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Dr. Rebecca Silverman

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I began my career in education as an elementary school teacher in my hometown of New Orleans, Louisiana. My research is focused on language and literacy development and instruction of early childhood and elementary age children from diverse backgrounds. I am particularly interested in how to best support children who may have difficulty in learning to read and write. In my exploratory research, I have studied the relationship between language skills and reading and writing outcomes. I have examined the association between instructional practices and students' literacy development. In my experimental work, I have investigated interactive and extended read alouds, peer learning, multimedia supports, and small group intervention for diverse learners. My goal is to shed light on innovative ways for facilitating the language and literacy development of diverse learners in order to ensure that all children have the opportunity to become proficient readers and writers in school and beyond.

Research Team



Research Associates

Rebecca Deutscher
Rebecca Deutscher is a Senior Research Associate at Stanford's Center to Support Excellence in Teaching (CSET). She serves as a project director and researcher on a variety of projects including a digital personalized learning professional development program, literacy and social-emotional curriculum projects, and a middle school science case study. She previously worked at the Lawrence Hall of Science as the lead evaluator on various science and technology programs in both formal and informal learning environments. She also worked at a charter school researching and evaluating programs on parent involvement, motivation, achievement, hands-on learning, and teachers’ perspectives on an inquiry-based astronomy program. She received her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from Arizona State University, a M.A. in Clinical Psychology from San Diego State University, and a B.A. from University of California, Davis.

Annie Camey Kuo
Annie Camey Kuo is the project director for CLAVES at Stanford University. She is the Director of Research-Practice Partnerships for Understanding Language-Center to Support Excellence in Teaching at the Graduate School of Education. She is a 1.5-generation immigrant from Taiwan and has taught at various levels across K-20. Her areas of research and expertise include project-based learning, addressing the needs of multilingual learners, and design thinking. She holds a BA in English and Chinese from the University of California, Santa Barbara, MA in TESOL and Foreign Language Education from New York University, and a PhD in Language, Literacy and Culture from the University of Washington.

Jennifer McCartharn
Jennifer McCatharn is the Senior Manager of Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) for Rocketship Public Schools and the creator of The Shortest Distance Curriculum, a Tier 1 SEL program that utilizes children's literature to facilitate bibliotherapy, perspective taking and social skill building with students. She has previously taught elementary school and was a founding staff member at two charter schools in Washington, D.C. She earned her Ph.D. in Special Education from the University of Maryland, an M.Ed. in Prevention Science and Practice from Harvard's Graduate School of Education, and holds M.Eds. in Elementary and Special Education from Lesley University (as a founding cohort member with Urban Teachers). Her research interests include: social-emotional learning, culturally responsive bibliotherapy, teacher and staff emotional intelligence and well-being, executive function skills, and literacy instruction. 

Graduate Students

Hsiaolin Hsieh
Hsiaolin Hsieh is a doctoral candidate at the Stanford Graduate School of Education in the Developmental and Psychological Sciences (DAPS) program. Her current research interests are centered on the assessment of student talk in the K-12 context. She is enthusiastic about advocating for equitable learning opportunities through facilitating students’ dialogic participation at school. She is also interested in leveraging technology to assist student learning. She has many years of experience in supporting educators of multilingual learners.

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Kristin Keane
Kristin Keane is a fifth-year doctoral candidate in the Stanford Graduate School of Education studying early literacy, teacher learning, and the use of multi-modal and critical literacies to drive equity-centered pedagogies in classrooms. She has a background in childhood literacy instruction and development, teacher coaching and mentoring, and design of district and school learning networks. A former classroom teacher, Kristin has worked as an instructor in the Stanford Teacher Education Program instructor and is a current EDGE and Leadership in Inclusive Teaching fellow. 

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Saurabh Khanna
Saurabh Khanna is a doctoral student in Educational Policy at the Stanford Graduate School of Education. He intends to combine insights from network analysis, game theory, and machine learning to understand aspects reshaping education in developing nations. He has a keen interest in utilizing a network science perspective to understand issues faced by stakeholders in education who have been forcibly displaced on account of emergencies. He is equally fond of exploring unorthodox films from diverse cultures, cooking on drowsy weekends, chai, and tiramisu.

Kimiko E. Lange
Kimiko E. Lange is a doctoral candidate at Stanford Graduate School of Education, in the Curriculum Studies and Teacher Education (CTE) program.  Her background as a world language teacher informs her interest in examining teaching and power in multilingual contexts.  She enjoys engaging with pre-service and in-service teachers around topics of literacy and language acquisition.

Chris Mah
Chris Mah is a first-year doctoral student in the Curriculum and Teacher Education program at Stanford Graduate School of Education. His research interests focus on cross-disciplinary writing in linguistically complex schools. Prior to graduate school, he taught high school Language Arts in Minneapolis, where he grew invested in interrogating the problematic relationship between language, race, and power. He is also a second-career teacher with a background in digital marketing at Google, an experience that informs his interest in the growing influence of technology on adolescent literacies.

Jackelyn Rivera-Orellana
Jackelyn Rivera-Orellana is a research assistant who received her MEd with an option in Reading from Cal State University, Los Angeles. She is interested in emerging bilingual and multilingual students' literacy development with books that focus on social justice. She has experience teaching in Newark, NJ, and Los Angeles as an elementary school and bilingual teacher. Additionally, she has coached teachers and led Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion seminars.

Rachel Salia
Rachel Salia is a doctoral student in International Comparative Education at Stanford’s Graduate School of Education. She researches social science curriculum in post-conflict settings, observing changes in curriculum over time and in conjunction with shifting global accountability norms. She also works on projects related to representation in social science curriculum, and in school leadership across the country. Rachel holds a BA in History and Linguistics from Columbia University, and received her Master of International Affairs at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA). Prior to Stanford, Rachel worked as a senior educational advisor for a national education organization that advocated for high-achieving, low-income students. She has a background in development and post-conflict education, and has worked in Turkey, Morocco, Tunisia and India. She has a love for language and all things food related, as well as a passion for helping students find the tools to empower themselves through education.

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Emily R. Southerton
Emily Southerton is a 3rd-year doctoral candidate in the Learning Sciences and Technology Design (LSTD) and Curriculum and Teacher Education (CTE) programs at Stanford’s Graduate School of Education. She studies the design of social learning experiences and technologies which promote youth voice, agency, equity, and democratic learning. She currently centers that work within the context of K-12 writing classrooms. She is advised by Sarah Levine and John Willinsky and am a member of the Poetic Media Lab at Stanford's Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis as well as a researcher with the Language to Literacy Lab and the Center to Support Excellence in Teaching (CSET) within the GSE. She mentors at the GSE makerspace and TA for Stanford’s Teacher Education Program (STEP). Before coming to Stanford, she worked in the field of education for eight years in which she taught middle school Humanities and Computer Science and created the Poet Warriors Project, a digital publishing platform that amplifies the work of youth poets from low-income schools across the country:

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Jane Weiss 
Jane Weiss is a doctoral student in Stanford’s Curriculum Studies & Teacher Education (CTE) program. She studies collaboration, inquiry, and learning environments that support multilingual children and teachers to thrive. Prior to Stanford, she taught K-6 multilingual students for more than a decade and traveled to Finland on a Fulbright Distinguished Award in Teaching. This cultivated her lasting love for saunas, coffee breaks and collectivist cultures.  

Lillian Wolfe 
Lillian Wolfe is a doctoral student in the Developmental and Psychological Sciences (DAPS) program at Stanford’s Graduate School of Education. Her research interests include understanding the connection and impact of sociocultural influences on the development of youths. Prior to Stanford, she worked as an elementary school teacher in Oregon, and earned a Master of Education (M.Ed.) with accreditation in special education. 

Elena Darling-Hammond 
Elena Darling-Hammond is a third-year doctoral student in Curriculum and Teacher Education (CTE) and Learning Sciences and Technology Design (LSTD). In addition, Elena is a fellow of the Leadership in System-Wide Education initiative. Elena earned her bachelor's degree in 2005 from Haverford College, with a double major from Swarthmore College (Haverford's brother school) in Elementary Education and Sociology.  Her collegiate research focused on the importance of integrating students' lived experiences into the classroom.  As both a classroom teacher and learning specialist Elena gained over 16 years of experience creating curricula for varying levels and subjects. Throughout her experiences working in schools, she repeatedly saw the effectiveness of personalized curricula that build off of a child's strengths and interests as a foundation for learning. In her research as a Ph.D. student, Elena is focusing on the ways in which culturally sustaining literacies support reading development for multiply marginalized students

 Research Affiliates

Swati Singh
Swati Singh was a Visiting Scholar in the project, “Improving Practise Together” at the Graduate School of Education, Stanford. While pursuing her MEd in Literacy and Digital Learning from the University of San Diego, she was also a part of Reading Partners, a volunteer program run by AmeriCorps for strengthening reading comprehension skills of struggling readers. She also taught Math and Science to elementary grades in India and has always been passionate about helping students of diverse backgrounds with their reading and writing difficulties.

Mei Tan

Remyah Nguyen

Lab Alumni

  • Erika Johnson - Assistant Professor of Elementary Literacy at University of Iowa
  • Glenn M. Davis
  • Cindy K. Lam
  • Karen S. Taylor - Education Researcher at AIR, American Institutes for Research