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Literacy Education - Special Programs in Literacy

Reading Recovery (Center for Literacy)
The College of Education and Human Development is a regional Reading Recovery Teacher Leader and Teacher Training Site. Interested applicants must have the involvement of the superintendent and school board in order to apply for Teacher Leader or Teacher Training. Reading Recovery coursework may be applied to graduate programs if approved by one’s faculty advisor. For more information, contact the Center for Literacy, (207) 581- 2438.

Maine Literacy Partnership (Center for Literacy)
Maine Literacy Partnership is a model developed to support integrated literacy instruction provided within a context of effective school practices. Research has helped us understand that in order for any one model of instruction to support improved student achievement, a multi-faceted cadre of elements at the school level must be present. The integrated literacy instruction of Maine Literacy Partnership is a combination of strategic teaching and learning actions proposed in many well-researched classroom based models. This instructional framework is coupled with intensive assessment of the school organization so that the school culture itself supports ongoing change for improved school performance.

See the Maine Literacy Partnership website for additional information about the nine specific areas on which a Maine Literacy Partnership school focuses its work to support long-term improvement.

Maine Writing Project
The Maine Writing Project is a site of the National Writing Project. Each year, sixteen (16) Maine educators, PreK-college, are selected as National Writing Project Fellows and participate in the annual Summer Invitational Institute.  The institute is a six-credit graduate course in Literacy Education like no other.  Our belief is that teachers are the most effective teachers of teachers.  So together, we discuss our own writing, our classrooms, student learning, and more while studying emerging theory, research, and practice.  At the completion of the institute, participants earn the title of Teacher-Consultants of the National Writing Project.  Maine’s TCs meet at annual gatherings such as the Effective Practices Conference and Writing Ourselves.  Members also staff statewide Young Authors’ Camps, work as inservice instructors in Maine schools, present at state and national conferences, and teach university courses.

For more information, contact Dr. Rich Kent, Associate Professor & Director, (207) 581-2746, or email

Literacy Specialist: A Closer Look
What should teachers in the University of Maine Literacy Specialist Master’s degree program know and be able to do at the end of the program?

• Have a theoretical base related to practice

• Have a “spirit” of inquiry and basic skills for research

• Be comfortable with and able to discuss alternative points of view

• Have a sense of mainstream best practices in literacy and use this knowledge to critically assess articles, theories and practices

• Write in a range of forms, for a range of purposes

• Have a sense of self as a literate being (reader, writer, speaker, listener)

• Demonstrate technological savvy

• Be able to bring work to larger audiences, in order to influence practices of others

• Be comfortable with others critiquing their own theory and practice

The program is divided into three phases, each building skills and competencies from the previous phase.

Phase 1: Understanding mainstream best practices in literacy instruction

Teachers in the program will change their classroom practice, based upon theories of best practice read about and examined in coursework.


• Implement or refine writer’s workshop (ERL 536)

• Design or change classroom practices to support more student talk around texts (ERL 534)

• Integrate new children’s and young adult literature into literacy program (ERL 517/518)

• Develop new strategies for small group work in reading (ERL 535)

Teachers will complete shorter writing assignments so that they will be exposed to a range of writing possibilities.


• Short literature review (ERL 535)
• One-page responses to readings (ERL 517)
• Tape transcription/analyses of student talk (ERL 534)
• Writer’s learning logs (ERL 536)

Teachers will have a primary audience of course instructors and peers for their work.


• Partner responses to learning logs (ERL 536)
• Weekly small research exchange groups (ERL 534)
• Weekly small group responses to readings (ERL 535)
• Critiques of adolescent and young adult literature (ERL 518)

Phase 2: Building grounded theory to link the teacher’s practice to current literacy research issues

Teachers will seek and examine issues in their teaching, particularly in the area of individualizing instruction.


• Case study of individual student (ERL 553)
• Research design for long-term inquiry project (ERL 552)

Teachers will compile data from multiple sources to assess their classroom practice.


• Implementation and analysis of formal and informal literacy assessments (ERL 553)
• Implementation and analysis of research strategies (ERL 552)

Teachers will begin to present their work to audiences outside the graduate program.


• Case study reports given to administrators at school (ERL 553)
• Conference presentations

Phase 3: Understanding complex theoretical and practical issues beyond the teacher’s classroom, school and district

Teachers will understand, define and present the theories which undergird their instruction


• Design and presentation of workshop/seminar session (ERL 569 and ERL 601)
• Completion of major written project (ERL 601)

Teachers will complete extensive writing assignments.


• Case reports (ERL 569)
• Major project, including substantial literature review (ERL 601)

Teachers will have diverse audiences for their work.


• Completion of proposal for presenting/publishing final project (ERL 601)
• Case reports for parents and administrators (ERL 569)
• Conference presentations

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