Course Descriptions

Reading Education


MRD 6201
Causes of Reading Difficulties
3 credits

Candidates investigate multiple assessment instruments to identify reading difficulties and plan effective instruction. Emphasis is placed upon understanding the major causes of reading difficulties and using a variety of assessment strategies to plan and evaluate effective reading and writing instruction.


MRD 6202
Foundations of Reading
3 credits

Candidates will investigate current research practices that are used to teach students of all levels to read: regular classroom, special education, bilingual education, and remedial readers. Topics include background and linguistic knowledge, syntax, semantics and phonology, concepts of print, phoneme awareness, knowledge of the alphabetic principle and letter knowledge, concept and word knowledge.


MRD 6203
Brain-based Reading Instruction
3 credits

Candidates will explore brain-based reading strategies for teaching and learning. The course focuses upon designing instruction and assessment strategies that capitalize on brain-based research.


MRD 6204
Phonemic Awareness and Auditory Processing
3 credits

The in-depth study of phonemic awareness, phonological awareness, decoding and encoding relative to word attack skills and their relationship to auditory processing provides the foundation for the course. Topics include addressing instructional practice that focus upon diversity and the appropriate skills needed to enhance reading, writing, and communication.


MRD 6205
Literacy Skills for Early Childhood
3 credits

Candidates will explore literacy skills for children ages birth to eight. The course topics focus upon developmentally appropriate curricula, appropriate print and non-print instructional strategies, literacy need of diverse learners, and the role of home and families in promoting appropriate skill development and learning experiences.


MRD 6206
Developmental Aspects of Reading Instruction
3 credits

Candidates will explore appropriate reading instruction for children ages birth to eight. The course topics focus upon word identification, reading fluency, assessing reading performance, vocabulary and concept development, reading comprehension, and reading-writing connections.


MRD 6208
Vocabulary and Comprehension Development for Middle School and High School
3 credits

Candidates will explore appropriate vocabulary and comprehension instructional strategies that develop independent readers. The course focuses upon exploring vocabulary that is specific to a particular content or content-subject area and the relationship that vocabulary has to comprehension.


MRD 6209
Authentic and Differentiated Instruction for Reading
3 credits

Candidates explore principles of differentiated instruction that address different plans, formats, and strategies in the classroom. The focus of the course is to inquire about instructional practices, implement differentiated instruction for reading instruction, infuse a differentiated instructional process for reading skills across the curriculum, and reflect upon the effectiveness of the teaching-learning process.


MRD 7801
Language Development
3 credits

This course is a detailed study of the relationship of language to reading. Social and cultural differences and similarities, typical and atypical language development, theories of language acquisition, effective language models, and the complexity of language are emphasized. Assessment and intervention strategies of language delays/deficiencies are included. Socio-psycholinguistic theories and metacognition are major components of this course. Strategies and skills for reading, spelling, language development, and writing instruction are demonstrated and applied (CEC Standard Six – Language).

Prerequisite(s): MED 6102


MRD 7802
Process and Acquisition of Literacy
3 credits

The relationship of early language development, growth and development of the brain, processing skills and early aesthetic and kinesthetic experiences to developing literacy (reading and writing) is studied. Social and cultural language differences, language acquisition, metacognition, critical periods of brain development, cognitive theory and experiences which contribute to, and are indicators of, readiness for reading will be emphasized. The relationship of early literacy experiences to stages of development of receptive and expressive language is linked to instruction. Clinical observation and study of children’s language and literacy levels is required. (*This course is one of two Prerequisites to all MRD courses.)


MRD 7803
Strategies and Materials for Teaching Reading and Writing
3 credits

Students study the rationale for and implementation of integrated reading and writing programs. Emphasis is on strategies and techniques that develop decoding/word recognition skills and automaticity, oral and silent reading fluency, word study and vocabulary knowledge, reading comprehension skills, methods for self-monitoring, questioning, and reading enjoyment. Students explore materials used to implement balanced literacy programs. Establishing objectives, including critical thinking, evaluative criteria, and appropriate evaluation techniques for assessing progress are studied. MRD candidates are required to model/demonstrate strategies in classrooms other than their own and conference with teachers. This course is used in conjunction with MED Instruction: Teacher of Reading, with emphasis on the candidate's classroom needs.

Prerequisite(s): MRD 7801 and 7802 (for Reading Specialist candidates only)


MRD 7804
Literature and Non-Fiction Books/Materials for Children and Adolescents
3 credits

Students examine literature for its own sake and its relationship to reading and the content areas. Knowledge of literature to incorporate it effectively in an integrated curriculum is the major focus. Students are required to demonstrate the integration of subject areas with a literary genre. Students are also required to read and study a minimum of 36 books appropriate for children and adolescents. An additional focus of this course is the variety of texts available and strategies for selecting and evaluating all materials for instruction. NOTE: Due to the large amount of reading that is required in this course, an alternative, semester format is available. This will not only give candidates an increased amount of time to complete the assignments, it should also increase opportunities for synthesis of the material.

Prerequisite(s): RD 7801, 7802, 7803.


MRD 7805
Strategies and Materials for Teaching Reading in the Content Area
3 credits

Theories of the reading process and reading to learn in content areas are explored. Emphasis is upon practical strategies and techniques for acquiring knowledge through reading in a variety of subject areas. Students will demonstrate strategies and techniques to develop comprehension, critical thinking, vocabulary, study and organizational skills and fluency/reading rate in content areas. Reading strategies for during as well as before reading and after reading strategies, and students self-monitoring techniques will be examined and applied as they relate to science, mathematics and social studies content. This course is used in conjunction with MED Instruction: Teacher of Reading, with emphasis on the candidate's classroom needs.

Prerequisite(s): MRD 7801, 7802 (for Reading Specialist candidates only)


MRD 7806
Writing Assessment and Instruction (Cert Candidates, only)
3 credits

This is a three credit course designed to focus on writing development of children within the K-12 environment. Candidates will learn about the history of teaching writing. Students in this course will learn about the processes of writing development including types and purposes of writing. Candidates will complete activities to prepare them to assess student writing and design differentiated lessons to support growth and development in acquiring writing skills. Candidates will examine research and trends related to state and national standards in writing. The course includes opportunities for design and implementation of writing lessons including reflection and evaluation of lesson effectiveness. Candidates will also spend time investigating appropriate strategies and routines to support students who struggle in reading and writing. Attention and time will be spent recognizing and understanding the forms of diversity present in writing development and their importance in learning to write. This course is required by Delaware State Department of Education for non-degree seeking candidates who are pursuing a Reading Specialist certificate rather than a degree. Pre-reqs: MRD 7801, MRD 7802


MRD 7815
Application of Strategies for Teaching Content Area Reading
5 credits

Theories of the reading process and reading to learn in content areas are explored. Emphasis is upon practical strategies and techniques for acquiring knowledge through reading in a variety of subject areas. Students will demonstrate strategies and techniques to develop comprehension, critical thinking, vocabulary, study and organizational skills and fluency/reading rate in content areas. Reading strategies for before, during, and after, as well as students’ self-monitoring techniques will be examined and applied as they relate to content areas. Additionally, this course requires 20 hours in school-based settings. The majority of time will be used to observe and reflect upon instruction and the use of reading strategies and techniques in the content areas. At least half of the observation time must be in grades seven and above. Further application of assessment and correction strategies as applied in content areas is required. In preparation for reading coach/mentor responsibilities, candidates will prepare and present a professional development program to their classmates or in a school based setting if possible.

Prerequisite(s): MRD 7801, MRD 7802, MRD 7804


MRD 7901
Diagnosis/Assessment of Reading Difficulties for Non-Reading/Literacy Majors
3 credits

The nature of reading problems and the methods, techniques, and materials used in diagnosing and remediating reading-related difficulties are studied in detail. Attention is focused on the learner and the interpretation of physiological, psychological, sociological, and educational factors, which influence reading achievement. Provisions are made for the identification, analysis and interpretation of informal and formal measures of reading performance and for the development of instructional strategies employed in the remediation process. (CEC Standard 6-Language).

Prerequisite(s): MRD 7801


MRD 7902
Diagnosis and Correction of Reading Difficulties II
3 credits

Diagnosis and correction of literacy difficulties require knowledge and expertise in the areas of growth and development, sequence of reading skills, test administration, drawing diagnostic conclusions based upon testing, background information, and observation. Appropriate assessment instruments must be mastered and administered. A formal report of the results of the assessment will be completed and shared with the students’ teachers and parents as well as appropriate specialists. A detailed plan for the correction of the students’ reading difficulties must be completed and implemented. Follow-up assessment and reporting after implementation of the plan is also required. Competencies will be demonstrated via two case studies and assessing and teaching a small group of students.

Prerequisite(s): MRD 7805, MRD 7901


MRD 7903
Diagnosis and Correction of Reading Difficulties
6 credits

Diagnosis and correction of literacy difficulties requires knowledge and expertise in the areas of growth and development, test administration, drawing diagnostic conclusions based upon data, background information and observation. Toward that end, the nature of reading problems and methods, techniques, and materials used in diagnosing and remediating reading-related difficulties are studied in detail. Attention is focused on the learner and interpretation of physiological, psychological, sociological, and educational factors which influence reading achievement. Provisions are made for the identification, analysis and interpretation of informal and formal measures of reading performance and for the development of instructional strategies employed in the remediation process. Appropriate assessment instruments must be mastered and administered. A formal report of the results of the assessment will be completed and shared with the students’ teachers and parents as well as appropriate specialists. A detailed plan for the correction of the students’ reading difficulties must be completed and implemented. Follow-up assessment and reporting after implementation of the plan is also required. Competencies will be demonstrated via two case studies and assessing and teaching of the two students and simulations. The assessment and tutoring are conducted at on-site reading clinics. A grade of C is the minimum passing grade.

Prerequisite(s): MED 7705, MRD 7801, MRD 7802, MRD 7803, MRD 7804


MRD 7920
Practicum in Reading
6 credits

This practicum is a six hour course and is designed to prepare candidates for reading specialist and reading coach/mentor responsibilities. Candidates will complete activities to prepare them to professionally journey beyond the classroom. The course includes further application/design of assessment programs and correction strategies for K-12 students, self evaluation of the candidate’s teaching of reading effectiveness, observation and peer conferencing of other Language Arts teachers, and interviews of school based and district level reading personnel. The student needs to define roles and responsibilities, research and prepare a reading curriculum for the candidate’s school, research and write parent involvement strategies for K-12 students, prepare multi-ethnic and multicultural school based programs, write a state/organizational grant and explore/discuss simulations of activities/problems encountered serving as a reading specialist/resource person. The student will also mentor pre-service teachers.

Prerequisite(s): MED 7705, MRD 7801, MRD 7802, MRD 7803, MRD 7804, (MRD 7805 and MRD 7921) OR MRD 7815, MRD 7903 (or MRD 7901 and MRD 7902)with a minimum grade of C (2.0)


MRD 7921
Practicum in Content Area Reading
3 credits

This practicum requires class time as well as a minimum of 20 to 30 hours in school based settings. The majority of time will be used to observe and reflect upon instruction and the use of reading strategies and techniques in the content areas of math, science, and social studies. At least one half of the observation time must be in grades seven and above. Further application of assessment and correction strategies as applied in content areas is required. In preparation for reading coach/mentor responsibilities, candidates will prepare and present a one hour professional development program to their classmates or in a school based setting if possible.

Prerequisite(s): MED 7705, MRD 7801, MRD 7802, MRD 7803, MRD 7804, MRD 7805, and MRD 7903 (or MRD 7901 and MRD 7902)


MRD 7930
Coaching Adult Learners (Cert Candidates, only)
3 credits

This course is a three credit hour course designed to prepare candidates to effectively coach other professionals and/or develop professional development activities representative of best practices in their respective fields and for adult learners. Candidates will complete activities to prepare them to coach adult learners. Topics covered include adult learning theory, models of coaching, and principles of collaborative feedback. This course is required by Delaware State Department of Education for non-degree seeking candidates who are pursuing a Reading Specialist certificate rather than a degree. Prerequisites: MRD 7801, MRD 7802, MRD 7803, MRD 7804, MRD 7806, MRD 7815, MRD 7903, and MRD 7920


MRD 7950
Seminar in Reading Research
3 credits

Students read and analyze research in the area of reading. After critical analysis, students draw conclusions about the body of knowledge in reading as a discipline. Application of research for improved literacy is emphasized. Students will conduct research that utilizes a range of methodologies. Promoting and facilitating teacher and classroom-based research is a major focus. This research may be required in conjunction with the reading clinic participants. MRD candidates will need to present a passing Praxis II 20300 score in order to receive their final grade for this course. An exit interview with an advisor or Program Chair is also required as a graduation checkpoint.

Prerequisite(s): For Reading-M.Ed major, MRD 7801, MRD 7802, MRD 7803, MRD 7804, MED 7705, MRD 7815 or the equivalent, and MRD 7903 or the equivalent, with a minimum grade of C in each. For ESOL Literacy-M.Ed majors, MRD 7801, MRD 7802, MRD 7803, MRD 7804, MRD 7805, MLL 7401, MLL 7402, MLL 7405, and MLL 7406 with a minimum grade of C in each.