You might be surprised to learn that you can acquire a Master’s degree in ‘Reading’, with a special focus on children and adolescents. Some of these Masters may even offer a particular emphasis on specially-abled children. Since understanding how children ‘read’ is a challenging task, let us just say this is a fascinating and highly purposeful study. The information we have come across suggests that this has found favour more with American universities than elsewhere.
Boston University’s Wheelock College of Education and Human Development runs a Master of Education in Reading Education, which is helpful to understand “what works for children and adolescents with all types of learning needs in all types of schools.” (https://www.bu.edu/wheelock/academics/graduate/edm/reading/) Texas State University offers a Master’s Program in Reading Education (M.Ed.) which aims “to prepare certified teachers who are thoughtful inquirers and reflective decision makers and who work effectively to enhance the language and literacy development of all students in a variety of educational settings”. Students may also learn “language and literacy development, reading theory and research, teaching literacy from early childhood through grade 12, teaching with children’s/young adult literature, teaching reading and writing in a multilingual/ multicultural environment, literacy assessment, and a two-course capstone internship sequence.” (https://www.education.txstate.edu/ci/reading-education-masters/about/what-is-reading-education.html)
The University of North Carolina at Pembroke offers a Master of Arts in Reading Education (M.A.Ed.) which is “designed for classroom and reading teachers” and helpful to for the “teaching of reading, the diagnosis and remediation of problems and the development of successful reading programs”. “Teachers who enter the M.A.Ed. must have professional teacher licensure”. (https://www.uncp.edu/departments/educational-leadership-and-specialties/reading-education) The University of Texas at San Antonia Graduate School’s MA in Reading and Literacy, is “designed to provide theory, research, knowledge, and field experiences for students who plan to teach reading and writing. Reading is presented as a linguistic, cognitive, and socio-cultural process in relation to other language arts processes such as listening and speaking, with particular emphasis on writing and the writing process. Students select one of two program emphases: instruction or research. The instruction emphasis is designed for teachers and can lead to completion of the requirements for certification as a reading specialist. The research emphasis is designed for students who want to pursue research in reading and writing; students in this emphasis normally pursue the thesis option.” (https://graduateschool.utsa.edu/programs/education-m.a.-reading-and-literacy/)
Edinboro University, USA runs a Master of Education in Reading program, which “prepares students for certification as a reading specialist. This professional training is essential in diagnosing and helping children overcome reading disabilities and in promoting developmental and interventional reading practices in schools.” (http://www.edinboro.edu/academics/schools-and-departments/graduate-studies/programs/reading/) Murray State University’s MA in Reading and Writing Education Program is “designed to fulfill course requirements for Rank II classification (or for Rank I classification for those with a prior master’s degree) and to fulfill the requirements for the Literacy Specialist Endorsement P-12. Program experiences include coursework in literacy foundations, teaching word study, assessment and instruction of struggling readers, and leadership experiences in literacy. Students also choose from electives in areas, such as language arts and content-area reading and writing.” The program is also appropriate for “classroom teachers who want to increase their skills as teachers of reading and writing.” (https://www.murraystate.edu/academics/CollegesDepartments/CollegeOfEducationandHumanServices/coehsacademicunits/EarlyChildhoodandElementaryEducation/ReadingandWritingEducationgraduateProgram.aspx)
In Maryland, Frostburg State University’s Master of Education with a concentration in Literacy Education is “designed for certified teachers or those who are eligible for certification and wish to specialize in improving student reading abilities.” This program is helpful to “gain the skills and knowledge necessary to be certified as a reading specialist, literary coach or reading teacher” and also covers literacy courses “such areas as children’s literature, diagnosis and correction of reading difficulties, organizing and administering a reading program and foundations of teaching reading.” (https://www.frostburg.edu/academics/majorminors/graduate/med-literacy-education/index.php) The Ohio State University runs a Master of Arts in Reading and Literacy – Early and Middle Childhood whose “coursework is based in contemporary theories of reading development and instruction and informed by cutting-edge research findings.” “Core coursework includes attention to current trends and issues in teaching reading along with support for completing a capstone/exit examination. In addition, faculty work closely with you to tailor each program so it addresses individual issues of practice and areas of interest. For example, programs may be tailored to include emphasis on children’s literature, emergent literacy, content area reading, dual-language learners, or add a state reading endorsement.” (https://ehe.osu.edu/teaching-and-learning/academics/reading-and-literacy-early-and-middle-childhood/ma/)
Harding University, Cannon Clary College of Education runs a Master of Education in Reading with Dyslexia Endorsement, which gives “knowledge in teaching the science of reading and writing. The program takes a comprehensive literacy approach to the teaching of literacy and the establishment of highly effective literacy practice based on current research and best practices.” (https://www.harding.edu/academics/colleges-departments/education/graduate-programs/master-of-education-in-reading)
University College London, Institute of Education (IOE) offers a MA in Reading Recovery and Literacy Leadership. The course focuses on the “current research in early literacy, the theories of Marie Clay underpinning Reading Recovery, the skills required to manage an implementation in a local education authority or education system, and the ability to lead high-quality professional development for practicing Reading Recovery teachers.” (https://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught-degrees/reading-recovery-literacy-leadership-ma)
Torrens University, Australia has a Master of Education in Reading and Literacy, which is helpful to “respond to unprecedented social and technological change in ways that make literacy teaching and learning relevant to students’ live”. “This course is designed as a specialisation for four-year trained teachers, professional educators, education administrators and policy makers and other professionals involved in addressing reading and literacy, critical literacy and multiliteracies.” (https://www.torrens.edu.au/courses/education/master-of-education-reading-literacy)