The View From The Principal's Office

An observation protocol boosts literacy leadership.

By Sandi Novak
April 2016
Educational leaders understand their role in creating a schoolwide goal of continuous learning for teachers and students. They know the importance of identifying and providing the resources and professional learning necessary to foster improvements with the greatest potential to increase student achievement (DuFour & Mattos, 2013). However, not all principals have a strong knowledge base in all areas of instruction. School leaders often lack the specific teaching experience, knowledge, or expertise needed to be an instructional leader in reading and literacy learning (Hoewing, 2011). Principals and other administrative leaders need professional development, resources, and tools to guide them in building a continuous progress model in literacy learning. “Leadership content knowledge in regard to teaching young children to read must focus both on how students learn

Read the remaining content with membership access. Join or log in below to continue.

Sed ut perspiciatis unde omnis iste natus error sit voluptatem accusantium doloremque laudantium, totam rem aperiam, eaque ipsa quae ab illo inventore veritatis et quasi architecto beatae vitae dicta sunt explicabo. Nemo enim ipsam voluptatem quia voluptas sit aspernatur aut odit aut fugit, sed quia consequuntur magni dolores eos qui ratione voluptatem sequi nesciunt. Neque porro quisquam est, qui dolorem ipsum quia dolor sit amet, consectetur, adipisci velit, sed quia non numquam eius modi tempora incidunt ut labore et dolore magnam aliquam quaerat voluptatem.

Log In


Sandi Novak and Bonnie Houck

Sandi Novak ( is an education consultant and author. Bonnie D. Houck ( is K-12 reading program coordinator at University of Minnesota and an education consultant.


DuFour, R. & Mattos, M. (2013). How do principals really improve schools? Educational Leadership, 70(7), 34-40.

Hoewing, B.L. (2011). Orientations of literacy leadership among elementary school principals: Demographic and background trends (Doctoral dissertation).

University of Iowa. Houck, B. & Novak, S. (in press). Unleashing literacy: Fostering excellent literacy instruction through classroom visits. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

Prothero, A. (2015, January 21). Shaping strong school leaders: For principals, continuous learning critical to career success. Education Week, 34(18), 10-11.

Stein, M. & Nelson, B. (2003). Leadership content knowledge. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 25(4), 423-448.

+ posts

The Learning Professional

Published Date


  • Recent Issues

    February 2024

    How do you know your professional learning is working? This issue digs...

    December 2023

    Professional learning can open up new roles and challenges and help...

    October 2023

    Both special education and general education teachers need support to help...

    August 2023

    Prioritizing professional learning time is an investment in educators and...

    Skip to content