In these times of job uncertainty and economic difficulty, why would anyone spend time and money on graduate education? And why graduate education in reading, of all things?
Readingis essential to every subject; if students don’t know how to read well, they will likely struggle in social studies, science, and even math classes. Undergraduate teacher preparation programs usually only have two or three reading courses; for middle and high school teachers there is often only one required reading course. This means that while new teachers know some reading theory, they often have very little practical knowledge of how to teach reading to real children in real classrooms. While these teachers care deeply about helping their students become better readers, they often don’t know what to do other than follow the designated curriculum—even when they can see that the curriculum isn’t working.
All children can be good readers. However, children, whether in kindergarten or in high school, need expert teachers in order to reach their full potential. Teachers, on the other hand, need in depth theoretical and practical knowledge in order to make good professional decisions. A good master’s degree program can help teachers develop that expertise. Through the Reading M.Ed. or MRT program at UTPA you can explore current theory and research, connect with other literacy educators to share ideas, and gain self-confidence backed up by a solid knowledge base to aid in your continued work with students.
More on this in a few days.