Margarita Zisselsberger, 2003 Graduate, Literacy Program
PhD, Literacy, Boston College
Assistant Professor, Loyola University
"As a teacher curious about the reading/writing process, exploring the connections between the two was the impetus to pursuing my Masters of Science in Reading at Binghamton University. There, I was provided with engaging and stimulating courses, access to distinguished professors that encouraged me to continue pursuing my interests, and the opportunities to explore the valuable connections between theory and practice, which all contributed to my pursuit of a Ph.D. The support I received from my professors there was invaluable and am glad that they continue to serve as mentors and continue to inspire me in my own professional endeavors."
We welcome your interest in the Literacy Program in the Graduate School of Education at Binghamton University. We are pleased to have you visit our Web Site.
The success of our children and youth depends on effective literacy programs. The recent emphasis on literacy in national and state education agendas requires that our elementary, middle and high schools employ highly qualified literacy teachers and specialists. GSE and BU are committed to the preparation of reading/literacy teachers and specialists who are highly qualified. Our graduates have the knowledge and understandings to provide expert leadership and instruction in our schools and communities.
The Literacy Program at Binghamton University is grounded in the belief that literacy teacher education is a transformative process for both graduate students and the students they teach. It embraces the SUNY motto "Let each become all s/he is capable of being" by encouraging graduate students to find their professional voices. This philosophical perspective is anchored in theories of learning that include psycholinguistics, socio-cultural constructivism and democratic education. Implementation of this perspective is demonstrated in a program that produces reflective and critical literacy teachers who translate theory in practice.
We believe that optimal learning occurs when caring teachers who are passionate about literacy and literacy teaching have opportunities to construct their own literacy understandings as they engage in graduate work and school-based literacy instruction. We believe there is an important interplay between the "study" of literacy teaching and the "doing" of literacy teaching. This interplay results in reflection, modification and adoption of best practices for the literacy development of students from diverse backgrounds, abilities and experiences.
The Literacy Program is selective and provides rigorous academic study and supervised field experiences in literacy education for provisionally certified teachers of preK-6 elementary education or a Grades 7-12 academic subject who desire certification as Birth-Grade 6 or Grades 5-12 literacy specialists. Graduates earn a master of science degree in education from Binghamton University and are eligible then to receive New York certification as a teacher of literacy.
The program follows the International Reading Association's Guidelines for the Specialized Preparation of Reading Professionals (1998) and guidelines established by the New York State Commissioner of Education. Integrally woven into the program are understandings of critical literacy, multiculturalism and diversity in relation to race, ethnicity, gender, culture, language, socio-economic background, learning style and ability.
In the Practica in Literacy, graduate students spend a semester working in a school with a certified reading specialist who acts as a cooperating teacher to mentor and support them as they complete competency-based tasks with students and teachers in the school. Competencies derive from four areas identified by the International Reading Association:
In the Seminar and Research in Literacy, graduate students collaborate and receive support as they engage in school-based action research, self-assessment and peer feedback. They write a position paper that reflects their action research study and a mini-case study of a student with severe literacy needs. They create a final portfolio to represent their growth in the program. They explore the roles of the literacy specialist as a collaborating teacher, program developer, coordinator and policy resource.
Our graduates are reflective and critical users of the New York State English Language Arts (NYSELA) Standards and the IRA/NCTE Standards. They can apply their knowledge of literacy in informed, caring and thoughtful ways to curriculum, instruction and assessment in area schools.
Our graduates possess knowledge, understandings and competence in the areas of literacy theory and practices for emergent literacy, first and second language learners, content area reading and writing, language arts, children's literature, literacy assessment, teaching exceptional children, child or adolescent development and applied research techniques. Our graduates understand and appreciate their own diversity and the strengths that students and families of diverse backgrounds bring to literacy and schools. Our graduates are capable users of word processors, the internet as a research tool, presentation software and e-mail.
The program produces graduates who provide leadership in their schools and districts as reading specialists who assume a range of responsibilities beyond those of a classroom teacher. These responsibilities include specialized literacy assessment and instruction and collaborative consultation with teachers; classroom, content area, special education, media, technology, ESL, music, speech and art. Our graduates may also become or remain elementary or secondary classroom teachers who have strong competence in classroom literacy instruction and assessment.
Our graduates become reflective practitioners who care about students and are passionate about their literacy development. They practice informed problem posing, problem solving and decision-making as they learn to critically question their own culture and the culture of others, the schools and the larger system. They demonstrate commitment and ability to foster equitable and caring learning environments. They recognize their power to advocate for students and their families to change systems that restrict learning. Our graduates develop the self-knowledge necessary to become competent and confident risk-takers who adapt and grow as they become life-long learners.
Karen Bromley, Jackie Visser, Erin Washburn, Marla Mallette, and Bogum Yoon are full-time faculty in the Literacy Program. They are actively engaged in research, scholarship and service. Their résumés include books, edited texts, chapters, journal articles and professional materials. They present their work at national, state and local levels, serve on editorial boards of national and state journals; serve in leadership roles in literacy organizations at all levels; consult and provide in-service support for area school and teacher centers.
Note: After browsing this website, please direct questions about Binghamton University's literacy programs to coordinator Dr. Karen Bromley at 777-2301 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last Updated: 11/14/12