Melvin D. Levine, M.D.
Professor of pediatrics at the University of North Carolina Medical School and director of its Clinical Center for the Study of Development and Learning
Melvin D. Levine's Brief Bio:
- Dr. Levine is Founder and Co-chairman of All Kinds of Minds, a nonprofit institute for the understanding of differences in learning.
- Mel Levine is a Professor of Pediatrics and Director of the Clinical Center for the Study of Development and Learning at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
- He is Founder of Schools Attuned and Developmental Schools which are designed to enhance the abilities of teachers to deal with children having academic difficulties. It is a project also supported by the George Lucas Educational Founation.
- Dr. Levine is a popular speaker at many conferences and is known for his personable approach to learning and his common sense no-nonsense
approach to developmental learning. Many of his statements, unique word choices, and descriptions are frequently quoted throughout the field of education, such as, "a good description for a good prescription" and "the primary, and perhaps only, goal of the teenager is to avoid embarrassement!"
- Dr. Levine describes a Neurodevelopmental view:
The human brain is like a complex orchestra, with many different instruments playing many roles. These roles, or neurological functions, desperately need to be coordinated, integrated, and synchronized. As with any orchestra, each player's role varies depending upon the situation. Just as the strings or woodwinds may be highlighted in music, different neurological functions take the lead when students study English or math, have to write a report, or take part in athletic activities. And, just as instruments create harmony in an orchestra, the different neurodevelopmental functions interact to enable students to acquire certain knowledge, skills or sub-skills, or to accomplish specific school tasks, such as being well-organized, efficient, or strategic planners. When students are having difficulty with a particular academic skill, the task of parents, teachers, and clinicians is to pinpoint the areas of difficulty, to specify the weak sub-skills, and to create a plan for strengthening strengths and areas in need of improvement.
There is a need to ask: Where is the breakdown occurring? Which sub-skill is not playing its role? And within that sub-skill, which related functions are not operating well? For example, students with strong vocabulary skills and memory abilities may still have problems remembering words. In this case, the difficulty might lie with their word retrieval ability, a very specific sub-skill that enables students to remember words on the spot.
- Dr. Levine recently participated on a Schwab webcast with Dr. Robert Brooks presenting a unique one-day workshop on self-esteem and resilience.