Literacy (Birth to Grade 6)
This master’s degree program will prepare you to become a teacher of literacy and reading in early childhood or elementary school settings.
The mission of the Hunter College School of Education Literacy Program is to prepare literacy teachers and leaders who work in Birth through Grade 12 school communities. Our goal is to ensure that our literacy teachers and leaders provide equitable access to curriculum, instruction, and assessments that are aligned to their students’ histories, literacies, communities, and identities (Muhammad). We are an evolving program that is responsive to sociopolitical and sociocultural contexts, continually reflecting on the needs of our literacy teachers and taking action to best serve their interests and needs. Throughout the duration of their program, literacy teachers and leaders will work towards…
Self-Reflection and Transformation
- Reflect on their own identities and communities and how those impact their students, instruction, leadership, and school communities.
- Reflect critically and continually for transformation and action.
- Acknowledge and integrate current sociopolitical and sociocultural contexts into their curriculum and instruction.
Awareness and Application of Humanizing and Equity-Based Literacy Instruction
- Engage in and use literacy research, theory, and evidence-based practices.
- Create culturally-affirming and inclusive literacy environments.
- Center students’ linguistic and cultural diversities and various ability levels.
- Integrate culturally-affirming and healing-centered social-emotional learning (Ginwright; Simmons)
- Apply differentiated and culturally sustaining instruction (Ladson-Billings; Paris & Alim) that includes a range of reading methods and approaches (i.e., phonics, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension).
- Apply differentiated and culturally sustaining writing instruction (Johnson; Tatum; Winn & Johnson)
- Engage in justice-based linguistic instruction that centers and honors students’ language diversities (Baker-Bell).
- Understand the connections between literacies and equity.
- Understand literacies as socially constructed, infusing meaningful collaborations into their classrooms.
- Use innovative, arts-based instruction to enliven and promote critical and socially engaged literacy teaching and learning (Eisner; Greene).
- Select and use diverse children’s and young adult literature that offers students windows, mirrors, and sliding glass doors (Bishop).
- Develop and use rich literacy assessments that consider students’ cultural diversities, languages, and abilities.
- Develop and use culturally sustaining interventions that align with differentiated assessments.
- Use critical pedagogies to empower their students to engage in social justice, agency, and advocacy efforts (Friere; Janks; Morrell).
- Focus on equity-, asset- and justice-based learning that centers hope, joy, and love (Duncan-Andrade; Love).
- Develop and sustain relationships with students’ families and communities.
Advocacy and Leadership
- Work to decenter whiteness in literacy curriculum and instruction.
- Aim to dismantle and disrupt inequities within school communities.
- Become equity-based literacy coaches and leaders who center transformative practices (Aguilar).
Coursework and Clinical Experiences
Courses are offered in the afternoon and evening. Some courses may be available in an online or hybrid format. Select courses have required hours of classroom experience (fieldwork) in a New York City public school.
Literacy Birth to Grade 6
Eligibility and Admission Requirements
This program is designed for applicants who hold New York State teacher certification in Early Childhood Education, Childhood Education, PreK through Grade 6, TESOL, or Special Education.
- A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution with a Grade Point Average (GPA) of at least 3.0 or a master’s degree with a Grade Point Average (GPA) of at least 3.5
- New York State (NYS) initial, professional, or permanent certification in Early Childhood Education, Childhood Education, PreK to Grade 6, TESOL or Special Education
- Two letters of recommendation including one from a supervisor
- A statement of purpose
- An official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score report (Waived for Spring 2024 and Fall 2024 applicants). Certified teachers or administrators who already possess a graduate degree are exempt from this requirement.
- On-site writing sample and interview after the application is reviewed
Applications are accepted each Fall and Spring semester.
To start your application, visit the Hunter College Online Application.
When applying to this program, under Program of Study, select School of Education – Childhood and Early Childhood Education and Literacy (Birth to Grade 6).
- March 15 (Priority Deadline)
- April 15 (Extended Deadline)
- October 15
Visit How to Apply for information about deadline extensions.