As I reflect on my journey of developing and writing this assignment, the most prominent case for literary learning that resonated with me is that it is possible and not difficult. I acknowledged the issue that using literature in teaching seems like another subject to teach. Hence, it is not surprising that most teachers seem to avoid it. I believe the reason for this is the lack of understanding about literary learning. I think it is commonly mistaken with Literature, which is another subject on its own. Literary learning is integrating the use of literature arts across the curriculum (Cornett, 2007). Thus, the important point that every Teacher Librarian (TL) must communicate to teachers is that it is the use of literature to support and enhance learning outcomes in any curriculum topic and it is not teaching literature.
This assignment was a great example of educating teachers that it is possible to learn using literature. Literature has always been seen as a segregated subject but the act of just using any forms of literature as teaching resources is often neglected. It is generally use as resources for teaching the language arts. However, using literature, in particular, fiction is still not widely used in other learning areas such as Science or Mathematics. Cognitive scientists and developmental psychologists have confirmed that the human brain relies on stories to understand, remember and make sense of their life (Haven, 2007). Thus, why not make full use of this research information and apply it to other curriculum learning areas in order to gain positive learning outcomes.
In this regards, the role of the TL to promote literary learning is important. In developing the literary learning program, I am reminded of the multifaceted role of the TL as described by Herring (2007). In particular, Herring described the role of the TL as fiction and non-fiction advocate, curriculum and information literacy leader, instructional partner and information specialist. I could see that these roles were at play particularly in the teaching and learning strategies section as well as in the children’s literature promotion. Most importantly, I believe that this is a great reminder that the TL is not just a library staff looking after the library but the TL is also essentially still a teacher.
My final position in what I have learned about the concept of literary learning is the critical aspect of promoting literary learning. The concept is fairly new to me and I do not doubt that it would be new for some teachers too. I realised that the success of literary learning depends on the teachers’ full support and commitment. The roles of the TL are just one essential part to make the program work. Moreover, the TL could promote her/his role in every possible way. But ultimately, the program cannot be set in motion without the teachers’ involvement. If the TL is able to influence others and lead collaboration, it will significantly improve the whole school (Belisle, 2005). Thus, the leadership role of the TL becomes a key aspect in getting the teachers’ support.
Belisle, C. (2005). The teacher as leader: Transformational leadership and the professional teacher or teacher-librarian. School Libraries in Canada, 24(3), 73-79.
Cornett, C. E. (2007). Integrating the arts. Creating meaning through literature and the arts: an integration resource for classroom teachers (3rd ed., pp. 94-134). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Merrill Prentice-Hall.
Haven, K. F. (2007). Story proof: the science behind the startling power of story. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Publishing Group.
Herring, J. (2007). Teacher librabrians and the school library. In S. Ferguson (Ed.), Libraries in the twenty-first century: charting new directions in information (pp. 27-42). Wagga Wagga, NSW: Centre for Information Studies, Charles Sturt University.