Instructional Practices

Schools and Schooling Introduction

Among the most important goals of schooling is to ensure the literacy development of all students so that they can engage meaningfully and critically with a range of texts, in a range of contexts, and for a range of purposes. The changing nature of texts and technological innovations as well as ongoing research are reshaping literacy education. Such evolution requires capable literacy leaders at all levels.

The Schools and Schooling category focuses on schoolwide practices—those that reflect and address expanded definitions of literacy and texts, ongoing assessment, and the building of leadership capacity in schools. An important thread running throughout the practices is the importance of inquiry and collaboration as literacy demands and contexts expand and change.

Practices focused specifically on digital texts and student engagement with visual and graphical elements of text are "Digital Literacies" by Jill Castek, "Personal Digital Inquiry" by Julie Coiro, "Digital Citizenship" by Kip Glazer, and "Visual Literacy" by Marva Cappello. "Real-World Writing" by Maria Grant addresses the importance of authentic purposes for literacy, ones more relevant to students' real-world contexts.

Two practices in this category focus on assessment, with one recognizing students' roles in their own assessment and the other describing teachers' roles in ongoing assessment that informs teaching and learning: "Student Self-Assessment" by Peter Afflerbach and "Formative Assessment" by Margaret Heritage.

Literacy leadership is the focus of "Principals as Literacy Leaders' by Rita M. Bean and Jacy Ippolito, "Literacy Coaching" by Lindsay Clare Matsumura, and "The Soft Skills of Communication in Literacy Leadership" by Celeste Bates and Denise Morgan. These practices highlight collaboration, social construction of knowledge, and shared ownership of students' literacy development.

This category provides a welcome focus on schoolwide practices that impact students' literacy experiences and learning. Teachers and other literacy leaders will find them useful for advancing their thinking and transforming their practices.

—Hallie Yopp Slowik, Professor Emeritus, California State University, Fullerton and Donna Ogle, Professor Emeritus, National Louis University, Chicago, IL