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Paula Levin

Teaching Professor Emerita

Paula Levin is a Teaching Professor Emerita. She was responsible for the M.A. and Doctor of Education programs in Teaching and Learning. In addition to her faculty position in Education Studies, she had an appointment as affiliated faculty in the Program in Human Development, the Department of Anthropology, and the Joint Ph.D. Program in Math and Science Education. From 2008-2014, Levin served as Associate Faculty Director and Acting Faculty Director of the Programs Abroad Office at UCSD. In recognition of her contributions to teaching, she was named by the Academic Senate as a recipient of UCSD’s Distinguished Teaching Award.

Levin has conducted research on language, schooling and culture in the United States, as well as in French Polynesia and Papua New Guinea. Her writings have addressed science learning, early literacy, teacher preparation, home-school relationships, curriculum design, and social, linguistic, and cultural aspects of learning.

Prior to assuming her faculty position at UCSD, Levin served as a research anthropologist in the Pre-Kindergarten Program at the Center for the Development of Early Education (CDEE) at the Kamehameha Schools in Honolulu, Hawaii. In that role, she led a curriculum development project team to develop and assess educational programs for native Hawaiian children ages 0-5. As a member of the Culture and Learning Department in CDEE, she was honored with the Kimball Award for Applied and Public Anthropology, presented by the American Anthropological Association.

Levin has worked on a number of collaborative projects, including "Visualizing Earth", an NSF-funded multi-site, multidisciplinary research project to study scientific visualization, and to integrate the use of space shuttle images into middle school earth science instruction. She also served as Project Director of a Ford Foundation-funded ethnographic study called "Teaching Diversity and Learning Tolerance", a look at a core curriculum at UCSD. In addition, she worked with a consortium of UC faculty to develop doctoral level degrees for educational practitioners. From 2008-2012, Levin reviewed newly-proposed graduate programs for accreditation, in her role as a member of the WASC (Western Association of Schools and Colleges) Substantive Change Committee.

Levin has consulted widely for institutions and projects creating both in-school and out-of-school learning activities for young children. These institutions include Sally Ride Science, the Native Hawaiian Library Project, and Children’s Television Workshop.

University of California, San Diego

Ph.D. in Anthropology, 1978

University of California, San Diego

M.A. in Anthropology, 1973

Swarthmore College

B.A. in Psychology, with distinction, 1971

“Changing Childhood in Polynesia: The Impact of Robert Levy's Tahitians on Psychological Anthropology in Oceania” Ethos: The Journal of Psychological Anthropology 33 (4) 467-474, 2005.

"The EarthKAM Project: Creating Space Imaging Tools for Teaching and Learning" inComputers & Geosciences, 26, 683-691, (with Dodson, Ride, and Souviney). 2000.

“Preparing Teachers to Connect Home and School: Learning about the Sociocultural Context of Teaching and Learning” in M.S. Ammon (Ed.) Joining Hands: Preparing Teachers to Make Meaningful Home-School Connections. Sacramento: California State Department of Education. 1999.

"Visualizing Earth from the Classroom" in Meridian, a middle school computer technologies journal. February 1999, (with Dodson, Reynolds, and Souviney).

Teaching Diversity and Learning Tolerance: An Ethnographic Study of the Dimensions of Culture Program. Final Report submitted to the Ford Foundation, 1998. (with Lytle and Wills).

 “The Social Context of Early Literacy” in R. Roberts (Ed.) Coming Home to Preschool: The Sociocultural Context of Early Education, 1993, Ablex. (with Brenner and McClellan).

 “The Impact of Preschool on Teaching and Learning in Hawaiian Families” Transforming Knowledge: Western Schooling in the Pacific. Theme Issue ofAnthropology and Education Quarterly, 23 (1) Spring 1992. 

“Cultural Sensitivity in the Design and Evaluation of Early Intervention Programs” in D. Mitchell and R. Brown (Eds.) Early Intervention Studies for Young Children with Special Needs,  1991, Chapman and Hall.  (with Heath)

“Culturally Contextualized Apprenticeship: Teaching and Learning through Helping in Hawaiian Families”  Quarterly Newsletter of the Laboratory of Comparative Human Cognition 12(2), April 1990, 80-85.