The gift of reading and literacy is one of the greatest achievements teachers can give to their students. Whether teaching phonics to a child, helping an adult master a new language or honing the comprehension skills of more advanced readers, those who work in literacy and reading careers do the important work of helping people understand everything from street signs to scientific treatises. Those who wish to foster greater understanding of literacy in their students often pursue a master's degree in reading and literacy so they can better assess their student's needs and design their curriculum to support their development.
Just as there are many literacy and reading careers, there are a variety of degree programs related to this field. Using data provided by the National Center for Education Statistics' Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), we have compiled a list of 10 notable colleges where working educators and graduate students can advance their competencies in literacy and reading online, making it easier to keep a current teaching post while still progressing one's career.
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The role of the literacy and reading specialist is to provide extra assistance to struggling readers by slowing down coursework and trying different approaches, as well as addressing learning disabilities. Learning how to recognize and approach sources of difficulty for these readers takes place in online programs for literacy and reading. Here's a brief overview of what kinds of courses might be covered in these programs, as well as some of the important skills that might be learned from those courses.
Usually, literacy and reading programs are designed for graduate students who have earned undergraduate degrees and teaching credentials and wish to advance their study of reading education. Online education in literacy and reading emphasizes techniques for teaching reading to various age groups, and it helps educators learn how to spot, diagnose and address reading problems. Students in these online programs are expected to study how children learn to read and write, how to develop a curriculum that addresses these skills and how to conduct assessments to measure learning.
Though program specifics vary, online literacy and reading degree programs tend to offer similar coursework. Students are likely to encounter courses such as the following:
Students often will take courses that introduce them to good reading materials for specific age groups, then discuss methods for instruction and discussion about them. And as completion of the program draws near, students should expect to conduct their own research projects as part of capstone, independent study or thesis projects.
Literacy and reading specialists work with struggling readers on a one-on-one basis, and the work they do is crucial in preparing their students for the future. Being successful takes not only academic know-how, but also a certain set of character traits and skills — some of which can be learned, or at least refined, in an online program for literacy and reading.
In our increasingly international world, the audience of those who need to learn and refine literacy skills is slowly but steadily growing. Reading is a crucial skill, and as such the people who teach it are similarly crucial. For details about the different levels at which literacy and reading careers operate, read on.
Middle school literacy instructor careers are for educators who want to bridge the gap between the reading experience that young children already have with the expectations they will encounter when they progress to higher grades. These teachers work closely with students to make assessments about their needs and create plans for them to increase their reading capabilities. This position also requires them to coordinate with other teachers, parents, and school administrators in order to help their students be successful.
Daily activities of these professionals include evaluating and choosing textbooks based on the school's curriculum; creating lesson plans that are appropriate for adolescent learners; and writing and grading assignments and tests.
Teachers who prefer working with high school students can pursue secondary school literacy instructor careers and help teenagers improve their reading skills. In order to be successful, these educators must have strong English language, pedagogical, monitoring and assessment skills. Furthermore, instructors should possess a strong understanding of the psychological principles associated with learning, such as motivation.
The job duties of secondary school literacy instructors include providing support to readers who have higher needs than other students, regularly communicating with parents, and collaborating with other teachers on the best practices for teaching. In addition, these professionals must arrange for accommodations that students with special needs may require.
Adults who need remedial reading education can receive support from people in adult basic and secondary literacy instructor careers. These professionals assign and grade homework; create tests to measure student progress; maintain student records based on applicable policies; and prepare lesson plans. In addition, they help students prepare for the General Educational Development test.
Skills that adult and basic secondary literacy instructors need include speaking, listening, writing, problem solving and instructing abilities. Also, these teachers should have strong technology skills, as they may be required to use specific education software. In order to obtain this job, instructors are required to complete a bachelor's or master's degree, depending on the employer.