Laura Alvarez, PhD

Elementary Education Faculty (Literacy)

Pronouns: she/her


Laura began her career in education as a 4th and 5th grade bilingual teacher in Oakland Unified School District. Since then, she has spent over two decades as an educator and researcher focused on fostering students’ literacy and language development through relevant, rigorous, and supportive learning experiences. Laura has taught elementary and middle school, served as an instructional coach, and facilitated teacher inquiry groups in Oakland Unified. She has also taught and supervised credential and Bilingual Authorization students as a professor at Saint Mary’s College of California. As a researcher, Laura focuses on students’ discussions and the integration of language, literacy, and content learning, especially in the context of science, and has authored and co-authored several journal articles, books, and book chapters. 

Laura earned a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology from U.C. Santa Cruz, a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential and M.A. from Mills College, and a Ph.D. in Educational Linguistics from Stanford University. She also holds a BCLAD certificate in Spanish and Single Subject Teaching Credential in English Language Arts. 

An almost lifelong Bay Area resident, Laura enjoys taking walks and bike rides with her family, reading, and swimming.