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Reading Education (M.Ed.)

Department of Teaching and Learning

Program Overview

As educators, we are all reading specialists to some degree. Develop the skills required of reading specialists—literacy development, assessment, and instruction — with a master’s degree in Reading Education from Vanderbilt University's Peabody College.

Reading for pleasure makes a big difference when it comes to a child’s performance in the classroom. Students who read every day perform better on tests, develop a broader vocabulary, and gain a better understanding of other cultures. As a reading educator, you’ll foster this love of reading in the classroom and beyond.

The Reading Education program in the Department of Teaching and Learning is designed for licensed teachers or those with equivalent teaching experience who want to focus on literacy development, assessment, and instruction of students with diverse learning and literacy needs.

The three-semester program meets the standards of the International Literacy Association for Reading Specialists/Literacy Coaches and National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.

Program at a Glance

Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Reading Education

Department of Teaching and Learning

Program Director: Emily Pendergrass, Ph.D.
Admissions Coordinator: Angie Saylor
Admission Term: Summer and Fall
Credit Hours: 31
Priority Application Deadline: December 31* for fall entrance

* We will continue to accept applications after this date, but applications will be evaluated for admission and scholarships as space and funds are available.

Our Commitment

Our Commitment to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

The Reading Education Program works with licensed teachers to enhance instruction for students who might be struggling with school-based reading. This entails paying attention to equitable instruction for diverse learners and literate environments. Additionally, we think strategically about school-level, literacy-based professional development that is tailored to the needs of each school.

Selected Courses Related to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

EDUC 6420: Teaching Reading with Diverse Learners - The overall course goal is to prepare reading specialists and teachers to be diagnostic problem-solvers who analyze and synthesize assessment data as well as a wide body of related literature to prepare and provide individualized (and small group) instruction that is appropriate, inclusive, responsive, and culturally relevant for all students.

EDUC 6421: Diverse Learners Practicum – This course provides 60+ hour in Metro Nashville Public Schools where reading specialists candidates work with students to build inclusive literacy environments by paying attention to each student and how to best meet instructional needs through an assets-based approach.

ENED 6360: Literature, Pop Culture, and New Media – This course examines race, class, gender, religion, and sexual identity in young adult literature.

Selected Faculty Research Related to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Emily Pendergrass, associate professor of the practice of literacy education
Professor Pendergrass specializes in supporting struggling readers in the context of reading as a community practice, with special reference to professional development and new literacies including technologies. Additionally, she works closely with local public schools in literacy coaching and facilitating professional development workshops.

Emily Phillips-Galloway, assistant professor, ELL and literacy education
Professor Galloway’s qualitative work situated in classrooms demonstrates the potential for developing school-relevant language skills that builds on students’ out-of-school language resources (dialectal and additional languages) and that fosters agency in linguistic choice-making. To advance anti-racist pedagogy, her work positions school-relevant language as a semiotic resource for critically examining inequality, envisioning change, fostering learner agency, and nurturing minoritized learners’ socioemotional, professional, and political aspirations.

100% of job-seeking Reading Education graduates were employed or attending graduate school within four months of graduation.

Click here to see a list of recent career placements:

Recent graduates with an M.Ed. in Reading Education have gone on to the following positions, among others:
  • 1st Grade Teacher, St. Andrew's Episcopal School, Jackson, Miss.
  • 3rd Grade Teacher, Walnut Grove Elementary, Franklin, Tenn.
  • 4th Grade Teacher, Metro Nashville Public Schools, Nashville, Tenn.
  • 10th Grade English Teacher, Edmond Public Schools, Edmond, Okla.
  • Literacy Coach, Nashville After Zone Alliance, Nashville, Tenn.
  • Middle School Teacher, Laurel School, Shaker Heights, Ohio
  • Reading Specialist, Madison Middle School, Nashville, Tenn.
  • Research Specialist Provider, KIPP LA Schools, Los Angeles, Calif.
  • Teacher, Currey Ingram Academy, Nashville, Tenn.

Learn more about Peabody Career Services.

Practicum Experience

One of the greatest strengths of the Reading Education program is the varied, multiple field opportunities available to you. Through partnerships with several area public schools, you’ll gain experience in teaching and assessing P–12 students and collaborating with and supporting teachers, paraprofessionals, and other colleagues.

Many of our students also work as teaching assistants for undergraduate education classes, a rich experience of learning about teaching through practice alongside a Vanderbilt education professor.


The Reading Education program has partnered with a variety of Metro Nashville Public Schools where you will complete an internship with reading specialists and literacy coaches, including:

  • Apollo Middle School
  • Cameron Middle Prep
  • Cole Elementary School
  • Dan Mills Elementary School
  • Eakin Elementary School
  • Glencliff High School
  • Glengary Elementary School
  • Harpeth Valley Elementary School
  • Pearl Cohn High School
  • Una Elementary School
  • Wright Middle School

Program Curriculum

Peabody's master of education program in Reading Education is a 3-semester program designed to fulfill the requirements for an add-on endorsement as a reading specialist. Careful selection of coursework can lead to dual English language learners (ELL) and reading specialist endorsements.

Required Courses: 19 credit hours
  • EDUC 6400 Literacy Development
  • EDUC 6410 Literacy Assessment and Professional Development
  • EDUC 6420 Literacy for Diverse and Special Needs Learners
  • ENED 6340 Reading and Learning with Print and New Media
  • EDUC 6421 Diverse and Special Needs Learners Practicum
  • EDUC 7992 Capstone Seminar
And choose one of the following:
  • EDUC 6450 Teaching and Learning the Language Arts: Theory and Research
  • EDUC 6530 Educational Linguistics and Second Language Acquisition
  • ENED 6310 Perspectives on the English Language
  • SPEDS 7800 Speech and Language for Exceptional Learners
Reading Education Professional Core: 9 credit hours
At least two of the following four areas must be represented.

Area 1: Humanistic Dimensions of Education
  • EDUC 6020 Culturally Responsive Pedagogy
  • EDUC 6050 Parents, the School, and the Community
  • EDUC 6060 Cultural Diversity in American Education
  • EDUC 6300 Advanced Social and Philosophical Aspects of Education
  • EDUC 6520 Foundations for ELL Education
  • EDUC 8040 Diversity and Equality in Education
Area 2: Behavioral Studies
  • EDUC 6010 Psychological Foundations of Education
  • EDUC 8200 Foundations in Learning and Development
  • PSY-GS 8400 Developmental Psychology
  • SPED 7000 Education and Psychology of Exceptional Learners
Area 3: Teaching Strategies and Curriculum
  • EDUC 6070 Foundations of Education
  • EDUC 6080 Principles of Curriculum Development
  • EDUC 6310 Advanced Teaching in Secondary Schools
  • EDUC 6540 Methods and Materials for ELL Education
Area 4. Assessment and Research Tools
  • EDUC 6040 Analysis of Teaching
  • EDUC 7810 Inquiry into Contexts
  • EDUC 7990 Master’s Thesis in Education
Reading Education Electives: 3 credit hours
  • EDUC 6450 Teaching and Learning the Language Arts
  • EDUC 6520 Foundations for ELL Education
  • EDUC 6550 Assessment of ELL Students
  • ENED 6080 Advanced Study of Literature for Children
  • ENED 6200 Teaching Literature in Elementary Classrooms
  • ENED 6310 Perspectives on the English Language
  • ENED 6360 Literature, Popular Culture, and New Media
  • ENED 6380 Teaching Writing and Multimedia Composition
  • SPEDE 7400 Foundations of Early Childhood Special Education
  • SPEDS 7800 Speech and Language for Exceptional Learners
Program Curriculum


Department faculty work in research and teaching collaboratives that include both theory and practice-oriented scholars. They share an interest in the relationships between student learning and where the learning takes place and a commitment to mentoring your success.

Emily Phillips Galloway
  • Assistant Professor, ELL and Literacy Education, Department of Teaching and Learning
Deborah Wells Rowe
  • Carolyn M. Evertson Professor in Teacher Education.
  • Professor, Department of Teaching and Learning