Focus on what I can do.
When I look back at just how lost I was creating my blog, “it made me feel very overwhelmed and inadequate” (DF 2.1) and pondering how to teach Information Literacy, “What is the point of knowing what students need if you can’t help them to achieve it!” (DF 3.3), I want to give past me a reassuring hug. Whilst I remain frustrated by curriculum limitations, I am choosing now to focus on what I can do and see a way forward.
Understanding of Information Literacy
In ‘The role of the Teacher Librarians in schools’, in module 1, I referred to an Information Literacy Landscape diagram being on my diary as my way of explaining IL to others. I knew it was part of my job but had only a base understanding of how it was important.
I had attempted to address IL deficits through my library program and sporadic library lessons but was dissatisfied with these methods. My realisation that “I have to take a much more active role in curriculum development and have been going about things the wrong way” (DF 4.2) was humbling but gave me a hunger to understand IL more completely.
Information Literacy- An expanded understanding of importance refined my understanding of theory then module 5 DF’s clarified my way forward with integrating IL and which IL model(s) to use. I realise that staff and students are not conscious of the need for IL instruction and I can change this.
Read the World. The final focus on the convergence of literacies for 21st-century learning gave me one of my favourite phrases that I can use to explain an expanded understanding of IL. TL’s aim to help students read the world.
Understanding of IL models
My chosen IL model(s) = life raft/purpose/way forward
My 5.4a DF reads a little like a ‘how to’ integrate information literacy instruction. I will be referring to it to keep me on track. The woeful and confused state I found myself in during April for modules 3 & 4 blogs is in considerable contrast to this purposeful discussion. The headings are outlined below.
- Choose my IL model wisely (Done but after considerable agonising)
- Place visuals of my IL model(s) in classrooms and computer rooms
- Find out what staff and students think/know about IL (staff survey under construction)
- Establish the need for IL instruction
- Accept it won’t happen overnight
- Explain why IL is important and repeat
- Emphasis IL as a life skill
- Develop an overview of research tasks undertaken across the curriculum
As I point out in Information Literacy as a foreign Language. Part 1, I am very much starting from scratch, so initially, I need to keep things simple and appreciate (and record) the little gains.
Research projects/assignments ≠ Inquiry projects
Research skills ≠ Inquiry learning
Understanding of the TL role in inquiry learning
I understand now why we created an IL plan for AT3. The process made me look deeply at the practicalities of collaboratively working with a subject teacher. In Two false starts and a lightbulb I explored when it is appropriate for the TL to involve themselves in the curriculum for an inquiry unit. The last two lessons learned are my favourites:
- There will always be the need for assignments/assessment tasks/research projects/units of study to be revised. This is my opportunity to be involved.
- I am busting to teach the inquiry unit I have developed.
Inquiry Learning is a golden opportunity for TL’s to involve themselves in the curriculum. However, in my last two blogs (that I found I had to write) I ponder the other ways that Information Literacy can be improved by the TL. In Information literacy as a foreign language. Part 2 and Two false starts and a light bulb, I am contextualizing my learning and seeing how it can be applied to my school and this is exciting!
Reflecting on my reflection
How do I draw together all the ways that my mind has been expanded throughout this study? The discussion forums and blogs have been useful tools to distill my learning. I have come from a place of conscious incompetence and frustration, (i.e. “I found myself crying uncontrollably into a basket of clean washing after Module 3.3” from Enough on my to-do list already) through to see a way forward.
All the implications of my learning for my school context have made my progress cumbersome (Alice Down the Rabbit Hole) (What not road map?), but this is precisely the point. I now understand how I can begin to improve information literacy in my school.
Creating the Inquiry Unit has forced me to consider the templates and scaffolds that I need to have readily available and the work I need to do surveying and informing staff. In the brief respite before my next study, I will do this. I am undoubtedly a better TL already and I am excited (but still fearful of the workload) about what I have yet to learn.
Coonan, E., & Secker, J. (2011). Information Literacy Landscape. [Diagram]. A New Curriculum for Information Literacy (ANCIL) Executive Summary. (p.6). Retrieved from: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/37681/1/Executive_summary.pdf