Literacy and the Arts

Program Overview

The Literacy & the Arts specialization at the University of Florida is dedicated to expanding the education of exemplary practitioners and scholars who understand that we have multiple mental and emotional tools for learning. These tools may be iconic, linguistic, musical or kinesthetic. We seek to promote the integration of multiple texts, be they paper, canvas, sound or gesture. We are committed to assisting all students, whatever their cultural and linguistic background, in developing their aesthetic perception and expression in ways they find most meaningful; and in helping them to define their own ways to lead productive, insightful, and purposeful lives as members of a democratic society.
Literacy & the Arts is an interdisciplinary specialization that allows already certified teachers to customize graduate programs of study according to their specific talents, needs, interests, and teaching situations. Our principle mission is to create a community of teachers interested in infusing their practice with creativity and project-directed learning, in a program with a pragmatic and individually shaped focus. So, if your passion is the visual arts, music, dance, drama, technology or some integration of the arts, this specialization will support those interests.
This specialization will not provide any type of teaching certification. However, its position in the College of Education means that the perspective will have a clear “classroom filter.” But it is a filter that seeks to integrate and individualize rather than standardize. Teachers can design a program that will enhance their professional qualifications in personally challenging and satisfying ways.

General Admissions Requirements

Students must meet the requirements for graduate school at the University of Florida. Teachers entering with a BA or BS in their chosen area of study may apply for an MAE  (36 credit hours beyond the BA). Certified, practicing teachers already holding a masters degree may apply for the EdS (36 hours beyond the Masters level). Please refer to the university’s requirements for each of these degrees.  Students interested in the Literacy & the Arts specialization should contact Dr. Jane Townsend.
The Literacy & the Arts specialization is designed to be flexible in responding to individual needs. To enter the program, applicants must submit a statement of purpose that describes their interests and their reasons for entering the program. To support their work, students will choose an advisor who will help them craft a program designed around each person’s interest.
As a culminating experience for the specialization, students may design, carry out, and document an original project, which can be done in their own classrooms, to reach the required 36 credits for the degree. This project may consist of a 6-credit independent research project.