Reading Education M.Ed.

Degree: Master of Education
Program Director: Gilda Martinez-Alba
410-404-2480
gmartinez@towson.edu

The Master of Education in Reading Education program is designed to prepare reading teachers or reading specialists, primarily for K-12 education but also for community colleges, industry, adult education programs, commercial education centers and private practice. The 36-unit program is highly structured with nine required courses and three electives (two of which must be in the area of literacy). It is developmental in design. Students grow in both their knowledge and application as they proceed through the program.

The Graduate Reading Education Program at Towson University does not subscribe to a particular position on reading. It closely reflects the broad, comprehensive knowledge and pedagogical skills and strategies outlined in the 2010 Standards for Reading Professionals developed by the International Literacy Association.

The goals of the M.Ed. in Reading Education program are to prepare reading teachers or reading specialists who have a dynamic understanding of the reading process, a wide array of resources for enhancing literacy for all learners, the competencies to coach others (classroom teachers, paraprofessionals, parents, etc.), and the competencies to advocate for the best literacy environments.

The program is designed to prepare the degree candidate to:

  • Provide specialized literacy instruction and assessment, in cooperation with other professionals, to students at all levels
  • Provide literacy services individually or in groups
  • Communicate with colleagues, parents and the community about literacy issues, including conducting professional development workshops on literacy topics
  • Coach and/or mentor colleagues
  • Advocate for literacy development among all populations
  • Read and interpret literacy research
  • Continue to grow professionally by reading professional journals and by participating in reading conferences and workshops
  • Master essential dispositions of educators (caring for all students, collaboration with stakeholders, and commitment to professional practice)

The M.Ed. in Reading Education program is grounded in five philosophical beliefs:

  • Literacy learning involves not only reading, but also writing, listening, speaking and viewing.
  • Literacy instruction must be research-based, and therefore requires reading specialists to be competent in interpreting and applying research findings.
  • Literacy instruction must be responsive to the individual differences among learners.
  • Literacy instruction must be inclusive and celebrate the diversity of learners.
  • Literacy instruction and assessment must be closely connected so that instruction is developed, monitored and modified using multiple sources of assessment data.

The M.Ed. in Reading Education program can be completed on a full- or part-time basis. Most courses are offered in the early evening (e.g., 4:20-6:50 p.m.) one night per week. All nine required courses on campus are offered in fall or spring terms and many are offered during the summer.

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS

Candidates for admission must submit an application essay that addresses the applicant’s experience and/or approach to caring for all students, collaboration with other professionals and commitment to professional practice. Candidates for admission to the Master of Education in Reading Education program must also meet the criteria for admission to all graduate programs at the university: a 3.00 GPA for the last 60 units of undergraduate and post-baccalaureate study. Students can be admitted conditionally to the M.Ed. in Reading Education program with a 2.75 GPA. Those admitted conditionally must receive an “A” or “B” in the first three REED courses they take in the program. Candidates who completed their bachelor’s degree more than 5 years ago with less than a 3.00 can be admitted to the program by documenting five years of successful education-related work experience.

Candidates in the M.Ed. in Reading Education Program are not required to have or be eligible for a teaching certificate. This is to allow individuals interested in careers that do not require a state teaching certification (e.g., community college developmental reading, adult literacy education, private schools, the publishing industry) to pursue the degree. It is, however, important to understand that completing the M.Ed. in Reading Education does not carry automatic state certification. Maryland State Certification for Reading Specialist has three requirements:

  • Eligibility for teacher certification in early childhood, elementary, secondary or special education
  • Three years of classroom teaching experience
  • M.Ed. in Reading Education from an approved program (e.g., Towson University)

To be admitted to the program, send all official transcripts to University Admissions, and write the admissions essay and submit it along with the online graduate application.

DEGREE REQUIREMENTS

Required Courses (27 Units)
The M.Ed. in Reading Education requires nine specific courses, five of which must be taken before the first clinical practicum, REED 626. Consult with your assigned adviser about the sequence of courses. It is suggested that REED 745, and REED 726 be taken near the end of the program and that your final course be REED 729.
REED 601READING THEORY AND PRACTICE3
REED 609READING ASSESSMENT3
REED 621READING DISABILITIES3
REED 663STRATEGIC USE OF MATERIALS3
REED 665TEACHING READING AND WRITING IN THE CONTENT AREAS K-123
REED 626CLINIC INTERNSHIP IN READING 13
REED 726ADVANCED CLINIC INTERNSHIP IN READING 13
REED 729SEMINAR IN READING3
REED 745PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT IN READING3
Electives (9 Units)
There is considerable flexibility in elective course selection in order to meet the unique program needs of individual candidates. Two of the three electives must be literacy courses. Please check with your assigned adviser for guidance. Suggested courses include (but are not limited to) the following:9
Literacy Electives
GUIDED READING
WORD STUDY FOR IMPROVING LITERACY
SOCIAL, CULTURAL, AND CURRICULAR CONTEXTS FOR SECOND LANGUAGE LEARNING
INSTRUCTION AND ASSESSMENT FOR SECOND LANGUAGE LEARNERS
INTRODUCTION TO LINGUISTICS FOR TEACHERS OF LANGUAGE AND LITERACY
INTEGRATING TECHNOLOGY IN LITERACY INSTRUCTION
SPECIAL TOPICS IN READING EDUCATION (e.g., Adolescent Literacy; Writing Instruction)
INDIVIDUALIZED STUDY IN READING EDUCATION
MULTICULTURAL LITERATURE FOR CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS
CRITICAL CONVERSATION: EARLY LITERACY, RESEARCH, POLICY AND PRACTICE
ADOLESCENT LITERACY
GRANT WRITING IN EDUCATION
LANGUAGE, LITERACY AND CULTURE
LITERACY THEORY AND RESEARCH
THEORY, RESEARCH AND PRACTICE IN TEACHING COMPOSITION (Maryland Writing Project Summer Institute)
Other Electives
LEARNER DIVERSITY, CULTURAL RESPONSIVENESS, AND INCLUSION IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION
GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT OF YOUNG CHILDREN
TEACHING IN A MULTICULTURAL SOCIETY
RESEARCH IN EDUCATION
INTEGRATING INSTRUCTIONAL TECHNOLOGY
WEB-BASED INSTRUCTION IN EDUCATION
APPLIED PSYCHOLOGY OF LEARNING
INSTRUCTIONAL DEVELOPMENT
COMPUTER-BASED INSTRUCTION
DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY
INCLUSION/INTEGRATION STRATEGIES FOR SPECIAL NEEDS ADOLESCENT & ADULTS
INCLUSION FOR THE CLASSROOM TEACHER
Total Units36
1

There are two required clinical practica or internships in the program: REED 626, and REED 726. They are both 3-unit experiences that require 45 contact hours with clients, parents and fellow clinicians each term. (These courses are known as Reading Clinic and are typically scheduled for 4:30 p.m. during the academic school year.) In addition to working with one client, the students enrolled in the advanced internship are responsible for providing parent workshops on a variety of topics as well as serving as coaches to novice teachers. If a student withdraws from REED 626 or REED 726 without consulting with the instructor, he or she must petition the director of the program in order to re-enroll in the course. All REED graduate students are responsible for understanding professional expectations. In addition to fulfilling all academic requirements, successful completion requires demonstrated professional behavior, including, but not limited to, punctuality, attendance, professional attire, discretion, respect for confidentiality, effective and appropriate communication with students, parents and colleagues, and acceptance of diversity.

PROGRAM EXIT REQUIREMENTS

Students must earn the grade of “A” or “B” in REED 726 and REED 729. Each course may be repeated once, if necessary. Students not earning an “A” or “B” in each of those courses are dismissed from the program.

Throughout the program, students collect key assignments, along with the grade sheets, which become artifacts in their Program Portfolio. At the conclusion of the REED 729 course, students are required to present their Program Portfolio to faculty and to new students in the program. They are also required to submit a Portfolio Reflective Essay.

Element 1.1
Candidates understand major theories and empirical research that describe the cognitive, linguistic, motivational and sociocultural foundations of reading and writing development, processes and components, including word recognition, language comprehension, strategic knowledge and reading writing connections.
Element 1.2
Candidates understand the historically shared knowledge of the profession and changes over time in the perceptions of reading and writing development, processes and components.
Element 1.3
Candidates understand the role of professional judgment and practical knowledge for improving all students reading development and achievement.
Element 2.1
Candidates use foundational knowledge to design or implement an integrated, comprehensive and balanced curriculum.
Element 2.2
Candidates use appropriate and varied instructional approaches, including those that develop word recognition, language comprehension, strategic knowledge and reading writing connections.
Element 2.3
Candidates use a wide range of texts (e.g., narrative, expository, and poetry) from traditional print, digital, and online resources.
Element 3.1
Candidates understand types of assessments and their purposes, strengths and limitations.
Element 3.2
Candidates select, develop, administer, and interpret assessments, both traditional print and electronic, for specific purposes.
Element 3.3
Candidates use assessment information to plan and evaluate instruction.
Element 3.4
Candidates communicate assessment results and implications to a variety of audiences.
Element 4.1
Candidates recognize, understand, and value the forms of diversity that exist in society and their importance in learning to read and write.Element 4.2
Candidates use a literacy curriculum and engage in instructional practices that positively impact students’ knowledge, beliefs and engagement with the features of diversity.
Element 4.3
Candidates develop and implement strategies to advocate for equity.
Element 5.1
Candidates design the physical environment to optimize students’ use of traditional print, digital, and online resources in reading and writing instruction.
Element 5.2
Candidates design a social environment that is low risk and includes choice, motivation and scaffolded support to optimize students’ opportunities for learning to read and write.
Element 5.3
Candidates use routines to support reading and writing instruction (e.g., time allocation, transitions from one activity to another, discussions and peer feedback).
Element 5.4
Candidates use a variety of classroom configurations (i.e., whole class, small group and individual) to differentiate instruction.
Element 6.1
Candidates demonstrate foundational knowledge of adult learning theories and related research about organizational change, professional development and school culture.
Element 6.2
Candidates display positive dispositions related to their own reading and writing and the teaching of reading and writing, and pursue the development of individual professional knowledge and behaviors.
Element 6.3
Candidates participate in, design, facilitate, lead and evaluate effective and differentiated professional development programs.
Element 6.4
Candidates understand and influence local, state or national policy decisions.

Courses

REED 601 READING THEORY AND PRACTICE (3)

Theoretical foundations of reading instruction; methods and materials used in integrated literacy learning.

REED 602 TEACHING READING: THEORY AND PRACTICE (3)

Opportunity to develop an understanding of the reading process, consider competing theories of reading, learn about reading assessment and explore a range of instructional strategies and materials for integrating into K-12 classrooms. This course has some overlap with REED 601; however this course includes substantial components on reading assessment that REED 601 does not contain. This course may appear to parallel SCED 560; however this course has a broad K-12 perspective.

REED 609 READING ASSESSMENT (3)

Reading assessment using both standardized tests and informal procedures; interpretation of assessment data.

REED 621 READING DISABILITIES (3)

Etiology of reading disabilities, observation and interview procedures, standard and informal tests, report writing and instructional intervention. Prerequisite: REED 609.

REED 626 CLINICAL INTERNSHIP IN READING (3-6)

Supervised clinical experience with clients with reading difficulties. Prerequisites: REED 601, REED 609, REED 621, REED 663, and REED 665.

REED 628 GUIDED READING (3)

Examines how to scaffold reading instruction using the process of guided reading. Includes analyzing multiple perspectives on guided reading and applying the approach to instruction with small groups of children in a clinical setting.

REED 632 WORD STUDY FOR IMPROVING LITERACY (3)

Examines the characteristics of students with language-learning disabilities, how to identify their needs for literacy improvement, and how to design and implement an individualized program for literary development.

REED 650 SOCIAL, CULTURAL, AND CURRICULAR CONTEXTS FOR SECOND LANGUAGE LEARNING (3)

Social and cultural contexts of second language learners' lives and the different types of curricular programs for second language literacy learning. Models of literary instruction found in English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), Bilingual, Dual Immersion and content area focused settings are explored. Possible relationships between language arts instructors, ESOL, and Reading Specialists are examined. May be repeated for an additional 3 units if taken as short-term study abroad course.

REED 651 INSTRUCTION AND ASSESSMENT FOR SECOND LANGUAGE LEARNERS (3)

Course participants will be invited to critically examine approaches to second language development and assessment for children congruent with recent research in second language acquisition in children. Class members will read professional literature framing second language acquisition and discuss strategies for implementing sound theoretical practice within the classroom. How to provide appropriate instruction based on informal and formal assessment results for K-12 English Language Learners will be major focus of the this course.

REED 652 INTRODUCTION TO LINGUISTICS FOR TEACHERS OF LANGUAGE AND LITERACY (3)

Introduction to the basic principles and concepts of the study of language and it relevancy to teachers of language and literacy. Students will develop foundational knowledge in the areas of grammatical competence (phonology, morphology, syntax, semantic, pragmatics), spoken and written discourse, language variation, first and second language acquisition, and language processing. The course will equip students to use linguistic analysis to conduct inquiries that address issues or concerns about the use, development, assessment and/or teaching of language and literacy in classrooms or other educational settings.

REED 660 INTEGRATING TECHNOLOGY IN LITERACY INSTRUCTION (3)

A course designed to help teachers develop technology-based reading instruction. Emphasis on designing reading segments on phonemic awareness, vocabulary development, comprehension and writing, using presentation, graphics, and multimedia authoring software.

REED 663 STRATEGIC USE OF MATERIALS (3)

Theories underlying literature-based instruction examined; recent research evaluated, instructional techniques introduced, modeled, and applied; materials for instruction cooperatively developed; and criteria for literature selection established.

REED 665 TEACHING READING AND WRITING IN THE CONTENT AREAS K-12 (3)

Examination of interrelationship of reading and writing, and their roles in instruction of content areas, K-12.

REED 670 SPECIAL TOPICS IN READING EDUCATION (3-6)

In-depth study of a selected topic in reading education. Specific requirements and prerequisites will vary and will be designated by the department each time a topic is scheduled. Approval by the Reading program director is required. Prerequisite: Varies according to topic.

REED 695 INDIVIDUALIZED STUDY IN READING EDUCATION (3-6)

Individually planned program of study, which will permit the student to engage in research and/or field studies in reading education. Approval by the Reading program director is required. Prerequisite: Varies according to areas of study.

REED 710 MULTICULTURAL LITERATURE FOR CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS (3)

An in depth critical examination of multicultural literature for young children and adolescents. Strategies for selecting and evaluating tests/resources will be explored considering issues of voice, worldviews, culture, rituals, language, and lifestyles.

REED 712 CRITICAL CONVERSATION: EARLY LITERACY, RESEARCH, POLICY AND PRACTICE (3)

Critically examine current policies, research and instructional trends in early literacy instruction. Engage in personal and collaborative inquiry into important issues affecting all elementary teachers and reading professionals. Examine current professional literature, early literacy research, and key public policy documents representing a range of contrasting perspectives in the field. Prerequisites: Admission to a graduate program in education.

REED 714 ADOLESCENT LITERACY (3)

Examines critical issues that affect the literacy development and instruction of adolescents. Through readings, reflection, assessment and conversations, we will highlight multiple perspectives of how best to engage adolescents and how secondary schools can be structured to advance the reading and writing skills of adolescents.

REED 721 DIAG EV READ DIS (3)

REED 726 ADVANCED CLINIC INTERNSHIP IN READING (3)

Advanced clinical experience with clients, families and paraprofessionals. Prerequisite: REED 626.

REED 729 SEMINAR IN READING (3)

Review of theories and research in the field of reading. Prerequisites: 15 credits in reading education or consent of instructor.

REED 740 GRANT WRITING IN EDUCATION (3)

Essentials of proposal development and funding acquisition. Exploration of specific steps involved in the grant writing process via lecture, class discussion, small group work, and individual instructor consults. By the conclusion of the course, students will have successfully created an actual grant application that is ready for submission to a potential funding source.

REED 745 PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT IN READING (3)

Design, implement, and evaluate experiences for the professional development of educators in the area of literacy. Explore research from various fields that influence the effectiveness of professional development in the area of literacy. Special Permit required. Prerequisite: 15 credits in reading education courses.

REED 751 LANGUAGE, LITERACY AND CULTURE (3)

Historical perspectives and current topics in the fields of linguistics, semiotics, and culture studies will inform the discussion of literacy learning in a variety of contexts.

REED 752 LITERACY THEORY AND RESEARCH (3)

Expand insights into past and current research and theory in the literacy field. Critically analyze research findings and develop a research proposal. This course is restricted to C.A.S. in Reading majors unless permission is granted by the program director and the professor.