CLAVES Research Team


Michael Kieffer

Associate Professor, New York University

Michael  (He/Him) studies the language and literacy development of students from linguistically diverse backgrounds. A former middle school teacher, he aims to conduct research that can inform instruction and policy to improve the reading outcomes of students in urban schools, especially adolescent English learners and bilingual students. He has published 45 articles, including longitudinal studies of the reading and language development of English learners, experimental evaluations of academic vocabulary instruction, and secondary analyses of large longitudinal datasets. He collaborates widely with colleagues in other disciplines, including developmental psychology, applied statistics, special education, and educational policy.


Patrick Proctor

Professor, Boston College

Patrick is a professor and educational researcher focusing on bilingualism, bilingual education, language, and literacy. Theoretically, his work attempts to merge critical and developmental perspectives on language, literacy, and bilingualism in education. In terms of praxis, he works directly with teachers and administrators on issues of bilingual education and language-based literacy instruction, particularly in schools and districts characterized by student (and ideally teacher) multilingualism


Rebecca Silverman

Associate Professor, Stanford University

Rebecca began her career in education as an elementary teacher. She is particularly interested in how to support children who have difficulty in learning to read and write. She has studied the relationship between language skills and reading and writing outcomes and also between instructional practices and students' literacy development. Experimentally, she has studied interactive and extended read alouds, peer learning, multimedia supports, and small group interventions for diverse learners. Broadly, her goal is to facilitate the language and literacy development of diverse learners in order to ensure that all children become proficient readers and writers in school and beyond.


Renata Love Jones

Assistant Professor, Georgia State University

Renata Love Jones is an assistant professor of language, literacy and culture. Her research broadly explores literacy education and development for racialized and multilingual children. Her work begins with a primary assumption that multilingual children’s meaning-making leads to and stems from engagement of complex literacies, ways of being and repertoires of practice across sociocultural spaces. Through mixed and interdisciplinary methods, she interrogates curriculum, instruction and teacher professional learning for the ways that they reflect — or counter-culturally sustaining, critical and expansive ideologies and pedagogies.


Erika Johnson

Assistant Professor, University of Iowa

Dr. Erika Johnson is a former bilingual and sheltered English elementary teacher. Her research examines how teachers can help multilingual students make sense of and discuss text in ways that facilitate their literacy and language development. This work involves three strands of study: Critical approaches to literacy and language comprehension instruction, dialogic classroom discourse, and the preparation of anti-oppressive educators.

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Karen Taylor

Postdoctoral Researcher, Stanford University

Dr. Karen Taylor is a postdoctoral researcher in the Language to Literacy Research Lab at Stanford Graduate School of Education. She serves as a researcher on a variety of projects including the CLAVES literacy intervention project and the SFUSD K-2 Tier 2 research-practice partnership project. Her research interests include K-8 language and literacy development and instruction, argumentation, reasoning, and teacher learning. Prior to becoming an education researcher, Dr. Taylor was an elementary teacher in California public schools. She holds a BA in Liberal Arts from Pepperdine University, Masters in Education degrees from Pepperdine University and Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a PhD in Education (Language, Literacy, and Technology) from UC Irvine.

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Alex Corbitt

Doctoral Student, Boston College

Alex Corbitt (he/him) is a doctoral student at Boston College’s Lynch School of Education and Human Development. His research interests include literacies, gaming, speculative fiction, and climate change. Before enrolling at BC, Alex taught literacy at a public middle school in the Bronx, New York.


Jane Weiss

Doctoral Student, Stanford University

Jane Weiss is a doctoral student at Stanford University, working with Ramón Martínez, Rebecca Silverman, and Guadalupe Valdés in Curriculum and Teacher Education. Her current research explores pedagogy supporting early multilingual and literacy development, teacher inquiry, and collaboration between practitioners, researchers, and policymakers. Prior to Stanford, she taught K-6 multilingual students for more than a decade and lived in Finland, where she studied equity in the public education system through a Fulbright Distinguished Award in Teaching.

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Vicky Qun Yu

Doctoral Student, Boston College

Vicky Qun Yu is a first-year doctoral student in the Curriculum and Instruction program at Boston College Lynch School of Education. Her research interests broadly cover children’s language and literacy development in early years and the effectiveness of literacy interventions. Prior to coming to Boston College, she worked as a research assistant at READS lab at Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) where she mainly assisted with literacy App development in Reach Every Reader project, Argumentative Writing project and meta-analysis project. Vicky earned her M.Ed. in language and literacy from HGSE.


Aaron Coleman

Doctoral Student, Boston College

Aaron Coleman is a former high school history teacher and teacher leader. He is currently a doctoral student at Boston College. His research interests developed through his work as an urban educator, which directed his focus into the recruitment and retention of a diverse and representative teacher workforce, and the training of all teachers in equity driven, culturally sustaining pedagogy and curriculum development.


Qihan Chen

Doctoral Student, Boston College

Qihan is a first-year doctoral student in the Curriculum & Instruction program at Boston College. Being a native of China, Qihan is primarily interested in Chinese English as a foreign language learners’ writing development during adolescence. Specifically, the focus of Qihan’s research is two-fold. First, she studies the key features of high-quality academic writing. Second, she is interested in the contributing factors that lead to successful writing outcomes. 


Kristin Keane

Doctoral Candidate, Stanford University

Kristin Keane is a doctoral candidate in Stanford's Graduate School of Education. Her research and interests concern access to literacy-learning both in teacher professional development and classroom spaces; the teaching of critical and multimodal literacies; and, civic engagement in literacy. She has a background in elementary teaching, childhood literacy instruction and development, teacher coaching and mentoring.

Andrew Weaver

Doctoral Student, New York University

Andrew is a doctoral student in Teaching & Learning with a Literacy Education concentration, and a two-year Institute of Education Sciences Predoctoral Interdisciplinary Training Program fellow at NYU. He is interested in the factors affecting literacy development for multilingual students and the ways that schools can support the social development of students. Andrew received a B.S. in Psychology from Santa Clara University and a M.Ed. from Southern Methodist University. He has 3 years of experience working in the Dallas Independent School District, including 2 years as a 6th grade ELAR teacher.