Rebecca D. Silverman is an Associate Professor of Early Literacy at the Stanford Graduate School of Education. She began her career in education as an elementary school teacher in her hometown of New Orleans, Louisiana. Passionate about supporting children’s literacy development, she earned her master’s and doctoral degrees in language and literacy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and is now a leading researcher and teacher educator in the field.
Dr. Silverman’s research focuses on language and literacy development in early childhood and elementary school. Her work has contributed to the research base on using read alouds, multimedia, cross-age peer learning, and small group dialogic instruction to support the vocabulary development and reading comprehension of diverse learners. Dr. Silverman leads Stanford's Language to Literacy Research Lab and is engaged in research-practice partnerships in the San Francisco Bay Area.
As a 2021-22 SIL Design Fellow, Dr. Silverman focused on combining attention to language, literacy, and social emotional skills to support early childhood development in underserved communities.
Robust language, literacy, and social-emotional skills are important for children's success in school and beyond and particularly critical in early childhood education, especially for children from underserved communities and/or those who have experienced stress or trauma. Professor Silverman worked with The Primary School and Sesame Workshop to study and help implement curriculum that combines attention to language, literacy, and social emotional skills for 3- and 4-year-old children that will be free and widely available to early childhood educators and schools.