Cooperative and collaboration in the library.

johnhain / Pixabay

 

We recently hosted the Year 9 Mathematics cohort for a few lessons over this past term.  Traditionally, the Information Centre rarely hosts Mathematics classes, but a recently graduate Mathematics teacher wanted a more collaborative approach to learning.  He devised a series of lessons that were aimed at developing the student’s skills in geometry through collaborative learning groups but needed additional bodies and space to ensure it ran effectively.  By using the library and its flexible learning spaces to run these collaborative learning sessions, the students were able to gain assistance from their peers, their own teachers and the teacher librarians.  This mean that there was more specific support available for facilitating the learning, which led to an overall improvement in student outcomes.  From a teacher librarian perspective, these sessions were a wonderful way to develop student learning through collaboration and cooperation, and a fantastic outcome for all.   

Classes come to the Information Centre from across the school to access the library for resources, the flexible learning spaces, as well as gain assistance from the teacher librarians.  This assistance may be in the form of information seeking, but the fact is that the primary focus of any teacher librarian is to facilitate the teaching and learning of their school community (ALIA & ASLA, 2004).  Research from over thirty different studies across the world has indicated that the presence of qualified teacher librarians has a strong positive correlation to improved learning outcomes (Hughes, 2013).  This access can occur in a variety of ways but most often occurs in the form of team teaching with the classroom teacher, explicit instruction, targeted assistance with inquiry learning, as well as informal and formal research support, essay writing workshopsthe implementation of literacy and numeracy strategies, and various other teaching and learning programs.  This breath of access means that the teacher librarians themselves can be considered a resource to improve student learning because they enable students and teachers to use the library and all its resources to its fullest potential (ALIA & ASLA, 2016).   

School libraries are more than just book repositories, but rather they are dynamic spaces where information can be accessed, and knowledge constructed for a range of purposes.  The reality is that time spent into the library in the pursuit of knowledge often leads to improved efficiency and efficacy because of the qualified teacher librarians that support student learning.   

 References. 

ALIA & ASLA. (2004). Standards of professional excellence for teacher librarians. Australian School Library Association. https://read.alia.org.au/alia-asla-standards-professional-excellence-teacher-librarians 

ALIA, & ASLA. (2016). Statement on Teacher Librarians in Australia. Australian School Library Association. https://asla.org.au/resources/Documents/Website%20Documents/Policies/policy_tls_in_australia.pdf 

Hughes, H. (2013). School libraries and teacher librarians: evidence of their contribution ot student literacy and learning. Curriculum & Leadership Journal 11(12).   http://www.curriculum.edu.au/leader/school_libraries_and_tls,36453.html?issueID=12777 

Leading from the middle – Teacher Librarian as a Middle Leader at School.

 

Leading from the Middle. 

Strong educational leadership has been clearly linked to a positive learning culture and increased student outcomes as effective leaders have a strong vision, are able to lead by example, manage their resources in a flexible manner and are able to develop strong collaborative teams (Leithwood, Harris & Hopkins, 2020; Yeith et al, 2019, p. 452). But whilst there are numerous types of leadership styles, research has indicated that distributed leadership (DL) has the greatest influence on students and their learning outcomes (Leithwood, Harris & Hopkins, 2020, p. 12; Bartlett, 2014, p.1).  DL advocates for the distribution of leadership roles within the school community based on expertise rather than a formal position of power, and as such is fundamentally based upon positive and collaborative interactions between colleagues and teams (Leithwood, Harris & Hopkins, 2020, p. 13-14.  It is these interactions and team development that leads to the promotion of middle school leaders and the development of teacher librarians as leaders of information literacy, innovative pedagogy and educational technology.  

Middle school leaders (MSL) are an important aspect of educational environments as their position of responsibility operates between senior leadership and teaching staff (De Nobile, 2018).  They are often responsible for mentoring new teachers, leading a team, a project or a faculty, as well as managing the traditional aspects of classroom teaching  (Lipscombe et al., 2020, p. 408-411; De Nobile, 2018, p.398).   Unlike principals whose leadership role is based upon actions,  MSL’s responsibility  is often linked to maintenance of resources, professional development, school improvement plans and thus their role is dependent on interactions with others and on their individual context (De Nobile, 2018, p.398; Lipscombe et al., 2020, p. 408-409).  

In primary schools, MSL are often team leaders or year level coordinators, whereas in secondary schools, they manifest as faculty heads and or leaders of wellbeing (Lipscombe et al., 2020, p. 408).  As experienced teachers, MSL are able to combine classroom teaching with leadership positions, and therefore are well placed to make a direct and positive impact upon the teaching and learning (Lipscombe et al., 2020, p.407-408).   Whilst the context may differ, MSL operate on behalf of the school leadership team as they are often required to interpret the agenda of senior management as well as expected to develop and staff towards the principal’s shared vision (De Nobile, 2018, p. 400).  

The efficacy of MSL is dependent on several clear parameters.  The variability of the role and range of possible contexts means that there is no distinct career pathway or associated professional development.  Therefore, in order to be effective, these emerging leaders require clearly established responsibilities, explicit support from the principal, a positive learning culture, expertise in their field and a framework for professional development, so that they can successfully meet the expectations of their school community (De Nobile, 2018, p. 401; Lipscombe et al., 2020, p.407).  Due to the lack of a formal career pathway, Lipscombe et al., (2020) advocates  AITSL’s Australian Professional Standard for Principals as a framework for informing current practice as well as providing direction for future MSL professional development (p. 412).  This framework is useful because there is little structure for leadership development within the professional standards for teachers (Lipscombe et al., 2020, p.412).  Unfortunately not all MSL have clearly defined expectations, or adequate sufficient support from the principal, and this can severely impact their ability to effect change within the school especially when it comes to innovations in pedagogy (De Nobile, 2018, p.401; Lipscombe et al., 2020, p.419). This inability can impact the MSL’s capacity for job satisfaction and can lead to increased attrition rates (Stroud, 2017). 

The main purpose of MSL is to improve and innovate pedagogical practices and positively impact learning outcomes (Lipscombe et al., 2020, p.417).  By these parameters, teacher librarians (TL) are ideally suited to the task based upon their Masters of Education, as well as the significant overlap between their role in the school and the requirements of MSL.  Unlike ATSIL’s Highly Accomplished and Lead Teacher which is focused on using classroom teacher’s expertise to develop professional practice in others, teacher librarians are required by their professional standards to demonstrate leadership within school communities, have thorough knowledge of the curriculum and actively promote collaborative learning (AITSL, 2019, p.3; ALIA & ASLA, 2004; Lipscombe et al., 2020, p.412).  Additionally, from a school hierarchy perspective, most TLs are classified as coordinators or as faculty heads,  and therefore their position within a school is literally in the ‘middle’.   TLs are able to  lead from the middle by supporting their colleagues with their expertise, promoting collaborative teaching and learning as well as modelling good pedagogical practices (ALIA & ASLA, 2004). 

The reality is that even though teacher librarians have a great capacity for leadership, their ability to fulfill that role to the best of their ability requires adequate time, support and structure (Johnston, 2015).  Time is the most desired resource as TL do require adequate time to balance the roles of managing an information agency, along with the developing informational literacy as well as sufficient time to plan strategically for future educational trends (Lipscombe et al., 2020, p.412).  Unfortunately many TLs are restricted in their ability to strategically plan, co-plan and collaborate with their colleagues due to significant teaching loads, lack of support from the principal and insufficient authority.  

Middle school leaders have a great capacity to improve student learning  by sharing their expertise, promoting professional development and collaborative learning as well as by modelling best practice pedagogy.  Teacher librarians make ideal middle school leaders because of their human and social capital.  They are academically qualified, have the necessary professional knowledge, extensive curriculum understanding and collaborative approach to education.  As such their ability to significantly improve learning outcomes is immense provided they are supported by their principal, a positive learning culture and sufficient time to do their role properly.  

 

References:

AITSL. (2014). Australian professional standard for principals and the leadership profiles. Education Services Australia. 

https://www.aitsl.edu.au/docs/default-source/national-policy-framework/australian-professional-standard-for-principals.pdf?sfvrsn=c07eff3c_6

AITSL. (2019). Certification of Highly Accomplished and Lead Teachers in Australia. National Policy Framework https://www.aitsl.edu.au/docs/default-source/national-policy-framework/certification-of-highly-accomplished-and-lead-teachers.pdf?sfvrsn=227fff3c_8

ALIA & ASLA. (2004). Standards of professional excellence for teacher librarians. Australian School Library Association. https://read.alia.org.au/alia-asla-standards-professional-excellence-teacher-librarians

Bartlett, J. (2014). The power deep in Org Chart: Leading from the middle. Library Leadership & Management 28 (4). https://journals.tdl.org/llm/index.php/llm/article/view/7091/6307

De Nobile, J. (2018). Towards a theoretical model of middle leadership in schools. School Leadership & Management 38 (4). pp 395-416, DOI: 10.1080/13632434.2017.1411902

Gurr, D. (2019). School middle leaders in Australia, Chile and Singapore.  School Leadership & Management, 39:3-4, p278-296, DOI: 10.1080/13632434.2018.1512485 

Leithwood, K., Harris, A., & Hopkins, D. (2020). Seven strong claims about successful school leadership revisited, School Leadership & Management, 40 (1), 5-22, DOI: 10.1080/13632434.2019.1596077

Lipscombe, K. Grice, C. Tindall-Ford, S., & DeNobile, J. (2020). Middle leading in Australian schools: professional standards, positions, and professional development. School Leadership & Management 40 (5) pp.406-424. DOI: 10.1080/13632434.2020.1731685

Johnston, M. (2015). Distributed leadership theory for investigating teacher librarian leadership. School Libraries Worldwide 21 (2). doi: 10.14265.21.2.003

Stroud, G. (2017). Why do teachers leave? ABC News – Opinion. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-02-04/why-do-teachers-leave/8234054

Yeigh, T., Lynch, D., Turner, D., Provost, S., Smith, R., & Willis, R. (2019).  School leadership and school improvement: an examination of school readiness factors. School Leadership & Management, 39:5, pp434-456, DOI: 10.1080/13632434.2018.1505718

#IWD2021

#ChooseToChallenge
 

IWD2021’s theme of #ChooseToChallenge is a call for a more inclusive society by challenging outdated ideologies.  This theme suggests that we as individuals can quietly watch gender bias, discrimination and equality occur around us, or we can call it out.  Our role in the Information Centre and as teacher librarians is to call out the gender bias in literature.   

Literature is a reflection of society because the storylines, characterisations and language of the time are captured by the author (Zanfabro, 2015).   This is why Austen’s Elizabeth Bennett, Bronte’s Jane Eyre, Mitchell’s Scarlett O’Hara, Collins’ Katniss Evergreen, and Dahl’s Matilda Wormwood are so memorable.  They were the rebels of their time and as such inspired other women to challenge prevailing standards and rebel against societal expectations of femininity.  Literature has a great capacity to inspire, provoke and challenge the reader, but the presence of strong female protagonists is not the norm.    A recent study of books published indicates that less than 30% of fiction texts have a strong female character (Green, 2018).   The primary theory for this disparity is that males don’t like reading books with female protagonists, whereas females are less discriminatory about their reading material.  Therefore, it is safer for publishers to print books that feature male protagonists as they have a wider appeal (Rebel Girls, 2017).   

Gender bias in literature and publishing has ramifications.  Strong female characters are excellent role models for both sexes (Green, 2018).  Female protagonists in fiction texts normalise physically and cognitively strong women, point out that it is ok for females to have a leadership role and mostly, that strong women do not mean boys are weak (Green, 2018).  Interestingly whilst strong female protagonists are found in varying forms of literature in many differing capacities, they are rarely captured as leaders, unless based upon a historical figure or a biography (Green, 2018).   

Our role in the Information Centre and as teacher librarians is to curate literature that portrays strong female and male role models. We are continuously seeking to ensure our collection reflects the educational, emotional, cognitive and developmental needs of our school community… And that includes making sure our girls and boys get to read a range of texts about strong women.   

We #ChooseToChallenge gender stereotypes in literature. 

References:  

Green, S. (2018). Do we need strong female characters? The Irish Times. Retrieved from https://www.irishtimes.com/culture/books/do-we-need-strong-female-characters-1.3513651 

Magras, D. (2019). Feminist AF: Hearing Their Voices: Supporting Female Empowerment in Middle Grade Fiction for Tweens and Teens. School Library Journal.    

Rebel Girls. (2017). The ugly truth about children’s books [Video].  Retrieved from http://rebelgirls.co/ugly_truth 

Zanfabro, G. (2017). Gender matters: What is at stake in dealing with children’s literature? TRANS- Revue de Litterature Générale et Comparée 21. DOI : https://doi.org/10.4000/trans.1440 

 

Transformational leadership

 

There are many different types of leadership styles and their suitability is dependent on the organisation and the type of outcomes desired.  Schools and other learning institutions that have learning as their focus, require leaders to ensure learning outcomes are maximised for all individuals.  In response to the information revolution and the digital age, MCEETYA (2009) has highlighted the necessary skill set required by young people to succeed in the twenty-first century.  No longer just focused primarily on just knowledge acquisition, the modern world requires students to have critical and creative thinking skills, digital and multimodal literacy as well as competent personal and social capabilities.  This transformation of educational outcomes requires a leadership style that is able to inspire change.  That style of leadership is defined as transformational leadership.  

geralt / Pixabay

There is a significant body of research indicating the efficacy of transformational leadership in modern educational institutions.  Anderson (2017) describes this style as being characterised by a leader (principal) who guides their subordinates towards a shared vision and executes that change with a team.  Transformational principals are able to envision the trajectory of their school towards the goals set by the Melbourne Declaration, and are able to motivate their colleagues to build successful teams and achieve that vision within the desired time frame (MCEETYA, 2009; Mindtools, 2016). 

geralt / Pixabay

Transformational leadership promotes team building and opportunities for professional growth.  This style encourages the development of leadership skills in others (Ingram, 2019).  A principal who demonstrates this style of leadership recognises the importance of relationships between teachers and the need to develop teacher leaders (Longwell-McKean, 2012).  They recognise the importance of building collaborative relationships and promoting professional growth to enable teachers to become leaders, and instruments of change within their teams and departments (Longwell-McKean, 2012, p. 24).  Transformational principals nurture collaborative practices and professional practice in others, and as such collectively increase the level of transformation within the organisation (Longwell-McKean, 2012, p. 25).  

REFERENCES:

Anderson, Matthew (2017) “Transformational Leadership in Education: A Review of Existing Literature,” International Social Science Review 93: 1. Retrieved from https://digitalcommons.northgeorgia.edu/issr/vol93/iss1/4

Longwell -McKean, P.C. (2012). Restructuring Leadership for 21st Century Schools: How Transformational Leadership and Trust Cultivate Teacher Leadership.  UC San Diego. Retrieved from https://escholarship.org/uc/item/6746s4p9

MCEETYA (2009) Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians. Curriculum Corporation. Australia. Retrieved from http://www.curriculum.edu.au/verve/_resources/national_declaration_on_the_educational_goals_for_young_australians.pdf

MindTools. (2016). Core leadership theories. https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/leadership-theories.htm

Schools as learning organisations.

 

The leadership and management of a school is heavily dependent on the organisation’s structure and learning culture. 

Small businesses, large corporations and government agencies tend to have an organisational structure that is easily identifiable.  However, schools and other learning institutions rarely adhere to a single framework and are often a medley of theories and are also heavily influenced by external political, social and economic factors.  This variance in organisational framework and external influences can affect the way schools are managed and overall success achieved. 

mohamed_hassan / Pixabay

 

Buijs (2005) argues that the way education and teaching is viewed has a direct influence on teaching practices.  Consequently, if education and learning institutions are to be viewed as centres of learning, then the focus of that organisation should be based upon pedagogical practices and the achievement of learning outcomes.  Kools & Stoll (2016) elaborate upon this idea further by suggesting that schools are knowledge based organisations with community as a central focus.  This is because learning and learning outcomes are exponentially  increased when students are emotionally supported in the presence of strong relationships.  Consequently the definition of schools as knowledge based learning organisations is more suitable as there is a shared focus on good pedagogical practice, student welfare and a strong emphasis on meaningful relationships.  This means schools will have different organisational needs and require a very different leadership style.  It is also important to remember that schools are not businesses and cannot be run for a profit from an ethical or moral point of view (Kools & Stoll, 2016).  

The reality is that most local schools are part of larger organisations, such as education departments or charters, and or have strong links to religious affliliations.  This means that as part of larger conglomerates, they are not an independent organisation but are at the behest of the policies and procedures of the parent.  This acknowledgement of a parent organisation confirms the presence of machine theory, which can make some schools inefficient and rigid because they are unable to meet the local community due to the largely bureaucratic nature of the overarching organisation.  This can be fairly common in education department schools that have to follow a central path instead of meeting the needs of their local community. 

Besides the presence of the overarching machine theory, most individual schools are aligned along the classic management format with a clearly defined hierarchy of authority emanating from the principalship down to heads of faculty, team leaders and then classroom teachers (Kokemuller, 2017).  This structure is generally very stable as there are distinct channels of communication and in most circumstances staff are compliant  as this system is often replicated across schools and sectors (Kokemuller, 2017). 

Interestingly, few schools adhere to the professional organisational theory even though the teachers are considered to be highly educated and thus should have volition of their professional practice.  This difference could be due to the difference in how teachers view their own organisation and the way the organisation views teachers.  Classroom teachers view their profession as a student centred and have learning outcomes at the focus of their practice. But as schools are often viewed as public property, the actions and decisions made by school leaders are often influenced by the politics and society.  The presence of national curriculums, state syllabi, standardised testing and performance reviews limit the professional autonomy of practice teachers truly have.  These decisions, such as standardised testing, are often used to measure the efficacy of teachers and schools rather than determining and then resolving inequity between students (Berry, 2018).   It also puts into focus the trust and level of professional courtesy extended to teachers themselves by the governing authority and the greater community.

 

What influences a school’s decision making?

Whilst schools place a system of caring as its focus is beneficial to students, there are some negatives for teachers.  Kools & Stool (2017) argue that using vision and purpose to bind workers to an organisation is not always in the worker’s best interests as it puts the organisation’s vision above the needs of the employee.  Consistently putting the needs of the organisation above the worker can quickly lead to employee dissatisfaction, reduction in morale and increased attrition rates.  This is glaringly obvious when considering the high attrition of teaching staff  due to disillusionment and a lack of support (Stroud, 2017).  Currently, it is touted that over half of people who hold a teaching degree do not currently work in education and almost a fifth of new graduates do not even register as teachers upon completion of their degree (Stroud, 2017).  These statistics do not bode well for schools as learning organisations in the long term.  Schools are learning organisations and should be focused on the needs of their learning community and the relationships that support that learning for staff and students. 

The unfortunate truth is that the education sector is at the behest of public funds and as such are dependent on governmental policies as well as societal expectations.  This means that till there is a consensus about what the actual focus is of schools and other educational institutions, there will continue to be uncertainty about its outcomes, and for the people that work within the system.

The OECD’s report about schools being a learning organisation acknowledges that student learning needs to be the focus of educational institutions (OECD, 2016).  It points out that as a learning organisation, schools need to have the flexibility to adapt quickly to changing circumstances, as well as having the internal frameworks to embrace emerging technologies and innovative practice (OECD, 2016).  It is evidently clear that for students to receive the necessary skills and knowledge required for the 21st century, schools need to have a shared and collaborative approach to learning.  As such, there is a clear need for schools to have a shared vision, a positive culture of learning, support professional development and collaboration, and be able to exchange information freely with the external environment (OECD, 2016, p.1). This type of organisation values its staff members as professionals, and places importance in building those valuable relationships.

Schools are indeed organisations that promote learning and need to have a strong focus on their learning community which includes staff and students.  Unfortunately, education sectors are at the behest of public funds and as such are dependent on governmental policies as well as societal expectations.  This means that till there is a consensus about what the actual focus is of schools and other educational institutions, there will continue to be uncertainty about its outcomes, and the people that embedded within the system.

 

References:

Buijs, J. (2005). Teaching: Profession or vocation? Catholic  Education:  A  Journal  of  Inquiry  and  Practice, 8; 3. Pp 326-345. Retrieved from https://ejournals.bc.edu/index.php/cej/article/view/590/579

Berry, Y. (March 20, 2018). Time to drop NAPLAN? We shouldn’t treat school like a competition. The Canberra Times. Retrieved from https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6021749/time-to-drop-naplan-we-shouldnt-treat-school-like-a-competition/digital-subscription/

Kokemuller, N. (2017). Mintzberg’s five types of organizational structure. Hearst Newspapers: Small business. http://smallbusiness.chron.com/mintzbergs-five-types-organizational-structure-60119.html

Kools, M. and Stoll L. (2016), “What Makes a School a Learning Organisation?”, OECD Education Working Papers, No. 137, OECD Publishing, Paris. http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/5jlwm62b3bvh-en

Laming, M.M. and Horne, M. (2013) Career change teachers: Pragmatic choice or a vocation postponed? Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice, 19 (3). pp. 326-343.

OECD. (2016). What makes a school a learning organisation? A guide for policy makers, school leaders and teachers. UNICEF – Office of Research-Innocenti. Retrieved from http://www.oecd.org/education/school/school-learning-organisation.pdf

Stroud, G. (2017). Why do teachers leave? ABC News – Opinion. Retrieved from https://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-02-04/why-do-teachers-leave/8234054

What does a library do?

How does a library influence the teaching and learning of a school?

 

How does a school library, its services and resources contribute to teaching and learning?  When I started my course two years ago, my understanding of the capabilities of a library and a teacher librarian was restricted to resourcing the curriculum and providing recreational reading.

Now, five units later, I am starting to become more aware of what a well staffed school library and teacher librarian is capable of.

The above concept map is how I feel my school library contributes to the teaching and learning within the school.  I was amazed at how many adaptations I had to make to the original flow chart.

This is my original flow chart of how I thought the library as the information centre contributes to the overall learning outcomes.  But flow charts do not show the relationships between areas or how one impacts the other.

For example – The cycle of Pedagogy, curriculum and assessment is continuous and requires regular reviews.  For example, pedagogical practice impacts learning outcomes and requires teachers review their practice to ensure best practices is maintained.  

But you can’t show those relationships on a flow chart or a hierarchal chart…

 

 

Leadership – The beginning of ETL504

The action of leading a group of people or an organisation.

 

Leaders are people with the ability to use social influence rather than formal authority to convince others to follow their vision.  Leaders can be appointed or emerge from the ranks, and thus the qualities of leadership are not correlated to seniority, nor a person’s position in an organisation.  This is because the ability to inspire others is based upon their ability to influence rather than power or authority (Kruse, 2013).

There are two main objectives of a leader, the first one is to use their influence to convince people to work cohesively together, and the second one is to have a task, vision or goal in mind to focus their influence upon (Mindtools, 2016).  This leads to the summation that the type of leader will be dependent upon the vision, the cohort and the environment the leader is working with and that there is no one correct type of leader.   Consequently it can be theorised that leaders and leadership style will vary depending on the circumstances in which the organisation finds itself in (Mindtools, 2016).  This means that unlike previous years where good leadership was assumed to be within the realms of charismatic individuals, the modern perspective of leadership is instead perceived to be situational and team based (Klingborg et al., 2014; Kruse, 2013; Mindtools, 2016).  

Unfortunately, leadership roles and management are often confused for each other.  This is a fallacy as leaders are not necessarily managers.  Whilst there are similarities between the two roles, there is a difference in the spheres of influence.  Both leaders and managers can be appointed to their positions and the efficacy of both can impact an organisation, but in different ways.  Ingram (2019) points out that leaders are focused on the future and therefore provide goals and incentives for their team to achieve, whereas managers are focused on the achievements of the day.  This means that leaders are required to provide opportunities for personal growth and collaboration in order to promote individual and group performance (Ingram, 2019).  Managers are not mandated to provide the same level of access to personal development as their task is to use their legitimately appointed power to ensure tasks get completed on time, whereas leaders are tasked with using their socially influenced power to induce others to engage and participate in their vision or goal over a period of time (Kruse, 2013; Ingram, 2019).  Whilst leaders are not always managers, it is helpful for managers to also possess leadership qualities or traits.   

References

Ingram, D. (2019, February 4). Transformational leadership vs transactional leadership definition. Hearst Newspapers: Small Business. http://smallbusiness.chron.com/transformational-leadership-vs-transactional-leadership-definition-13834.html

Klingborg, D., Moore., D, & Varea-Hammond, S. (2006). What Is Leadership? Journal of veterinary medical education. 33. 280-3. 10.3138/jvme.33.2.280. 

Kruse, K. (2013). What is leadership? Forbes. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/kevinkruse/2013/04/09/what-is-leadership/?sh=3bcbe1115b90

MindTools. (2016). Core leadership theories. https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/leadership-theories.htm

INF 533 – Task 4 – Part C – The Reflecting

PART C – THE REFLECTING

The shift in the reading paradigm has impacted the definition of reading and the parameters of a text  (ACARA, 2018; Lamb, 2011).  Literacy is now defined as the ability to effectively engage with and communicate with a range of modalities (ACARA, 2018). Even though ACARA (2018) has mandated the incorporation of print, digital and hybrid literature, the inclusion of hybrid and digital literature in educational practice does have an impact on student learning, teacher confidence, and the nature of copyright when sharing digital works.

Digital storytelling (DST) is the modern adaptation of the ancient art of storytelling, in which visual, audio and textual elements are interwoven together to convey information and develop critical thinking (Ciccorico, 2012; Ohler, 2013, p.94; Maneti, Lipscombe & Kervin, 2018).   DST is also an effective conduit of knowledge, and traditions but its primary purpose is to develop language, literacy, and learning (Moran et al., 2020; Ross Johnston, 2014).   From an education perspective, DST can improve multimodal literacies, digital competencies and critical thinking, as it requires the reader to interact with the content rather than just passively view it (Hashim & Vongkulluksn, 2018).  The issue with utilising DST is that not all DL is transformative, and not all recipients possess the necessary skills to access and engage with the medium (Ross et al., 2017; Jeon, 2012).  DST that have minimal gestural manipulation, contradictory modalities, poor layout, and a lack of visual permanence have lower comprehension compared to print texts  (Lamb, 2011; Hashim & Vongkulluksn, 2018).

The issues with students:

The ability to process information is known as cognitive load.  Mayer and Moreno (2005) point out that cognitive overload occurs the amount of information received supersedes the brain’s processing capacity and any excess of stimuli can lead to diminished transfer of knowledge and reduced learning outcomes (CESE, 2017, p.3).   Cognitive load is minimised when skeuomorphic features are curtailed, modalities are complementary and when students have appropriate digital literacy skills (Ibrahim, 2012; Mangen et al., 2013).   Other factors that increase cognitive load are visual permanence, layout, colour scheme, length of digital text and an appropriate level of content (Mayer & Moreno, 2005; Mangen et al., 2013).  The review of my own DST shows how I attempted to meet the needs of my students. 

The issues with practitioners:

ACARA (2018) and ATSIL (2017) both require the inclusion of digital literature into classroom practice, but this mandate can cause feelings of inadequacy and can be exacerbated by the volume and variety of technology available (Hyndman, 2018).   However, Watson (2019) points out that teachers do not have to become experts in all forms of technology, just the platform they are choosing to use.  This resonates as in the first assessment task for INF533, I pointed out that teachers were unlikely to include creation of DST in their practice due to concerns of their own digital competencies (Templeton, 2020).   McGarr & McDonagh (2019) suggest that teacher competence should be framed around technology, cognition and ethics, so that professional development can have a focus.   Read about my DST journey here.

The issue with copyright:

The integration and implementation of DL has legal ramifications, and whilst educators are familiar with the “10% or one chapter rule”, there is a significant proportion who are unsure of the legalities when it comes to digital resources, Creative Commons and copyright law (Suzor, 2017). Literacy Toolkit (2019) points out that modelling correct academic writing for students with appropriate citations, is an effective way of explicitly teaching academic honesty.  An added benefit of using the Office suite is that Creative Commons images can be utilised with ease.   It was also fascinating to learn that images from historical and current events do not require permission for reporting purposes, and that transformed resources do not breach copyright law as it is unlikely to affect the creator or harm the market (ALRC report, 2013, p.319; Suzor, 2017).  Therefore teachers that create and or transform media to suit the needs of their students, are less likely to breach copyright than educators that just copy resources.  I certainly wish I had known this prior to starting and finishing my digital narrative, but that is for another blog on another day.

This semester expanded my knowledge of digital literature as indicated by my EVIDENCE of LEARNING hierarchal chart.  

In creating this Sway narrative, I was able to build upon understanding gained from previous subjects and solidify new knowledge upon it.  I learned about :

  1. Debunking the digital native myth.
  2. Understanding the relationship between teens, trends and technology
  3. Understanding the classroom divide, the evolving nature of literature and how digital literature increases motivation.
  4. Determining collection parameters for digital literature
  5. Creating a rubric for evaluating digital resources
  6. Determining the curriculum outcomes using the Backwards by design process.
  7. Understanding the dynamics of a flipped classroom
  8. Understanding the relationship between multimedia and cognitive load.
  9. Exploring the legalities of copyright law in the classroom (Blog yet to be written) and the need to explicitly teach copyright ethics.
  10. Evaluating the process of creating a DST.
  11. Lastly, evaluating my own DST using the same parameters I designed for Assessment task 2.

Remember Bloom??

This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-SA-NC

Remember Bloom?  That’s why.

 

REFERENCES

Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority. (2018). Literacy. In Australian Curriculum – General Capabilities. Retrieved from https://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/f-10-curriculum/general-capabilities/literacy/

Australian Government. (2013). Copyright and the digital economy (ALRC Report 122). Australhttps://www.alrc.gov.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/final_report_alrc_122_2nd_december_2013_.pdfian Law Reform Commission.

AITSL. (2017). Standards for Teachers. Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership. Retrieved from https://www.aitsl.edu.au/teach/standards

Brown, C., & Czerniewicz, L. (2010). Debunking the ‘digital native’: beyond digital apartheid, towards digital democracy.  Journal of Computer Assisted Learning 26(5). DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2729.2010.00369.x

Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation. (2017). Cognitive load theory: Research that teachers really need to understand. NSW Department of Education. Retrieved from https://www.cese.nsw.gov.au//images/stories/PDF/cognitive-load-theory-VR_AA3.pdf

Ciccoricco, D. (2012). Chapter 34 – Digital fiction – networked narratives. In Bray, J., Gibbons, A., & McHale, B. (2012). The Routledge Companion to Experimental Literature. Taylor & Francis eBooks. Retrieved from CSU Library.

David, L. (2020). Cognitive theory of multimedia learning (Mayer). Learning Theories. Retrieved from https://www.learning-theories.com/cognitive-theory-of-multimedia-learning-mayer.html

Department of Industry, Innovation and Science. (2016). Australia’s digital economy update. Retrieved from https://apo.org.au/sites/default/files/resource-files/2016/05/apo-nid66202-1210631.pdf

Fuglei M. (2020). Begin at the end: How backwards design enriches lesson planning. The Resilient Educator.  Retrieved from https://resilienteducator.com/classroom-resources/backwards-design-lesson-planning

Hashim, A & VongKulluskn, V. (2018). E reader apps and reading engagement: A descriptive case study. Computers and Education, 125, pp.358-375. Retrieved from https://www.journals.elsevier.com/computers-and-education/

Hughes-Hassell, S., & Mancall, J. C. (2005). Collection management for youth : Responding to the needs of learners. Retrieved from https://ebookcentral.proquest.com

Hyndman, B. (2018). Ten reasons teachers can struggle to use technology in the classroom. The Conversation [Blog]. Retrieved from https://theconversation.com/ten-reasons-teachers-can-struggle-to-use-technology-in-the-classroom-101114

Ibrahim, M. (2012). Implications of designing instructional video using cognitive theory of multimedia learning. Critical Questions in Education 3(2), p.83-104. Retrieved from https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1047003

Jeon, H. (2012). A comparison of the influence of electronic books and paper books on reading comprehension, eye fatigue, and perception. The Electronic Library, 30(3), 390-408. doi: 10.1108/02640471211241663

Johnson, P. (2018). Chapter 4 – Developing Collections. Fundamentals of Collection Development 4th Edition. ALA Editions. Chicago. Retrieved from EBSCOhost Books.   

Korthagen, F. (2017). Inconvenient truths about teacher learning: towards professional development 3.0. Teachers and Teaching, 23(4), p.387-405. Retrieved from https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/13540602.2016.1211523?needAccess=true

Kurt, S. (2018). What is backward design. Educational Technology. Teaching and Learning Resources.  Retrieved from https://educationaltechnology.net/backward-design-understanding-by-design/

Lamb, A. (2011). Reading redefined for a transmedia universe. Learning and leading with technology, 39(3), 12-17. Retrieved from CSU Library

Mangen, A., Walgermo, B. R. & Bronnick, K.A. (2013). Reading linear texts on paper versus computer screen: Effects on reading comprehension. International Journal of Educational Research, 58, 61-68.doi:10.1016/j.ijer.2012.12.002

Mantei, J., Kipscombe, K., & Kervin, L. (2018). Literature in a digital environment (Ch. 13). In L. McDonald (Ed.), A literature companion for teachers. Marrickville, NSW: Primary English Teaching Association Australia (PETAA).

McGarr, O., & McDonagh, A. (2019). Digital competence in teacher education.  Output 1 of the Erasmus+ funded Developing Student Teachers’ Digital Competence (DICTE) project.  Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/331487411_Digital_Competence_in_Teacher_Education

Moore, J., & Cahill, M. (2016). Audiobooks; Legitimate ‘reading’ material for adolescents? Research Journal of the American Association of School Librarians. Retrieved from www.ala.org/aasl/slr/volume19/moore-cah

Moran, R., Lamie, C., Robertson, L., & Tai, C. (2020). Narrative writing, digital storytelling, and coding: Increasing motivation with young readers and writers. Australian Literacy Educators Association, 25 (2), p.6-10. Retrieved from https://primo.csu.edu.au/permalink/61CSU_INST/15aovd3/cdi_gale_infotracacademiconefile_A627277934

Ohler, J.B. (2013). Digital storytelling in the classroom: New media pathways to literacy, learning, and creativity (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin. Retrieved from https://primo.csu.edu.au/permalink/61CSU_INST/1hkg98a/alma991012780180302357

Ross, B., Pechenkina, E., Aeschliman, C., & Chase, AM. (2017). Print versus digital texts: understanding the experimental research and challenging the dichotomies. Research in Learning Technology 25. Retrieved from https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1163201.pdf

Ross Johnston, R. (2014a). Chapter 23 – Literature, the curriculum and 21st-century literacy. In G. Winch, R. Ross Johnston, P. March, L. Ljungdahl & M. Holliday (Eds.), Literacy: Reading, writing and children’s literature (5th ed., pp. 472-489). Melbourne: Oxford University Press.

Russell, D. (2019). An introduction to cognitive load theory [Features]. Teacher Magazine.  Retrieved from https://www.teachermagazine.com.au/articles/an-introduction-to-cognitive-load-theory

Suzor, N. (2017). Explainer: what is ‘fair dealing’ and when can you copy without permission? [Blog]. The Conversation. Retrieved from https://theconversation.com/explainer-what-is-fair-dealing-and-when-can-you-copy-without-permission-80745

Templeton, T. (2020). Task 1 – INF533 – Reading, literacy and digital literature in the classroom [Blog].  Trish’s Trek into BookSpace. Retrieved from https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/trish/2020/07/26/task-1-inf533-reading-literacy-and-digital-literature-in-the-classroom/

Victorian Department of Education. (2020). Intellectual Property and Copyright. Retrieved from https://www2.education.vic.gov.au/pal/intellectual-property-and-copyright/policy

Victorian Government. (2020). Using third party copyright material – Fact sheet for agencies. Department of Treasury and Finance. Retrieved from https://www.dtf.vic.gov.au/sites/default/files/document/Fact%20Sheet%20-%20using%20third%20party%20copyright%20material.pdf

Vidales-Bolanos, M., & Sadaba-Chalezquer, C. (2017). Connected Teens: Measuring the Impact of Mobile Phones on Social Relationships through Social Capital. Media Education Research Journal 53(25). Retrieved by https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1171085.pdf

Walsh, M. (2013). Literature in a digital environment (Ch. 13). In L. McDonald (Ed.), A literature companion for teachers. Marrickville, NSW: Primary English Teaching Association Australia (PETAA).

Watson, A. (2019). 10 tips to avoiding technology overwhelm. The Cornerstone for Teachers [podcast]. Retrieved from https://thecornerstoneforteachers.com/truth-for-teachers-podcast/10-tips-avoiding-technology-overwhelm/

 

INF 533 – Task 4 – Part A – The thinking

THE THINKING

Citation:  

Templeton, T. (2020). White Australia Policy [Sway]. Daramalan College Teacher Resources. Daramalan College Library. Canberra.

 The Immigration Restriction Act of 1901 was one of the first pieces of legislation created by the newly formed Australian Federal Government and is the main focus of this digital narrative (DN).  Commonly referred to as the White Australia Policy (WAP), the Act was designed to maintain racial homogeneity and the economic value of the Australian man (Fong, 2018).   Whilst the Act is addressed in Year 10 History and Senior Modern History, the cognitive and curriculum focus of this DST is aimed at the 9/10 History Unit of work – Australia – From Federation to the Bicentennial  (ACARA, 2014a; ACARA; 2014b).  The utilisation of a multimodal DN in a  flipped classroom (FC) dynamic was a strategic ploy to encourage student ownership of learning, approach sensitive content suitably, promote collegial discussion, and allow the teacher to meet the needs of a diverse classroom (Gonzales, 2016; Schmidt and Ralph, 2016, p.1).    

Pedagogy 

Digital storytelling (DST) is an emerging pedagogical practice that effectively combines technology and literary work for use in recreational, personal or educational endeavours (Ciccorico, 2012; Ohler, 2013, p.94).  It is the modern adaptation of oral traditions, and the use of the narrative structure promotes reflective processes whilst communicating content in a manner that meets the cognitive, behavioural and developmental needs of students (Vidales-Bolanos and Sadaba-Chalezquer, 2017).  DST promotes Information Communication Technology (ICT) acuity, competency in digital literacies and a participatory culture, as it encourages students to move beyond passive consumption and into interacting and creating with it (Leu et al., 2011; Hashim and Vongkulluksn, 2018).  

 A DN created with Microsoft Sway allows students to interact with the different literacies and interactive elements, furthering valuable 21st century skills and improving the quality of transactions between the narrative and the reader (Ciccorico, 2012; Moran et al., 2020).   The format allows for the successful integration of visual and audio resources, and the use of personal devices increases teen engagement because technology is intrinsically linked to a teen’s social capital  (Moran et al., 2020, p.6; Vidales-Bolanos and Sadaba-Chalezquer, 2017).    

 Classroom Context 

Flipped classrooms (FC) are a transformative student centred teaching strategy with two distinct components, an external technology-based component followed by an interactive section (Ozdamli and Asiksoy, 2016, p.99; Schmidt and Ralph, 2016, p1.).   This inverted learning sequence allows students to gain access to the content prior to the lesson, which then allows for the teacher to facilitate discussion and meet the varying needs of the students (Basal, 2015; Schmidt and Ralph, 2016, p.1).  Implementing FC also allows student learning and engagement to be observed, documented and any misconceptions clarified (Leask, 2014).   As Schmidt & Ralph (2006, p.1) point out, guided discussion is essential for all students but especially for low literacy and ability students.  FC are constructivist in nature, self-paced, promote student ownership of learning and build critical study skills which are essential for lifelong learning (Basal, 2015).  

  Digital Technologies 

Digital technologies and multimodal resources (MR) are an integral aspect of DN and other modern classroom pedagogies (Ibrahim, 2020).  MR can be static, such as picture books and graphic novels, or dynamic such as SwayPowerpointThinglinkdigital textbooks, and interactive websites (Ibrahim, 2020).  This DN utilises Sway and Thinglink because the software programs embed together well, and their combined interactivity promotes engagement as well as encourage gestural manipulation to access information (Ibrahim, 2012; Heick, 2017).  

 The resources themselves do not espouse learning.  Instead it is the juxtaposition of media which conveys information at the correct level and the subsequent class discussion that has the greatest impact on student learning (Mayer and Morena, 2005; Ibrahim, 2012).  When multimodal information complement and enhance each other, the brain is able to decode, deduce, categorise and construct this new information efficiently upon prior knowledge and thereby reducing the cognitive load (Mayer and Morena, 2005; Ibrahim 2012; David, 2020).  But when the varying forms of media have less than optimum layout and delivery, the brain becomes overloaded and processing time increases leading to an increased cognitive load leading to lower comprehension and failure to make meaning (David, 2020).  Therefore, it is important that DN created for use in a classroom setting utilise the multimedia principles to ensure cognitive load is maintained for optimum intellectual performance (Ibrahim, 2012; Heick, 2017). 

 School Context – Students 

Daramalan College is a culturally diverse co-educational high school with many students’ descendants of the post war immigration schemes (ABS, 2016).  Therefore, discretion and finesse are required when addressing outdated perceptions of race and ethnic diversity.  The utilisation of a DST in a FC allows the student to process the information privately and then engage in discussion to develop further understanding.  

 School Context – Technology: 

Sway was selected due to its inclusion in the school’s subscription to Microsoft Office and that it can be successfully catalogued into the library management system.  This meets the requirements dictated by the school’s Collection Management and Development Policy.  Other benefits include its intuitiveness, ease of use and ability to integrate multimodal resources.   

REFERENCES: 

ACARA. (2014)a. HASS – History Curriculum. F-10 Curriculum. Educational Services Australia. Retrieved from https://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/f-10-curriculum/humanities-and-social-sciences/history/ 

ACARA. (2014b). Modern History Unit 4 – HASS. Senior Secondary Curriculum. Educational Services Australia. Retrieved from https://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/senior-secondary-curriculum/humanities-and-social-sciences/modern-history/ 

Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2016). 2016 Census Quick Stats – Australia Capital Territory (No. 8ACTE). Retrieved from https://quickstats.censusdata.abs.gov.au/census_services/getproduct/census/2016/quickstat/8ACTE?opendocument. 

Basal, A. (2015). The implementation of a flipped classroom in foreign language teaching. Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education 16 (4). DOI:: 10.17718/tojde.72185 

Ciccoricco, D. (2012). Chapter 34 – Digital fiction – networked narratives. In Bray, J., Gibbons, A., & McHale, B. (2012). The Routledge Companion to Experimental Literature. Taylor & Francis eBooks. Retrieved from CSU Library. 

Cornet, C. E. (2014). Integrating the literary arts throughout the curriculum. In Creating meaning through literature and the arts: arts integration for Classroom teachers (5th ed,) pp144-193. USA 

David, L. (2020). Cognitive theory of multimedia learning (Mayer). Learning Theories. Retrieved from https://www.learning-theories.com/cognitive-theory-of-multimedia-learning-mayer.html 

 Fong, N. (2018). The significance of the Northern Territory in the formulation of ‘White Australia’s Policies’ 1880-1901. Australian Historical Studies, 49 (4), p.527-545. Retrieved from https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/1031461X.2018.1515963 

Gonzalez, J. (2016). Graphic novels in the classroom. [Blog] Cult of Pedagogy. Retrieved from https://www.cultofpedagogy.com/teaching-graphic-novels/ 

Hashim, A., & VongKulluskn, V. (2018). E reader apps and reading engagement: A descriptive case study. Computers and Education 125, pp.358-375. Retrieved from https://www.journals.elsevier.com/computers-and-education/ 

Heick, T. (2017). What is cognitive load theory? A definition for teachers. TeachThought. Retrieved from https://www.teachthought.com/learning/cognitive-load-theory–definition-teachers/ 

Ibrahim, M. (2012). Implications of designing instructional video using cognitive theory of multimedia learning. Critical Questions in Education 3(2), p.83-104. Retrieved from https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1047003 

Leask, A. (2014). 5 reasons why the flipped classroom benefits educators. Enable Education – Online learning solutions. Retrieved from https://www.enableeducation.com/5-reasons-why-the-flipped-classroom-benefits-educators/ 

Leu, D.J., Forzani, E., Timbrell, N., & Maykel, C. (2015). Seeing the forest, not the trees: Essential technologies for literacy in primary grade and upper elementary grade classroom. Reading Teacher 69: (2), p.139-145. Retrieved from https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1073399. 

Mannheim, M. (2020). Canberra is expanding Australia’s biggest free public WiFi network but how many people use it? ABC News Canberra. Retrieved from https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-08-13/canberra-expands-free-wifi-but-fewer-people-are-using-it/12551266 

Mayer, R., & Moreno, R. (1998). A Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning: Implications for Design Principles. CHI 1998. DOI:10.1177/1463499606066892 

Mayer, R., & Moreno, R. (2005). A cognitive theory of multimedia learning; Implications for design principles. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/248528255_A_Cognitive_Theory_of_Multimedia_Learning_Implications_for_Design_Principles 

Moran, R., Lamie, C., Robertson, L., & Tai, C. (2020). Narrative writing, digital storytelling, and coding: Increasing motivation with young readers and writers. Australian Literacy Educators Association, 25 (2), p.6-10. Retrieved from https://primo.csu.edu.au/permalink/61CSU_INST/15aovd3/cdi_gale_infotracacademiconefile_A627277934 

NSW Migration Heritage Centre. (2010). Australian migration history timeline – 1945-1965. Powerhouse Museum Collections. Retrieved from http://www.migrationheritage.nsw.gov.au/exhibition/objectsthroughtime-history/1945-1965/index.html 

Ohler, J.B. (2013). Digital storytelling in the classroom. New media pathways to literacy, learning, and creativity (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin. Retrieved from https://primo.csu.edu.au/permalink/61CSU_INST/1hkg98a/alma991012780180302357 

Ozdamli, F., & Asiksoy, G. (2016). Flipped classroom approach. World Journal on Educational TechnologyCurrent Issues. 8(2), p98-105. Retrieved from https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1141886.pdf 

Schmidt, S. & Ralph, D. (2016). The flipped classroom: a twist on teaching. Contemporary Issues in Education Research. 9(1). Retrieved from https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1087603.pdf 

Vidales-Bolanos, M., & Sadaba-Chalezquer, C. (2017). Connected Teens: Measuring the Impact of Mobile Phones on Social Relationships through Social Capital. Media Education Research Journal 53(25). Retrieved by https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1171085.pdf