Reflective Practice

Prior to the commencement of this subject I really had only a very basic knowledge of the importance of Information Literacy (IL), and had only briefly been exposed to one IL model, namely the Guided Inquiry Design process. Now my understanding of IL and my exposure to IL models has really highlighted to me the significant role that the Teacher Librarian (TL) plays in inquiry learning and in supporting the school community.

How has My Understanding of IL expanded?

In my blog on What I can take from the discussion of Information Literacy to my role in the school I commented on the fact that I saw IL as complex, and this was reinforced to me through the fact that there is no one definition for it. It was at this point though that I began to appreciate its importance in student learning. IL, and the focus on facilitating lifelong learning so that individuals are well equipped as citizens in the modern world, resonated deeply with me. In the subject learning materials Module 5: Information Literacy I appreciated UNESCO’s view of IL as being part of the lifelong learning process and a basic human right that empowers individuals. The global interest in IL, and its support and acknowledgement by global institutions, reinforced my appreciation of its significance. As my own understanding and appreciation of IL evolves, I realise that as a teacher I’m facilitating the IL of my students everyday. However as a TL, I have the ability to influence the IL of the entire school community through my leadership and collaboration with colleagues. The fact that I only now appreciate the importance of IL means that this is not yet being addressed adequately enough by my school. As professionals who are given the responsibility of preparing and equipping students for a productive life, IL needs to be at the front and centre of our everyday work.

How has my understanding of IL models expanded?

My appreciation for what is required to successfully implement an IL model was challenged in Discussion forum 5.4a Information literacy where the question was asked: What challenges lie in the way of moving towards an integrated information literacy instruction? I commented that what Elyse McMaster wrote in the forum really resonated with me. Prior to that I had not considered the time logistics involved. Elyse wrote that the challenges included sufficient time for professional development, time for collaboration and planning and time for review. (McMaster, 2019) It was at that point that I saw this from a practical day to day school perspective, and agreed that such challenges are always present for any new program being developed and delivered. In my blog post Guided Inquiry Design I commented on the value I saw in the GID process and its benefits to students through them learning how to learn, and understanding their own learning as suggested by Kuhlthau,  Maniotes & Caspari (2012).

The TL role in inquiry learning

In  Discussion forum 4.1b: Inquiry Learning I wrote about the fact that my school is in the process of implementing Project Based Learning (PBL) for Year 7. The response to my writing made it clear that I needed to further my understanding of inquiry learning for my future role as TL. I was reminded in Judy O’Connell’s response that PBL does not equal inquiry learning, and that as TL my contribution needed to ensure that sufficient information seeking process, and correct scaffolding for students’ inquiry learning was essential. It also highlighted to me that my understanding of IL and inquiry learning is still in its infancy. As a TL my understanding will continually evolve over time, as will my experience with IL and inquiry learning. I need to be willing to adjust my thinking and practice of IL in line with new developments and in response to reflections and evaluation of school community needs. In my blog post Reflecting on Information literacy in practice.I wrote in response to Lori’ Korodajs post that detailed how the programs they use morph from year to year according to student need and feedback. I agreed that this modifying and changing of programs is a necessary role for the TL. My understanding has expanded and I now see the TL as the key promotor of IL and chief collaborator in implementing inquiry learning in schools. This was highlighted by me in Discussion forum 4.3 the TL and Curriculum where I commented on the significant role that the TL plays in guiding teachers with curriculum.


United Nations Education Scientific and Cultural Organisation. (2005) Alexandria Proclamation. Retrieved from

Kuhlthau, C. C, Maniotes, L. K., & Caspari, A. K. (2012). Guided inquiry design: A framework for inquiry in your school. Santa Barbara, CA: Libraries Unlimited

Discussion forum 4.1b: Inquiry Learning

My school has recently delved into PBL, with a group of teachers and librarians chosen to work on this and delivering it next term. I was meant to be part of this but needed to take the last 4 weeks of term off due to the unexpected diagnosis of a life limiting disease of my beautiful 5 week old niece. I am very passionate about being involved in the introduction of PBL into my school and will hopefully still form part of the team working on this next term. I see the issues that may stand in the way of its success simply being time and continued collaboration cross curricular. Fortunately we have a very supportive Executive who too are passionate about inquiry learning and ensuring that our students are 21st century learners. I look forward to seeing this in full swing within our school.

Discussion forum 4.3 the TL and Curriculum

Our teacher librarian also takes every Yr 7 class for introductory lessons and gets to know them through this. I have found as a classroom teacher that every time I have collaborated on units of work with my TL to use her expertise, the end results have been enriched by this. The students too are more willing to seek the guidance of the TL in this process and perhaps then this has a flow on effect encouraging them to seek their further guidance in other KLAs.

Evidence guide for teacher librarians

The ASLA evidence guide will be a key document that I will utilise to inform my practice. Being new to the world of teacher librarianship I feel that I will use any guide that I can get my hands on to inform my work. Being professional and meeting the teaching standards is fundamental to ensuring that one can

Reflecting on Information literacy in practice.

I found it interesting to read Lori’s blog post on information literacy:

Information literacy gave me writer’s block

I found it interesting when she was saying that one of the programs they use morphs from year to year according to student need and feedback. I think that this modifying and changing of programs is paramount to good teacher librarianship. When introducing anything new to a school the key is to evaluate its impact and success and be willing to make changes when needed. Often when teachers invest a lot of time and effort into a project or program they feel a great deal of loyalty towards it and couldn’t possibly accept that it may not be working as successfully as planned. However, the key to good teaching practice is to evaluate the impact that anything has on student learning and be willing to make adjustments accordingly.

I also feel that Lori’s point about mapping the General Capabilities and how they are being addressed across the school is a very good idea. I liked the fact that this highlighted them moving towards a convergence between information literacy and the General Capabilities.

I see this as being a necessary in the modern school. As my understanding of information literacy is developing, I am seeing the importance of the process and the skills to student development.

Guided Inquiry Design

I was reading the book by Kuhlthau, Maniotes, & Caspari,  (2012) on Guided Inquiry design and came across a sentence that has really highlighted to me the significance of this as a process ‘Because students cannot possibly learn all of the content that is known, learning how to learn and understanding one’s own learning process are more important than ever before’ (p. 1). I like the fact that this is authentic learning and involves collaboration. After all, collaboration is an essential process that occurs throughout life. Therefore it stands to reason that collaboration and fostering this within schools is useful in preparing students for life.



Kuhlthau, C.C, Maniotes, L.K., & Caspari, A.K. (2012). Guided inquiry design: A framework for inquiry in your school. Santa Barbara, CA: Libraries Unlimited

Redefining literacy skills and methods of teaching literacy

All teaching and learning happens within an evolving context. As teachers we must adapt to changes within the social context in order to ensure that the teaching and learning that occurs within our classrooms is relevant. Literacy needs and skills are ever changing and I found it interesting that in the youtube clip one of the practitioners mentioned outdoor literacy and that there were multiple literacies. It is clear that we have moved beyond the reading and writing skills of literacy and well into the critical and creative thinking, and problem solving. I think that it was interesting that the comment was also made about the way in which media now invades our private lives. We have to also be aware of the need to encourage students to be discerning in their use of their own literacy.


What Does it Mean to be Literate in the 21st Century?

Reading about GID

When reading (Maniotes and Kuhlthau, 2014)  Making the shift there was one line that really stood out to me and resonated with me and my teaching practise “Typical assignments limit students’ ability to learn from a variety of sources and often result in a simple copying exercise”. I have grappled with this problem as a classroom teacher for a long time, designing tasks to try to solve this problem. However, I can now see how utilising the GID information literacy model can address this.


Maniotes, L.K, Kuhlthau, C. (2014) Making the shift. Knowledge Quest. 43(2) 8-17

What I can take from the discussion of Information Literacy to my role in the school

What I realised is that Information literacy is such a complex concept that has so many facets. I particularly like Lupton’s  (2004) definition from module 5.2 that focuses on the learning elements. I realise that in my role as TL I will need to encourage higher order thinking and critical thinking. It is also important to teach problem solving skills that can be utilised throughout life in a multitude of contexts. It is clear that the information literacy that forms part of good teaching practise will be well utilised throughout a person’s life.