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Literacy Education

PhD in Teaching and Learning Concentration

Work closely with faculty members to develop your research skills in the areas of language and literacy development, and apply that research to improve literacy instruction in pre-K–12 schools.

What You'll Learn

  • Theory and evidence about reading, writing, and oral language development, particularly for students in urban contexts
  • Each step in the process of conducting relevant and rigorous research – from articulating research questions through designing and conducting empirical studies to disseminating results
  • Qualitative and quantitative methodologies and how to apply them to research in literacy education

Your Academic Experience

Tailor Your Program to Your Research Interests

You will work closely with our doctoral faculty to develop your own research interests and create a research proposal. Our faculty members specialize in a broad range of areas related to language and literacy development. Faculty interests include, but are not limited to:

  • Cognitive, linguistic, and sociocultural perspectives on language and literacy development
  • Reading development and instruction from early childhood through adolescence
  • Reading instruction for children who live in poverty
  • Reading and language development in English language learners
  • School literacy policy and reform 
  • Integrating principles of student agency, choice, and responsibility into theories and models of literacy instruction
  • Language development and instruction in pre-K through middle school classrooms, particularly vocabulary development
  • Interventions for struggling readers and writers

Conduct Literacy Research in the Dynamic Community of New York City

At NYU Steinhardt, you will have access to a world-class facility for conducting educational research. In addition to working with faculty in Literacy Education, you will learn from faculty across NYU who are engaged with investigating language and literacy from various disciplinary perspectives, from developmental psychology and technology-enhanced education to educational linguistics and policy analysis. You will interact with a close community of fellow student researchers and receive close mentoring from faculty as you pursue educational research in the heart of New York City, one of the most diverse and cosmopolitan cities in the world.


You'll be prepared to work as a literacy researcher and teacher educator in colleges and universities. You'll also have the skills to take on leading roles in education, research, and policy, nationally as well as globally.


Michael Kieffer

Associate Professor of Literacy Education

Cynthia McCallister

Associate Professor of Literacy Education

Susan Neuman

Professor of Childhood and Literacy Education