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Collaboration through Action Research: A 3-Dimensional Model Multiple Faces of Collaboration CISSL-ILILE Research Symposium Kent State University Dr. Carol.

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Presentation on theme: "Collaboration through Action Research: A 3-Dimensional Model Multiple Faces of Collaboration CISSL-ILILE Research Symposium Kent State University Dr. Carol."— Presentation transcript:

1 Collaboration through Action Research: A 3-Dimensional Model Multiple Faces of Collaboration CISSL-ILILE Research Symposium Kent State University Dr. Carol Gordon 17 May 2007

2 The Problem School libraries are not considered critical to student achievement. School librarians are marginalized by their library functions and what they teach. Research Questions How will a 3-dimensional model, whereby school librarians are mentored by a professional researcher, inform their practice? How will the school librarians feel about their research?

3 Question Fieldwork Analysis Reflect New action Action Research: Reflection, Inquiry, Action To improve the transaction between student and teacher

4 I am on the outside looking in. The research is a portrait of ourselves. My research is an invention created by me. My research is a unique expression of my classroom story. In many ways, it has a life of its own. What is action research? Action research is the pedagogical counterpart of authentic learning

5 Acknowledges the teacher is knowledgeable Is ongoing Gives teachers the power to make decisions Is collaborative Gives teachers the responsibility for professional growth Wood, P. (1988, April). Action research: A field perspective. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New Orleans, LA. Action research…

6 The link between Action Research and Collaboration Kurt Lewin

7 What is collaboration? Coordination Cooperation Collaboration Delaware Study:

8 The Context for Collaboration Why Information Literacy is not Enough to Effect Collaboration Recognize a need for information Locate information Select information Evaluate information Use information

9 Evidence-based Practice Theory and Practice In the First and Second Dimensions ConstructivismCognitive Science Action Research School library media specialists use tools of the expert apply problem solving become their own best critics Authentic Teaching Guided Inquiry Authentic Learning Tasks Authentic Assessments Students use tools of the expert apply problem solving become their own best critics

10 What is Authentic Teaching? Essential questions Authentic learning tasks & assessments (formative and summative) Authentic research Action research Why do we need authentic teaching in the school library?

11 Linking Classroom Teacher with School Library: Historical Inquiry Stating a thesis A proposition whose validity the author demonstrates by producing evidence Asking questions Should the constitution be read strictly or broadly? Was Christopher Columbus the first to think the world was round?

12 Historical Decision-making Probability – informed common sense Verification & attribution (footnotes, citations, bibliographies Detecting bias

13 How do historians gain knowledge? Evidence Primary Records, documents Relics, artifacts Visuals Secondary The literature Reports

14 What is Authentic Research? Research is not Collecting information Reporting facts Following a linear process Selling or persuading Writing a neat, grammatically correct paper Experimentation Surveys, questionnaires Research is Question, thesis, hypothesis Rooted in theoretical framework Plan, design for conducting a study or experiment Information collection Data collection Analysis Research is asking the right questions

15 Why Authentic Learning Tasks? Do we want to evaluate student problem-solving in the visual arts? Experimental research in science? Speaking, listening and facilitating a discussion? Doing document-based historical inquiry? Thoroughly reviewing a piece of imaginative writing until it works for the reader? Then let our assessment be built out of such exemplary intellectual challenges. Grant Wiggins, 1990

16 Assume role of studentsAssume role of historians, writers, scientists Focus on content of curriculum Focus on inquiry driven by academic questions Choose from presented options Create responses Are assessed through recall, recognition, minimal competencies Are assessed through performance, problem solving Are assessed summativelyAre assessed formatively As well as summatively Depend on authorityBecome their own critics Librarian as Teacher ALTs are Preparation for Research Projects Authentic Learning Tasks

17 1.Authentic Teaching: Authentic Learning Tasks- Assessments 2.Action Research Research Mentor as Professional Developer Librarians as Practitioner- Researchers 3. Research Study on Action Research Research Mentor As Formal Researcher

18 Students as Researchers Teachers as Partners Librarians, Technology Trainer as Teachers and Researchers Mentor as Adviser Mentor as Researcher How did it Work? Conceptual Framework Director Library, Media and Technology On site instruction 221 s, phone support; 4 on-site visits Develop and implement instructional unit with teachers Logistics, funding, procedures Support, scheduling, monitoring Feedback Progress, Updates, findings Collect data: observation, s, PR journals, conversations, Meetings, and interviews Collect, analyze data

19 Guided Inquiry Authentic Learning Tasks & Assessments ISP Evidence-based Practice Theoretical Framework Action Research

20 The teaching unit Essential questions Authentic learning tasks Authentic assessments formative and summative Project evaluation questionnaire: How can I do it better next time questionnaire in collaboration with the classroom teacher The First Dimension: Librarian as Teacher

21 The Second Dimension: Librarian as Researcher A unique question: How can we help 4 th graders achieve higher order thinking? When given a choice, which methods of note taking do students prefer? How can we promote the use of online subscription databases with 9 th graders? Generic question: How can I do it better next time? (Project Evaluation) The Research Questions Librarians as Researchers

22 The Generic Question: How can I do it better next time? Data Collection: Ask the students Instrument: Questionnaire Timelines were reasonable. Instructions were clear. Resources were adequate. I could get help when I needed it. What was the most difficult thing you had to do? How would you change this unit to make it better? Librarian as Researcher

23 1. Research question/Thesis Research Proposal for Focus Formulation 3. Data Collection: Two types of evidence (e.g., interviews, questionnaires, grades, observation/journal entries, photographs, student products/projects, authentic assessments (rubrics, journals checklists, portfolios). 2. Unit Design: Topic Authentic Learning Task Collaborator(s) Timelines Start: End: Description of the project or unit. Student product? Information/research skills assessed? Assessments? Lessons taught? Support materials used?

24 What did the school librarians investigate? Note taking (2) Higher levels of thinking (2) Use of variety of sources of information Evaluation of web sites Use of databases vs. Internet Teaching styles and classroom computers Librarian as Researcher

25 Data Collection Methods Observation (field notes, photos, videos) Interview (notes, tapes) Survey Case studies Researchers journal Correspondence (letters, s, phone calls) Primary documents Focus groups Debriefings Behavioral Checklists Formative/summative assessments of students work Librarian as Researcher

26 What about theory? Piaget Knowledge is constructed by assimilation & accommodation Dewey Learning by doing; Progressivism; School connects with community Blooms Taxonomy Knowledge Comprehension Application Analysis Synthesis Evaluation Vygotsky Metacognition & the Zone of Proximal Development Sternberg Learning Styles Haptic Auditory Visual

27 Analysis Qualitative Constant Comparative Method Color coding, finding patterns Quantitative Descriptive Statistics Librarian as Researcher

28 Authentic Learning Tasks/ Assessments Data from ALT/Assessments Data from Action research Action Research First and Second Dimensions: Librarians as Teachers and Researchers

29 The 3 rd Dimension: What did the Research Mentor do? Built a Framework for -the design and implementation of ALT -structure for the action research Provided Models and Support Materials -Proposal template -Questionnaire exemplar, help sheets Coached Methodology Acted as Intermediary to facilitate communication Bridged theory and practice Conducted research on school librarians as teachers and researchers Researcher as Mentor

30 Librarian-Mentor transactions 184 transactions One-to-one and group transactions Categories -Planning stage -Implementation stage Input for Categories Kuhlthaus ISP Types of support offered by mentor Work patterns of librarians during collaboration with teachers Traditional formal research requirements set forth by universities

31 Planning Stage Implementation Stage TS=Topic Selection IU=Instructional Unit RQ=Research Question DC=Data Collection TH=Theory CO=Collaboration with teachers SH=PR sharing AN=Analysis PE=Praise and encouragement PR=Progress LO=Logistics DC=Data Collection TH=Theory CO=Collaboration with teachers SH=PR sharing AN=Analysis PE=Praise and encouragement PR=Progress LO=Logistics Findings Total = 38/184 s 21 % of total s 38 s for TS, IU, RQ TS. IU, RQ= Focus Formulation Findings Total = 146/184 s 79 % of total s 146 s for DC-LO= Collection & Presentation *Total transactions including Director/Mentor Researcher=37 for total of 221

32 and Average Word Counts TS=Topic Selection IU=Instructional Unit RQ=Research Question DC=Data Collection TH=Theory CO=Collaboration with teachers SH=PR sharing AN=Analysis PE=Praise and encouragement PR=Progress LO=Logistics DC=Data Collection TH=Theory CO=Collaboration with teachers SH=PR sharing AN=Analysis PE=Praise and encouragement PR=Progress LO=Logistics Comparing average number of words in paragraphs to number of s written in a category to determine what was problematic for PRs. (Word counts do not include attachments/support materials.) Focus formulation dominated the planning stage. The need for support was not as intense in implementation stage.

33 Research Mentors Findings The Librarians: Clarified learning theories Explored sense of self as teachers, leaders Gained awareness of students perspectives Acquired knowledge about teaching and curriculum Developed appreciation for processes of inquiry and reflection Experienced the stages similar to ISP; attained a level of comfort with formal research methods How will a 3-dimensional model, whereby school librarians are mentored by a professional researcher, inform their practice? How will the school librarians feel about their research?

34 How well did the 3-D model work? It strengthened bonds between librarians and collaborating teachers despite the problems of collaboration. The 3-D model improved perceptions of the school librarians as experts in research. By the end of the unit they felt a high degree of confidence and ownership in the instruction. Action research helped school librarians become school leaders. Evidence: The project, now is now in its 4 th year. For the past 2 years librarians have been mentoring teachers in action research across the district.

35 The 4-Dimensional Model 1.Authentic Learning Tasks- Assessments 2.Action Research Research Mentor as Professional Developer Librarians as Practitioner- Researchers 3. Research Study on Action Research Research Mentor As Formal Researcher 4. Teacher Action Research

36 The 5-Dimensional Model 1.Authentic Learning Tasks- Assessments 2. Action Research for Students 2.Action Research Research Mentor as Professional Developer Librarians as Practitioner- Researchers 3. Research Study on Action Research Research Mentor As Formal Researcher Librarians as action research mentors for students 4. Teacher Action Research Librarians as Mentors for teachers

37 How can the 5-D model help school libraries to be accountable? Demonstrates the value school librarians add to the academic lives of students and teachers as Professional developers and mentors Research experts Teachers of essential skills/inquiry by raising the quality of instruction for students and the quality of interactions with teachers.

38 The school librarian as instructional leader Interpreting standards Designing instruction Designing accountable curriculum Assessing product and process Conducting action research Being a change agent ACHIEVING CREDIBILITY

39 The Bottom Line School librarians must abandon library-centric thinking, shed paradigms of librarianship that are not relevant to student learning, and become an integral part of their work world: the world of education. Until they do that, the consensus will remain that they are expendable.

40 because it involves overcoming the inertia that inclines one to accept suggestions at their face value; it involves willingness to endure a condition of mental unrest and disturbance. Reflective thinking … means judgment suspended during further inquiry; and suspense is likely to be somewhat painful… To maintain the state of doubt and to carry on systematic and protracted inquiry-these are the essentials of thinking. John Dewey Reflective thinking is always more or less troublesome

41 Can we ever know the past? Does the historian discover or create meaning? What is the truth? Does the empirical-analytical lead us to the truth? Does the past contain one true story/meaning or several? Can we trust our sources? Essential Questions What are essential questions that drive historical inquiry?


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