Language, Literacy, and Learning
Language, Literacy, and Learning (L3) is an area of study in the Division of Teaching, Learning, Leadership, and Policy (TLLP) in the School of Education.
L3 offers certificates and graduate degrees (M.Ed., M.S., and Ph.D.) with an emphasis in Learning Sciences, Literacy, and Special Education.
Faculty in L3 are engaged in a range of inquiry from research on progress monitoring for students with learning disabilities in mathematics to community-based early childhood intervention and literacy programs. Though we draw from a range of methodological traditions and inquire into a variety of educational issues, we are centrally bound by an interest in how people learn, and especially the role of access in learning. Access, in this instance, is meant in at least two ways.
First, we think about access in terms of cognitive processes, such as why a young reader is struggling to decode letters or a how a 7th grader is making meaning of complex multimodal texts. In both instances, access is about the cognitive processes individuals use to identify and make meaning of symbol systems, such as letters and words. Much of our coursework and scholarship is focused on inquiring into these types of issues.
A second way we think about access is as an issue of availability of resources, especially for historically marginalized or underserved families and children, as in the case of a student who needs resources to support an IEP for math, or as in the case of a class of 4th graders who require resources to support the presence of a rich variety of literature in their classroom. This line of inquiry, especially central to work in all areas of Special Education, from positive behavioral and emotional supports to moderate and mild learning disabilities, is also a part of our coursework and scholarship.
This question of access, especially in terms of resources, is also one reason why we are closely attuned to the fact that learning occurs in naturalistic settings, such as community spaces and classrooms. Conversations amongst faculty, whose work spans a spectrum of theories of learning and theoretical frameworks, thus frequently return to the spaces between and interplay of cognition as an individual act and one that is always situated in context and is thus also social. We see these conversations, which help us think deeply about how people learn and the support needed to access learning, as one of the strengths of our Area.
To support our programs of study and our research, faculty members collaborate with colleagues within the School of Education and across the University, including colleagues in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies, also in the College of Human Sciences, and the Department of English, in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. We have received grants from leading granting agencies both in the state of Iowa and nationally, such as the Institute for Educational Sciences (IES). We also publish in the leading journals in our fields, such as Early Childhood Education Journal, Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, Journal of Early Intervention, Journal of Literacy and Technology, Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness, Journal of Teacher Education, Literacy Research: Theory, Method, and Practice, Professional Development in Education, Teaching Exceptional Children, and The Journal of Special Education.
Commitment to Teacher Education and Graduate Education
L3 oversees educational psychology and special education courses in all of ISUs pre-service teacher education programs. We also oversee all literacy courses in ISU's early childhood and elementary pre-service teacher education programs, along with additional literacy courses such as reading in the content areas that overlap with many secondary education programs, including secondary licensure in Language Arts.
We are deeply committed to preparing educational researchers and practitioners who are thoughtful and rigorous in their approach to teaching and learning, and we invite and encourage similarly committed prospective students to apply to our programs.
M.Ed. or M.S.
The School of Education offers an M.Ed. and M.S. in Education with an emphasis in (1) Literacy and (2) Special Education. Both the M.Ed. and M.S. require completion of a minimum of 30 credits. The M.Ed. requires completion of a creative component and the M.S. requires completion of a Thesis.
All M.Ed. and M.S. students must meet the School of Education requirements for the M.Ed. or M.S. and the Division requirements for the M.Ed. or M.S.
In addition to School of Education and Division requirements, all M.Ed. and M.S. students in Literacy or Special Eduction determine coursework requirements with their Program of Study Committee.
The School of Education offers a Ph.D. in Education with a specialization in Teaching, Learning, Leadership, and Policy (TLLP) and emphases in (1) Literacy and (2) Special Education.
All Ph.D. students must meet the School of Education requirements for the Ph.D. and the Division requirements for the Ph.D.. All coursework completed in addition to the School-level and Division-level requirements are determined in consultation with the student’s Program of Study Committee.
Certificate and Endorsement Offerings
Literacy Coaching Certificate (online)
The School of Education offers an online graduate certificate in Literacy Coaching. Note: This program does not lead to a State of Iowa Teaching License and does not lead to any State of Iowa Literacy Endorsement.
Special Education: Instructional Strategist II Certificate
The School of Education offers a graduate certificate in Special Education, which can lead to a State of Iowa Teaching Endorsement in Special Education, classified by the state as Instructional Strategist II: Behavior Disorders/Learning Disabilities, Ages 5-21.
The School of Education offers courses for teachers already holding a State of Iowa teaching license that will lead to a K-8 Reading Endorsement or 5-12 Reading Endorsement. Note: This is not a formal program.
Constance Beecher (Assistant Professor, Literacy)
Jeanne Bissonnette (Assistant Professor, Literacy)
Pat Carlson (Associate Professor, Special Education)
Anne Foegen (Professor, Special Education)
Emily Hayden (Assistant Professor, Literacy)
Emily Howell (Assistant Professor, Literacy)
Linda Lind (Senior Lecturer, Special Education)
Gary Phye (Professor, Educational Psychcology)
Application and Admissions Procedures
Please review the process of applying and requirements for admission for further information.
Inquiries about Language, Literacy, and Learning
Please contact our Division Head: Isaac Gottesman