Best Practices for K-12 Literacy

NC Department of Public Instruction
April, 2008

Definition: Literacy is the ability to recognize a need for information as well as identify, understand, interpret, create, communicate and compute, using a variety of auditory and visual formats and contexts.  This includes, but is not limited to, print, online databases, internet, podcasting, etc.  Literacy involves a continuum of learning, thus enabling individuals to achieve their goals through developing and expanding their knowledge, (learn how to learn), to be critical users of information (evaluate for accuracy, etc.) and to participate fully in a global society.

Adapted from (UNESCO - United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) and information literacy definition from Oklahoma State University online glossary (


Best Practices:  (8-10 in bulleted format)



Resources/References:  List your primary source first and then any other reference material you used to identify the best practices.

Cotton, K. (2003). Principals and student achievement:  What the research says. Alexandria, VA.:  Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Lewis, K., McColskey, W., Anderson, K., Bowling, T., Duffort-Melendez, K. and Wynn, L. (2007). Evidenced-based decision making: Assessing reading across the curriculum interventions. Greensboro, NC.: Southeast Regional Educational Laboratory at University of North Carolina-Greensboro.

Meeks, L. L. and Austin, C. J. (2003) Literacy in the secondary english classroom.  New York: Allyn & Bacon.

McQuillan, J. (1998) The literacy crisis: False claims, real solutions.  Portsmouth, NH.: Heinemann Publishing.

Selfe, C.L. (1999). Technology and literacy in the 21st century:  The importance of paying attention. Carbondale, Ill.: Southern Illinois University Press.

Warlick, D. F. (2004). Redefining literacy for the 21st century. Worthington, OH.: Linworth Publishing.

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This document was created as part of the Comprehensive Support Initiative, a committee chaired by Marilyn C. Palmer, Ed.D., Chief, K-12 English Language Arts, DPI, North Carolina. This committee completed this work in spring of 2008 and disbanded. The document met approval of the Assistance Redesign Steering Committee.