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Literacy and Literature in Elementary Schools

Pennsylvania State University

CRSE Competencies 3, 4, 7

Course Description

Purposes and objectives of these courses are to acquaint pre-service teachers with theories and practices of the development and teaching of literacy in early childhood and primary grades (LLED400) and 2-4th grades (LLED401). Supporting this development through teaching literacy is both an intellectual and practical matter in which teachers work in conjunction with other school personnel, parents, and students to offer experiences that invite students to acquire literacy. Students enter schools with multiple types of literacy knowledge and cultural experiences. Coming to understand and work with the complexities of language, literacy and their social uses, learning and its cultural contexts, and schooling requires the coordination of both theoretical awareness and applied knowledge. Teachers’ practice is developed from this coordination as they learn to address the puzzles students present as they construct their knowledge of language and literacy in various social situations. Developing practical strategies to teach literacy requires a dedication of head, hand, and heart to treat all people with dignity, acknowledging the contributions of all cultural groups, and respecting diversity as it honors ideals of social justice. In this way, LLED 400 and 401 asks pre-service teachers to consider how their work addresses the question: how do we wish to live together?

Why was this course your focus?

“The courses that I revised are our reading and writing methods for elementary teachers in grades pre-K to fourth grade (LLED 400 and LLED 401). A lot of the reason why I was interested in reworking these two courses is because we are in the process of rewriting them anyway; formerly LLED 400 covered reading and LLED 401 covered writing, but moving forward both will cover reading and writing while 400 will focus on ages pre-K to first grade and 401 will focus on 2nd to 4th grade. Trying to work smarter and not harder, it makes sense to me that we spend the time creating the new courses with a culturally relevant and sustaining approach built into them rather than trying to add these foundations in post hoc.”

Meet the Teacher Educator

Dr. Ashley Patterson

Associate Professor of Education in the Curriculum and Instruction Program

Pennsylvania State University

Literacy and Literature in Elementary Schools

Course Type



CRSE3 Real World Experiences

CRSE4 Equitable and Differentiated Opportunities

CRSE7 Linguistic Diversity

Content Area

Literacy, Elementary


Mid-program, Undergraduate


Accessibility statement, Resource statements, Land acknowledgement


Field placement