Jun 032016


3&4YrOldWkBkWorkIn May, Diane was in Kathmandu, Nepal, working with colleague, Professor Kishor Shrestha, Country Coordinator of Global Family Village Nepal.  She visited schools and orphanages and consulted on several issues related to her own work.  She saw the devastating effects both of the high levels of poverty in most parts of the country she visited, and of the 2015 earthquake on the country and its children and families.

Diane visited an impressive school that is working with ICRI, an American-based program, which trains EC teachers in Nepal (and other countries), to incorporate play into its very early classrooms and provides some simple play materials. But most of the early childhood classrooms in the state elementary schools that Diane saw (beginning for children younger than 3-years old), spend most of their time (of an approximate 6-hour school day) on rote teaching of letters and numbers, using commercially-produced workbook programs.

IMG_0780Diane gave two talks in Nepal: “Helping Children in Dangerous and Scary Times” and “Screens, Screens Everywhere:  Challenges & Opportunities for Young Children—Today & in the Future.”  In both talks, she was asked to show how a focus on play in school, rather than rote teaching of academic skills, is central to promoting learning and healing for Nepali children in these times. She was also asked about how to help manage the media in children’s lives as it is causing them to lose much of their play at home; they have never had much play at school.

As Diane returns to her work in the United States, she is left thinking about the many parallels between the educational and play needs of children in Nepal and the United States, and how we can all work together around the world to promote the wellbeing of all young children.

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May 152016

NEWLY REVISED SUMMER INSTITUTE/COURSE taught by Diane Levin and Lexi Ladd and others at Wheelock, in conjunction with Mass Media Literacy

media madness stock image

Dates: July 5-8, 2016, 9am – 6pm

Format: One-week, on-campus intensive

Course Description: Examine the profound influence media and media culture are having on children’s development, learning and attitudes. Explore media’s impact on families, schools, and the wider society. In addition, examine strategies for counteracting the negative impact of media culture’s racism, sexism, violence, and commercialism in everyday life through media education, conflict resolution, advocacy, and more. Also explore potential positive uses.

Course may be taken either for non-credit or for 3 graduate or 4 undergraduate credits. CEUs are available.

Cost: Non-credit: $505 | 3 graduate credits: $3,160 | 4 undergraduate credits: $2,470 (All prices include a $10 registration fee.)


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Feb 262015

Boston Parents Paper Web Logo

Diane Levin recently announced TRUCE’s Family Play Plans in Boston Parents Paper.

“Families have been spending a lot of time at home together these past few weeks. It can be hard to figure out what to do and, in these times, it is very easy for children and parents alike to spend more and more time connected to screens and not a lot of time connected to each other.”

Read more at Boston Parents Paper.

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Feb 102015


I recently spoke with Yahoo! Parenting about the recent cover of  Sports Illustrated and the message it’s sending to our children.

“Confusing” is the term So Sexy So Soon co-author Diane Levin opts for. “Starting from young age, children are figuring out, ‘What does it mean to be a boy? What does it mean to be a girl?’” Levin, a professor of education in the Department of Early Childhood Education at Boston’s Wheelock College, tells Yahoo Parenting. Catching sight of all that skin, glorified on the newsstand at the grocery store, “becomes an important part of what they understand as to what it means to be girl and what people value,” she says. “It shows them girls are supposed to be pretty, and how you look is really important. It says, ‘Don’t think about what lies underneath, just focus on appearance. Being sexy is what’s valuable.’”

Read the full article at Yahoo! Parenting.

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