Master of Education
This program is nationally recognized and accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) under NCATE Standards (National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education) and meets the International Literacy Association (ILA) standards at the Reading Specialist level.
The Master of Education in Reading prepares teachers for certification as a Reading Specialist in grades K-12. Reading specialists must demonstrate the ability to produce high levels of student achievement in literacy. Literacy requires an understanding of reading and writing intertwined with the ability to interpret critically and apply new information to existing knowledge. Every school should have access to Reading Specialists who have specialized training related to addressing reading difficulties and who can give guidance to classroom teachers in language arts, writing, and content area reading.
The program competencies are the IRA Standards, are summarized below, and can be accessed in their entirety through the IRA's website: http://www.ncte.org/standards/ncte-ira
The program develops reading experts who have demonstrated mastery in:
Standard 1.Theoretical/ Foundational
Candidates understand the theoretical and evidence-based foundations of reading and writing processes and instruction. Specifically, candidates:
1.1: 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.
1.2: Understand the historically shared knowledge of the profession and changes over time in the perceptions of reading and writing development, processes, and components.
Standard 2. Curriculum and Instruction
Candidates use instructional approaches, materials, and an integrated, comprehensive, balanced curriculum to support student learning in reading and writing. Specifically, candidates:
2.1: Use foundational knowledge to design or implement an integrated, comprehensive, and balanced curriculum. [Reading specialists may have responsibilities for teaching students who struggle with learning to read and must also be able to support teachers in their efforts to provide effective instruction for all students.]
2.2: Use appropriate and varied instructional approaches, including those that develop word recognition, language comprehension, strategic knowledge, and reading–writing connections. [McKenna and Stahl (2009) define reading as including word recognition, language comprehension, and strategic knowledge (see the Glossary for their definition of cognitive model of reading).
2.3: Use a wide range of texts (e.g., narrative, expository, and poetry) from traditional print, digital, and online resources.
Standard 3. Assessment and Evaluation
Candidates use a variety of assessment tools and practices to plan and evaluate effective reading and writing instruction. Specifically, candidates:
3.1: Understand types of assessments and their purposes, strengths, and limitations.
3.2: Select, develop, administer, and interpret assessments, both traditional print and electronic, for specific purposes. [Reading specialists may have responsibilities for teaching students who struggle with learning to read and must also be able to support teachers in their efforts to provide effective instruction for all students.]
Standard 4. Diversity
Candidates create and engage their students in literacy practices that develop awareness, understanding, respect, and a valuing of differences in our society. Specifically, candidates:
4.1: Recognize, understand, and value the forms of diversity that exist in society and their importance in learning to read and write. [Reading specialists may have responsibilities for teaching students who struggle with learning to read and must also be able to support teachers in their efforts to provide effective instruction for all students.]
4.2: Use a literacy curriculum and engage in instructional practices that positively impact students’ knowledge, beliefs, and engagement with the features of diversity.
4.3: Develop and implement strategies to advocate for equity.
Standard 5. Literate Environment
Candidates create a literate environment that fosters reading and writing by integrating foundational knowledge, instructional practices, approaches and methods, curriculum materials, and the appropriate use of assessments. Specifically, candidates:
5.1: Design the physical environment to optimize students’ use of traditional print, digital, and online resources in reading and writing instruction.
5.2: 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. [Reading specialists may have responsibilities for teaching students who struggle with learning to read and must also be able to support teachers in their efforts to provide effective instruction for all students.]
Standard 6. Professional Learning and Leadership
Candidates recognize the importance of, demonstrate, and facilitate professional learning and leadership as a career-long effort and responsibility. Specifically, candidates:
6.1: Demonstrate foundational knowledge of adult learning theories and related research about organizational change, professional development, and school culture.
6.2: 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. [This element deals with positive attitudes not only with colleagues but also with community members, parents and guardians, and so forth.]
6.3: Participate in, design, facilitate, lead, and evaluate effective and differentiated professional development programs.
The assessment of outcomes consists of multiple measures. Grades on assignments and for courses are the first level of assessment. The course goals, learning outcomes, and assignments are designed to address the measurement of program and graduation competencies. The Knowledge of Reading Test (KRT) must be taken online during either MRD 7920 , Practicum in Reading, or MRD 7950 , Seminar in Reading Research. Other assessment measures include the observation of application of knowledge in practical settings and alumni surveys that query such items as preparation levels for careers, preparation for passage of PRAXIS II, and life-long learning activities. PRAXIS II (5301 Reading Specialist) must be taken and passed (score of 164) prior to receiving a grade in MRD 7950 . It is a graduation requirement.
The Master of Education in Reading program was designed to meet four sets of professional standards: Delaware Professional Teaching Standards (DPTS), National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC), Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) under the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), and International Literacy Association (ILA). Students who complete the program are eligible for a State of Delaware Certificate as a Reading Specialist. Candidates are required to register for MED 6102, E-Folio as the initial course in the program as this course will allow them to document various course requirements needed to satisfy program competencies.
When compared to other current graduate programs in reading, four unique features are evident. First, the reading practicum is six (6) credits and must be completed over the length of a full semester. This practicum is in addition to another course in diagnosis and remediation which many institutions view as a practicum experience. A second difference is in the presentation of diagnosis, assessment and correction as one six-credit course. This allows candidates to see the complete process with the same individual and small groups of children. Most institutions offer two separate three-credit courses. It is also conducted through a site-based reading clinic, under the supervision of the course instructor. The third, and most unique requirement, is the inclusion of field experience in content area classrooms in a combined study of strategies and application of those strategies. Many programs have a content area reading course, but not one that requires field experience in content area classrooms. Finally, candidates must participate in local, state and/or national professional organizations.
Candidates in this program are required to collaborate and partner with teachers, administrators, specialists, and parents in assessment of reading, instruction in reading, designing reading programs, and conducting research in reading. Candidates, then, develop partnerships with a wide network of parties to support reading achievement in the school, home, and community as learning environments.
This program is designed to serve students with several career opportunities:
- 15 or 18 course credits for a cluster of graduate study in reading
- 35 credits are required for the master’s degree. Subsequently, candidates may apply for the Reading Specialist certificate through the Department of Education. Documentation of a passing PRAXIS II score (164) is required.
An exit interview with the Program Chair or an advisor is required.
This information applies to students who enter this degree program during the 2016-2017 Academic Year. If you entered this degree program before the Fall 2016 semester, please refer to the academic catalog for the year you began your degree program.