What is a Master’s Degree in Reading Education?
Reading and writing are at the foundation of learning. Proficient readers and writers foster a love of reading, develop a broader vocabulary, and gain a better understanding of other cultures through reading; however, not everyone is a proficient reader. A master’s degree in reading education offers a deep knowledge of reading and reading instruction. Through an emphasis on current research regarding literacy development, assessment, and instruction, a master’s degree in reading education provides the knowledge and skills to help improve reading comprehension and language acquisition abilities. Additionally, a master’s degree in reading education encourages the development of skills and competencies necessary in professional careers both in the field of education and beyond.
What You’ll Learn in a Reading Education Program
A reading education program offers rigorous, high-quality instruction in several essential areas that allows learners to fully grasp all areas of reading acquisition and development, preparing program participants for an array of related career opportunities: foundations, literacy development, diagnosis, curriculum development, children’s literature, literacy coaching, and practicum.
- Deepen understanding of reading research and language acquisition
- Interpret the historical development of reading education in America
- Analyze contemporary reading and instruction issues in the United States that create obstacles and challenges for educators
- Understand current educational policymaking and reform
- Understand how language and literacy are acquired
- Recognize the role writing and speaking play on children learning to read
- Determine the role environmental, developmental, and other factors play in beginning literacy processes
- Explore methods of diagnosing reading issues
- Apply diagnoses in classrooms
- Use assessment to determine causes and types of reading difficulties
- Create appropriate strategies for improved teacher practice and successful learning outcomes
- Understand the principles, practices, and problems in public and private schools
- Apply current theory and research in curriculum development
- Design procedures for assessing and remediating the struggling reader
- Utilize contemporary curriculum organization models and current research
- Explore various genres in children’s literature
- Analyze common themes and morals in children’s literature
- Understand cultural and historical relevance in children’s literature
- Identify issues and trends in children’s literature
- Promote cultural and linguistic diversity
- Acclimate to current literacy research and techniques
- Understand the impact of school setting on literacy
- Focus on student-teacher dynamic
- Synthesize reading curriculum, teaching, and pedagogy into effective planning and leadership
- Develop the professional habit and responsibility for reflective practice
- Assess, instruct, and create case reports of tutored children
- Administer and interpret standardized and informal tests
Advantages of a Reading Education Degree
Earning a master’s degree in reading education offers a wide variety of career opportunities both within and outside of the education spectrum. Understanding these career options is essential to maximizing the reading education degree.
- Reading Specialist: Reading specialists support, supplement, and extend classroom learning by providing the individualized instruction necessary to meet the specific needs of English language learners, struggling, exceptional, and/or resistant readers. Becoming a reading specialist offers opportunities for one-on-one and small-group instruction and allows for creativity and flexibility. The average salary of a reading specialist is $53,235 with a typical salary of between $46,715-$60,788.
- Curriculum Developer/Literacy Coach: Curriculum developers work collaboratively with teachers and administrators to create a quality, research-based reading program for an individual school or an entire school district. Curriculum developers offer professional development school- or district-wide; assists teachers in assessing, remediating, and challenging students within the classroom; and helps to align reading goals to meet school and/or district requirements across content areas. Becoming a curriculum developer encourages continued education and professional development in order to stay up-to-date on the latest, most effective reading enhancement methods and materials and offers opportunities for data collection and analysis. The average salary for a curriculum developer is $75,149 with a typical salary of between $66,812-$83,587.
- Higher Education Instructor: Higher education instructors work at the college, technical school, or university level teaching adult learners. With a reading education degree, this instruction can include teaching English language Learners, adult learners learning to read for the first time, or college students who want to teach others to learn to read. Becoming a higher education instructor allows for working exclusively with adults and offers opportunities to teach students online, allowing for this position to be worked in conjunction with a full-time position. The average salary of a higher learning instructor is currently $62,050.
- Freelance Writer/Editor: With a deeper understanding of how people learn to read and various reading behaviors, writers and editors are afforded all of the tools to become exceptional writers and/or use this same knowledge of reading to help others improve their reading through editing. Freelance writing or editing offers flexibility, autonomy, and can be done in conjunction with a full-time position. As a result, the salary associated with either of these options varies based on how often one chooses to accept writing or editing jobs.
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