Michael Levine, Ph.D.

Founding Executive Director,
Joan Ganz Cooney Center for Children's Media
and Research, Sesame Workshop
Consultant, The School of the 21st Century,
Yale University


Joan Ganz Cooney Center

Michael Levine works with the Zigler Center's The School of the 21st Century Unit, helping make its early literacy work more impactful through linkages to potentially powerful informal education resources, such as children's television and the nation's libraries. He has been working with Center colleagues on the creation of a pilot program to test the efficacy of aligning research-based multi-media early language and literacy materials with classroom pedagogy and community engagement/planning that could benefit all of the 21C communities over time.

Dr. Levine is currently Founding Executive Director of the newly established Joan Ganz Cooney Center for Children's Media and Research, which was incubated at Sesame Workshop. This new center focuses on how interactive media can accelerate children's literacy learning (reading, writing, languages, inter-cultural understanding, media literacy) in a global age. It focuses on research, the creation of new media projects with scale-up potential, and advocacy on behalf of wise new investments in children's educational media. The center has access to the remarkable content expertise and archives of the Workshop, including nearly four decades of the top educational media (with classics such as Sesame Street, The Electric Company, and 3-2-1 Contact.) It also seeks to mobilize allies from across the media industry who have common interest in children's learning and healthy development. Levine and his colleagues are using the support of key funders who have generously endowed the center, a national advisory board, and other key leaders from business and policy to help shape a national conversation about the as yet unfulfilled promise of educational media.

Dr. Levine recently left his position as Vice President, New Media and Executive Director, Education, for the Asia Society. He will continue to work closely with the Asia Society as a Fellow assisting his colleagues Vivien Stewart and Tony Jackson in the Society's pathbreaking work to expand U. S. children's international competencies. They are planning a new joint initiative, Muppet-based Mandarin instruction for young children.

Select Publications

Afterschool for a Global Age, Asia Society: 2007

Excellence in International Education: An Imperative for the Global Marketplace, Asia Society: 2006

States for the Global Age, Asia Society: 2005

Putting the World Into World Class Education, Progressive Policy Institute, 2005