the role of education and literacy department?

Table of Contents

What Are the Roles of Education and Literacy Department?

Education provides people with the ability to understand and think critically. It also helps them to form well-considered opinions and respect the views of others.

Students need to master reading in order to succeed in life. Educators need to deepen their understanding of literacy research and practice in order to address the illiteracy gap.

Literacy Specialists

Building literacy skills enables young people to succeed in school and start rewarding careers. It also allows them to make informed decisions about their health and finances. To help them do so, reading educators work across professional contexts.

A specialized graduate program in reading education provides the skills and knowledge that teaching professionals need to meet the demands of this diverse field. It also offers a highly-focused curriculum that reflects the latest research in reading theory, pedagogy, and best practices.

In addition to working directly with students, reading/literacy specialists analyze district and school level data to support teacher-based learning and leadership initiatives. They may also serve as mentors to teachers, supporting them as they use technology in their classrooms to assess and monitor student progress. They are also involved in the district’s RTI process and collaborate with administrators on instructional strategies for a school campus. They also support teachers with classroom instruction by preparing materials, providing lessons, and overseeing student assessments.

Reading Specialists

For teachers who know the direct connection between reading and academic preparedness, a specialized advanced degree in education can offer an exciting opportunity to elevate their teaching career and improve children’s reading skills. At Lesley, our Master of Specialized Education (MSEd) degrees prepare students to become highly skilled reading specialists/literacy coaches and to provide intensive supplemental instruction for struggling students in pre-K through grade 12 classrooms.

Most reading specialists work directly with students, either individually or in small groups, to develop tailored literacy strategies and provide a supportive learning environment. Some reading specialists also coach teachers on effective tools and strategies for teaching reading, writing, and a range of literacy skills. Others serve as coordinators, leading professional development at the school and district levels.

Still others may sit on curriculum committees, helping to review and develop school-wide curricula. Regardless of their role, successful reading specialists possess a wide array of skills that include:

Reading Coaches

Reading coaches work to improve literacy instruction by providing teachers with support and training. They help teacher leaders develop and lead school-wide literacy programs, conduct workshops for teachers on teaching specific literacy skills, and facilitate staff meetings to discuss classroom, grade-level, or departmental literacy needs.

The research literature on coaching (Joyce and Showers, 1995) indicates that feedback to teachers and in-class coaching are powerful instructional activities in promoting teacher knowledge. This growth in teacher knowledge is one of the primary factors that accounts for significant increases in student learning.

A key challenge that this coach faced was a lack of alignment between her program’s goals and the district-mandated core reading program. In addition, the coach’s focus on kindergarten and first grade had the unintended consequence of alienating veteran second- through fourth-grade teachers who perceived her project as “one more thing” on their busy plates. It is important that principals and other campus leaders consistently support literacy coach efforts.

School Librarians

School librarians are responsible for the day-to-day running of the library and resource centre. They are experts in curating resources, collaborating with teachers and students and providing access to technology.

They also provide teaching and learning support through a range of pedagogical strategies such as group lessons, individualized coaching, and hands-on activities. They are also responsible for evaluating information sources.

Several research studies have linked high quality school library programs to student achievement. According to the Pennsylvania study, 4th grade reading scores for poor students and English language learners tended to improve more in schools that retained their librarians than in those who lost them.

However, many administrators and teachers have a limited view of the role of school librarians, seeing them as clerical workers or ancillary help to classroom instructors. It is vital for leaders to support librarians as instructional partners and build their capacity in collaboration. The convergence of media and information literacy (MIL) instruction, based on constructivist learning principles and research in both education and library and information science, is one way of doing this.

Raja Arslan

Leave a Comment