Literacy Education - Courses

Foundation Courses

EDUC 5900 | Nature and Acquisition of Literacy | 3 credits

This course presents an overview of the major language and literacy acquisition theories through a historical survey and introduction to the theorists who have shaped current literacy instruction. Topics will include oral language development, the definition of reading, the reading process, changing perspectives on literacy, legislation regarding literacy, sources of information regarding best practices, and the investigation of different reading programs. Additionally, there will be a focus on turning theory into practice and examining the implementation of the theories in the reading classroom. Students will be expected to read the original works of important literacy authorities and to investigate the research related to how research is conducted in the field of literacy.


EDUC 5901 | Reading in the Content Areas | 3 credits

This course presents skills and strategies that can be applied to reading in Science, Social Studies, and Math. The focus will be on reading to learn. Topics will include preparing students to read content area texts and trade books, comprehension of narrative and expository text, determining what is important while reading, organizing collected information, integrating reading with other subjects, and assessing student learning. Students will be expected to develop a repertoire of teaching strategies that will support students as they read to learn, as well as interventions when language-based learning difficulties arise.

EDUC 5903 | Assessment-driven Literacy Instruction | 3 credits

This course will build on the students' knowledge of assessment and investigate how the information collected can be used to make informed instructional decisions. The focus will be on using what the teacher knows about their students' skills to choose reading materials and mini-lessons in reading. Topics will include utilizing various informal and formal assessments, the analysis of assessment data, a review of the New York State Language Arts Standards, examination of reading materials, leveling texts, matching books with students, and developing lesson plans that address student needs. Students will be expected to write lesson plans that reflect their analysis of student skills and strategies. Students are expected to fulfill fifteen hours of their literacy practicum requirements that will be arranged by Roberts literacy faculty. Practicum hours normally occur for one hour preceding class instruction where students implement specific strategies addressed in class. (pre-req. EDUC 5902)

EDUC 5904 | Research in Literacy | 3 credits

Examines research methodologies used in educational research related to literacy. Emphasis is on understanding the merits of qualitative, experimental, non-experimental, and action research for furthering literacy in the schools. Participants read and critically analyze current research on a particular aspect of literacy and synthesize their readings in an APA-formatted literature review. Students are expected to fulfill fifteen hours of their literacy practicum requirements that will be arranged by Roberts literacy faculty. Practicum hours normally occur for one hour preceding class instruction where students implement specific strategies addressed in class.

SPED 5665 | Language Learning Disabilities | 3 credits

Traces the cognitive development of language through multiple stages and across various disabilities and non-disabling conditions. Gives participants background in how language and its development are related to the academic and social development of children. Examines the broadest range of learners, including learners with mild, moderate, and severe disabilities as well as children with multiple disabilities.

EDUC 5902 | Assessing Literacy | 3 credits

This course investigates the tools available to assess a student's reading and writing development. It will look at the New York State Language Arts Standards and help students to choose or develop assessments that match the standards. Topics will include observation as an assessment tool, running records, reading and writing continuums, analysis of written work, assessment of spelling, phonics, and phonemic awareness. Students will be expected to prepare case studies and report their findings.

Specialization Courses

EDUC 6910 | Literacy Theory --- Childhood | 3 credits

This course is designed to increase students' understanding of the theories of literacy, as well as the application of theory into practice. The focus will be on the examination of literacy in terms of thought processes, skills, methodologies, materials, and assistive technology that support literacy for all learners. Topics will include balanced literacy, shared reading, guided reading, supporting comprehension, grouping, meeting individual needs, and differentiated instruction. Students will explore, develop and apply additional teaching strategies that can be used to support literacy development in the elementary grades. Students will be asked to demonstrate theory into practice by fulfilling fifteen hours of a supervised literacy practicum. Additionally, learners will revise their earlier work for anthology publication and begin preparing to present their literacy portfolio. Students will work two hours/ two days per week at a designated time and location established by Roberts Wesleyan College faculty. Students are expected to apply concepts in an individual tutoring basis. (co-req. EDUC 6919) 

EDUC 6911 | Literature, Media, and Children | 3 credits

This course will explore a wide range of children's books, magazines, media, computer programs, websites, and other print. Topics will include critiquing picture books, evaluating non fiction, working with novels, literature circles, web based instruction, presentation skills, media/video literacy skills, and matching appropriate reading materials with the child. Students will be expected to read widely and examine reading materials appropriate for elementary school reading programs.

Elective Courses | Choose one

EDUC 6917 | Reading Programs and Partnerships | 3 credits

From "National Book Week" to "Rochester Reads" to "Accelerated Reader," there are many approaches to promoting reading at the school-building, school-district, town, or even national level. This course considers the hallmarks of a successful program, and how the Reading Specialist can play a critical role in selecting and recommending reading series, reading programs, remedial programs, computer-based systems, alternative intervention services, after-school programs, and so on. Additionally, the class explores the role of the Reading Specialist as a Collaborator in the school, working with the School Psychologist, Classroom Teacher, Library/Media Specialist, Principal, Special Educator, parents, and others to foster literacy in the school and to insure literacy instruction that meets the needs of every student.

EDUC 6918 | Technology for Literacy | 3 credits

Course considers current research and best practice regarding effective use of technology for reading, writing, student research, and communication. Topics and techniques include software for literacy and language development; the reading/writing connection; technology for reading and study skills; webbing, word processing, and desktop publishing in the writing process; interactive study guides, webquests, and cyberliteracy; electronic storybooks; and the use of video for literacy learning and teaching. This course includes hands-on use of technology and will be conducted in a hybrid (face-to-face and online) environment to give students experience with web-based teaching and learning.

Practicum | To be done the final semester

EDUC 6919 | Research and Theory into Practice | 3 credits

As a culminating experience for the Master of Education in Literacy program, students engage in a pre-arranged supervised practicum experience, in an area school or reading clinic. Students will be placed in a tutorial or small group situation at their appropriate certification level. Practicum hours are directly supervised at each setting with informal and formal feedback provided. The practica are embedded in a course that requires students to apply their understanding of current research in an area of interest in literacy theory and practice. Further, students build on their literature review by planning an action research project designed to put theory into practice. For course completion, students will assess, critically diagnose, provide remediation, use formative lesson plans and engage in formal observations and write summative weekly reflections. (pre-req 5904; co-req 6910/6912)

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