Ippolito, J., & Fisher, D. (2019). Instructional Leadership for Disciplinary Literacy. Educational Leadership: Journal of the Department of Supervision and Curriculum Development, N.E.A, 76(6), 50–56.
Abstract: Principals may not be experts in every subject area. But they can be instrumental in guiding disciplinary literacy efforts.
School leaders know that one of their most important responsibilities is to guide instruction so that all students develop rich literacies. One approach to instruction has great potential in this regard. Teachers and leaders across the United States are adopting disciplinary literacy instruction as a framework for reconsidering and improving literacy learning across content-area classrooms. A disciplinary literacy framework suggests that content-area teachers are best positioned to apprentice their students into discipline-specific ways of reading, writing, and communicating. For example, methods that work in scientific thinking may not serve one well when engaged with history, and ways of analyzing a text for a history project may not be ideal for engaging with novels in English class. Teachers in these various disciplines can guide students in the habits of mind, vocabulary, communication norms, and specialized text structures suited to that discipline.
Disciplinary literacy instruction has the potential to move students beyond general all-purpose literacy strategies, better preparing them for college and workplace demands. By introducing discipline-specific ways of working, secondary teachers can help students meet rigorous standards and even mirror the authentic work of practitioners in their subject areas.