What possibilities arise for collaboration between teachers and the teacher librarian?

Montiel-Overall describes 4 collaboration models, from these it can be derived that collaboration possibilities arise through coordinating resources and events individually to benefit others, cooperation in enhancing learning opportunities through implementing lessons around subject specialisation and meeting individual goals, integrated instruction through co-producing learning opportunities which meet shared goals and integrate expertise into a range of classroom instruction, integrated curriculum provides for regular meetings between teachers, faculties and TL to integrate expertise across all year levels and subject areas, this needs to be heavily supported by the Principal.

For me collaboration began at the cooperation phase with some classes and into the integrated instruction phase. I have presented one-off lessons on referencing and notetaking which I have planned individually and tried to merge into the relevant context. Semi-integrated instruction occurred through creation of History inquiry units. The background for the task was presented by the class teacher and the inquiry phases by me. This was not a fully co-produced task and minimal discussion regarding goals was undertaken.

If starting at a new site, I would begin with cooperative activities to help staff build their trust in me. I would then approach staff members who seemed interested/willing to begin integrating instruction. Based on the anticipated success of these sessions, I would then recruit more staff members and gather data to present to the Principal to advocate for the possibility of implementing an integrated curriculum.

Blog Reflection

For the third blog for this topic (INF530) I provided a reflection comment for Emily’s post on technology trends.

This was my response:

Hi Emily, thanks for your post. I would like to reflect on your discussion of digital literacy.

In my view, digital literacy encompasses information literacy. There is a focus on locating, evaluating, and using information from digital platforms. Digital literacy is particularly important in the information environment we live in; locating information which meets the user’s need and evaluating it for accuracy and relevance are integral 21st Century Skills.

There are links between digital literacy, information behaviour, 21st Century skills and lifelong learning. Bawden and Robinson’s (2012) discussion of cognitive models of information behaviour and information search processes highlights the differences in how people go about finding information. With my TL hat on I see information search models (guided inquiry, project-based learning) as a platform for integrating the teaching of digital literacy skills. The development of digital literacy skills in students is dependent on the opportunities to learn and practice. These are skills which need to become second nature to students.

Your discussion of teaching skills to interpret information has strong connections to the readings from module 3.1. It brought to mind Brabazon’s (2009) discussion about what digital natives thought they should be learning. One respondent mentioned several times we should be teaching them how to learn (p.177, 180). Conole (2012) agrees with this sentiment stating, ‘learners need to develop strategies for finding and validating appropriate resources’ (p.55).

In my opinion, the focus of the Australian Curriculum should be the General Capabilities. They are the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority’s (n.d.) take on 21st Century learning skills and provide a checklist for students to show application and understanding of skills relevant to their futures. Digital and Information literacy fit into Critical and Creative Thinking and ICT Capability. As such, integration of the General Capabilities into teaching and learning covers elements of digital literacy and information literacy and assists in the development of lifelong learning skills.

Although students of today may have more screen time and access to more technologies than students used to, it is not right to assume they have the knowledge and skills to effectively and efficiently traverse the information landscape to achieve their goals. Conole (2012) states that ‘many learners, despite being competent technology users, lack the appropriate academic literacy skills to appropriate these free resources for their learning’ (p.52). Brabazon (2009) and Conole (2012) highlight that effective use of digital tools and resources relies upon development of skills in teachers and students (p.181 & p.51).

Schools with trained TLs have resources available to them to assist with skill development of both teacher and student. When classroom teachers work collaboratively with TLs, a range of opportunities for the teaching and application of digital and information literacy skills arise. Through inquiry learning students can develop these skills in context, and hopefully see the connections to future tasks.

References

Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority. (n.d.). General Capabilities. Retrieved from https://australiancurriculum.edu.au/f-10-curriculum/general-capabilities/

Bawden, D. & Robinson, L. (2012). Introduction to information science [London: Facet]. Retrieved from https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/csuau/detail.action?docID=2076216

Brabazon, T., Dear, Z., Greene, G., & Purdy, A. (2009). Why the Google generation will not speak: The Invention of digital natives. Nebula, 6(1), p.163-180. Retrieved from http://www.nobleworld.biz/images/BDGP.pdf

Conole, G. (2012). Designing for learning in an open world (Vol. 4) [Springer]. Retrieved from https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/csuau/reader.action?docID=1030803

Teacher-Librarians do what now..?

Free-Photos / Pixabay

I have always been interested in working in a school library. Following the completion of my Bachelors degree I undertook a Grad. Dip. of Library and Information Management, as I thought it would be interesting and give me something to do while waiting for work opportunities to come up. It was. It gave me experiences in a librarian’s role and the administrative side of things. Prior to this, my experience of teacher-librarians was limited to my schooling and my practicums.

My first picture of what a teacher-librarian’s role included was in primary school. I thought it was about buying books, helping students to find books that interested them, and hosting authors/illustrators, and Book Week. It always seemed like an interesting job and being able to be around books all day was a great idea to me.

During my practicums my view of the teacher-librarian role expanded. I went to library lessons and observed how the teacher-librarian worked with classes and helped teachers locate resources. They created book boxes for areas of research, assisted students in borrowing for interests, and helped hook students into research topics.

As my experiences with school libraries changed, my understandings of the role of teacher librarians has developed. During my first contract in a teacher-librarian role I came across the School Library Association of South Australia’s (SLASA) Teacher Librarian Role Statement (2015). This really opened my eyes as to how much a teacher-librarian does!

Now, after 3 ½ years in teacher-librarian positions my understanding of the role is of an information professional that is involved in all areas of the school – providing access points for information literacy skills and literature promotion. Information literacy skills are integral to developing students who can locate and critically evaluate information in the 21st century.

Teacher-librarians are information skills advocates.

This includes defining questions, locating resources, searching online effectively and taking notes, summarising information, referencing correctly, and developing critical thinking skills. They find opportunities for inquiry learning.

Teacher-librarians are resource advocates.

They curate and provide access to a variety of up to date and relevant sources for teaching and learning. They need to integrate their way into subject areas and tailor their presentations/resources for specific needs. The teacher-librarian is a resource that is there to be used. They are experts in their field.

Teacher-librarians are literacy advocates.

They help students locate resources suited to their ability and their interests. They introduce students to books they may not have seen previously. They provide access to resources for all users. They promote interest and challenge in reading.

Teacher-librarians are collaboration advocates.

They work together with class and subject teachers to create meaningful opportunities for inquiry learning and development of information skills.

I have enjoyed being a teacher-librarian in the positions I have been employed in. I believe these roles/jobs of the teacher-librarian are intertwined and often overlap. There is a big change from what I thought teacher-librarians did to what I now realise is part of the role. This has not changed my interest in the role. I see the role as very important in developing information literate students for the future.