Diane Levin

Wheelock College Professor of Early Childhood Education Diane LevinProfessor of Early Childhood Education
Email: dlevin@wheelock.edu
Phone: 617-879-2167
Office: Classroom 207B

Educational Degrees

B.S. 1968, Cornell University
M.S.Ed. 1969, Wheelock College
Ph.D. 1978, Tufts University

Diane Levin teaches courses on play, media literacy, violence prevention and peace building, and qualitative research. For 8 years, she had led an annual Wheelock Service Learning Program to Northern Ireland that focuses on How Education Programs Can Help Communities Affected by Conflict and Violence Heal. Since 1995 she has co-taught a summer institute on Media Madness: The Impact of Sex, Violence, and Commercial Culture on Adults, Children and Society and What We Can Do about It. An internationally recognized expert, she helps professionals, parents and policymakers understand and respond to the impact of various societal forces-such as violence and sexualization, and media and commercial culture-on children's development, learning and behavior.

Levin is the author or co-author of nine books including: Beyond Remote-Controlled Childhood: Teaching Young Children in the Media Age (2013); So Sexy So Soon: The New Sexualized Childhood and What Parents Can Do to Protect Their Kids; The War Play Dilemma: What Every Parent and Teacher Needs to Know; and, Teaching Young Children in Violent Times: Building a Peaceable Classroom.

She is a founder of three advocacy organizations: T.R.U.C.E-Teachers Resisting Unhealthy Children's Entertainment, which helps professionals help parents deal with the impact of media and promote quality play; Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, which works to end the commercial exploitation of children; and, Defending the Early Years, which advocates for appropriate early childhood practice that counteracts inappropriate aspects of many recent school reform mandates. And, she has consulted for the American Psychological Association's ACT against Violence Program and been Senior Advisor for four PBS Parents' websites and the PBS Parents Magazine.

For more information, visit Dr. Levin's website and Huffington Post blog.

Selected Recent Publications

  • Beyond Remote-Controlled Childhood:  Teaching Young Children in the Media Age [Book].  Washington, DC: National Assoc. for the Education of Young Children. 2013. [Available at http://www.naeyc.org/store/Beyond-Remote-Controlled-Childhood]
  • Young Children's Understanding of Poverty:  Lessons from GreeceExchange Magazine. May/June 2013.
  • As Marketing to Children Intensifies, What Can Society Do?  Solutions Magazine, April 2013. Christina Asquith, Co-Author.  Article picked up by many websites such as: Al Jazeera, Yahoo, Common Dreams, and more.
  • What Makes Young Children Laugh?  A Developmental Perspective.  Exchange Magazine. March/April 2013. [Special Section on Children's Humor].
  • Facing the Screen Dilemma:  Young Children, Technology and Early Childhood Childhood.  Released November 2012 by Susan Linn, Joan Almon, and, Diane Levin.  [Available at: www.truceteachers.org].
  • Changing Times; Changing Play: Why Does It Matter? Exchange Magazine. (September/October 2012).
  • The Having of a Wonderful Idea in "Essential Ideas for Healthy Childhoods." Special section in Exchange Magazine.  July/August 2012.
  • Beyond Remote Control Teaching and Learning: The Special Challenges of Helping Children Construct Knowledge Today. Exchange Magazine. May/June 2011.
  • Objectified Self, Objectified Relationships: The Sexualization of Childhood Promotes Social Injustice. In Promoting Social Justice for Young Children. Beatrice S. Fennimore & A. Lin Goodwin (Eds.), New York: Springer, 2011.
  • In Harms Way. Or Are They? War, Social Justice, and Young Children in the United States. In Promoting Social Justice for Children: Facing Critical Challenges to Early Learning and Development, Beatrice S. Fennimore & A. Lin Goodwin (Eds.). 2011. [With J. Van Hoorn].
  • War: U.S. Children and Parental Deployment. In The Encyclopedia of Peace Psychology, Daniel J. Christie (Ed.). Wiley/Blackwells. 2011 [with J. Van Hoorn].
  • "Common Core Standards: One Size Doesn't Fit All." Boston Sunday Globe Op Ed. April 18, 2010. (N. Carlsson-Paige, Co-Author). [Available at: http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2010/04/18/one_size_doesnt_fit_all/]
  • Danger, Danger Everywhere: Growing Up in a Culture of Fear. Exchange Magazine-in Beginnings Section on "Safety and Risk." March/April 2010.
  • The Impact of Violence and Disaster on Children and How to Help Them Heal and Thrive Afterwards. In Rebuilding Sustainable Communities for Children and Their Families After Disasters: A Global Survey, Adenrele Awotona (Ed.). Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2010.
  • Remote Control Childhood: Combating the Hazards of Media Culture in School. New Horizons in Education, Journal of the Hong Kong Teachers' Association. Special Issue on Media Literacy, Guofang Wan, Guest Editor. Vol. 58, No. 3, December 2010.
  • Out of Sight, Out of Mind. Or Is It? The Impact of the War in Iraq on Children in the United States. Childhood Education: August 2009. Int'l. Theme Issue on Impact of War, Terrorism, and Disaster on Children's Wellbeing and Development. (With Judy Van Hoorn). [Available at: http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Out+of+sight%2c+out+of+mind.+Or+is+it%3f+The+impact+of+the+war+on...-a0206851501]
  • Good Guidance: Dealing with Today's Sexualized Childhood. Teaching Young Children (NAEYC). October 2009. [Available at: http://www.naeyc.org/files/tyc/file/TYC_V3N1_Levin.pdf]
  • Problem Solving Deficit Disorder: Creative Versus Programmed Play in Korea & the US. In Where Do Children Play? E. Goodenough (Ed.). Detroit: Wayne U. Press, 2007.
  • Compassion Deficit Disorder? Consuming Culture, Consuming Kids, Objectified Relationships. Risking Human Security: Attachment and Public Life. M. Green (Ed.). London, UK: Karnac Press, 2008.

Selected Major Keynote Presentations and Trainings


  • Education Writers Association Conference on "Building a Child's Mind: Inside Early Childhood Education." "Panel: Early Childhood and Common Core - Why Should We Be Concerned." New Orleans, LA. Feb.
  • Conference on "Traditions and Futures in Education": Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the German Society for Research in Education. Humboldt University. Berlin, Germany. Symposium: "Between enhancing media literacy and preventing media addiction - educating children in the digital age." Prof. Diane Levin (Keynote). March.
  • Toward Sustainability in Early Childhood Education in the 21st Century. Amman Jordan. Keynote Presentation (Electronically Presented from Boston). "Beyond Remote Controlled Childhood: A Global Issue for Children." March.
  • Maine Association for the Education of Young Children. Portland, Maine. Annual State Conference Keynote. "Beyond Remote-Controlled Childhood." April 5.
  • 38th Annual Early Childhood Conference, Concordia University Chicago. Keynote: "Beyond Remote-Controlled Teaching & Learning: The Special Challenges of Promoting Optimal Learning & development in Today's Media-Saturated World. August.
  • Southern New Hampshire Services' Annual Caring for Our Children Conference. Nashua. Keynote: "Beyond Remote-Controlled Teaching & Learning: The Special Challenges of Promoting Optimal Learning & Development in Today's Media-Saturated World.
  • Montclair, NJ Early Childhood Community. October. "Beyond Remote-Controlled Childhood."
  • Child Life Association Webinar. "Promoting Quality Play in Medical Settings in a Media-Saturated World. October.
  • Mills College. Oakland, CA. December. "Beyond Remote-Controlled Childhood."


  • National Institutes of Health-Child Care Board. Lunch & Learn Webinar. "Children and Technology: Helping Parents Have a Lens for Making the Right Choices." December.
  • Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood Summit @ Wheelock.  March. 
  • Alaska Pacific University, Anchorage, Alaska.  Alumni Conference
  • University of Delaware Laboratory Preschool.  4th Annual Jane Davidson Forum on Play.
  • National Assoc. for the Education of Young Children.  November. Washington, DC Featured Conference Session: "Beyond Remote Control Childhood: Teaching Young Children in the Media Age."


  • West Virginia 4H & Family Extension Agents Association Conference. April.
  • University of Peloponnese, Nafplio, Greece.  May
  • Florida AEYC Annual Conference.   October.


  • Montessori Training Center International. Denver, CO. April
  • Vermont Association for the Education of Young Children Spring Speaker Series. Burlington, VT. May
  • World Forum on Early Care and Education. Honolulu, Hawaii. May
  • Wisconsin Early Childhood Association (WECA) Madison, WI   Sept
  • Michigan Montessori Association, Michigan State Univ., Troy, MI  
  • Institute of Technology Sligo:  National Early Childhood Conf:
  • National Association for the Education of Young Children, Orlando, Florida   Nov. Invited Feature Presentation: "Compassion Deficit Disorder: A Special Challenge.


  • American Montessori Association Annual Conference. Boston. March.
  • New England Head Start Annual Conference. Newport, RI. April.
  • Akron, Ohio. Summit County Violence and Injury Prevention Coalition Professional Symposium. April.
  • Romney, West Virginia. Coalition of Organizations Leading Children's Programs. April.
  • 2010 Prevention of Early Learning Failure Conference. Saginaw Valley State Univ., MI. August.
  • Capitol District Child Care Council Annual Education Conference. Troy, NY. Oct.
  • Mount St. Vincent University. Halifax, Nova Scotia, CAN. October
  • Southern Arizona Association for the Education of Young Children Annual Conf., Tucson, AZ. Nov.
  • National Association for the Education of Young Children Annual Conference. Anaheim, CA. Nov.

Media Mentions



  • Christian Science Monitor Cover StoryStephanie Hanes.  "Toddlers to Tweens: Relearning How to Play."  January 22, 2012. http://www.csmonitor.com/layout/set/print/content/view/print/449876 
  • Boston Herald.  Christine McConville.  Newton teacher arrested for child pornography.
  • Scholastic Parent & Child Magazine. Julie Halpert. "The Right Fit: Choosing the Right Preschool for Your Child." April 2012.
  • Boston Herald.  Christine McConville.  "Phoebe Prince's Friends, Family Laud 'Reallly Important' Film" [Bully]. April 12, 2012. http://bostonherald.com/news/regional/view.bg?articleid=1061123910&format=text
  • Boston Herald.  Christine McConville.  "Child Porn Arrests 'Tip of the Iceberg." April 17, 2012. http://bostonherald.com/news/regional/view/20220417arrests_tip_of_the_iceberg
  • ABC News. Mikaela Conley. "Medical Unit: The Real Life Ukrainian Barbie Doll." April 23, 2012. 
  • CNN Living (from Parenting.com).  Deborah Pike Olsen.  "Having the Sex Talk:  Is Your Tween Too Sexy Too Soon.  May 31.  http://www.cnn.com/2012/05/30/living/tweens-sexy-too-soon/#
  • Anderson Cooper Show-CNN.  Guest blogger to accompany the airing of program, "Little Girls Growing Up Too Fast. 
  • Parenting Magazine-Shelley Preston.  Interview of article about the book: "It's OK Not to Share" by Heather Shumaker.
  • USA Today Parenting & Kids Health Magazine.  Advice for parents on working with teachers. Omar Sacirbey.
  • NECN Broadside.  Impact of media violence on youth violence; post Newtown, CT tragedy.
  • Fenway-Backbay PatchFacing the Screen Dilemma.


  • "Your Time with Kim Iversen." Children's Beauty Pageants.  [Entercom Communications nationally syndicated radio.]
  • RedbookRachael Combe.  "Little Girls Gone Wild:  Why Daughters Are Acting To Sexy Too Soon."   Feb. issue. www.redbookmag.com/kids-family/advice/sexualization-of-young-girls?click=main_sr
  • Fox Business Network.  Kate Rogers.  Promoting "modesty" in the age of sexualized childhood. www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/2011/02/01/teaching-teens-modesty
  • Parenting Magazine. "Having the Sex Talk: Is Your Tween Too Sexy Too Soon?" by Deborah Pike Olsen. March. www.parenting.com/article/sex-talk-tweens    
  • Richmond Times Dispatch. LIFE NOTES: Too much, too soon for kids."  By Stacy Hawkins Adams.
  • Canadian Broadcasting Corp.  "The Current"Radio Show.  "Kids Cosmetic Surgery." May 18.
  • Marie Claire Australian Edition.  Courtney Sullivan.  Beauty Pageants' Impact on Girls. In press. 
  • The Guardian.  Charlotte R. Andrews.  "Rhianna and the Rise of Raunch Pop."  May 12. www.guardian.co.uk/music/2011/may/12/rihanna-raunch-pop?INTCMP=SRCH .
  • New York Post.  Heather Madden.  Girls dressing like "little women".
  • Whale Shark Media. Andrea Pyros. Girls, beauty and pressure to look right:  How parents can navigate the pressures and when to say "yes" or "no".
  • Indianapolis Star.  Bill Stanczykiewicz.  Marketing sex and sexiness to girls.
  • New York Post.  Heather Madden.  Girls dressing like "little women".  (Sun., July 10)
  • The Insider. Andrea Pyros. Girls, beauty and pressure to look right:  How parents can navigate the pressures and when to say "yes" or "no".
  • BAM Radio Network.  "Body, Mind & Child," Host, Rae Pica.  "Beyond Appearance:  Helping Girls Find Their Self Worth." www.jackstreet.com/jackstreet/WMBK.LevinOrenstein.cfm
  • Huffington Post.  Rae Pica.  "Teaching Girls They're More than a Pretty Face." August 11. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rae-pica/teaching-girls-theyre-mor_b_924381.html
  • Best of You Today (bestofyoutoday.com). "In an Age of Children Maturing Too Quickly, Is It Possible to Stop the Clock of Innocence?"
  • Portal Delas (portaldelas.com).  Brazil.  Camila de Lira Colantonio. Article re: French child model, Thylane Bordeau and the sexualization of children.
  • ABC News. Mikaela Conley. "Pedophile's Delight? 'Toddlers and Tiaras' Star, 4, Dons Fake Boobs, Butt." Sept. 5.
  • FM News 101.1 Chicago.  4-year-old Dolly Parten Imitator on Toddlers & Tiaras. Sept. 6.
  • WortFM Radio.  "Your Turn." Jeannette Paulson.  Madison, Wisc.  Sept. 18
  • Wisconsin Public Radio. "Kathleen Dunn Show." Sept. 19.  Media culture and sexualization. 
  • ABC News. Mikaela Conley.  3-year old dressed as prostitute on Toddlers & Tiaras. Sept. 9
  • Deseret News Salt Lake City.  Lois Collins & Sara Lenz.  "The End of Innocence: The Cost of Sexualizing Kids.  Sept. 18. http://www.deseretnews.com/article/700180194/The-end-of-innocence-The-cost-of-sexualizing-kids.html
  • Deseret News Salt Lake City.  Lois Collins & Sara Lenz.  "Sexualizing Kids:  No Child Left Behind-and Fighting Back."  Sept. 18. http://www.deseretnews.com/article/700180370/Sexualizing-kids-No-child-left-behind-2-and-fighting-back.html
  • Madison Common.  Mario Koran.  "Diane Levin to Speak on the Sexualization of Childhood." Sept. 20.
  • Christian Science Monitor.  Stephanie Hanes. "Little girls or little women? The Disney princess effect." Sept. 24.
  • "The Exchange" radio show.  New Hampshire Public Radio. Sexualization of girls in the media and how parents are dealing with it.  October 25.
  • The Charlotte Observer.  Christina Bolling.  How girls and their parents can navigate the rocky road of today's sexualized childhood.
  • 101.9 FM Radio News, New York City and Chicago.  Effects of Disney Princesses on young girls. Interviewed for 3 Disney Princess news spots. Aired: October 11. FM 101.9 News in NYC and Chicago: Interview with Jennifer Sendrow about Princess Halloween costumes.
  • Community Health Magazine.  Emily Schmitt.  "Too Hot for Teens:  how to Manage Your Child's Exposure to Our Sexual Society."  October 2011
  • Boston Globe. Joel Brown.  "At 50, Phantom Tollbooth Lives On [at the Wheelock Family Theatre].  October 21, 2011.  
  • Newsweek. Beth Whitehouse. November 6, 2011.  Sexualization of girls clothing.
  • CTV (Canada). Marcia McMillian (Host), Sexualized Halloween costumes at younger and younger ages. www.raisingplayfultots.com.  Melitsa Avila (England).  TRUCE 2011-12 Toy Selection Guide for the holiday season.
  • New York Post. Christina Amoroso. "Primp My Tot: Are These Grade-School Gals Really Ready for Mani-Pedis?" Nov. 30. http://www.nypost.com/p/entertainment/primp_my_tot_FIQDBa8GPajgbP1Vi33LJP/
  • Mothers for a Human Future. Blog Talk Radio.  Enola Aird.  The State of Children Today. Nov. 16.
  • naplesnews.com. Jaine Carter. "Choices: Parents, Grandparents Should Shop Carefully for Children in Their Lives. Nov. 21. http://www.naplesnews.com/news/2011/nov/21/choices-parents-grandparents-should-shop-for-in/
  • Slate Magazine.   Farhad Manjoo, Technology Editor. "Author Conflicted by 'The Terrifying Awesomeness of Nerf Guns.'" http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2011/12/daniel-zimmerman/author-conflicted-by-the-terrifying-awesomeness-of-nerf-guns/
  • The Marc Amazon Show
 - 102.7 WEBN FM RadioDec. 21.Play with toy guns-including Nerf guns.



  • Recipient of "2009 Family Advocate of the Year" Award. From the Boston Parents Paper in celebration of its 25th Anniversary.

inspire a world of good

200 Riverway, Boston, Massachusetts 02215 | 617-879-2000
© 2014 Wheelock College is a registered trademark.