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Research, evidence and engaging learning Profiling the influence of school librarianship Penny Moore

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Presentation on theme: "Research, evidence and engaging learning Profiling the influence of school librarianship Penny Moore"— Presentation transcript:

1 Research, evidence and engaging learning Profiling the influence of school librarianship Penny Moore

2 Three core beliefs Provision of information and information services makes a difference to the lives of people TLs’ key role is to shape the quality of student learning through engagement with information Student learning outcomes are transformed through pedagogical intervention –Todd (2003)

3 The literature School library use is correlated positively with learning achievement Often assumed that a school-wide, coordinated programme of educational activities is led by a skilled practitioner. Little is said about points on the journey towards school library programme establishment

4 Seven dimensions of school librarianship Underlying philosophy and critical conditions Structural components focusing action Critical relationships informing action Tasks and responsibilities of the school library team Essential teaching and information expertise Modes of library operation and interaction with staff and students Indicators of progress towards information literate school community formation

5 Six principle themes Information literacy Reading Access Information resources Place Service –School Library and Learning in the Information Landscape: Guidelines for New Zealand Schools, 2002

6 Collaboration “A strategy in which people with differing skills, knowledge and resources (including time) contribute to the solution of a problem or completion of a task, such that input from each is essential to success and is equally valued.” Moore and Trebilcock (2003)

7 New Zealand Context Few schools have full-time TLs but all have libraries and emphasise resource based learning and other constructivist pedagogies Responsibilities are shared among TLRs, TLs, Librarians, para-professionals, parent volunteers and student librarians Schools do not have to allocate funding to TL positions - local management decision only Membership of ‘School library teams’ varies according to who is asked to identify participants.

8 What does the SLT do to influence teaching and learning? Three parallel case studies of primary, intermediate and secondary schools Semi-structured interviews with –Principals, –SLT leaders (trained TLs in two schools, dual qualified teacher and librarian in one), –Support staff (no formal qualifications) –Teachers associated with SLT (senior management) –Classroom teachers (claimed to work closely with SLT) Focus groups with Student librarians Documentary survey

9 Underlying philosophy and critical conditions Strong affirmation by Principals of place of the library and its staff in the life of the school Library and information policies showed support for student learning, BUT no consistent school and curriculum wide instructional programmes SLT leaders had a focus on collaborative planning and teaching BUT this was not matched by teacher commitment and understanding Broad responsibilities were eroding SLT leaders’ time for collaboration

10 Structural components focusing action Warehousing and collection development were more salient to primary than intermediate or secondary school interviewees Intermediate and Secondary teachers are known to provide some curriculum plans to the SLT, but no interviewee discussed this. While systematic literacy, information literacy and technology are not yet apparent as a library programme, solid foundations are being built and extended in each school

11 Critical relationships Principals focused on learners and learning as the key relationship for SLT action They did not articulate need for evaluating SLT activities in terms of learning outcomes SLT leaders were not perceived to be responsible for effectiveness of instructional activities SLT leaders were over-stretched by breadth of duties SLT leaders did not collaborate with teachers as much as they wished

12 Targeting teachers “… the staff changes that we’ve had over the last year or so have meant that [we are] moving from a base of extremely experienced teachers, very au fait with Action Learning, information literacy and resource use, to a group that vary in their experience, their background knowledge and in the amount of teaching experience they’ve had.” Primary SLT leader

13 Roles and responsibilities Knowledge and expertise underlying knowledge and expertise were captured in job descriptions for all SLT members teaching staff were totally confident and appreciative of the information world knowledge of both the TLs and the support staff long term focus of action reflected school level - primary focus on learning to read intermediate and secondary focus more on students as researchers

14 Modes of library service Resource gathering in response to immediate needs Resource gathering in response to previous curriculum planning High level of library promotion and skills development for staff and students, but not systematic across curriculum or age levels Input to instructional design limited and seen as enhancement rather than critical to success Evaluation of learning not an SLT responsibility Evaluation of SLT activities largely anecdotal

15 Information literate school communities Information technology plans and information policies are in place the role of the qualified TL is articulated and defended professional development in aspects of information literacy supports all staff students’ information competencies at each level are not documented evaluation of learning in terms of information literacy and knowledge construction is limited

16 Change Curriculum change mandated from outside Staff turnover Student turnover (including itinerant students) Ethnic change in communities What can be taught changes too!

17 Conclusion Where the SLT is pivotal in ICT developments, foundations for on-going instructional partnerships are being laid Establishing a school library programme is critical to systematic development of literacy, information literacy and technology skills It needs to be the centre of the curriculum, not an add-on Evaluating resulting learning outcomes to inform programme development is critical

18 Going on from here... Examine the school library team –how clearly is it defined? –collaboration or cooperation within the team? –Collaboration or cooperation beyond the team? Assessing your school library operation in terms of a few of the EIGHT dimensions. Examine the library usage information that is routinely gathered - is it being used systematically to inform development?

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