Professor of Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education
Meira Levinson is a normative political philosopher who writes about civic education, multiculturalism, youth empowerment, and educational ethics. In doing so, she draws upon scholarship from multiple disciplines as well as her eight years of experience teaching in the Atlanta and Boston Public Schools. Her most recent books include the co-edited Democratic Discord in Schools: Cases and Commentaries in Educational Ethics (Harvard Education Press, 2019), Making Civics Count (Harvard Education Press, 2012) and No Citizen Left Behind (Harvard University Press, 2012). The latter book shows how schools can help tackle a civic empowerment gap that is as shameful and antidemocratic as the academic achievement gap targeted by No Child Left Behind. In 2013, it was awarded the Michael Harrington Award from the American Political Science Association, the Exemplary Research in Social Studies Award from the National Council for the Social Studies, and a Critics Choice Award from the American Educational Studies Association. It also won the 2014 North American Society for Social Philosophy Book Award. Levinson fosters civic education scholarship at Harvard as co-convener of HGSE's Civic and Moral Education Initiative. Levinson was awarded a 2014 Guggenheim Fellowship to support her project on Justice in Schools. In this work, she combines philosophical analysis and school-based case studies to illuminate the complex dimensions of evaluating, achieving, and teaching justice in schools. The project is intended to give educators tools for making just decisions in their own practice, and also to push political theorists to develop theories of justice that are robust enough to address complex school-based dilemmas. This project, like her previous research, reflects Levinson's commitment to achieving productive cross-fertilization without loss of rigor among scholarship, policy, and practice.