The Literacy Practices Guide
This article outlines the development and piloting of the Literacy Practices Guide (LPG), how it was used by sixty principals in a national pilot project, and its perceived usefulness in assisting them to lead the teaching of reading in their schools. The LPG provides a structured way of observing five dimensions of the teaching/learning environment as they relate to reading instruction and is based on the “walkthroughs” developed in the 1970s as a strategy to move managers closer to the people and processes involved in their business in order to drive improvement. A brief overview of the research evidence behind reading pedagogy and professional learning is followed by a discussion of walkthroughs and how they have been implemented in different educational settings to support effective leadership. The five dimensions of the LPG are described, and sample descriptors from different year levels are provided. The article concludes with a discussion of the various ways it was used by sixty primary school principals across Australia in a research study, and their response to it as a tool to support teacher practice and student achievement.