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M Ed Reading & Literacy Course Descriptions
Research Methods (3 Credits)
(ED582)
This course is designed to acquaint graduate students with the design, analysis, and interpretation of research in the social sciences with a focus in the area of reading. Emphasis will be given to the development of empirical questions from theory, research design and control, construction of survey instruments, statistical analysis, and interpretation of results. Activities, content, and materials are related to the current and relevant Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks.

Improvement of Reading Instruction (Pre-practicum) (3 Credits)
(RDG508)
Attention is directed toward integrating materials, methods, and strategies of working with students for effective reading instruction. Included are classroom diagnosis of reading abilities and plans to improve teaching to meet the needs of all learners. A pre-practicum experience is included. Activities, content, and materials are related to the current Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks for English Language Arts.

Children’s Literature (3 Credits)
(RDG511)
This course will explore the enormous impact that literature-based reading has had on our students and programs. The integration of reading strategies with literature will be discussed. As children’s literature is being included as the centerpiece of reading and writing instruction in the elementary grades, literature has become a powerful force in language arts instruction in schools. A variety of literary forms will be explored including picture books, folk tales and fairy tales, fantasy, realistic fiction, historical fiction, and poetry. Activities, content, and materials are related to the current Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks for English.

Understanding the Dynamics of Student Aspirations (3 Credits)
(EDC570)
The purpose of this course is to explore the contexts of the lives of learners.  Participants will understand families, schools, and society as social systems and be able to practice this understanding in their relationships with children, colleagues, parents, and the community.  Students will gain a greater appreciation for and understanding of the conditions that affect student aspirations.  The course introduces the multiple dimensions of children’s lives, basic theories of child development, and the contexts of the lives of learners.  Theoretical concepts as well as practical principles of student achievement will be discussed.  Students will gain an in-depth understanding of current research in the area as well as practical applications of the research to infuse professional teaching and learning.  Class is structured to be interactive as well as self-reflective with ample opportunities for discussion of social systems and student aspirations.

Diagnosis and Remediation (Pre-practicum) (3 Credits)
(RDG512)
Reading disability as it is related to total language development, with emphasis on causation and prevention of reading disability, will be studied. Administration and interpretation of individual reading tests, informal and formal assessment strategies, the use of diagnostic prescriptive terms, and remediation techniques will be reviewed. The case study approach will be utilized, and opportunities for meeting the pre-practicum requirements are included for those pursuing the Initial Licensure program. Activities, content, and materials are related to the current and relevant Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks.

The Emergence of Literacy (3 Credits)
(RDG506)
This course will examine the role of the “reflective practitioner” in developing literacy experiences for elementary, school-aged children. We have come to realize that children progress along a developmental continuum that reveals their gradual or “emerging” construction of knowledge about reading and writing. The importance of the five components of reading (phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension) to the emergence of literacy will be examined. Activities, content, and materials are related to the current Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks for English Language Arts.

Writing Across the Curriculum (3 Credits)
(RDG507)
Knowledge about reading supports growth in writing. Writing should be natural and authentic and must provide space and materials to allow natural expression to occur. The notion of process writing and the integration of listening, speaking, reading, writing, and critical thinking will be addressed. Activities, content, and materials are related to the current Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks for English Language Arts and Interdisciplinary Units.

Family Literacy (3 Credits)
(RDG 504)
How can educators involved in family literacy initiatives be confident they are providing beneficial rather than intrusive experiences? What role should the community play in family literacy issues? How can schools, families, and organizations better collaborate to enhance literacy development for both children and their caregivers? This course presents a wide variety of school-based and organization sponsored programs and initiatives that will address these questions as practitioners learn how others are responding to the literacy needs of students and families. Participants will gain insight into how to develop new programs as well as conduct community discourse on the nature of family literacy, how it works, and how it can support student learning.

Linguistics and Language Acquisition (3 Credits)
(IED 530)
This course explores phonological and syntactical theory of English and other languages, sociolinguistics, research and theories in first and second language acquisition, and strategies for developing English language skills in listening, speaking, reading and writing.  Students will also develop an understanding of reading theory, research and practice and the differences between first and second language acquisition in the learning of literacy skills.

Technology in Education (3 Credits)
(ED581)
This course explores the major concepts related to instructional computing as well as the impact technology has on education. Required of all graduate students as they begin to integrate curriculum trends into their awareness of current sources for information and their role in a technologically-rich learning environment. Activities, content, and materials are related to the current Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks for Technology.

Reflective Seminar: Teacher of Reading (3 Credits)
(RDG515)
This seminar, which consists of weekly sessions, is taken concurrently with RDG 514. It provides opportunities for students to reflect on their practice and consolidate reading knowledge, pedagogical theory, and practice. It allows the students additional time to reflect on their developing skills in assessment, modification of instruction, leadership skills, clinical expertise, and diagnostic techniques. Each student is required to complete a multifaceted study that combines methodologies, theories, and current research about teaching and learning based on his or her practicum experience.

Practicum Experience: Teacher of Reading (3 Credits)
(RDG514)
A 150-hour practicum experience in various grade levels (K–12) setting that allows for application of acquired concepts and methodologies in the classroom under the combined supervision of a cooperating practitioner and the College supervisor. Regularly scheduled meetings are also required.