Skip to main content Skip to secondary navigation

About

Main content start

Dr. Rebecca Silverman

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
Dr. Rebecca Deutscher has worked as a Senior Research Associate at Stanford’s Graduate School of Education since 2014. She has served as a project director and researcher on a variety of projects in areas that include digital personalized learning, literacy/social-emotional curriculum implementation, and middle school math & science curriculum development/professional learning. Dr. Deutscher 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.

Post-docs


Alexander Blum Dr. Alexander Mario Blum struggled with Bipolar in his childhood, and higher education became a highway for expression and understanding that helped him channel his disposition. He took a strong affection towards promoting cognition through narrative, particularly graphic novels and had a game changing experience using comics in the classroom as a high school special education teacher. Furthermore, he found ways to use research as a tool to promote cognition. He then earned his Ph.D. at the University of California at Berkeley and San Francisco State University joint doctoral program in Special Education where he explored the intersection of cognition, measurement, narrative, and Autism. Through partnering with local school districts, he found ways to promote inferential thinking using comics in his dissertation research, and as a current post-doctoral scholar with Stanford University. He is currently developing a suite of reading assessments through the principles and practices of Item-Response theory to help teachers screen for students with literacy needs.

Image of Kristin Keane

Kristin Keane Kristin Keane is a Postdoctoral Scholar researching the teaching and learning of elementary reading with a particular focus in the use of multimodal literacy practices to drive equity-centered pedagogies. A former classroom teacher and instructional coach, Kristin received an B.A. from UC Santa Barbara, an M.Ed from UCLA, and a PhD from Stanford University. 

Graduate Students


Nallely Beulah Aceves-Romero  Nallely Beulah Aceves-Romero (she/ella) is a STEP Alumni and current doctoral student at the Stanford Graduate School of Education in the Curriculum and Teacher Education (CTE) program with a focus in Race, Inequality and Language in Education (RILE). Nallely’s current research sits at the intersection of literacy, intergenerational healing-centered practices, spirituality, and liberatory pedagogy. She is especially interested in further developing literacy approaches that honor joy and grief in K-2 classrooms, invite storytelling, and creative writing practices that re-center students’ cultures, collective experiences, and promote student agency for civic engagement in their communities. As the oldest daughter of Mexican immigrant parents, first-generation scholar, and ancestor in training, her personal and scholarly commitments are to the wise young people she has the privilege of learning from and loving, her communities, and elders. 

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.

Image of Hsiao-Lin Hsieh

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.

Steve Juárez  Steve Juarez is a doctoral student in Developmental and Psychological Sciences at Stanford Graduate School of Education. Drawing from his background as a counselor-educator, his research centers on theory-driven interventions aimed at addressing psychological barriers to students' learning experiences. He focuses on the psychology of motivation by examining practices that cultivate and sustain students' sense of belonging. He investigates these dynamic processes over time and their effects on the developmental trajectory of students' school experiences. 

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.

Megumi Takada Megumi Takada is a doctoral candidate in the Stanford Graduate School of Education. Her research focuses on elementary literacy, with an interest in equity-centered instruction that promotes student agency and school belonging. In her current research project, she works with district and community partners to design writing instruction that leverages multilingual students' languages, cultures, and identities. Her work is driven by her former experience as a public school teacher in South Korea and Seattle, as well as her cross-cultural upbringing in California and Japan.

Mei Tan    Mei Tan is a PhD student studying education data science. Her research leverages AI/NLP to develop tools that measure and support instructional practice. She values working in direct partnership with both school districts and edtech companies. Mei is a former software engineer at Microsoft Education and volunteer high school computer science teacher. Outside of work, she is an overambitious home cook and enjoys hikes with her dogs.

Photo of Jane Weiss

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.  

Research Assistants/Coaches


Irene Moore   Irene Moore is a Research Assistant and Instructional Coach for CLAVES at Stanford University. She holds an MA in Curriculum Studies and Teacher Education from Stanford University, in addition to a BA in English from the University of San Diego, and a Reading/Language Arts Specialist credential from San Francisco State University. Her research interests have centered on literacy and college-readiness. She also teaches Humanities (6-12) at an independent school that serves students with learning challenges and is enthusiastic about promoting equitable learning experiences.

Xander Paras    Xander Paras is a Research Professional working across the Language to Literacy Lab on a variety of projects. He currently serves as a CLAVES Coach, supporting teachers and districts in effective curriculum implementation. Previously, he worked in the Lab as a Graduate Research Assistant while earning his MA. His passion for education work was fostered by his experiences as a middle school ELA teacher and a high school Latin teacher. He is interested in driving systemic changes in education for marginalized students and communities. He received a MA in Education from Stanford's Policy, Organization, and Leadership Studies Program (POLS) and BA in Classical Studies and Linguistics from the University of California, San Diego.

Erin Peters  Erin Peters is a research assistant primarily working on the CLAVES project as an instructional coach.  With her M.Ed and California Multiple Subject Credential, she spent several years as a 4th and 5th grade classroom teacher in San Francisco schools. She earned her RLAA (Reading and Literacy Added Authorization) in order to better understand how individuals of all ages and language backgrounds interact with and respond to targeted literacy development and intervention. She currently works as a literacy support provider for children and adults in the community.

Neza Vidmar Neza Vidmar is a research assistant who graduated from the Faculty of Arts Ljubljana, Slovenia with two Bologna Process Master’s degrees (English Language and Literature, and Philosophy). Prior to assisting with research, she was an ESL teacher, tutor and translator in both Slovenia and the US. She still loves to return to the classroom not only as a research assistant but also as an advocate of diversity, inclusion and equity while supporting teachers and their learners, when they are faced with literacy, comprehension and curriculum implementation challenges.

Lab Alumni


  • Glenn M. Davis
  • Erika Johnson - Assistant Professor of Elementary Literacy at University of Iowa
  • Saurabhi Khanna
  • Cindy K. Lam
  • Kimiko E. Lange
  • Chris Mah
  • Jennifer McCartharn
  • Remyah Nguyen
  • Swati Singh
  • Emily R. Southerton
  • Karen S. Taylor - Education Researcher at AIR, American Institutes for Research 
  • Lillian Wolfe