Building on the School of Education’s foundational courses, the Literacy Studies emphasis offers seminars focusing on the dynamics of literacy learning from early childhood through adulthood, examining literacy practices both in and out of school, and exploring the literacy demands associated with demographic, technological, and economic change. In our research and classes, we emphasize the centrality of literacy in promoting equitable opportunities to participate in a globalized world as citizens and workers and to discover reading and writing as sources of personal enrichment, satisfaction, and meaning.

Grounded in sociocultural, sociocognitive, and critical conceptions of teaching and learning, our program highlights the interrelations among theory, research, practice, and policy. Affiliated faculty across our school and campus offer courses that provide interdisciplinary perspectives, advanced methodological preparation, and further grounding in the intellectual traditions that have shaped literacy scholarship over time. Doctoral students enjoy opportunities to collaborate with faculty on a range of research projects, to engage in community outreach activities, and to work in teacher education programs emphasizing social justice and effective instructional strategies for today’s diverse students.

What can you do if you study Literacy Studies?

This emphasis supports teachers who are interested in developing greater understanding and expertise in the teaching and learning of literacy. We combine rigorous preparation for teaching and research in specific content areas with particular attention devoted to curriculum and instruction, cognitive and social processes, and research methodology. The program prepares and engages teachers, and the PhD prepares you for careers in research and teaching in university settings, educational leadership and services to schools, or research and development in the private or non-profit sector.

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