In 2019, the Alabama legislature passed the Alabama Literacy Act to improve the reading proficiency of kindergarten through 3rd grade students in the state. Samford University's Teacher Education programs were eager to enhance reading courses ensuring their future teachers were prepared to meet the goals of this legislation. In an effort to meet the Literacy Act requirements for institutions of higher education, Samford faculty developed a timeline to review and determine the necessary programmatic changes. Through steps such as the establishment of their own reading task force, course modification and collaboration with the International Multisensory Structured Language Education Council (IMSLEC), Samford's Teacher Education program earned educator pre-service program affiliation with IMSLEC.
It is important that teacher preparation programs review the implementation of the science of reading content and strategies within their program as well as in embedded clinical experiences to determine what pre-service teachers need to become successful reading teachers. Based on recommendations from Samford's Reading Task Force and the IMSLEC review process, faculty in the Elementary Alternative Master's Program carefully aligned nine hours of the science of reading instruction in the courses culminating in a comprehensive action research project requiring pre-service teachers to engage in Structured Literacy and assessment strategies. The redesign of the courses ensures that Samford's teacher candidates receive essential training based on current research on how children learn to read, while pairing the training with structured, authentic practical applications in field experience.
Dr. Amy Hoaglund
Assistant Dean & Professor, Orlean Beeson School of Education
EDUC 542: Materials and Methods for Teaching Language Arts (Vocabulary, Comprehension and Writing Instruction)
This course is a comprehensive exploration of the developmental and instructional implications related to fluent reading, vocabulary acquisition, comprehension, and writing instruction.