Old Dominion University's programs in Reading Education are designed to prepare reading specialists, reading teachers and other reading practictioners by providing specialized training in the field of reading. The program in Reading Education was developed in correspondence with the Conceptual Framework of the Old Dominion University College of Education, and strives to develop Professional Educators - those who have mastered content and pedagogy, and have a commitment to a high degree of professional involvement in the school and community. As such, the program aims to develop professional reading educators who are knowledgeable and competent about reading and the reading process; who are able to develop reading programs at the elementary and secondary level; who can serve as expert models and literacy coaches in a community of educators; who utilize their knowledge in the teaching of reading to students of diverse backgrounds; who demonstrate the ability to adequately assess students and provide appropriate instruction; who are able to conduct and disseminate research; and, who display dispositions that reflect a dedication to teaching and learning, and respect for professional growth.
During the course of graduate studies in reading, it is anticipated that a candidate will attain a number of competencies, including:
- developing a sound understanding of the theories and research that serve as the foundation for literacy processes and instructional practices for reading, writing, listening and speaking.
- applying to classroom settings a basic understanding of the reading process and its relationship to the total language development of the child;
- applying recent research findings to the teaching of reading;
- integrating reading skills and strategies into content-area instruction;
- organizing a school reaing program as part of the larger elementary/secondary school curriculum;
- organizing and conducting literacy staff development;
- evaluating school reading programs;
- developing leadership and coaching skills for working with paraprofessionals and teachers;
- creating a literate environment that encourages and supports literacy instruction and learning;
- creating instructional materials for use in classroom and clinical settings;
- using various types of media and educational technology;
- assessing needs, diagnosing problems and providing remediation for students experiencing reading difficulties;
- relating to the needs of children of differing ethnic and cultural backgrounds; and,
- recognizing the characteristics of developmental stages, learning styles and special needs of students.
In gaining competency in the above knowledge areas, candidates in the reading education program will develop a strong sense of purpose in serving diverse constituencies.