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SCHOOL LIBRARY COLLABORATIONS: MAKING THEM WORK TO IMPROVE STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT

by Charles Edwin Hockersmith

An executive position paper submitted to the Faculty of the University of Delaware in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Education with a major in Educational Leadership

Spring 2010

Š 2010 Charles Edwin Hockersmith All Rights Reserved


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SCHOOL LIBRARY COLLABORATIONS: MAKING THEM WORK TO IMPROVE STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT

by Charles Edwin Hockersmith

Approved: ___________________________________________________________________ Kathleen M. Minke, Ph.D Director, School of Education Approved: ___________________________________________________________________ Michael Gamel-McCormick, Ph.D Dean of the College of Education and Public Policy Approved: ___________________________________________________________________ Debra Hess Norris, M.S. Vice Provost for Graduate and Professional Education


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I certify that I have read this executive position paper and that in my opinion it meets the academic and professional standard required by the University as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Education. Signed: ______________________________________________________ Robert Hampel, Ph.D. Professor in charge of executive position paper. I certify that I have read this executive position paper and that in my opinion it meets the academic and professional standard required by the University as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Education. Signed: ______________________________________________________ Joan Buttram, Ph.D. Member of executive position paper committee. I certify that I have read this executive position paper and that in my opinion it meets the academic and professional standard required by the University as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Education. Signed: ______________________________________________________ Dennis Loftus, Ed.D. Member of executive position paper committee. I certify that I have read this executive position paper and that in my opinion it meets the academic and professional standard required by the University as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Education. Signed: ______________________________________________________ Ross J. Todd, Ph.D. Member of executive position paper committee.


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

A very special thank you goes to Robert Hampel, Ph.D., for his advice, guidance, understanding, encouragement, and support throughout this whole process. Also, thanks to my extraordinary cohort members, dear friends, and colleagues who have supported and cajoled me throughout this unique experience.

This manuscript is dedicated to:

my wife, Nancy, who has always encouraged me to continue to pursue my dreams. Her positive spirit motivates me and keeps me focused. My children, Michael and Alexander, for their unconditional love and support, and for understanding what education means to me, and to all those teachers and librarians who have touched my life, without whom I would have never made it this far. Your passion has always been my inspiration.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS LIST OF TABLES........................................................................................................vi LIST OF FIGURES.....................................................................................................vii ABSTRACT...............................................................................................................viii Chapter 1 INTRODUCTION.............................................................................................1 1.1 Purpose Statement and Overview............................................................3 1.2 Research questions...................................................................................3 1.3 Organization of the Executive Position Paper.........................................8 Chapter 2 SCHOOL LIBRARY COLLABORATIONS...................................................10 2.1 Concept of Collaboration.......................................................................10 2.2 Operational Collaboration......................................................................12 2.3 Models of School Library Collaboration...............................................13 Chapter 3 COLLBORATION EFFORTS IN THE CHRISTINA SCHOOL DISTRICT 3.1 District Demographics...........................................................................16 3.2 Method...................................................................................................16 3.3 Findings and Analysis............................................................................19 3.4 Discussion..............................................................................................28 3.5 Evaluation of Kirk Middle School Library Program.............................29 3.6 How the Study is Organized..................................................................30 3.7 Evaluation Questions.............................................................................30 3.8 Design and Approach of the Kirk Study................................................31 3.9 Sample....................................................................................................31 3.10 Instrument.............................................................................................32 3.11 Data Collection Procedures...................................................................32 3.12 Data Analysis........................................................................................33 3.13 Demographics.......................................................................................33 3.14 Statistical Analysis................................................................................34 3.15 Conclusions...........................................................................................34 3.16 Recommendations from the Kirk Study...............................................35 Chapter 4 BARRIERS TO EFFECTIVE COLLABORATION.......................................38 4.1 Administrator Attitudes..........................................................................38 4.2 Library Schedules..................................................................................39 4.3 Teacher Attitudes....................................................................................40 4.4 Collection Quality..................................................................................41 4.5 Library Media Specialists’ Attitudes.....................................................41

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Chapter 5 RECOMMENDATIONS FOR INCREASING EFFECTIVE SCHOOL LIBRARY COLLABORATIONS..................................................................43 Chapter 6 PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVING SCHOOL LIBRARY COLLABORATIONS...................................................47 6.1 Collaboration through Social Marketing...............................................47 6.2 Collaboration through Action Research.................................................49 6.3 District Professional Development Plan – Action Research..................50 REFERENCES............................................................................................................58 APPENDIX A, Survey Questionnaires........................................................................63 APPENDIX B, Kirk Evaluation Study........................................................................71 APPENDIX C, Kirk Study Item Analysis...................................................................87

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LIST OF TABLES Table 1.1, English Language Arts Collaboration by School Type.....................................4 Table 1.2, English Language Arts Cooperations by School Type......................................4 Table 1.3, English Language Arts Coordinations by School Type.....................................5 Table 2.0, Grade Configuration of Respondents’ Schools.................................................17 Table 2.1, English Language Arts Collaborations by School Type (adapted)...................18 Table 2.2, LMS Response to Types and Frequencies of Interactions................................20 Table 2.3, Teacher Response to Types and Frequencies of Interactions............................21 Table 2.4, LMS Response to Important Areas...................................................................23 Table 2.5, Teacher Response to Important Areas...............................................................24 Table 2.6, LMS Agreement on Teaching Support..............................................................25 Table 2.7, Teacher Agreement on Teaching Support.........................................................26

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LIST OF FIGURES

Figure 1, Gordon’s Three-Dimensional Model......................................................................40

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ABSTRACT SCHOOL LIBRARY COLLABORATIONS: MAKING THEM WORK TO IMPROVE STUDENT Research indicates that qualified school Library Media Specialists who actively engage in effective collaborations contribute to increased student achievement. This Executive Position Paper (EPP) seeks to analyze and support school library media specialist’s (LMS) teacher collaboration in the Christina School District, Newark, Delaware, to improve student achievement. It examines both the concept of collaboration and the activities that make up effective collaborations. This paper also presents models and strategies of school library collaborations that must be reinforced by effective professional development. Collaborations that affect student achievement fail when obstacles such as fixed schedules, administrative attitudes, and teacher apathy are not addressed. This study found that while most school LMSs espouse the tenets of the American Association of School Librarians’ Standards for the 21st Century Learner (2007), most still operate 19th and 20th century school libraries. Most teachers view the role of the school LMS to be that of resource manager and not of instructional collaborator who is an expert in information literacy and 21st century instructional technology. This paper proposes focused administrative oversight of a school, district, and state information literacy curriculum with effective, action research-based professional development. It also proposes that teacher education programs introduce the information literacy role of the 21st century library media specialist to pre-service teachers.

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Chapter 1 SCHOOL LIBRARY COLLABORATIONS: MAKING THEM WORK TO IMPROVE STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT Introduction According to the American Library Association and the Association for Educational Communication and Technology (Information Power, 1998), the school library acts as a central agent for learning, “rather than merely as an agency for information exchange.� The school library media specialists (LMS) must be active partners with regular teaching faculty because the instructional role of the school LMS takes place during collaborations with faculty. This collaboration serves to align information literacy skills with the curriculum. Planning for effective teaching and learning often takes place during cooperations and coordinations, but are especially effective during collaborations. The library is no longer just a place, but an integral part of the entire school instructional program. Todd (2005) indicates the following categorization of types of LMS - teacher interactions: Cooperation: The teacher and the library media specialist may communicate informally about a short term project but work independently. (i.e., web site suggestions, provide resource assistance, suggested speakers) Coordination: The teacher and library media specialist may meet together to discuss a lesson/unit of study. However, the individual goal setting, learning experience design, teaching, and evaluation are done independently. (i.e., Chinese folk tales when classroom studying China or additional survival titles book talked when class reading Hatchet) 1


Collaboration: The teacher and library media specialist jointly set goals, design learning experiences, teach and evaluate a comprehensive unit of study.

This paper addresses the effectiveness of instructional collaborations only, not occasional coordinations or cooperations that take place between the classroom teacher and the school library media specialist. Twenty-five librarians of the Christina School District were surveyed to analyze how collaborations take place and how collaborative effectiveness improves student achievement. Their answers to the survey were then compared to 40 randomly selected teachers throughout the district to determine the existence and understanding of collaborative efforts in their schools. Collaborations based on common goals, trust, respect and a shared vision are more successful than any other types of interactions (Muronago & Harada, 1999). Cooperation and coordination, while important individually, do not have the same effect on student achievement as do specific, curriculum-based collaborations. “Across the United States, research has shown that students in schools with good school libraries learn more, get better grades, and score higher on standardized test scores than their peers in schools without libraries. From Alaska to North Carolina, more than 60 studies have shown clear evidence of this connection between student achievement and the presence of school libraries with qualified school library media specialists� (School Libraries Work, 2008). Qualified LMSs who actively engage in effective collaborations in their curricular role are major contributors to increased student achievement. By connecting the information resources to the information need, students and faculty will have a knowledgebase from which to operate. By educating the faculty to develop research-based projects using information resources and engaging the school LMS in the development of the project, the

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project will have the rigor and relevance to motivate students to achieve. The faculty must have collaborative assistance to create their projects. This assistance may take different forms, such as the knowledge of the availability of online subject databases, Web-quests, and the like. Purpose Statement and Overview This Executive Position Paper (EPP) seeks to analyze and support LMS-teacher collaboration within the Christina School District to improve student achievement. Obstacles, barriers, and opportunities related to collaboration within the district have been examined and solutions developed that can improve student achievement. Unfortunately, LMSs in the Christina School District do not collaborate with their faculty often enough and well enough to affect student achievement, especially at the elementary school level. There are reasons for the lack of collaboration and the significant barriers to effective collaboration. An analysis of the barriers in the Christina School District indicates and supports what Kaplan (2006) discovered, but more often than not, the major barrier is the lack of a flexible schedule in the elementary schools and the absence of common planning time in other schools. Research Questions This EPP focuses on the following questions: 1. How much collaboration currently exists in the district? 2. What forms or models of collaboration are desirable? 3. What are the obstacles to desirable forms of collaboration? 4. What needs to be done to strengthen collaboration?

Research Question 1: In 2004, at the request of the Delaware Governor’s Task Force on School Libraries, the Center for International Scholarship in School Libraries at Rutgers University,

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Todd (2005) found significant discrepancies between collaborations and other types of cooperation and coordination in the school library instructional program. The following tables were taken from that study.

Table 1.1 English Language Arts Collaborations by School Type Elementary

School Middle

High

13 12 4 1 1 31

11 11 4 1 3 30

Total

ELA Collaborations: 0 1-5 6-10 11-20 More than 20 Total: Adapted from: Todd (2005, 18)

67 20 4 0 0 91

91 43 12 2 4 152

Table 1.2 English Language Arts Cooperations by School Type Elementary

School Middle

High

1 9 8 3 10 31

0 1 7 8 14 30

Total

ELA Cooperation: 0 1-5 6-10 11-20 More than 20 Total: Adapted from: Todd (2005, 18)

14 24 23 17 12 90

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15 34 38 28 36 151


Table 1.3 English Language Arts Coordinations by School Type Elementary

School Middle

High

6 11 5 4 5 31

3 10 7 4 6 30

Total

ELA Coordinations: 0 1-5 6-10 11-20 More than 20 Total: Adapted from: Todd (2005, 18)

34 40 12 2 3 91

43 61 24 10 14 152

In the 2004 study, 20% of the high schools responding had more than 20 coordinations with their school LMS. Of those same high schools 46% reported more than 20 cooperations, but only 10% of those high schools reported more than 20 collaborations. In the schools, there was over four times more cooperation than collaborations. The literature reports that collaborations are more effective methods of school library instruction to increase student achievement (Manzo, 2000), but collaborations are not taking place at significant levels in Delaware school libraries to effect this change. Research Question 2: Teachers and LMSs traditionally collaborate on information literacy (IL) instruction. Prior to any IL instruction, teachers and LMSs confer on processes and outcomes related to the instruction. Gordon (2008) in a presentation on School Libraries in the Digital Age, before the National Library and Information System Authority of Trinidad and Tobago, stated that school librarians’ instructional programs tend to focus on two areas: location and

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format of information resources, and evaluation of effective strategies to deal with the found information. She mentions the Delaware Study, indicating that the low levels of interactions suggest that these interactions take place in isolation and not in an official collaboration between the classroom instructor and the school LMS. Neither location of information resources nor the ability to evaluate and/or assess informational resources for accuracy or authority affects the classroom teacher. It is, however, the domain and purview of the LMS. During formal collaboration activities, basic information literacy models that include project definitions, information seeking, strategies, sources, and evaluation can be discussed and decided upon before any formal instruction takes place. Are these different models known to school librarians, either through their own professional preparation or professional development, and are they shared with the classroom teacher and ultimately with the students? Research Question 3: In today’s public school environment there are any number of obstacles and distractions to the educational process. In their interactions with classroom teachers, the school LMS faces additional problems. The need to deliver quality information literacy instruction is often hampered by the school schedule (flexible vs. fixed library schedule), the school administration, the faculty, the quality of library information resources available to students and staff, and the school LMS. These few obstacles need to be acknowledged and a plan of action put in place to correct them. Collaborations that affect student achievement fail when these obstacles are not addressed. Each obstacle has its own unique problem set. For example, it may appear questionable that the school LMS creates obstacles to effective collaboration. There are subsets of obstacles that need addressed before this problem can be eliminated. If the school LMS develops a library facility and program that is more like a public library, meaning its focus is on fiction-based literacy instruction, information-text based

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instruction does not take place if a large percentage of the school population requires information for project-based assignments. Can obstacles to effective collaboration be identified and corrected by the school LMS? Can those obstacles be eliminated with support from the administration and staff? What role does the school LMS play in advocating for a strong, collaborative program of information literacy instruction? Research Question 4: In order to strengthen school library collaboration programs, does the school LMS have the skills, understanding, and ability to effect a change? Is there a correlation between each of the identified obstacles that is hampering the program? There may be a need for more effective pre-service instruction for the school LMS, the classroom teacher, and for the school administration. This coursework might involve the concept of school-wide collaboration and its effect on student achievement. The Process Question asks whether the action associated with the teacher and the library media specialist’s collaboration to create more meaningful and better designed research projects is perceived by the faculty member to be effective. Does the collaboration generate the information, resources, tools and applications necessary to support the faculty in creating research projects that engage student learning? The Outcome Question asks if the LMS collaboration results in the faculty being able to create curriculum-aligned research projects that invoke higher-level thinking skills by their students. Additionally, a second outcome addresses a longer-term goal: What is the impact of high-level learning activities that require library research on student achievement? There are also assumptions that must be addressed that may have an impact on the outcomes. The first assumption is that the LMS has the information resources available, either in

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the school library collection itself, or that the LMS has access to other sources of information outside the school. The resources must effectively address the information needs of the project. The development of an effective collection of materials in the school library is an extremely important function of today's LMS. A second assumption is that the faculty is willing to collaborate on their assigned research projects. In any school, there are faculty members who do not wish to participate in value-added research projects for their students. In his book, Ban those Bird Units, David Loertscher (2005, 1) states, “Too many of the learning activities in school libraries are low-level cut and paste activities, such as transferring facts from library resources on to worksheets or just cutting information off the Internet to pass in for a report.” Faculty are often satisfied with those types of projects. It is the LMS’s role as instructional partner that can become the change-agent in the development of higher-level thinking-skills projects. The school LMS is in the unique position to assist in the creation of these research projects, by virtue of their knowledge of information and information literacy.

Organization of the Executive Position Paper Chapter 2 introduces the concept of school library collaborations. It also examines both the concept of collaboration and the actual functions that make up effective collaborative efforts, and presents current models and strategies of school library collaborations. Chapter 3 presents the analysis of school library collaborations in the Christina School District (CSD), including a collaboration evaluation of one CSD middle school library program. Barriers to effective collaboration are addressed in Chapter 4. Chapter 5 offers recommendations for developing and/or strengthening collaborative efforts and Chapter 6 describes staff development

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opportunities to increase school library collaborations. The paper concludes with References and Supplemental Material.

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Chapter 2

SCHOOL LIBRARY COLLABORATIONS Concept of Collaboration “Collaboration – working with others – is a key term in building partnerships for learning. Collaboration is essential as library media specialists work with teachers to plan, conduct, and evaluate learning activities that incorporate information literacy” (Information Power: Building Partnerships for Learning, 1998, 50). Collaboration is also defined in much of the literature as a process that includes sharing of ideas, partnerships in the instructional process, integration of resources and curriculum, and a “coordinated effort in which activities take place in the school library media center...” (Morris, 2004, 54). There are many definitions and interpretations of collaboration widely used in both the corporate and educational world. In corporations, most of those definitions deal with collaboration as a process, or of ‘sharing expertise’ (John-Steiner, 1998). Friend and Cooke define collaboration as a “style for direct interaction between at least two coequal parties voluntarily engaged in shared decision-making as they work toward a common goal” (1996, 6). More recently, Small (2002, 8) relates that in most corporations, collaboration is the norm: “corporate teams from disparate departments work together face-to-face and virtually on common projects to satisfy clients or customers to benefit the organization.”

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In education, we are often more concerned about the effects of a program (such as school library collaborations) and struggle to define exactly what it is. Instructionally, it is much easier to define collaborations operationally–how collaborations work, rather than what collaborations truly are. Terms like 'process' and 'sharing ideas' relate to the operational definition of collaboration, not to the concept of collaboration. In my opinion, collaboration begins as a concept, not as an operation. Teacher and LMS collaborations are widely held to be effective partnerships to improve student achievement. LMS education programs tout collaboration as an effective tool for school library professional practice. In the rhetoric of school librarianship, the term collaboration is bandied about with little precise definition of what it is. As a dynamic instructional interaction, what are the conceptual and operational definitions of this type of collaboration? Panitz (1996, 1) states that “collaboration is a philosophy of interaction and personal lifestyle whereas cooperation is a structure of interaction designed to facilitate the accomplishment of an end product or goal.” Montiel-Overall (2006) outlines a definition for 21st century librarianship collaboration as “a trusting working relationship between two or more equal participants involved in thinking, shared planning, and shared creation of something new” (28). Conceptually, collaboration is the creation of a shared vision that achieves a planned objective. Collaboration is described as how people work rather than what they do (Moreillon, 2007). Montiel-Overall offers another definition of educational collaborations: “through a shared vision and shared objectives, student learning opportunities are created that integrate subject content and information literacy through jointly planning, implementing, and evaluating

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student progress throughout the instructional process in order to improve teaching and learning in all areas of the curriculum� (28). We can see the complex nature of collaboration might indicate expending large amounts of time, but Callison (1989) found early on that some of the most positive collaborative interactions were very informal. In today's school library, the LMS often initiates the collaborative process. That initial contact by the LMS might indicate that many classroom teachers lack an understanding of the curricular role of the LMS and hesitate to involve other educators in their classroom operations. The LMS must be perceived by teachers as a partner and educational leader before true collaboration can take place (Millbury, 2005). While the concept of collaboration exists, it is rarely engaged. Respect for the LMSs curricular knowledge and trust in the LMSs ability to achieve academic success are the keys to the concept of collaboration. Operational Collaboration There are specific elements in effective collaboration. In her book, Collaboration and the School Library Media Specialist, Doll stresses the importance of the school LMS’s familiarity with the school’s culture (2005). Without an understanding of the school culture, building a trusting relationship with teachers hampers collaborative efforts because the LMS is not viewed as belonging to the instructional staff of the school. Collaboration begins with communication. And throughout all collaborative efforts, communication is the key activity. This communication, as Beatty (2002) points out, increases positive discourse about the tasks to be undertaken. In a school situation, communication begins with an authentic, validating conversation between both parties. Richards and Schmidt (1983) reinforce this idea by pointing

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out that “conversation is more than merely the exchange of information. When people take part in conversation, they bring to the conversation process shared assumptions and expectations about what conversation is, how conversation develops, and the sort of contribution they are each expected to make� (119-120). So begins the collaboration process: sharing assumptions and expectations around which grows the interactions that can influence student achievement. The conversations between the faculty and the LMS that grow from an understanding of the instructional climate and organizational culture begin the collaborative operational process. Models of School Library Collaboration The issue of what models of collaborations or how many times collaborations must take place is difficult to determine and reside in the domain of the participants, but the two state-wide Todd studies (2004, 2005), conducted at the request of the Governor’s Task Force for School Libraries, indicate that school library collaborations are few and far between, if they even exist at all. Furthermore, it is the quality of those collaborations that do take place that is the most important issue facing 21stcentury librarians in support of student achievement. Most of the current literature on school library collaborations indicates that much attention has been paid to the collaborative success in increased student achievement; however, little information has been shared that proves these statements to be true. Researchers such as Ross Todd, of the Center for International Scholarship in School Libraries (CISSL); Keith Curry Lance Director of Library Research Service of the Colorado State Library (LRS); and David Loertscher, organizer of Action Research in School Library Media Centers, have all described the importance of collaboration on student achievement. Quantitative analysis of the effect of

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library collaborations on increased student achievement is beginning to appear in the research on this topic. In some other schools throughout the state, the instructional environment supports teacher and LMS collaborative efforts in instruction, but in many schools in the Christina School District, there is virtually no interaction between teachers and LMSs. There is great variation from school to school in regard to how teachers and LMSs interact. Article after article states that collaboration with the school LMS has a direct impact on student achievement, but little is written about how that collaboration takes place, what is involved, and exactly what impact this effort has on increasing quality of student achievement. There are instances of other types of interactions occurring, but little is known of their impact on student achievement. In addition to cooperation and coordination, Montiel-Overall (2005) includes two other models, similar to Todd’s categorizations. Her “Model C” called Integrated Instruction combines library instruction and core content instruction. Her “Model D: Integrated Curriculum occurs when Model C is implemented across the curriculum for the entire school, where the LMS is responsible for school-wide collaboration. Here are further examples, for definition purposes, of each of the types of interactions that take place between teachers and the LMS. For example, Cooperation exists when the LMS provides a book cart to the classroom to support a unit or lesson. The request may come as a note in the LMS’s mailbox or by email to supply instructional materials for the class. There is no formal discussion of the content of the lesson other than the subject matter to be studied. Coordination takes place when there is some ‘formal’ discussion of the unit or lesson. The classroom teacher is responsible for the

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development of the unit and the LMS is responsible for the information literacy instruction that might or might not take place in the library. There is no collaborative development of the unit, no working as a team to establish goals, objectives or identify standards. Each person develops their portion of the instructional experience in isolation. True collaboration may be a culmination of the preceding events, but collaboration is the integration of the classroom teacher’s knowledge supported by the information literacy and technology expertise of the LMS. Jointly, they develop criteria from the initial essential question to the rubric for the final product. Throughout the unit or lesson this collaborative team works together on the instructional experience.

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Chapter 3 COLLABORATION EFFORTS IN THE CHRISTINA SCHOOL DISTRICT District Demographics The Christina School District is the largest public school district in the state of Delaware. According to the State of Delaware Department of Education, it serves 17,292 students in grades Kindergarten through 12, as of June 2009. There are approximately 1197 teachers employed by the district and each regular building in the district has its own library and LMS (25); the Brennan School and Delaware Autistic Program do not have a LMSs). Forty-three percent of the district's students are African-American, 38.7% are White, 13.2% Hispanic, 4.4% AsianAmerican, and .2% American Indian. 54.7% of the staff holds Bachelor's degrees while 44.3% have Masters and 1% has Doctorates. Method

Twenty-five LMSs in the Christina School District participated in a survey to identify how each interprets collaboration. A online questionnaire using Survey Monkey gauged LMS’s attitudes toward collaboration, their interactions with teachers in their buildings, the types of collaborations that take place, frequencies of collaboration, barriers to collaboration, and their interaction with the school community. This survey was administered to this group of LMSs, many of whom do have experience with collaborative instructional design and who traditionally do some collaborative units. Of the 25 LMS's in the district, 23 participated in the survey. The 2 who did not participate informed me that they did not have the time to do it. The district’s LMSs

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have an average of 14 years experience in their profession. Twenty-one of the LMSs hold a Master's degree with 31.8% holding a Master of Library Science degree, the terminal degree for school librarians. The information gained from this questionnaire was compared to a random group of teachers who have little or no experience with collaboration and who are often traditionally involved with cooperations and coordinations. Each building's LMS was asked to randomly send the teacher version of the survey to 5 teachers in their respective buildings. Forty teachers responded. Similar to the LMS years of experience, the teacher group had an average of 14.9 years. They also had similar educational backgrounds with 38.5% holding a Master of Education degree. Table 2.0 Grade Configuration of Respondents' Schools

Grades

LMSs

Teachers

PK- 5

n=13 61.9%

n=21

53.3%

Gr. 6 - 8

n=5

23.8%

n=10

26.3%

Gr. 9 - 12

n=3

14.3%

n=7

18.4%

Other

n=1

n=2

This section also reviews the data from the Todd study on school library collaborations with English Language Arts (ELA) faculties at various educational levels in public schools in the state of Delaware. The propose of including ELA collaborations was to identify how collaborations are or are not meeting the Delaware Department of Education’s recommended

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curriculum for ELA standards, especially standard 3 that addresses how school libraries need to support student research projects and help strengthen student writing, and to compare that information with collaborations in the Christina School District. Data for the following table is from The Report of the Delaware School Library Survey 2005, on behalf of the Governor’s Task Force on School Libraries and prepared by Ross J. Todd, Director of Research, Center for International Scholarship in School Libraries (CISSL), School of Communication, Information and Library Studies; Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Table 2.1 English Language Arts Collaborations by School Type Elementary

School Middle

Total

High

ELA Collaborations: 0 1-5 6-10 11-20 More than 20 Total:

67 20 4 0 0 91

13 12 4 1 1 31

11 11 4 1 3 30

91 43 12 2 4 152

This table represents the average number of English Language Arts library collaborations that take place in schools in Delaware. For example, 1 Middle School and 3 High Schools report having more than 20 ELA library collaborations per year. Ninety-one school libraries in Delaware report having no ELA collaborations. Sixty percent of the schools in Delaware do not engage in behaviors that have been shown to improve student academic achievement.

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Information was collected from 23 of the 25 school district LMSs to compare their understanding of collaboration, their other interactions with faculty, and their perception of the effectiveness of the school library program and its impact on student achievement in their school. The intent of the faculty evaluation was to determine which faculty members believed in the collaboration and used the LMS and the collaborative process when designing student research projects, and to compare their experiences with faculty who did not use the LMS in their project design. By observing the data from this evaluation, future project design processes might be improved that will show a more positive impact on student research projects. It is interesting to note that the majority of libraries in the Christina School District are on a fixed schedule. That is, the school library has a regular, daily schedule of classes. LMSs in fixed libraries are part of the “specials� rotation: they cover classes for teachers who are usually on a planning period. This often precludes collaboration. Fifty-seven percent of the LMSs responded that they are on a fixed schedule, 33% are on a flexible schedule (open library), and 10% report that they have a combination of different types of schedules. (The complete questionnaires are at Appendix A.) Findings and Analysis When asked which interactions best characterize their engagement with teachers, 90% of the LMSs responded that cooperations take place more frequently than collaborations. Fiftyeight percent responded that collaborations seldom or never take place. Ninety-five percent of the teachers responded that cooperations are their most frequent interactions, while 73% indicated that collaborations with their school LMS seldom or never take place in their buildings.

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Informal communication between the LMS and the teacher and simple assistance with resources takes place more often than other types of interactions. Clearly collaborations, where both the teacher and the LMS jointly set goals, design lessons or units, and regularly co-teach classes, are not taking place at levels that could affect student achievement. The following tables display the responses: first the LMS question and response, then the question and response from the teachers. In some cases the questions are identical for both groups. Question # 1: Which interactions best characterize your engagement with teachers and when they take place? Table 2.2 LMS Response to Types and Frequencies of Interactions Item 1. Cooperations – informal communications, resource assistance. 2. Coordinations – meet together to discuss lesson/unit support only. 3. Collaborations – jointly set goals, design learning, co-teach unit/lesson. 4. Regularly meet during department and/or grade-level teams. 5. How are you asked for library/information literacy instruction for your students? 6. Participation on school

Very Frequently %

Fre quently %

Seldom %

Never %

52.6

36.8

10.5

0.0

5.2

31.5

47.3

15.7

10.5

31.5

31.5

26.3

10.5

36.8

15.7

36.8

47.3

26.3

21.0

5.2

52.6

21.0

21.0

5.2

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leadership teams. Table 2.3

Teacher Response to Types and Frequencies of Interactions Item 1. Cooperations – informal communications, resource assistance. n=37 2. Coordinations – meet together to discuss lesson/unit support only. n=35 3. Collaborations – jointly set goals, design learning, co-teach unit/lesson. n=35 4. Regularly meet during department and/or grade-level teams. n=35 5. How often do you ask for library/information literacy instruction for your students? n=35 6. Participation on school leadership teams. n=31

Very Frequently %

Fre quently %

Seldom %

Never %

48.6

45.9

5.4

0.0

5.7

34.2

54.2

5.7

11.4

14.2

57.1

17.1

8.5

20.0

34.2

37.1

14.2

40.0

40.0

5.7

22.5

32.2

32.2

12.9

Other comments from the teachers include: The ones marked seldom, last year were frequently. New demands on how we teach take more freedoms away. Ms. X is extremely helpful to our staff. She locates materials, researches websites, and often asks if we need anything. She's more than willing to extend a lesson 21


that's taking place in class. We didn't have a chance to formally design & co-teach any lessons this year but she would have been willing. I am an inclusion teacher and do not have the opportunity to interact directly in education design as often as content area teachers. When given the definitions of the 3 types of interactions, 74.2 % of the teachers, compared to 57.9 % of the LMSs, responded that collaborations seldom or never took place in their school. For collaborations that take place frequently or very frequently, 25.7 % of the teachers responded. The LMSs indicated that frequent or very frequent collaborations characterized their interaction with teachers 42.1% of the time. There is a 17 % discrepancy in the perception of their interactions with each other. Clearly, both groups indicate that cooperations are the most typical interaction. This indicates that LMSs more often provide instructional resources, in their traditional role, than they provide instructional goal setting, design, and co-teaching experiences. This is supported by teacher comments that indicate that “the LMS locates materials, researches websites and often asks if we need anything.�

22


Question #2: Please indicate how important you feel these areas are to your professional practice. This was the same question for each group. Table 2.4 LMS Responses to Important Areas Item

%

Somewhat Important %

Not Important %

73.6

26.3

0.0

0.0

63.1

26.3

10.5

0.0

89.4

5.2

5.2

0.0

73.6

21.0

5.2

0.0

78.9

15.7

5.2

0.0

47.3

31.5

10.5

10.3

7. Library orientations for teachers and administrators.

42.1

36.8

21.0

0.0

8. Teaching problem-solving, critical thinking, and research skills.

68.4

21.0

5.2

10.5

1. Curriculum support from the library for core courses. 2. Curriculum alignment of information skills with state standards. 3. Having the library provide classroom resources for research projects. 4. Discussing, planning, and coordinating resource materials with the LMS. 5. Collaborating with the LMS on research projects to incorporate information skills. 6. Traditional library orientations.

Extremely Important %

Important

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Table 2.5 Teacher Responses to Important Areas Item

%

Somewhat Important %

Not Important %

44.1

47.0

5.8

2.9

46.8

46.8

6.2

0.0

57.1

37.1

5.7

0.0

35.2

50.0

11.7

2.9

35.2

50.0

11.7

2.0

29.4

50.0

20.5

0.0

7. Library orientations for teachers and administrators.

14.7

47.0

29.4

8.8

8. Teaching problem-solving, critical thinking, and research skills.

33.3

48.4

15.1

0.0

1. Curriculum support from the library for core courses. 2. Curriculum alignment of information skills with state standards. 3. Having the library provide classroom resources for research projects. 4. Discussing, planning, and coordinating resource materials with the LMS. 5. Collaborating with the LMS on research projects to incorporate information skills. 6. Traditional library orientations.

Extremely Important %

Important

This evidence indicates that the traditional role of the library to provide classroom resources is more prevalent than any other function. Both teachers and LMSs feel that the most important aspect of their professional practice is having the library provide classroom resources.

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Question #3: Please choose your level of agreement with the following statements regarding support for your teaching efforts: Again, this question was posed to each group. Table 2.6 LMS Agreement on Teaching Support Item 1. My principal supports my collaborative efforts. 2. There is adequate professional development in my district to support collaborative efforts 3. Teachers and staff in by building understand my capabilities for collaboration 4. Multiple barriers exist in my building that hampers my collaborative efforts. 5. Negative attitudes exist regarding collaboration in my building. 6. I lack the time for collaboration. 7. My professional library/teacher education prepared me to collaborate

Strongly Agree %

Agree

Disagree

%

%

Strongly Disagree %

42.1

42.1

10.5

5.2

10.5

10.5

63.1

15.7

26.3

31.5

26.3

15.7

22.2

38.8

22.2

5.5

10.5

31.5

47.3

10.5

22.2

16.6

55.5

5.5

52.6

31.5

5.2

10.5

25


Table 2.7 Teacher Agreement on Teaching Support Item 1. My principal supports my collaborative efforts. 2. There is adequate professional development in my district to support collaborative efforts. 3. Teachers and staff in by building understand my capabilities for collaboration. 4. Multiple barriers exist in my building that hampers my collaborative efforts. 5. Negative attitudes exist regarding collaboration in my building. 6. I lack the time for collaboration. 7. My professional library/teacher education prepared me to collaborate.

Strongly Agree % 51.5

Agree

Disagree

% 48.4

% 0.0

Strongly Disagree % 0.0

24.2

33.3

39.3

3.0

23.5

58.8

17.6

0.0

15.6

28.1

46.8

9.3

0.0

18.7

62.5

18.7

9.3

34.3

43.7

12.5

6.0

36.3

45.4

12.1

Question #4: What do you consider a major barrier that hampers your collaboration with classroom teachers? Why is this issue a barrier? This open- ended question was posed to the LMSs. Seventeen of the 23 LMSs responded to this question. Seven indicated that time was the major barrier; both teachers and the LMS lack common planning time (usually in a fixed schedule) to collaborate. Six explained that the fixed

26


schedule was the main barrier to collaborative efforts. Only 4 LMSs claimed that library resources hampered collaboration.

Question #5: What do you consider a major barrier that hampers your collaboration with the school library media specialist? Why is this issue a barrier? Thirty-one teachers responded, while 9 chose to skip this question. Seven teachers mentioned that inadequate time or the lack of common planning (4 responses) was a major barrier. Most of these teachers are in an elementary setting with a fixed library schedule. Fixed library schedules always impair collaborative efforts. One teacher responded that having materials delivered to her room in a ‘timely manner’ hampered her collaboration. Clearly, she expected cooperation and coordination rather than collaboration with the LMS. No one articulated specifically why their particular issue was a barrier. Question #6: Teachers and LMSs were asked if they have evidence that their collaboration with each other had improved their students’ achievement on school projects. Fifteen teachers (54%) responded that they had positive examples of improved student achievement. Their comments included statements indicating that collaboration with the LMS ‘helped’ or ‘increased’ student achievement. Other comments included statements that mention that the LMS ‘had lessons’ or ‘have been taught’ information literacy skills by the LMS that lead to improved grades. In response to question six, ten of the LMSs (63%) indicated that they had positive evidence that their work with the classroom teachers improved student scores on the associated projects. The LMS comments included statements such as: •

the use of pre and post assessments helped

“I can focus on the teachers’ research projects.”

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Working on National Boards requires collaboration with classroom teachers.

“Yes, students receive higher grades.”

“On projects – yes. I keep copies of their products.”

Question #7: What professional development skill/training would you like to see that would improve your interactions with the school library? This question was given to the teachers only. Fifty-eight percent of the teachers responded. Seventeen percent of the respondents mentioned the need for increased information about the school library. Their comments included items such as “what is available…like teacher resources, videos, and other things that might be available.” One teacher asked for a library orientation for her students. Discussion The notion of trying to identify types of teacher and LMS interactions is unique to the field of school librarianship. Traditional stereotypes of libraries and library media specialists still have an extremely strong hold on the profession. As the school LMS begins to address additional information literacy requirements for 21st century learners, it is important to identify which interactions between teachers, LMSs, and students are the most effective, and determine how to redefine the LMS's role in the school. From the information obtained by the survey, collaboration is having little impact on the LMS’s professional practice. In fact, it may be teachers’ expectations and understanding of the role of the LMS that affects collaboration. The LMS is having little effect advocating for collaboration. Teachers misunderstand the new role of the school LMS and are not aware of the potential to increase student achievement, and it is not entirely their fault. Little is taught about the school library in their pre-service education that would help the situation. The school LMS

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continues to operate the school library program in the coordination and cooperation modes of meeting teacher needs for classroom resources and failing to recognize the potential for their students. The information gathered in 2004-2005 for the Governor’s Task Force on School Libraries has had little effect on the daily practice of school LMSs, at least in this school district. Evaluation of George V. Kirk Middle School Library Program During school year 2007-2008 the George V. Kirk Middle School Library Program in the Christina School District was evaluated. The following evaluation is included with this study to show the effect of collaboration in one school. George V. Kirk Middle School is a suburban school in the Christina School District in Newark, Delaware that serves 440 students in grades 7 and 470 students in grade 8. The student population is comprised of 46.6% African American, 3.5% Asian American, 16% Hispanic, and 33.8% Caucasian. 5.6% of the student population has limited English proficiency, 12.4% are identified Special Education students, and 46.9% are from low-income families. There is one Principal and one Assistant Principal, as well as 2 Deans, one counselor and one intervention specialist. The instructional staff numbers 58; 53 teachers, 1 LMS, and 4 pupil support personnel. One of the instructional staff is holds either a Provisional or Emergency certificate to teach. The instructional role of the school library media specialist requires that the school LMS takes an active partnership with the regular teaching faculty. According to the American Library Association and the Association for Educational Communication, the school library acts as a central agent for learning “rather than merely as an agency for information exchange.” The instructional role of the school LMS takes place during collaborations with the teaching faculty. It is during this collaboration that the LMS helps align information literacy skills with the curriculum.

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The purpose of this evaluation was to collect data on the library collaboration program at George V. Kirk Middle School. This information will be used to strengthen the collaborative efforts of the school library media specialist (LMS) with content-area faculty when designing research-based projects. The intent is to help strengthen the library collaboration program and to enhance student achievement by designing rigor and relevance in research projects. How this study is organized The evaluation questions will be presented along with the rationale for these particular process and outcome questions. In the methodology section, the design of the evaluation and details pertaining to the application of data collection and analysis is also presented. Following the methodology, a discussion of the findings from the data analysis is presented along with interpretations of the data. The conclusions and recommendations sections will further discuss the ramifications of the evaluation and provide guidance for implementation or further study. Evaluation Questions •

The Process Question asks whether the action associated with the teacher and the library media specialist’s efforts to create more meaningful and better designed research projects is perceived by the faculty member to be effective. Does the collaboration process consist of the information, resources, tools and applications necessary to support the faculty in creating research projects that enhance student learning?

•

The Outcome Question is: Does the LMS collaboration result in the faculty being able to create curriculum-aligned research projects that evoke higher-level thinking skills from their students? Additionally, a second outcome question, related to a longer-term goal, would be: What is the impact of high-level learning activities that requires library research on student learning and student achievement?

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The LMS is in the unique position to assist in the creation of these research projects, by virtue of his or her knowledge of information and information literacy. Design and approach of the Kirk study The comparison group design was selected for this evaluation since it provides information that can indicate if a treatment is working. It is the best indicator that the treatment rather than some other outside interventions is causing the observed effects. The intent of the evaluation was to determine which faculty members were firm believers in the impact of collaboration and who used the LMS and the collaborative process when designing student research projects, and to compare their experiences with faculty who did not use the LMS in their project design. Sample The sample consisted of two groups of the faculty. Five faculty members from corecontent areas, as well as expressive or related arts teachers, who have actively collaborated on research-based library projects, were compared to five faculty members from the same subject areas. Both groups have used library and other information resources for their research projects. However, it should be noted that not all teachers at Kirk Middle School give library research projects. The comparison group did not participate in the program services that were available to the treatment group, such as collaborative lesson/unit planning with the LMS. The intent was to create groups that are as similar as possible in makeup but to define the group that has received services from that which has not. Participants were chosen by virtue of their use of the school library during student research projects. The treatment group collaborated during the planning process with the LMS for their student research projects. The comparison group received no collaboration planning, by choice, but simply assigned research projects based on their classroom

31


tradition. The purpose for choosing this method was that it will not be a burdensome process for either data collection or for faculty buy-in. The problem with this is that the groups may not be alike. However, the ultimate intent was to discover if collaboration makes a difference in the quality and effectiveness of student projects generated by collaborative design by the faculty and LMS. Instrument The survey addressed some demographic information such as subject area, degrees held, and years teaching. Other variables included, but were not limited to, technology experience, scheduling of the project, cooperative atmosphere, resource availability (that is, the faculty understanding of the information resources required and knowledge that these materials are readily available to fulfill the assignment), satisfaction with the use of collaborative planning materials, curricular alignment, ability to create meaningful projects on their own, and overall satisfaction with the process. There were four demographic questions and 17 questions requiring a selection of ‘Strongly Agree’ to ‘Strongly Disagree’ using a 4 point Likert Scale. There were 5 open-ended questions allowing for individual, hand-written responses. A copy of the survey is located in the Appendix B along with comments collected. Data Collection Procedures A survey was administered to faculty to determine their experiences with collaborative planning efforts with the LMS on research projects. The 26 item questionnaire was completely anonymous and non-threatening. Questions were developed to allow the use of a Likert scale with four point selections ranging from strongly agree to strongly disagree. Both the treatment and the comparison group, who regularly use the library as a source for their projects, received the survey. Building regulations required that any survey of the faculty be approved by the

32


principal. This was done prior to the administration of the survey. There were some items on the survey that could not be addressed quantitatively. These items were addressed in an opencomments section of the survey. They were categorized for analysis in relation to the outcome questions. Survey participants were asked to submit a summary of their graded student rubrics for inclusion but a complete analysis of the graded rubrics was not included in this evaluation. Data Analysis During the analysis, a review of the goals took place. The short term goal is that the faculty be able to create meaningful research projects. A long term goal is that student projects indicate knowledge and understanding of the material asked for by the project. Once the survey was completed, the data was organized according to the steps that were necessary to complete a collaborative project. The survey was designed for the faculty to answer the questions in order of the action’s occurrence. In order to assess the collaborative effort, two different sets of student research projects should be reviewed to see which group of students, either the control group or the treatment group, produced research projects that access their high-level thinking skills. The projects will be reviewed using a rubric designed for student research projects. Faculty will be asked to collate the individual grades on the research project using this rubric. Analysis of the student projects will be compared to the data received from both groups to determine if any correlation exists. Demographics Of the ten participants in this study four were from the English Language Arts (ELA) department, two from the Social Science department, two from Math, and two from Expressive Arts. Science faculty did not participate in the survey. Eight teachers have between 4 and 10 years experience in teaching. Four have Bachelors degrees, and six have Masters Degrees. Four

33


describe their personal library research skills as extremely proficient, three as somewhat proficient, and three as often needs assistance. These demographics are representative of the faculty of the school. Statistical Analysis A comparison of the survey results indicates a significant difference between the two groups. The aggregate mean for all groups was 2.91 with an average standard deviation of 1.00. The two-tail t-test resulted in a significant statistical difference of 0.00029 (< 0.05). This was anticipated due to the assignment of the faculty to either the treatment group or the control group based on their library usage. Eight of 17 responses from the treatment group indicated a mean of 4.00 on questions relating to their collaborative experiences and dealings with the LMS. The control group mean for those same items ranged from 1.14 to 2.4, strongly indicating that their experiences with collaboration were not as productive as the treatment group experience. This answers the process question relating to creating more meaningful designed projects. The use of collaborative planning materials, (i.e., planning forms, standards alignment worksheets and other materials used during the initial collaboration) had a mean of 3.4 for the treatment group and a 1.8 for the control group. The treatment group showed, by a 2:1 ratio, that the curricular materials and alignment played an important part their abilities to plan their research events. The average mean for all quantifiable items on the survey was 2.35 for the control group and 3.47 for the treatment group. This answers the outcome question and addresses curriculum alignment of projects. A complete item analysis of the survey is included in the Appendix C. Conclusions It is not the library resources, availability of the LMS to provide collaborative support, or

34


access to up-to-date information that is the discriminating factor in this study. Faculty members who availed themselves of the collaborative planning and the creation of projects with the LMS experienced greater satisfaction than did the control group who chose not to use the LMS for preproject planning. Perhaps the most telling information was in the faculty perception that collaboration made a difference in the quality of their studentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; products; mean of 4.0 for the treatment group compared to 1.8 for the control group. Faculty members who do not consider the collaborative planning with the LMS prior to beginning a research project will, in most likelihood, create less meaningful projects. Those projects will not have the same deeper understandings and quality of the end product as those classes who do use collaborative planning and execution of their projects. Recommendations from the Kirk Study It is recommended that the information gained from this evaluation become part of a presentation to other library media specialists and administrators in the Christina School District for consideration as part of their school and district improvement plans. The overall intent is to prove that, with LMS intervention, faculty can create more meaningful projects for their students. As student information literacy skills become more important, it is imperative that all stakeholders are familiar with a variety of ways to get students to think. Library resources are often overlooked when faculty members assign projects. Many projects are assigned as longterm homework. With the huge amounts of information available to students, some sort of process needs to be developed to encourage them to explore below the surface of an assignment. The faculty is the key to developing meaningful, effective and inspiring research projects. The LMS is the instructional partner in this process and can bring the entire spectrum of information to the project. Relevance and rigor are by-products of well designed assignments. In order to

35


assist faculty discover how library collaboration can work to increase rigor, professional development opportunities must be given to them. The Kirk Library Collaboration program can be greatly improved by this evaluation. The research literature on library collaboration often indicates that collaboration on high-thinking research projects leads to gains in student achievement on standardized tests. There is no quantitative data that supports that statement. In the July 2007 issue of School Library Journal, the journal of the American Association of School Librarians, Editor-in-chief Brian Kenney, explains the necessity for evaluations of library practice. He indicated that there is a perception that library collaboration leads to improved information literacy skills and poses the question: what is our impact on student achievement? He further states that reiterating this important aspect of school libraries over and over again is not enough. He says, “Data – that measurement of a library program’s impact on student learning – isn’t something we traditionally collect, or even know how to collect. But if we are to survive, it’s the information we desperately need” (Kenney (2007, 9). It is also recommended that the Kirk Library Program Evaluation be considered a model that can be replicated for further data collection and study to support statements referring to the effect of quality school library collaborative programs and improved student achievement. If this evaluation is replicated, it is recommended that more refinement of the processes and outcomes is necessary. A few of the various forms used during the evaluation are in the Appendices. The collaborative planning guide and work form are used together during the initial planning process. Further data gathered will help assess the efficiency and effectiveness of these forms. The overall influence of this evaluation will be to help improve the program, not only for Kirk Middle School, but for all schools that want to improve faculty proficiency in instructional

36


design and collaboration for increased student achievement. It provides the first step in collecting important data on libraries and student achievement.

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Chapter 4 BARRIERS TO EFFECTIVE COLLABORATION

Numerous state studies have found that school libraries are important to the instructional process and to improving student achievement. Similar studies have found that little collaboration is taking place and the CSD study also indicates that collaboration is too infrequent to affect student achievement. Five major barriers to instructional collaboration are discussed in this section to examine their influences on collaboration. The barriers are administrator attitudes, library schedules, teacher attitudes, collection quality, and LMS attitudes. While other barriers such as interpersonal relationships, poor professional librarianship, or lack of a collaborative vision are not addressed in this study, they are indeed issues for further study. Administrator Attitudes School administrators do not understand the instructional role of the LMS. As with preservice teachers, administrators rarely understand the value-added potential of the LMS. Kaplan (2006) concludes that school administrators have not received instruction during their graduate work that prepares them to understand the relationship between teaching faculty and the instructional role of the school LMS. Her research found that many school administrators spend little if any time considering how the school LMS functions in an instructional role. She proposes that professional development focused on all instructional partners in a school increases administrationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s knowledge of the role of the LMS and can eliminate what she calls â&#x20AC;&#x153;benign

38


neglect” (62). Perhaps the largest inhibitor to collaboration, the one that rests squarely with the school administration, is making time available for librarian and teacher interaction. In fixed schedule situations, collaboration is usually limited to 5 minutes, compared to more than 30 minutes in a flexible schedule (Haycock, 1998). The principal or building administrator can also determine if shared, or common, team planning time is available for LMS – teacher collaboration. In the CSD, 84% of the school LMSs and 99% of the teachers who responded indicated strong principal support for collaboration. However, with 57% of the libraries in the CSD on fixed schedules common planning and collaboration time rarely takes place. Library Schedules Information from the CSD study identified schedules and time as major contributing factors to lessened collaboration. Fifty-six percent of the CSD LMSs responded that the lack of a common planning time and the imposition of a fixed library class schedule affects their professional practice. In schools with fixed schedules, the interaction between the LMS and the classroom teacher is often no more than a hand-off of the class from teacher to LMS. This change of class is to allow the classroom teacher their contractual planning time. The LMS then follows a regimen, established by habit that usually involves reading a story to the class followed by a short amount of time to choose books for recreational reading, then a hand-off back to the classroom teacher. Depending on the availability of other ‘special’ teachers in the building, this pattern is repeated for the entire school year. For the most part, there is no standards-based, information literacy instruction taking place in a school with a fixed schedule. The value of

39


having a fully certified, Masters degreed library media specialist is lost.

Teacher Attitudes Most pre-service librarians are taught the important role they play in implementing collaboration with teachers and administrators. But most pre-service teacher institutions, on the other hand, do not prepare teachers to understand this role. The role of the LMS is rarely, if ever, discussed in teacher education programs. In a study conducted in 1999 of 262 pre-service teachers, Wolcott (1999) found that the pre-service teachers closely identify the library media specialist with the traditional ‘librarian’ role. Because teachers are unaware of the advantage of collaborative efforts, the LMS is not sure how to proceed. The LMSs actual involvement in collaboration with classroom teachers does not match the theoretical role and the role they were trained to perform (Haycock, 1999). Teachers do not see the LMS as a peer. The term often applied, ‘special’, has negative connotations. A special teacher in an elementary building is perceived as a ‘substitute’ for the core teachers’ planning period in fixed class periods. Another often stated barrier to collaboration is the lack of time available to integrate a unit or lesson effectively. Teachers may not assign projects that could benefit from some types of collaboration simply because they do not have the time to develop them with the LMS. Library media specialists with flexible schedules are able to devote more time to planning and working with teachers (Callison, 1999), but scheduling is mainly an administrative barrier. The CSD study supports the point that fixed schedules and a lack of time to interact with research-based projects are problems.

40


Collection Quality Another barrier to effective LMS – teacher collaboration is the lack of a quality library collection with current, curricular support materials. For the school library media program manager, the American Association of School Librarians recommends that the LMS’s assess the library media center collection. Collection development, when done in conjunction with instructional department needs, will maintain an effective collection. The LMS must solicit input from the school staff for purchases and to weed the collection of outdated materials. Data collection in the form of curriculum maps is an effective method of evaluating changes in the school’s curriculum. This information will help the LMS make informed decisions while developing the instructional materials for the collection. Without a strong collection, collaboration is ineffective and incomplete, leading to frustrations and reluctance for further instructional interactions. Library Media Specialists' Attitudes Why does someone become a school LMS? Does their notion of the role of school LMS include recollections of their earliest interaction with library professionals? When I question my graduate students about their future in the library profession, their first response to the question: “why do you want to be a librarian?” is often answered by “because I like books.” That response is followed by, “I just want to get out of the classroom.” These two reasons, if prevalent, contribute to a casual attitude of the importance of the school LMS to improving student achievement. If teachers who become librarians have no interest in teaching information literacy skills to help students achieve, they will not be perceived to be of any help by classroom

41


teachers. Administrators, who see their school LMS sitting behind the circulation desk and having minimal instructional interaction with students, reinforce the traditional notion of school librarianship. They think that is what librarians do. When teachers see the school LMS in the traditional role and this role is enforced by the school administration, they too extend the stereotype of the school LMS. Teachers and administrators are key stakeholders and major players in the instructional lives of students. Collaboration is a two-way street and must involve a concerned school LMS who knows the importance of collaborating with teachers and administrators to provide 21st-century information skills to students. A strong school library program encourages such a practice and is managed by library professionals who understand their role in the school community and culture.

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Chapter 5

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR INCREASING EFFECTIVE SCHOOL LIBRARY COLLABORATIONS As more and more schools and districts turn to performance-based projects, the school library becomes the environment that can most effectively support this type of learning. This requires curricular-based collaborations to meet all studentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; needs (Bishop 2003). School library leadership is another area that needs consideration. Professional development programs that address how principals can use the school library program to increase student achievement, especially in problem-solving, critical thinking, and information literacy, also must be addressed. (Further suggestions for these programs can be found in Chapter 6). The other critical link in the collaboration chain is the pre-service and continuing education of teachers. Without an understanding of the instructional role of the school LMS, teachers will continue to ignore the power of the library program. This section presents recommendations for increasing effective school library collaborations. The implementation of district-wide or state-wide library curriculum would support collaboration efforts. Currently, the only library-related curriculum that is available to the school LMS is in the Delaware Recommended Curriculum (DRC) for English Language Arts, and that only outlines the involvement of the school library in student research for ELA projects. The district needs to align the state curricular requirements with a scope and sequence of instruction in information literacy. A scope and sequence for a library/information literacy curriculum would facilitate library instruction across the district. A committee of LMSs in the district must 43


create a rigorous and relevant district-wide library curriculum that involves the teaching of all information literacy skills. There are many models available that address 21st-century learning for information literacy that this committee should consider. The Delaware Department of Education recommends the use of the Big6Š as a research skills process. This process model includes 1) Task Definition, 2) Information Seeking Stategies, 3) Location and Access of Information, 4) Use of Information, 5) Synthesis of Information, and 6) Evaluation of Process and Product. The Delaware School Library Media Association (DSLMA) must also consider its role in the creation of an information literacy curriculum. Their advocacy for this initiative will strengthen the feasibility of this curriculum being implemented state-wide. With the support of the DSLMA, state-wide professional development initiatives could focus on this curriculum . Until the district places value on the instructional importance of libraries, a district committee will have little power and authority to create this curricula. Since the late 1980's, the Christina School District has had no district-level library administrator. The District Library Supervisor position was eliminated in the late '70s or early '80s and was never replaced. That role was then delegated as an additional duty to the Director of Curriculum and Instruction and was subsequently filtered to a district chairperson as an extra pay for extra responsibility position (EPER). This position is filled by a district LMS who receives additional pay for 'supervising' district libraries. Until very recently, there was no specific job description. The position acted as a buffer between the school librarians and the district administration. It is amazing that a district the size of Christina fails to recognize, administratively, the valuable assets of their school libraries. With collection sizes that could total nearly 500,000 volumes at a replacement cost on average of $12.00, the combined libraries of the CSD have an approximate value of $6,000,000, not including instructional equipment. The physical assets alone should justify administrative

44


supervision, let alone the educational impact of the 25 library programs. It is recommended that the CSD pursue the notion that supervision of the district’s libraries is important to prepare students for 21st century information problem-solving and is critical to preparing literate members of our society. This position should report to the Assistant Superintendent for Instruction. At this position in the organization, the District Library Supervisor would be responsible for directing professional development opportunities to increase the awareness of the effects of high quality library programs. A proactive advocate for libraries on the staff of the Superintendent of Schools could positively influence building administrators, or, at the very least, encourage principals to support library efforts. Small ( 2002) points to the works of Getz, Hartzell, Wolcott, et al. to emphasize the need for effective education of pre-service and in-service teachers. She states that “Hartzell found that one of the major reasons why librarians are often overlooked by teachers is the lack of exposure during their teacher training programs to the types of value-added services librarians can provide” (9). The CSD study indicated that teachers understand the traditional role of the school LMS to provide resources to their classrooms. This may be due to the lack of pre-service education that could have introduced these teachers to the concept of collaboration with the LMS. “Helping preservice teachers to collaborate effectively in the preservice teacher educational programs should prepare them for collegial work in schools for career-long development as professionals. Whether those collaborations are with grade-level colleagues, SLMSs, or other school faculty, staff, and families, the interventions…will serve novice teachers well” (Moreillon, 2008). Delaware’s teacher education programs do not include coursework that describes the various instructional roles of the school LMS. One recommendation is that faculty from the individual college or university library staff creates an awareness program that

45


could be used in the Education department as a way of introducing the collaborative roles of school LMSs. At the University of Delaware, for example, faculty who teach in the School Library Media (SLM) certification program could present information during sections of preservice teacher classes. These in-service school LMSs in the SLM certification program could coordinate with the School of Education to present a school library collaboration advocacy program to pre-service teachers before their student teaching experience.

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Chapter 6

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVING SCHOOL LIBRARY COLLABORATIONS â&#x20AC;&#x153;Collaboration is an important aspect of school library media management that has never been fully accepted by either teachers or librarians as one of the fundamental services expected of school library media servicesâ&#x20AC;? (Immroth & Luckinbill, 2004, 2) Often the LMS finds it difficult to create the atmosphere necessary to introduce 21st century information skills and collaborate with the faculty. Barriers discussed in this EPP still control most school LMSs. However, many school LMSs attempt to develop collaboration strategies that meet their own needs in accordance with their school culture. In order to strengthen their school-wide effectiveness, professional development opportunities for school LMSs must take place. Professional development helps the LMS gather new approaches to their practice, review and assess their performance and achievements, and develop new strategies to meet their stakeholders' needs. Two contemporary collaboration models that might be used in professional development sessions are offered here. Collaboration through Social Marketing In 2004, Immroth and Luckinbill submitted their final report to the Institute for Library and Information Literacy Education (ILILE) at Kent State University. This report presented their research on the use of social marketing strategies to create and strengthen school library collaboration. The AIDA model introduces four concepts: A (attention to the product/service

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offered), I (interest in the product/service), D (desire for the product/service), and A (action to obtain the product/service). This model was used in the ILILE study by student-librarians with experienced teachers, but it should be evaluated for use as professional practice in any library program. Gaining attention and creating an interest in the library program is a mark of libraries that have strong advocacy programs. Immroth and Luckinbill found that demands on teachers' time often prohibited them for initiating collaboration. Creating and distributing newsletters, brochures, and information items about the services offered by the library program helps initiate interest in those programs and is a non-intrusive method to reach teachers with little extra time to seek out library services. This is a first step to establishing a collaborative culture in the library. If advocacy programs are lacking, professional development opportunities to create these tools must take place. Creating a desire for library services in this marketing program involves the creation of focus groups of teachers and the LMS to evaluate collaborative ventures. These focus groups, made up of experienced teachers, can help dispel the fact that teachers do not desire to collaborate. Most teachers use the excuse of a lack of time for not collaborating. Focus groups can discuss the importance of collaboration to help all students achieve. District professional development sessions should be used to create these focus groups, lead by the school LMS. An important action item is presented in the ILILE study. While both teachers and LMSs see the importance and effectiveness of collaborations, the study found that teachers appreciated the role that the LMS takes by engaging students on projects with information technology and other types of resources. While still a traditional role, this developing action on the part of the LMS strengthens the bonds of respect and trust among collaborative participants.

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Collaboration through Action Research: A 3-Dimensional Model In a presentation to ILILE, Gordon (2007) stated that “school librarians must abandon library-centric thinking, shed paradigms of librarianship that are not relevant to student learning, and become an integral part of their work world: the world of education. Until they do that, the consensus will remain that they are expendable” (slide 39). How will school LMSs accomplish that major shift in their professional practice? Twenty-first century learning skills require students to create their own ways of solving problems, effectively evaluating information sources, engaging information using new technology, and producing shared knowledge. Action research involves ongoing program evaluation to cause the school LMS to apply professional research methods and to develop problem solving techniques to answer a research question. This analysis is supported by a professional researcher who guides the entire inquiry process. Figure 1 Gordon’s Three Dimensional Model

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One of the most pressing problems facing 21st-century learning skills for students is to develop critical thinking skills If the school LMS can apply the principles of action research to instructional strategies for developing critical thinking skills the value in the educational process will be heightened. The school LMS is pivotal to helping students develop these skills and by working together, with from a professional researcher, action research will help them develop critical, instructional skills. The Delaware Department of Education has experience with action research for school LMSs through the Educational Associate for School Libraries. Gordon's model has already been use by several LMSs in Delaware and is effective in changing role perceptions of LMSs. As instruction focuses more on a variety of different literacies, professional development programs for LMSs will help prepare them to be effective partners in student achievement, especially in the areas of problem-solving and critical thinking. District Library Professional Development Plan â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Model of Action Research This plan incorporates suggestions from the Standards for the 21st-Century Learner of the American Association of School Librarians and must be directed by a professional librarian acting in a district supervisory position. It deals, specifically, with the notion that school LMS collaborations with teachers improve student achievement. Improving student achievement is more than circulating books, taking yearly inventories, and producing useless and meaningless statistics. It involves the direct implementation of strategic methods, skills, resources, and tools to help students 1) inquire, think critically, and gain knowledge, 2) draw conclusions, make informed decisions, apply knowledge to new situations, and create new knowledge, 3) share knowledge and participate ethically and productively as members of our democratic society, and 4) pursue personal and aesthetic growth (AASL). That involvement requires the library professional to assume a new and challenging role and function. School districts must

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implement a district-wide strategic plan for school libraries, starting with professional development. Alternative delivery systems for district library professional development must be identified that include the use of 21st-century technologies. Blogs, wikis, online courses, videoconferencing, Google docs, Google Wave, VoiceThread, and websites are a few ways to provide just-in-time training opportunities that are not limited by time or space. Districts that have contractually limited professional development opportunities can use alternative delivery methods to provide training. The following section provides a possible scenario. July - A focus group of senior LMSs meet to outline the yearly library PD. This is a virtual meeting that includes focused discussions of the previous year's problems and achievements. The group prioritizes the topics and assigns LMSs to chair the selected topics. Using Google Docs, Google Wave, or VoiceThread, the topic chairpersons begin to disseminate the issues to the whole group. This allows for all LMSs to comment on the topics at anytime and from anywhere. All actions, minutes, and other actions by this group, and any subgroup, must be saved and posted on the group wikipedia. August - A district-wide video conference is held in using Elluminate, the state-wide videoconferencing software. All district LMSs are encouraged to participate. At this video conference, all participants are introduced to the Action Research Method that will address one of the selected topics. This topic will become the focus of action research for the year. For example, the group has decided that all students need a better understanding of their role in a complex information environment (number 2 above). The District Library Supervisor briefs the district administration of the project. Research begins with online documentation of information found while researching the topic, a plan is developed to collect data for action research, and

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project management begins on the plan. A research mentor is assigned to the project. Individual building library advocacy materials are prepared and disseminated to building administration, faculty, and staff. September - Formative and summative assessments are collectively developed as the LMSs begin their interactions with students and faculty. At the elementary level, these assessments directly relate to the acquisition of information skills. At the secondary level, the assessments focus drawing conclusions and making informed decisions about information gained. All assessments target on the acquisition of process skills, not producing a product. October -This session is an evaluation of the assessments that have been assembled using Google Docs or with some other online method. This does not involve a conference or face-toface meeting but can be accomplished asynchronously. Documents are analyzed for their applicability to the action research process. The senior library leadership meets online with the action research mentor to provide updates. Building LMS evaluations are completed and the LMSs have incorporated the action research project in their evaluation. Building Principals are informed of the ongoing project and its potential impact on student achievement. November/December â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Data-collection is assessed, if it has begun, and information is shared via online methods. A survey is developed and disseminated to all faculty requesting their input on various facets of the project. Since both elementary and secondary LMSs have been involved in library collaborations and information skills instruction, the focus of the survey should be on the effectiveness of the collaborations and the effect on student performance. School LMSs should ask for information pertaining to the quality of information skills instruction that they have provided and whether or not the faculty member has documentation of increases in student achievement. The LMS should collect any information pertaining to

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advances in student performance that is directly related to the LMS's role. January – The school LMSs should develop a PowerPoint presentation, (complete with 21st-century technology) to be delivered live and online to the Board of Education, that presents the action research plan accomplishments. Included should be any and all data collected to-date as well as any data related to the impact of the school LMS's involvement in increased student achievement. Any pertinent advocacy material should also be provided to the Board. February – Any mid-course corrections, suggestions, and improvements should be made at this time. Any information or suggestions received from the Board of Education presentation should be evaluated and acted on, if necessary. This meeting is best served by using Elluminate for all attendees. Elluminate's White Board feature will allow effective brainstorming by all participants. March/April – After an evaluation of the action research process, all LMSs should begin to consider a list of topics for the next year's professional development. They should brainstorm the effectiveness of the technology that they have been using to carry out the action research project and how to incorporate some of this technology in their information skills instruction. While budget concerns are important, the LMSs must look creatively at ways to interact with their students who use technology. To this point, no new equipment or software has been purchased for use in this project. The project should serve as a model for the LMS's technology interactions with students. The action research mentor should suggest how the project is enhancing student achievement from their point of view and offer suggestions and recommendations for finishing the work. May- All electronic documentation accumulated during the action research project should be evaluated, edited, formatted, and saved as an artifact of the project. The document should be

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reviewed by all district LMSs and, when approved by all involved, a copy provided to the district Superintendent. The district library supervisor and research mentor should prepare the document for publication in an appropriate professional journal. It is important that the information collected and documented reflect the positive impact of LMS and teacher collaborations on student achievement. This project has taken just one small part of the AASL standards and addressed it in an important way that will augment the professional literature on school library collaborations. School library program advocacy can be strengthened by the AIDA model, and every school library program can benefit by developing an action research program. Professional development time, rare as it is, must be used to explore and discover how the school LMS and their individual library programs can strategically implement requirements to meet the needs of the 21st-century learner. These two professional development programs are an important first step. Scenario of a 21st century school library program The doors open at 7:15am every morning to accommodate arriving students who meet friends, check emails, print their projects and work for the day, meet with the school librarian, or select a few books for weekend or class reading. This morning tradition of the library serves a role similar to the old-time country store’s pot-bellied stove. Students are free to socialize and catch up on events. “No Eating in the Library” and “Quiet” rules are suspended in the 21st century library, replaced with work rules. Primary among these is the respect of others in this new ‘discover, explore, work, and play’ environment. The room is much more open than traditional library spaces. Dark, dusty corners make way for natural light that fills the entire space, creating a new social atmosphere. The new term

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to describe this place is a learning commons. “Often described as a student-centered learning commons where the expertise of numerous campus specialists is available in a highly collaborative, integrated learning environment, it is a physical space dedicated to meeting the rapidly changing needs of students and faculty in a “one-stop-shopping” experience” (Franks & Tosko 2007, p.114). This new concept, based on college and university library models, invites participatory learning by encouraging the use of the space by administration, faculty, staff, and students; it is a new conception of libraries at the ‘center of learning’. Faculty meets with students to discuss student work. Staffs meet in small collaborative groups as time permits. Administrators are often seen gathering resources for coursework they may be taking for professional development, or they may meet with professional learning communities within the schools who use the learning commons for their meetings. The advantage is that students experience collaborative engagements in learning by observing others in a whole new educational environment. The room has space for a class-size computer lab and enough study tables to seat another whole classroom of students. Additionally, comfortable lounge areas and quiet nooks are set aside for casual reading or studying. All seating may be arranged according to use and function. The new learning commons will have seating space for ten percent of the student body. School-wide resource materials, books, audio books, DVDs, as well as reference books line the walls and may be scattered on smaller, moveable shelves. The materials are traditionally arranged using the 19th century Dewey Decimal System, but often materials are pulled out of the main collection to form satellite collections that match teacher, student, or curricular needs that change from time to time. An interactive smart board is in the computer lab area, but is portable so that it may be used in the classroom area. Wireless networking is available throughout the

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facility, and students and faculty may sign-out net book computers to use in the learning commons. The learning commons is staffed with a fulltime school librarian who has an advanced degree in library and/or information science, plus state certification from an accredited library program, and who acts as the commons director. In the role of information manager, the school librarian maintains the resource collection, reference materials, and the staff professional development library. A fulltime paraprofessional assists with materials circulation and supervises part-time, work-study students, freeing the librarian to discuss instruction with faculty. As a teacher-librarian, the learning center director collaborates with the faculty to develop effective, meaningful, and efficient research projects across the school curriculum. Programs and projects are co-created with faculty that aligns with national, state, and local standards. Teachers eagerly seek the advice and curricular experience of the school librarian with whom they collaborate on instructional programs from senior projects to individualized lesson plans. The school librarian has the expertise to suggest modes of interaction between students and their teachers that include 21st century information technology. The use of newer technologies in instruction actively engages students with exciting uses of tools they already might have. For example, the school librarian might suggest that a student who is required to read a novel for a literature class, download the audio version of that novel for review. The school librarian may also suggest that selections of the novel that are particularly difficult to understand be recorded and delivered via pod cast for students to download and use. E-book readers are also available to students, on loan from the learning commons, for students who have no other access to them. The use of instructional technology for information access is the purview of the school librarian who has the expertise and experience to recommend suitable

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devices to the faculty. The importance of the school library learning commons is that the facility is no longer looked on as a place, but as a program as integral to the educational process of the school as any other core curricular program. The instructional abilities, knowledge of information resources, and experience of the school librarian is recognized and is sought by faculty in collaborative activities to increase the academic achievement of all students in the school.

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REFERENCES

American Association of School Librarians (AASL) & Association for Education Communication and Technology. (1998). Information power: Building partnerships for learning, Chicago: American Library Association. Beatty, K. (2002). Describing and enhancing collaboration at the computer. Canadian journal of learning and technology. 28(2). Bishop, K. (2003). Connecting libraries with classrooms. Columbus, OH: Linworth Publishing Co. Bishop, K. and Larimer, N. (1999). Literacy through collaboration. Teacher Librarian, 27(1), 1520. Callison, D. (1999). Keywords in instruction: Collaboration. "School Library Media Activities Monthly," 15(5), 38-40. Doll, C. A. (2005). Collaboration and the school library media specialist. NY: Scarecrow Press. Franks, J. A., & Tosko, M. P. (2007). Reference librarians speak for users: A learning commons concept that meets the needs of a diverse student body. Reference Librarian, 47 (97), 105-118.

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Getz, I. (1996). Attitudes of preservice and inservice teachers toward working with school librarians. School Libraries, 2(1), 59-70. Gordon, C. (2007). Collaboration through action research: Multiple faces of collaboration. [Presentation]. CISSL-ILILE Research Symposium, Kent State University. Gross, J. & Kientz, S. (1999). Developing information literacy: Collaborating for authentic learning. Teacher Librarian, 27(1), 21-25. Hartzell, G. N. (1997). The invisible school librarian: Why other educators are blind to your value. School Library Journal, 43(11), 24-29. Haycock, K. (1999). What works: Collaborative program planning and teaching. Teacher Librarian, 27(1). Haycock, K. (1998). What works: Collaborative cultures, team planning and flexible scheduling. Teacher Librarian, 25(5), 28. Immroth, B, & Luckinbill, W. B. (2004). Promoting information literacy & teacher-librarian collaboration through social marketing strategies: Final narrative report. Institute for Library and Information Literacy Instruction. Kent State University. Jones, J. B. & Zambone, A. M. (2007). The Power of the Media Specialist to Improve Academic Achievement and Strengthen At-Risk Students. Columbus, OH: Linworth Publishing Co. Kaplan, A. G. (2006). Benign neglect: Principalsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; knowledge of and attitudes towards school library media specialists. Ed. D., Executive Position Paper, University of Delaware, United States.

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Keeney, B. (2007). Getting it together: Sure, collaboration is hard, but we need data â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and we need it now. School Library Journal. 53(7), 9. Kotter, J. P. (1996). Leading Change. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press Lance, K. Curry & Loertscher D. V. (2005). Powering Achievement: School Library Media Programs Make a Difference: The Evidence. 3rd ed. Salt Lake City, UT: Hi Willow Research and Publishing. Loertscher, D. V. & Todd, R.J. (2003). We Boost Achievement: Evidence-Based Practice for School Library Media Specialists. Salt Lake City, UT: Hi Willow Research and Publishing. Logan, D.K. (2000). Dear student teacher, you are invitedâ&#x20AC;ŚEducating the future educators. Book Report, 19(1), 15-17. Manzo, K. K. (2002 March 22). Study shows rise in test scores tied to school library resources. Education Week on the Web. [online]. Available: http://www.edweek.org/ew/ewstory.cfm? slug=28libeh19[2009 November]. Morris, B. (2004). Administering the school library media center. 4th ed. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited. Marzano, R., Waters, T., & McNulty, B. (2005). School leadership that works; From research to results. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Miller, M.L. & Shontz, M. (1993). Expenditures for resources in school library media centers. FY 1991-92. School Library Journal, 39, 26-36.

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Montiel-Overall, P. (2005). Toward a theory of collaboration for teachers and librarians. Chicago: American Library Association. Moreillon, J. (2008). Two heads are better than one: Influencing preservice classroom teachersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; understanding and practice of classroom-library collaboration. School Library Media Research, 11, 13. Muronago, K. & Harada, V. (1999). The art of collaboration. Teacher Librarian, 27(1), 9-14. Panitz, T. (1996). A definition of collaborative vs. cooperative learning. Deliberations. Available http://londonmet.ac.uk/deliberations/collaborative-learning/panitz-paper.cfm. Richards, J. C. & Schmidt, R. W. (1983). Conversational analysis. In J. C. Richards and R. W. Schmidt (Eds.), Language and communication. London: Longman. School Libraries Work (2008). Scholastic Library Publishing. Small, R. V. (2002). Collaboration: where does it all begin? Teacher Librarian, 29(5). Retrieved from http://www.teacherlibrarian.com/tlmag/v_29/v_29_5_feature.html. Todd, R. (2005). "Report of Phase Two of Delaware School Library Survey: Student Learning through Delaware School Libraries", Part 1 Background, Theoretical Framework, Methodology and Findings". Delaware: Center for International Scholarship in School Libraries. Todd, R. (2005). "Report of the Delaware School Library Survey 2004 - On behalf of the Governor's Task Force on School Libraries", Delaware: Center for International Scholarship in School Libraries.

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Williams, T. J. (1996). Creating partnerships between the library media specialist and classroom teachers. Indiana Media Journal, 18(2), 1-18. Wolcott, L. (1996). Planning with teachers: Practical approaches to collaboration. Emergency Librarian, 23(3), 9-14. Wolcott, L.L., Lawless, K.A., & Hobbs, D. (1999). Assessing pre-service teachersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; beliefs about the role of the library media specialist. ERIC Clearinghouse on Information & Technology (ED437065).

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APPENDIX A

Survey of Classroom Teachers in the Christina School District: Please complete this survey by responding to the statements below that deal with your school library and your interactions with the school library media specialist (SLMS). Also, please respond to the open-ended questions at the end of this survey. Thank you.

1. Demographics Section a. What is your school grade configuration?  PK-5

 6-8

9-12

b. Your highest level of education.  BA  BS  MEd  MI

 MS  other: please specify  MSLIS  MLS  Ed.D or Ph.D

c. How many years experience do you have as a classroom teacher?  0-3

 4-9

 10-15

 over 15

d. Is your school library on a:  fixed schedule

 flexible schedule

 Don’t know

 other: please specify

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.


2. Which interactions best characterize your engagement with your school librarian and when do they take place?

a. Cooperation – informal communications, resources assistance? b. Coordinations – meet together to discuss lesson/unit, support only. c. Collaborations – jointly set goals, design learning, co-teach lesson/unit. d. Regularly meet with during department and/or grade-level teams e. How often do you ask for library/information literacy instruction for your students? f. Participate on school leadership teams

Very Frequently

Frequently

Seldom

Never

3. Please indicate how important you feel these areas are to your professional practice.

a. Curriculum support from the library for core courses. b. Curriculum alignment of information skills with state standards on research projects? c. Having the library provide classroom resources for research

Extremely important

Important

Somewhat Important

Not important

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projects? d. Discussing, planning, and coordinating resource materials for student projects with the librarian? e. Collaborating with the librarian on research projects to incorporate information skills? f. Traditional library orientations for students? g. Library orientations for teachers and administration? h. Assistance teaching problem-solving, critical thinking, and research skills?

4. Please choose your level of agreement on the following statements regarding support for your teaching efforts.

a. My principal supports collaboration. b. There is adequate professional development in my district to support my collaborative efforts. c. I understand the library media specialist’s capabilities for collaboration. d. Barriers exist that hamper collaboration. e. Negative attitudes exist regarding collaboration in my building. f. I lack the time for collaboration. g. My pre-service education prepared me to

Strongly Agree

Agree

Disagree

Strongly Disagree

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collaborate with the school library media specialist. 5. What do you consider a major barrier that hampers your collaboration with the school library media specialist? Why is this issue a barrier? ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ _______

6. Do you have evidence that your collaboration with your school library media specialist has improved your studentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; achievement on their projects? Please explain. _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ _______ 7. What professional development skills/training would you like to see that would improve your interactions with the school library? _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ _______

Thank you for taking the time to complete this survey. Your responses will help me determine how library collaboration with classroom teachers is being used in our district. Your information will be held in the strictest confidence. If you have any questions, please contact me.

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Survey of School Library Media Specialists (LMS) in the Christina School District: Please complete this survey by responding to the statements below that deal with your professional library practice and your interactions with classroom teachers. Also, please respond to the open-ended questions at the end of this survey. Thank you.

1. Demographics Section a. What is your school grade configuration?  PK-5

 6-8

9-12

b. Your highest level of education.  BA  BS  MEd  MI

 MS  other: please specify  MSLIS  MLS  Ed.D or Ph.D

c. How many years experience do you have as a school LMS?  0-3

 4-9

 10-15

over 15

d. Is your library on a:  fixed schedule

 flexible schedule

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 other: please specify.


2. Which interactions best characterize your engagement with teachers and when do they take place? Your ratings should be based on how you interact across the entire faculty, not a particular teacher, grad level, or department.

a. Cooperation – informal communications, resources assistance? b. Coordinations – meet together to discuss lesson/unit, support only. c. Collaborations – jointly set goals, design learning, co-teach lesson/unit. d. Regularly meet with department and/or gradelevel teams e. Deliver library/information literacy instruction f. Participate on school leadership teams

Very Frequently

Frequently

Seldom

Never

3. Please indicate how important you feel these areas are to your professional practice.

a. Curriculum support for core courses. b. Curriculum alignment of information skills with state standards? c. Providing classroom resources for research projects? d. Discussing, planning, and coordinating resource materials for student projects? e. Collaborating with teachers on research projects to incorporate

Extremely important

Important

Somewhat important

Not important

69


information skills? f. Traditional library orientations for students? g. Library orientations for teachers and administration? h. Teaching problemsolving, critical thinking, and research skills?

4. Please choose your level of agreement on the following statements regarding support for your teaching efforts.

a. My principal supports my collaborative efforts b. There is adequate professional development in my district to support my collaborative efforts. c. Teachers and staff in my building understand my capabilities for collaboration. d. Barriers exist that hamper my collaborative efforts. e. Negative attitudes exist regarding collaboration in my building. f. I lack the time for collaboration. g. My professional library education prepared me to collaborate.

Strongly Agree

Agree

Disagree

Strongly Disagree

5. What do you consider a major barrier that hampers your collaboration with classroom teachers? Why is this issue a barrier? _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ _______

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6. Do you have evidence that your collaboration with classroom teachers has improved your studentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; achievement on their projects? Please explain. _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ _______ 7. What professional development skills/training would you like to see that would improve your interactions with classroom teachers? _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ _______

Thank you for taking the time to complete this survey. Your responses will help me determine how collaboration with classroom teachers is being used in our district. Your information will be held in the strictest confidence. If you have any questions, please contact me.

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APPENDIX B

An Evaluation of the George V. Kirk Middle School Library Collaboration Program

Ed Hockersmith December 3, 2007

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Executive Summary

The Library Collaboration Program of the George V. Kirk Middle School has been in existence for four years. Teachers, who take advantage of the school Library Media Specialist (LMS) as an active partner, cooperatively plan research-based projects that align with State and National Standards with the LMS on all aspects of the project. The project planning also includes co-teaching of certain resources that might be used during the project. The LMS is the information specialist on the project and assists with much of the teaching and observations of students during their research. Collaboration forms and worksheets were developed to guide the collaboration efforts to standardize the approach to the research projects. These forms and worksheets are reviewed before, during, and after the project and serve as a guide to successful completion of the studentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; product; whether it is a written report, a graphic presentation of their work, or an oral presentation. A quick review of the literature indicates that much attention has been paid to the collaborative success in increased student achievement, but little has been produced that verify or prove these statements to be true. Researchers such as Dr. Ross Todd, of the Center for International Scholarship in School Libraries; Dr. Keith Curry Lance Director of Library Research Service of the Colorado State Library; and Dr. David Loertscher, organizer of Action Research in School Library Media Centers, have all described the importance of collaboration on student achievement. The program at Kirk is designed to allow teachers the opportunity to engage the services of the school LMS to build better projects for their student and incorporate relevance and rigor into the projects. Article after article states that collaboration with the school LMS has a direct impact on 73


student achievement. Little is written about how that collaboration takes place, what is involved and exactly what impact this effort has on increasing quality of student work as perceived by their teachers. This study was undertaken to try to quantify some of the actions that take place during these collaborations and to look at the processes and outcomes of research project planning. A simple survey was given to ten faculty members at Kirk Middle School. This figure represents approximately 20 percent of the faculty at Kirk. Five were chosen for their participation in the collaboration program, and five were chosen who had knowledge of the program but who did not use it for their research projects. The latter became the control group for this experiment. Significant differences were found in the responses of both groups, especially when it came to awareness of the program, creating meaningful projects that invoke higher-level thinking skills, and the interactions with the school LMS. One hundred percent of the treatment group indicated that they strongly agree that collaboration with the LMS helped them create projects that invoke higher level thinking skills in their students. Whereas, just less that 50 percent of the control group agreed with that statement. One hundred percent of the treatment group also strongly agreed that collaboration made a difference in the quality of their studentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; work and less than 30 percent of the control group agreed with that statement. At Kirk Middle School it is faculty choice to collaborate with the LMS on these projects or not. Some faculty members do not work with the LMS on their projects due to a variety of reasons. Among the reasons might be; lack of time to collaborate, projects do not fit with their curriculum pacing guides, or unfamiliarity with the information resources available to them. From the strength of the responses to this study, it appears that faculty members who do collaborate on their project designs are giving their students work that is both rigorous and

74


relevant. They are aligning their research-based projects to both state and national standards, and are creating information rich projects that make their students think. They are also satisfied that the assigned projects are creating a higher quality product from the students than before the collaborative efforts. As the State of Delaware unveils its new Delaware Literacy Plan (DLP), the role of the school LMS as a teacher-librarian becomes vital. New literacy requirements will involve a new approach to instruction. Literacy across the curriculum can only occur through collaboration. The school LMS is the school-wide resource for collaborative planning. They are also vitally important to the instructional staff as a resource for information literacy, reading advocacy and literacy instruction, and are skilled professionals in visual and other illiteracies that will be required. As formative and summative assessments will be required for the DPL, well-thoughtout research projects, in collaboration with the school LMS can provide the rigor and relevance that might increase student achievement. The School Library Collaboration Program at Kirk Middle School can serve as a model for school-wide improvement in student success.

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INTRODUCTION A. Program Description George V. Kirk Middle School is a suburban school in the Christina School District in Newark, Delaware that serves 440 students in grades 7 and 470 students in grade 8. The student population is comprised of 46.6% African American, 3.5% Asian American, 16% Hispanic, and 33.8% Caucasian. 5.6% of the student population has limited English proficiency, 12.4% are identified Special Education students, and 46.9% are from low-income families. There is one Principal and one Assistant Principal assigned, as well as 2 Deans, one counselor and one intervention specialist on staff. The instructional staff numbers 58; 53 teachers, 1 LMS, and 4 pupil support personnel. Additionally, 1.88% of the instructional staff is reported as holding either a Provisional or Emergency certificate to teach. The instructional role of the school library media specialist requires that the school LMS takes an active partnership with the regular teaching faculty. According to the American Library Association and the Association for Educational Communication, the school library acts as a central agent for learning, â&#x20AC;&#x153;rather than merely as an agency for information exchange.â&#x20AC;? The instructional role of the school LMS takes place during collaborations with the teaching faculty. It is during this collaboration that the LMS helps align information literacy skills with the curriculum. This planning for effective teaching takes place during cooperations, coordinations, and collaborations, defined below.

Cooperation: The teacher and the library media specialist may communicate informally about a short term project but work independently. (i.e., web site suggestions, provide resource assistance, suggested speakers) Coordination: The teacher and library media specialist may meet together to discuss a lesson/unit of study. However, the individual goal setting, learning experience design,

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teaching, and evaluation are done independently. (i.e., Chinese folktales when classroom studying China or additional survival titles book talked when class reading Hatchet) Collaboration: The teacher and library media specialist jointly set goals, design learning experiences, teach and evaluate a comprehensive unit of study.

Studies (Todd, 2005) indicate the most effective of these practices is collaboration. The design of the unit and, consequently, the design of the whole learning experience have a direct bearing on the results of the research project. This evaluation assesses only the collaboration process and its related outcomes. B. Purpose of the evaluation The purpose of this evaluation was to collect data on the Library Collaboration program at George V. Kirk Middle School. This information will be used to strengthen the collaborative efforts of the school library media specialist (LMS) with content-area faculty when designing research-based projects. The intent is to help strengthen the library collaboration program and to impact student achievement by designing rigor and relevance into assigned research projects. C. How this study is organized The evaluation questions will be presented along with the rationale for these particular processes and outcome questions. In the methodology section, the design of the evaluation and details pertaining to the application of data collection and analysis is also presented. Following the methodology, a discussion of the findings from the data analysis is presented along with interpretations of the data. The conclusions and recommendations sections will further discuss the ramifications of the evaluation and provide guidance for implementation or further study.

II. Evaluation Questions 77


A. Evaluation Questions â&#x20AC;˘

The Process Question asks whether the action associated with the teacher and the library media specialistâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s collaboration efforts to create more meaningful and better designed research projects is perceived by the faculty member to be effective. Does the collaboration process consist of the information, resources, tools and applications necessary to support the faculty in creating research projects that engage student learning?

â&#x20AC;˘

The Outcome Question is: Does the LMS collaboration result in the faculty being able to create curriculum-aligned research projects that invoke higher-level thinking skills by their students? Additionally, a second outcome question, related to a longer-term goal would be: What is the impact of high-level learning activities that requires library research on student learning and higher student achievement? B. Rationale There are significant connections between these two questions. By connecting the

information resources to the information need, students and faculty will have the knowledgebase from which to operate. By educating the faculty to develop research-based projects using information resources and engaging the school LMS in the development of the project, the project will have the rigor and relevance to motivate students to achieve. The faculty must have collaborative assistance to create their projects. This assistance may take different forms, such as the knowledge of the availability of online subject databases, Web- quests, and the like.

There are also assumptions that must be addressed that may have an impact on the

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outcomes. The first assumption is that the LMS has the information resources available, either in the school library collection itself, or that the LMS has access to other sources of information outside the school. The resources must effectively address the information need of the project. A second assumption is that the faculty is willing to collaborate on their assigned research projects. In any school, there are faculty members who do not wish to participate in value-added research projects for their students. In David Loertscher’s book, Ban those Bird Units, Loertscher (2005) states, “Too many of the learning activities in school libraries are low-level cut and paste activities, such as transferring facts from library resources on to worksheets or just cutting information off the Internet to pass in for a report.” Faculty is often satisfied with those types of projects. It is the LMS’s role as instructional partner that can become the change-agent in the development of higher-level thinking-skills projects. The school LMS is in the unique position to assist in the creation of these research projects, by virtue of their knowledge of information and information literacy.

III. Methodology A. Design and approach The comparison group design was selected for this evaluation since it provides information that can indicate if a treatment is working for the selected evaluation questions. It is the best indicator that the treatment is causing the observed effects and not some other outside intervention. The intent of the evaluation was to determine which faculty members were firm believers in the impact of collaboration and who used the LMS and the collaborative process when designing student research projects, and to compare their experiences with faculty who did not use the LMS in their project design. By observing the data associated with this evaluation, future design processes might be

79


improved that will have a positive impact on student research projects.

B. Sample The sample consisted of a comparison group of the faculty. Five faculty members from core-content areas, as well as expressive or related arts who have actively collaborated on research-based library projects were compared to five faculty members from the same subject areas. Both groups have used library and other information resources for their research projects. However, it should be noted that not all teachers at Kirk Middle School give library research projects. The comparison group did not participate in the program services that were available to the treatment group, such as collaborative lesson/unit planning with the LMS. The intent was to create groups that are as similar as possible in makeup but to define the group who has received services from that which has not. There was no random assignment to either group. Participants were chosen by virtue of their use of the school library during student research projects. The treatment group received collaboration attention during the planning process, with the LMS, for their student research projects, and was identified. The comparison group received no collaboration planning, by choice, but simply assigned research projects based on their classroom tradition, and were also known. The purpose for choosing this method as that it will not be a burdensome process for either data collection or for faculty buy-in. The problem with this is that the groups may not be alike. However, the ultimate intent was to discover if collaboration makes a difference in the quality and effectiveness of student projects caused by collaborative design by the faculty and LMS. By analyzing these two groups, it is believed that a valid comparison can be made. C. Instrument

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The survey addressed some demographic information such as subject area, degrees held, years teaching, etc. Other variables included, but were not limited to: technology experience, scheduling of the project, cooperative atmosphere, resource availability (that is; the faculty understanding of the information resources required and that these materials are readily available to fulfill the assignment), satisfaction with the use of collaborative planning materials, curricular alignment, ability to create meaningful projects on their own, and overall satisfaction with the process. There were four demographic questions, 17 questions requiring a selection of ‘Strongly Agree’ to ‘Strongly Disagree’ using a 4 point Likert Scale. There were 5 open-ended questions allowing for individual, hand-written responses. A copy of the survey is located in the Appendix along with comments collected. D. Data Collection Procedures A survey was administered to faculty to determine their experiences with collaborative planning efforts with the LMS on research projects. The questionnaire was completely anonymous and non-threatening, with 26 items. Questions were developed to allow the use of a Likert scale with four point selections; strongly agree to strongly disagree. Both the treatment and the comparison group, who regularly use the library as a source for their projects, received the survey. Building regulations required that any survey of the faculty be approved by the principal. This was done prior to the administration of the survey. There were some items on the survey that were not able to be addressed quantitatively. These items were addressed in an opencomments section of the survey. They were categorized for analysis in relation to the outcome questions. Survey participants were asked to submit a summary of their graded student rubrics for inclusion but a complete analysis of the graded rubrics was not included in this evaluation.

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E. Data Analysis During the analysis procedures a review of the goals took place. The short term goal is that the faculty be able to create meaningful research projects. A long term goal is that student projects indicate a knowledge and understanding of the material asked for by the project. Once the survey was completed, the data was organized according to the steps that were necessary to complete a collaborative project. The survey was designed for the faculty to answer the questions in order of the actionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s occurrence in the process and planning stages. This way the data may be organized to reflect the collaboration process. If that proves to have no correlation to the outcomes desired, then the data will be sorted by desired outcomes. The data was analyzed for patterns, as well as for other data tests. Statistical data analysis was applied where necessary to align with the desired outcomes. In order to assess the collaborative effort, two different sets of student research projects will, eventually, be reviewed to see which group of students, either the control group or the treatment group, produced research projects that access their high-level thinking skills. The projects will be reviewed using a rubric designed for student research projects. Faculty will be asked to collate the individual grades on the research project using this rubric. Analysis of the student projects will be compared to the data received from both groups to determine if any correlation exists. Due to time constrains of this evaluation, an analysis of the rubrics is not included.

IV. Findings A. Demographics Of the ten participants in this study 40% (4) were from the English Language Arts (ELA) department, 20% (2) from the Social Science department, 20% (2) from Math, and 20% (2) from Expressive Arts. Science faculty did not participate in the survey. Eighty percent (8) have 82


between 4 and 10 years experience in teaching. Forty percent (4) have Bachelors degrees, and 60% (6) have Masters Degrees. Forty percent (4) describe their personal library research skills as extremely proficient, 30% (3) as somewhat proficient, and 30% (3) as often needs assistance with their research skills. These demographics are representative of the whole faculty of the school.

B. Statistical Analysis A comparison of the survey results indicates a significant variance between the two groups. The aggregate mean for all groups was 2.91 with an average standard deviation of 1.00. The two-tail t-test resulted in a significant statistical difference of 0.00029 (< 0.05). This was anticipated due to the assignment of the faculty to either the treatment group or the control group based on their library usage. Eight of 17 responses from the treatment group indicated a mean of 4.00 on questions relating to their collaborative experiences and dealings with the LMS. The control group mean for those same items ranged from 1.14 to 2.4, strongly indicating that their experiences with collaboration were not as productive as the treatment group experience. This answers the process question relating to creating more meaningful designed projects. The use of collaborative planning materials, i.e., planning forms, standards alignment worksheets and other materials used during the initial collaboration had a mean of 3.4 for the treatment group and a 1.8 for the control group. The treatment group showed, by a 2:1 ratio that the curricular materials and alignment played an important part it their abilities to plan their research events. The average mean for all quantifiable items on the survey was 2.35 for the control group and 3.47 for the treatment group. This answers the outcome question and addresses curriculum

83


alignment of projects. A complete item analysis of the survey is included in the Appendix.

V. Conclusions and Recommendations A. Conclusions It is not the library resources, availability of the LMS to provide collaborative support, or having access to up-to-date information that is the discriminating factor in this study. Faculty members who availed themselves of the collaborative planning and the creation of projects with the LMS experienced greater satisfaction than did the control group who chose not to use the LMS for pre-project planning. Perhaps the most telling information was in the faculty perception that collaboration made a difference in the quality of their studentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; products; mean of 4.0 for the treatment group compared to 1.8 for the control group. Faculty members who do not consider the collaborative planning with the LMS prior to beginning a research project will, in most likelihood, create less meaningful projects. Those projects will not have the same deeper understandings and quality of the end product as those classes who do use collaborative planning and execution of their projects. B. Recommendations It is recommended that the information gained from this evaluation become part of a presentation to other Library Media Specialists and Administrators in the Christina School District for consideration as part of their School and District Improvement Plans. The overall intent is to prove that, with LMS intervention, faculty can create more meaningful projects for their students. As student information literacy skills become more important, it is imperative that all stakeholders are familiar with a variety of ways to get students to think. Library resources are often overlooked when faculty members assign projects. Many projects are assigned as a long-

84


term homework. With the huge amounts of information available to students, some sort of process needs to be developed to encourage them to explore beyond the surface of an assignment. The faculty is the key to developing meaningful, effective and inspiring research projects. The LMS is the instructional partner in this process and can bring the entire spectrum of information to the project. Relevance and rigor are by-products of well designed assignments. In order to assist faculty discover how library collaboration can work to increase rigor, professional development opportunities must be given to them. The Kirk Library Collaboration program can be greatly improved by this evaluation. The research literature on library collaboration often indicates that collaboration on high-thinking research projects leads to advances in student achievement on standardized tests. There is no quantifiable data that supports that statement. In the July 2007 issue of School Library Journal, the journal of the American Association of School Librarians, Editor-in-chief Brian Kenney, explains the necessity for evaluations of library practice. He indicated that there is a perception that library collaboration leads to improved information literacy skills and poses the question; what is our impact on student achievement? He further states that reiterating this important aspect of school libraries over and over again is not enough. He says, “Data – that measurement of a library program’s impact on student learning – isn’t something we traditionally collect, or even know how to collect. But if we are to survive, it’s the information we desperately need.” It is also recommended that this program be considered a model that can be replicated for further data collection and study to support statements referring to the effect of quality school library collaborative programs and improved student achievement. If this evaluation is replicated, it is recommended that more refinement of the processes and outcomes is necessary. A few of the various forms that used during the evaluation are located in the Appendices.

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The collaborative planning guide and work form are used together during the initial planning process. Further data gathered will help assess the efficiency and effectiveness of these forms. The overall influence of this evaluation will be to help improve the program, not only for Kirk Middle School, but for all schools that want to improve faculty proficiency in instructional design and collaboration for increased student achievement. It provides the first step in collecting important data on libraries and student achievement.

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Works Cited: Todd, Ross. (2005). The Report of the Delaware School Library Survey 2005, on behalf of the Governorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Task Force on School Libraries and prepared by Dr. Ross J. Todd, Director of Research, Center for International Scholarship in School Libraries (CISSL), School of Communication, Information and Library Studies; Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, published February 2005. Kenney, Brian. (2007). Getting it Together; Sure, collaboration is good, but we need data -- and we need it now. School Library Journal. 53, 9. Loertscher, David. (2005). Ban Those Bird Units: 15 models for teaching and learning in information-rich and technology-rich environments. Salt Lake City, UT: Hi Willow Research and Publishing.

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APPENDIX C

Survey Item Analysis: Treatment Question

Mean

Standard Deviation

Control N=

Standard Deviation

Mean

N=

5. I have used the school library for projects with my classes

4.00

0.00

5

1.4

0.55

5

6 .I have collaborated with the LMS for projects in the library

4.00

0.00

5

1.4

0.55

5

7. I have used collaborative planning worksheets when planning my projects

3.40

0.80

5

1.8

0.84

5

2.40

1.02

5

2

1.22

5

3.60

0.49

5

3

1.00

5

4.00

0.00

5

2.2

0.84

5

3.80

0.40

5

3.4

0.55

5

1.00

0.00

5

1

0.00

5

13. Library collaboration has made a difference in the quality of my students' products

4.00

0.00

5

1.8

1.10

5

14. Collaboration with the LMS has helped me create projects that invoke higher thinking skills in my students

4.00

0.00

5

1.8

1.30

5

15. The LMS is available for planning projects

3.80

0.40

5

3.6

0.55

5

16. Library resources are up-todate and readily available to my students

3.20

0.40

5

3.2

0.45

5

17. The LMS models collaborative instruction and teaching strategies

4.00

0.00

5

3

1.73

5

8. My students are not familiar with the process of using the library for research projects 9. It is easy to schedule research projects in the school library 10. Collaboration with the LMS has increased my awareness of the importance of meaningful projects 11. Creating information-rich projects will help my students succeed 12. I don't think technology use is important for research projects

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18. The LMS has informed me about various research models that I could use with my students, such as the Big6

2.60

1.50

5

2.8

0.84

5

19. The library has sufficient resources for my student's projects

3.20

0.75

5

3.2

0.45

5

20. The LMS helps me align my research projects to state and national standards

4.00

0.00

5

2

1.41

5

21. The LMS assists me to create projects for my students

4.00

0.00

5

2.4

1.14

5

Survey Comments: Question 22: What could the library do to improve your research project planning process? a. Suggest math research activities and times the library would be available to do them. b. Actually schedule each 8th grade ELA team a time to go through steps in the research project. c. I think it’s not the library; it’s the teacher. d. Provide more up-to-date books to go with the online resources. e. Make getting public library cards accessible in school libraries. f. The planning process is fine as it is. g. For my larger classes there are not enough computers for each student to research individually. Question 23: How important is information literacy and library research to your instructional goals? a. Very –it is a skill all students should possess. b. I want my students to be able to interpret information – library research isn’t all that necessary for my goals, but it helps. c. They are mandatory as per state standards. d. Pretty important. It provides support for retention. e. Although I haven’t used the library much, I should make it a point of assigning more research work because information literacy and library research are important. f. Not very important, difficult to get into the library because of pacing. Question 24: What kinds of profession development opportunities would help you design research-based projects to increase student achievement? a. b.

Knowing the materials available. Actually go through the research process with the ELA/all teachers who would then in an ELA meeting, design a research project. c. I don’t know. Professional development is pretty much useless.

89


d.

I have fully completed a cluster (course) in curriculum planning with a literacy connection in the past 5 years. e. Any. f. Information on new technology. Question 25: What types of issues do you face when creating research projects for your students? Please prioritize them if you can. a. Students being able to read/problems solve on their own. b. Finding appropriate resources for them to use so they use their time effectively. c. Giving students the proper background d. Stressing the importance of the process of checking out the validity of sites. e. Skill differences between students. f. The most pressing is the time necessary to grade such a project. g. Student apathy toward work in general. h. Misuse of library group time by students. i. Time, pacing, availability. 26. Other comments: Forget the ELA teachers exclusively. Actually, Science, Social Studies, and Math teachers should already know the research process. The teamsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; teachers could collaborate on assigning a project. The onus has been given to the ELA teachers to do all this.

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School Library Collaborations: Making them work to improve student achievement  

An executive position paper submitted to the Faculty of the University of Delaware in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree...

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