Final Program Essay and Program Goals and Attributes

Final Program Attribute Focused Reflective Essay (AFRE)

The culminating project for the Master’s degrees in the Department of Literacy Teaching and Learning is an Attribute Focused Reflective Essay. In this essay, you will discuss how your thinking, learning, and instructional practices relate to each program attribute. In this essay, you are required to discuss each attribute and explain its importance to teaching and learning, while also providing a description of the course experiences, assignments, and artifacts that informed your understanding of the attribute. You will conclude this essay by synthesizing your learning across attributes, discussing how your instructional understandings and practices have developed over the duration of the program. You will also provide an appendix including one artifact per attribute. Be sure to save your notes, books, articles, course reflective essays, assignments, and related materials as you progress through your coursework. The AFRE is completed in ERDG 620 or 623 (MS in Literacy, MS in Special Education/Literacy), ERDG 677 (MS in Early Childhood/Childhood Education), or ERDG 658 (MS in Reading).

Required by both the university and the New York State Education Department, this culminating project for your Master’s degree is an important tool to help you reflect on and synthesize your learning across the program. Most of all, this culminating project is intended to help you situate your ideas as you move forward professionally. We encourage you to re-visit your reflective essay as you prepare for job interviews, enact classroom teaching strategies, participate in professional learning communities, and draft professional documents for colleagues/administrators.

All students we graduate: (1) demonstrate pedagogical content knowledge. They use research, theory, and practice to guide instructional decision-making; and (2) demonstrate effective teaching skills in their area of specialization.


Revised Program Attributes
For students admitted into all programs Summer 2017 and later

PDF Version

Attribute  Pedagogical Knowledge  Teaching and Leadership Practices
 1. Development of Literacies 

Graduates understand the historical, theoretical, and evidence-based foundations of literacy (across the lifespan) including (but not limited to) components of print concepts, decoding, vocabulary, fluency, comprehension, viewing/representing, and composition.

Graduates understand the reciprocal relationships among reading, writing, speaking, and listening development.

Graduates use their knowledge of literacy development to identify a learner’s present level of performance.

 Graduates understand the historical, theoretical, and evidence-based foundations of literacy (across the lifespan) including (but not limited to) components of print concepts, decoding, vocabulary, fluency, comprehension, viewing/representing, and composition.

Graduates understand the reciprocal relationships among reading, writing, speaking, and listening development.

Graduates use their knowledge of literacy development to identify a learner’s present level of performance.

 2.

Disciplinary Literacies/Knowledge
Building

Graduates understand the historical, theoretical, and evidence-based foundations of literacy and the role of literacy in building disciplinary/conceptual knowledge.

Graduates know how to support learners in accessing, developing, and communicating discipline specific knowledge (or practices common across disciplines) including content knowledge, genre knowledge, and vocabulary.

Graduates understand how to use literacy events to build conceptual knowledge over time with attention to material selection and assessment of knowledge and literacy development.

Graduates understand the historical, theoretical, and evidence-based foundations of literacy and the role of literacy in building disciplinary/conceptual knowledge.

Graduates support learners in accessing, developing, and communicating discipline specific knowledge (or practices common across disciplines) including content knowledge, genre knowledge, and vocabulary.

Graduates understand how to use literacy events to build conceptual knowledge over time with attention to material selection and assessment of knowledge and literacy development.

 3. Responsive Teaching to Promote Strategic Learning

Graduates know how to plan a range of instructional approaches and practices to meet the literacy needs of each learner (e.g. comprehension, vocabulary development, writing processes, word study).

Graduates ensure students have equitable access to high quality, engaging, and comprehensive literacy instruction, curriculum, and authentic learning tasks.

Graduates know how to turn learners’ attention to using productive strategies.

Graduates know how to foster resilience and independence through engaging learners in meaningful literate practices.

Graduates plan and facilitate a range of instructional approaches and practices to meet the literacy needs of each learner (e.g. comprehension, vocabulary development, writing processes, word study).

Graduates ensure students have equitable access to high quality, engaging, and comprehensive literacy instruction, curriculum, and authentic learning tasks.

Graduates turn learners’ attention to using productive strategies.

Graduates foster resilience and independence through engaging learners in meaningful literate practices.

 4. Standards

Graduates identify and understand the instructional implications of shifts in current standards.

Graduates apply the standards in their teaching (e.g. CCLS, NYS content standards, ILA classroom teacher standards, Next Generation Learning Standards).

Graduates identify and understand the instructional implications of shifts in current standards.

Graduates apply the standards in their teaching (e.g. CCLS, NYS content standards, ILA reading/literacy specialist standards, Next Generation Learning Standards).
 5. Assessments of Literacies

Graduates use assessments to identify, prevent, and intervene when students experience literacy difficulties to inform their instruction and decision making.

Graduates evaluate the affordances and constraints of a range of literacy assessments (e.g. screening, formative, summative, informal, formal).

Graduates understand the importance of using various assessments to develop a comprehensive assessment plan/comprehensive portrait of learners and can convey this information to a range of stakeholders.

Graduates use assessments to identify, prevent, and intervene when students experience literacy difficulties to inform their instruction and decision making.

Graduates evaluate the affordances and constraints of a range of literacy assessments (e.g. screening, formative, summative, informal, formal).

Graduates understand the importance of using various assessments to develop a comprehensive assessment plan/comprehensive portrait of learners and can convey this information to a range of stakeholders.
 6. Data Based Decision Making

Graduates collaborate with colleagues to analyze and collect data to develop a learner centered problem and construct/create a plan.

Graduates assume that learning problems lie in instruction, rather than in the learner. Graduates then analyze teaching practices to identify areas of instructional improvement to respond to student needs.

Graduates critically consume and draw upon findings from published research studies to inform instructional planning and decision-making.

Graduates collaborate with colleagues to analyze and collect data to develop a learner centered problem and construct/create a plan.

Graduates assume that learning problems lie in instruction, rather than in the learner. Graduates then analyze teaching practices to identify areas of instructional improvement to respond to student needs.

Graduates critically consume and draw upon findings from published research studies to inform instructional planning and decision-making.
 7. Literacy as Sociocultural
Practice
 Graduates understand that literacy practices occur across multiple contexts, not only schools, and for multiple purposes.

Graduates know how to build on students’ funds of knowledge (e.g. linguistic diversity; cultural, family, and community resources) to inform instruction.

Graduates understand that literacy practices occur across multiple contexts, not only schools, and for multiple purposes.

Graduates build on students’ funds of knowledge (e.g. linguistic diversity; cultural, family, and community resources) to inform instruction.

8. Critical Literacies and Equity Graduates know how to create teaching and learning contexts in which students value multiple perspectives in the service of equity and social justice.

Graduates know how to create contexts that promote civic engagement and inspire learners to take action in local and global communities.

Graduates create teaching and learning contexts in which students critically consume and produce media.

Graduates recognize and know the importance of intervening in educational inequities, including bias stemming from race, class, gender, language, ability, and heterosexism.

Graduates create teaching and learning contexts in which students value multiple perspectives in the service of equity and social justice.

Graduates create contexts that promote civic engagement and inspire learners to take action in local and global communities.

Graduates create teaching and learning contexts in which students critically consume and produce media.

Graduates recognize and know the importance of intervening in educational inequities, including bias stemming from race, class, gender, language, ability, and heterosexism.

9. Respectful Representation
of Students, Families, Colleagues, and Communities
Graduates notice, name, and build upon learner strengths and progress.

Graduates interact and engage with families and communities in ways that respect diverse life experiences.

Graduates foster respectful partnerships characterized by reciprocal relationships that support learners.

Graduates are self-reflexive about how their lived experiences and their identities shape their instructional practices and teaching philosophies.

Graduates notice, name, and build upon learner strengths and progress.

Graduates interact and engage with families and communities in ways that respect diverse life experiences.

Graduates foster respectful partnerships characterized by reciprocal relationships that support learners.

Graduates are self-reflexive about how their lived experiences and their identities shape their instructional practices and teaching philosophies.

10. Materials, Resources, and Digital Technologies Graduates know how to evaluate, select, and integrate relevant materials, resources, and digital technologies for classroom teaching and assessment that are inclusive of cultural and linguistic diversity.

Graduates know how to embed print and digital resources into authentic instruction that supports critical conversations, literacy development, and student inquiry.

Graduates foster learning environments where learners draw on multimodalities to create meaning, depending on purpose and audiences.

Graduates evaluate, select, and integrate relevant materials, resources, and digital technologies for classroom teaching and assessment that are inclusive of cultural and linguistic diversity.

Graduates embed print and digital resources into authentic instruction that supports critical conversations, literacy development, and student inquiry.

Graduates foster learning environments where learners draw on multimodalities to create meaning, depending on purpose and audiences.

11. Engagement

Graduates know how to create collaborative learning communities with students.

Graduates know how to teach for engagement and meaning-making and provide opportunities for student directed learning.

Graduates provide opportunities for learners to experience literacy practices as intentional, purposeful, and authentic.

Graduates create collaborative learning communities with students.

Graduates teach for engagement and meaning-making and provide opportunities for student directed learning.

Graduates provide opportunities for learners to experience literacy practices as intentional, purposeful, and authentic.

12. Collaborative Learning Communities Graduates engage in professional learning communities (PLCs) with sensitivity to a range of perspectives.

Graduates advocate for students through literacy leadership practices.

Graduates participate in and facilitate ongoing literacy professional learning opportunities.

Graduates engage in professional learning communities (PLCs) with sensitivity to a range of perspectives.

Graduates advocate for students through coaching and literacy leadership practices.

Graduates participate in and facilitate ongoing literacy professional learning opportunities.

 

Program Attributes
For students admitted into all programs Summer 2013 until Spring 2017

PDF Version

Attribute Pedagogical Content Knowledge Teaching and Leadership Practices
1. Literacy as Sociocultural Practice Graduates recognize that literacy practices occur across multiple contexts, not only schools, and for multiple purposes.

Graduates know how to honor and build on students' and communities' funds of knowledge, resources and diverse life experiences to inform instruction.

Graduates reflect on how their lived experiences and identities shape their instructional practices and teaching philosophies.

Graduates recognize that literacy practices occur across multiple contexts, not only schools, and for multiple purposes.

Graduates know how to honor and build on students' and communities' funds of knowledge, resources and diverse life experiences to inform instruction.

Graduates reflect on how their lived experiences and identities shape their instructional practices and teaching philosophies.

 2. Generate Productive Learning Communities

Graduates collaborate and communicate with colleagues, other specialists, families, administrators, and the public on literacy issues showing care and sensitivity to different perspectives and different languages.

Graduates learn to create and participate in productive learning communities.

Graduates collaborate and communicate with colleagues, other specialists, families, administrators, and the public on literacy issues showing care and sensitivity to different perspectives and different languages.

Graduates also generate productive learning communities for students. Graduates engage with families in responsive and respectful ways.

3. Engagememt

Graduates know how to teach for engagement and meaning-making.

Graduates know how to foster resilience and independence through engaging students in meaningful literate practices.

Graduate's language conveys that reading and writing are attainable to all students.

Graduates develop the belief that reading and writing are enjoyable and informative.

Graduates teach for engagement and meaning-making.

Graduates foster resilience and independence through engaging students in meaningful literate practices.

Graduates engage students in literate activities that allow students to demonstrate competence, and turn students' attention to the productive strategies they use independently and with support, even in unsuccessful attempts.

Graduates develop the belief that reading and writing are enjoyable and informative.

4.

Reciprocal Relationships Across Modes of Communication

Graduates understand the reciprocal relationships among reading, writing, speaking, listening, viewing, and representing.

Graduates know how to use multimodal texts to create opportunities for students to draw on multimodalities strategically to create meaning, depending on purpose and audience.

Graduates teach in a way that capitalizes on the reciprocal relationships among reading, writing, speaking, listening, viewing, and representing.

Graduates teach with multimodal texts and create opportunities for students to draw on multimodalities strategically to create meaning, depending on purpose and audience.

5.

Strategic Teaching to Promote Self-Extending Learning

Graduates know how to teach students in ways that lead to strategic actions and self-extending learning, including developing: specific reading and writing competencies such as comprehension, critical reading, vocabulary knowledge, word knowledge (phonological insight, spelling, and analysis), word solving in context, composing, revising, and editing.

Graduates teach for strategic actions and self-extending learning, including developing: specific reading and writing competencies such as comprehension, critical reading, vocabulary knowledge, word knowledge (phonological insight, spelling, and analysis), word solving in context, composing, revising, and editing.

6.

Assessment of Literacies and Their Development

Graduates understand how to assess students in specific literacy areas (e.g., fluency, phonemic awareness) and make subsequent decisions about appropriate instruction.

Graduates understand multiple formal and informal assessments to inform future, responsive instruction, and how to be systematic and strategic in their assessment practices through careful observation to inform assessment and instructional decisions.

Graduates use assessments to inform future, responsive instruction, and are systematic and strategic in their assessment practices.

Through careful observation and analysis, graduates document growth with and without formal assessments.

7.

Research-Based Professional Learning

Graduates use research studies and learning communities to analyze and improve their practices.

Graduates assume first and foremost that learning problems lie in instruction, rather than in the learner, and seek solutions accordingly.

Graduates have a critical understanding of what conclusions can be drawn from data in research studies and how to link research and practice.

Graduates critically analyze claims of commercial publishers and websites regarding the value of products (materials, procedures, tests).

Graduates use research studies and learning communities to analyze and improve their practices.

Graduates assume first and foremost that learning problems lie in instruction, rather than in the learner, and seek and enact solutions accordingly.

Graduates have a critical understanding of what conclusions can be drawn from data in research studies and how to link research and practice.

Graduates critically analyze claims of commercial publishers and websites regarding the value of products (materials, procedures, tests).

8.

Respectful Representation of Students, Families, and Communities

When graduates represent students, their language reflects the full extent of student competencies and progress, and the nature of learning contexts.

Graduates know how to interact with families and communities in caring ways that build respectful, positive relationships that support students.

Graduate students represent student strengths and progress, and the nature of learning contexts.

Graduates interact with families and communities in caring ways that build respectful, positive relationships that support students.

9. 

Critical Literacies and Equity

Graduates know how to create teaching and learning contexts in which students value multiple perspectives, focus on the sociopolitical context of literacy, and take action as participants in local and global communities.

Graduates critically consume and produce media texts.

Graduates understand how to recognize, respond to, and intervene in educational inequalities, including bias stemming from race, class, gender, language, ability, and heterosexism.

Graduates create teaching and learning contexts in which students value multiple perspectives, focus on the sociopolitical context of literacy, and take action as participants in local and global communities.

Graduates create teaching and learning contexts in which students critically consume and produce media texts.

Graduates recognize, respond to, and intervene in educational inequalities, including bias stemming from race, class, gender, language, ability, and heterosexism.

10.

Disciplinary Literacies/Knowledge Building

Graduates understand the specialized role of literacy development in building disciplinary knowledge.

Graduates recognize and attend to the importance of unique vocabulary and content knowledge, for different disciplines, and those in common across disciplines, and utilize specific literacy practices to support student knowledge building. 

Graduates know a wide variety of genre and forms for different purposes and audiences, based on expectations and authentic uses in the various disciplines.

Graduates understand the role of literacy development in building disciplinary/conceptual knowledge.

Graduates support students in accessing, developing, and communicating discipline specific knowledge (or practices common across disciplines), including content knowledge, genre knowledge, and vocabulary.

Graduates understand how to use literacy events to build conceptual knowledge over time with attention to material selection and assessment of knowledge development.

11. 

Data Based Decision Making

Graduates understand how to select, gather, analyze and use the most useful screening, formative and summative data for problem finding, problem solving and decision-making.

Graduates understand the value and limitations of observational, standardized, and norm-referenced data.

Graduates are aware of literacy policy and know how to participate in policy making at the local level.

Graduates understand how to select, gather, analyze and use the most useful screening, formative and summative data for problem finding, problem solving and decision-making.

Graduates understand the value and limitations of observational, standardized, and norm-referenced data.

Graduates are aware of literacy policy and know how to participate in policy making at the local level.

12.

Technologies and Digital Media

Graduates understand the nature and implications of technologies and digital media in literacy practices.

Graduates understand the acquisition of digital literacies.

Graduates choose and use relevant technologies and digital media for teaching and assessment.

Graduates use appropriate technologies and digital media, understanding the nature and implications of their choices.

Graduates choose and use relevant technologies and digital media for teaching and assessment.

 13.

Materials, Resources, and Media

Graduates evaluate, choose, and redesign instructional materials drawing on research and professional resources

Graduates know how to use a range of instructional materials and resources appropriate for learners.

Graduates choose texts and resources that enable students to engage in inquiry and critical conversations.

 Graduates evaluate, choose, and redesign instructional materials drawing on research and professional resources

Graduates use a range of instructional materials and resources appropriate for learners.

Graduates choose print and digital resources that enable students to engage in inquiry and critical conversations.

 14.

Prevention and Intervention

Graduates understand the importance of, and optimal approaches toward, preventing difficulties with literacy acquisition, particularly how to ensure good first instruction.

Graduates understand and identify successful practice in key literacy areas (e.g., comprehension, alphabetic knowledge, vocabulary).

Graduates understand how to manage resources to optimize compensatory tiers of instruction.

 

Graduates implement optimal approaches toward preventing difficulties with literacy acquisition by ensuring optimal instruction.

Graduates understand and identify successful practice in key literacy areas (e.g., comprehension, alphabetic knowledge, vocabulary).

15.

Standards

Graduates understand and draw on standards related to disciplines and teaching e.g., CCSS, IRA Teaching Standards, NYS Standards for each discipline, National Board Standards.

Graduates show evidence of using the standards in their teaching e.g., CCSS, IRA Teaching Standards, NYS Standards for each discipline, National Board Standards

 

MS Literacy Program Goals (B-6, 5-12, B-12)
For students admitted into the program before Summer 2013

Pedagogical Content Knowledge--Within their chosen level of instruction, our graduates will have a firm, research-based and theoretically-grounded understanding of:

*  Language and Literacy Development *  Methods and Materials
*  Literacy, Society, and Families *  Task Difficulty
*  Individual and Cultural Differences *  Assessment of Literacy
*  Teacher Learning Communities *  Technology
*  Prevention and Solution of Literacy Difficulties       *  Organization of Instruction
*  NYSED Standards and Core Curriculum         *  Self-Extended Learning

Teaching Skills--We expect graduates from our program to be proficient in the following:

 *  Teaching Routines *  Learning Communities for Teachers 
 *  Teaching Reading and Writing *  Learning Communities for Students
 *  Children's Literacy Development                    *  Organizing Instructional Contexts
 *  Creating Literacy Contexts *  Communication
 *  Instructional Decisions  

 


MS Early Childhood and Childhood Education Program Goals
For students admitted into the program before Summer 2013

Pedagogical Content Knowledge--Within their chosen level of instruction, our graduates will have a firm, research-based and theoretically-grounded understanding of:

*  Language and Content Knowledge Development              *  Methods and Materials 
*  Individual and Cultural Differences *  Task Difficulty
*  NYSED Standards and Core Curriculum *  Assessment
*  Prevention and Solution of Content Knowledge *  Technology
*  Self-Extended Learning *  Literacy in Society