MA/PhD in Literacy Education

We are a politically committed program, with particular emphasis on literacy and teaching practices that contribute to racial and climate justice. Our faculty investigate:

  • the power of children’s literature and media to help build climate literacy and accelerate a transition to an ecological civilization
  • culturally and linguistically responsive early literacy assessment and instruction
  • the creation of multimedia stories that participate in social justice and climate literacy through embodied learning, youth participatory action research, and visual literacy
  • processes of racialization in K-12 school and classroom environments to foster anti-racist teaching
  • literature, performance, and the arts that center the perspectives of those most affected by environmental injustice and that advance inclusive environmental literacy and place-based education
  • methods by which educators and youth can resist and heal from racial trauma
  • the preparation and ongoing development of future teachers who are committed to radical transformation of educational spaces and enacting anti-racist/anti-oppressive pedagogies
  • the promise and problems of progressive and critical writing pedagogies
  • how white people learn to be white

We are committed to working with students to support them as they search for the answers that they and their communities need. As a faculty, we do not claim to know all of the answers and we encourage students to engage in a variety of perspectives and methods in their study of literacy education. Graduates are prepared to assume leadership roles in local, national, and international organizations, as well as assume faculty positions in literacy education and teacher education.


Priority deadline: December 1
Admissions decisions: January

See detailed admissions, tuition and funding information on the MA and PhD admissions page.

Our mission is to:

  • engage in research, teaching, and outreach that supports culturally and linguistically diverse learners
  • advance the understanding of children's and young adult literature as a force for social transformation, multicultural awareness, and Earth citizenship
  • develop literacy teachers and leaders in diverse schools
  • apply multiple theoretical and research perspectives to problems and questions central to the field of literacy
  • advocate for racial literacy, climate literacy, environmental literacy, justice literacy, digital literacy, and other new literacies as tools that empower us to face global challenges
  • strive to influence literacy policies that address inequities and benefit all learners

Literacy Education faculty


What our students have to say

anna Jennerjohn
The faculty are very passionate about humanizing research in education; each class I take has deepened my understanding of both the how and the why of research in education.

Anna Jennerjohn, PhD 2021