NCSS Honors Levinson, DuraisinghBy Jill Anderson
Associate Professor Meira Levinson and Adjunct Lecturer and Project Zero Senior Project Manager Liz Dawes Duraisingh, Ed.D.’13, are to be honored by the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) at its upcoming conference Nov. 22–24 in St. Louis.
The NCSS acknowledges and encourages scholarly inquiry on significant issues and possibilities for social studies education. Levinson will receive the 2013 Exemplary Research in Social Studies Award for her book, No Citizen Left Behind. Duraisingh will receive the NCSS Exemplary Dissertation Award.
“I am honored to receive the NCSS Exemplary Research Award, in recognition of the contribution No Citizen Left Behind makes to social studies research and education,” Levinson said. “I am committed in my work to generating insights and tools that are simultaneously of use to educators, policymakers, and scholars.”
Levinson, who also recently received the Michael Harrington Book Award from the American Political Science Association, is a normative political philosopher who writes about civic education, multiculturalism, and youth empowerment. Her latest book, No Citizen Left Behind (Harvard University Press, 2012), argues that the United States suffers from a civic empowerment gap that is as shameful and antidemocratic as the academic achievement gap targeted by No Child Left Behind. She shows how schools can help address the civic empowerment gap by teaching collective action, openly discussing the racialized dimensions of citizenship, and provoking students by engaging their passions against contemporary injustices through action civics.
Duraisingh, who received her doctorate from the Educational Policy, Leadership, and Instructional Practice Program at HGSE, focuses on how young people use the past to help make sense of their own identities, lives, and values.
“I’m extremely honored and delighted to get this award, especially as it will help my work to reach more educators,” Duraisingh said.
Her dissertation examined how young people use the past to talk about their own lives, identities, and values, and how it relates to their understanding of historical knowledge. The study involved approximately 180 students aged 16 to 18, from four public high schools in the Greater Boston area. She found that young people can feel connected to the past and demonstrate critical historical thinking skills and also that differences in their historical understanding are related to differences in how they talk about themselves and the past.