UNCG’s Levin Scholarship Will Open Doors, Open Minds

Posted on October 06, 2023

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Barbara Barry Levin

Before her 25-year tenure at UNCG’s School of Education and even prior to earning her PhD in educational psychology, Professor Emerita Dr. Barbara Barry Levin taught elementary school students for 17 years. Her experience in that realm formed the bedrock of her teaching, research, and publishing throughout her distinguished career.

“As a classroom teacher, I learned as much from my students as they learned from me,” Levin says. “I also learned that a teacher always has to be a learner – a student of their students and of the pedagogy of teaching.”

This belief planted the seed for her to establish the Barbara B. Levin Endowed Scholarship in Elementary Education at UNCG.

Dr. Levin began her time at UNCG in 1993 as a teacher educator and assistant professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. Her body of work focused on studying how teachers learn and develop their beliefs and practices about teaching, learning, curriculum, and children’s development across the career span (from novices to experts). She retired as a full professor in 2018 from the Department of Teacher Education and Higher Education.

In addition to master’s and doctoral programs she wanted to be a part of, UNCG appealed to Levin for this reason:

“I thought my colleagues there were doing the right thing by having elementary education and middle grades majors take classes concurrently with internships over a three-semester period, before full-time student teaching,” says Levin. “I believe these concurrent opportunities helped them learn from their students as well as from their classes at the University.”

At the time, most other institutions did not offer such internships. Education majors had to wait until their final semester to be with kids in schools as student teachers, which Levin deems too little, too late.

“Along with enjoying wonderful colleagues who truly cared about students, working with and mentoring graduate students was one of my great pleasures at UNCG,” Levin says. “I hope I can ease the burden for some future elementary ed majors so they can focus on learning to be the best teachers possible rather than scrambling to earn enough to pay their bills.”

By Christine Garton

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