered Dev.: What Research Says about the Importance of Play in the 21st Century.” February 2016.

• Kurn Hattin Homes for Children24th Annual Conference for Northeast Professionals. Full-Day Workshop. Williamsburg, VT. “So Sexy So Soon.”

• Northern Ireland Early Years Organization 50th Anniversary Conference. June 2015. Keynote Address: “Challenges & Opportunities Facing Young Children in Contemporary Society.”

• Northern Ireland Early Years Organization. June 2015. Master Course: “Challenges & Opportunities Facing Today’s Young Children: How Society Sexualizes Childhood & Affects Gender Roles.”

• University of Oklahoma. Tulsa, OKL. April 2015. 4th International Infant & Toddler Conf. “Creating the Foundation for a Global Future. Keynote. “Beyond Remote-Controlled Childhood: The Special Challenges of Promoting Optimal Learning & Development in Today’s Media-Saturated World.”

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