Harold G. Levine is Dean of the School of Education at the University of California, Davis where he also serves as a Professor of Education. Trained as an anthropologist, Levine began his career as a professor in the UCLA Department of Education, later becoming department chair and interim dean. Levine research interests and publications focus on the study of a wide range of organizations and cultural practices using qualitative, observational methods. The settings for his work include schools, cultures (the Kafe of Papua New Guinea), youth groups and movements, mother-child dyads, corporations, manufacturing â€œshop floors,â€ and small businesses. In all of his work he has examined how individual action and decision making both impact, and are constitutive of, cultural practices. At the same time, his work focuses on how cultural symbols and argot, ritual practices, interpersonal scripts, and meaning-laden events are interpreted by the individual actor and then, often, reconfigured to produce personal meaning, consciousness of kind, and predictability in everyday life. Levineâ€™s most current interests are in the area of education policy.
In August, 2001, Levine became the Founding Dean of the School of Education at UC Davis. As Dean, he has overseen substantial growth in personnel and programs. This growth has better enabled the new School to carry out its mandates to work collaboratively with practitioners in public education, to translate theory and research into effective practice, and to bring the best of thought and research in multiple disciplines to help address the most intractable problems in todayâ€™s public schools and classrooms. Levine also served in a part-time capacity as the Associate Provost for Education Initiatives at the University of California Office of the President.
Levine grew up in Kansas City, Misssouri. He has two children, one an MA candidate in nutrition now living in New York and the younger a college sophomore in Texas.