Dr. Leah Durán is an Associate Professor in the Department of Teaching, Learning, and Sociocultural Studies in the College of Education at the University of Arizona.
A former bilingual teacher, her scholarship sits at the intersection of bilingual education, (bi)literacy and early childhood education. She is interested in advancing our understanding of young children’s biliterate development, working with teachers to design asset-based curriculum and instruction, and preparing teachers to work effectively in culturally and linguistically complex settings. Dr. Durán is an affiliate with the Second Language Acquisition and Teaching (SLAT) Graduate Interdisciplinary Program and the Worlds of Words Center of Global Literacies and Literatures. She teaches in the CREATE (Communities as Resources in Early Childhood Teacher Education) undergraduate program as well as graduate courses in (bi)literacy, multilingualism, children’s literature and early childhood education.
Recent and ongoing community-engaged projects include co-directing Salas de Libros (an intergenerational literacy initiative based on Mexico’s Programa Nacional de Salas de Lectura), “We the people”: Migrant Waves in the Making of America” (a summer institute for K-12 teachers) and Big Read Tucson (a community reading initiative creating dialogue around Natalie Diaz’ Postcolonial Love Poem and water in the West).
Dr. Durán’s work has been published in journals such as Research in the Teaching of English, Reading Research Quarterly, International Multilingual Research Journal and the Journal of Early Childhood Literacy. She has been recognized with the Literacy Research Association’s Arthur Applebee Award for Excellence in Research on Literacy, a Spencer/National Academy of Education Postdoctoral Fellowship, and the College of Education’s Maria Urquides Laureate Award.