The journal of the School Library Association of NSW
Vol 1, Summer 2014 | ISSN 2204-1508
Letâ€™s make it happen!
Broughton Anglican College students participating in a Guided Inquiry lesson. See page 18-21 for full article
In this issue School Libraries as Pedagogical Centres Action Research to the Rescue Diary of a Guided Inquiry Practitioner Professional Learning Program for 2015
The journal of SLANSW Vol 1, Summer 2014 ISSN 2204-1508
SLANSW COMMITTEE SLANSW Inc is organised through honorary officer and general committee positions. Elections are held at the Annual General Meeting. Each successful nomination has a two-year term.
CONTRIBUTIONS Are you implementing an innovative school library program? Are you collecting evidence of the impact of your school library on student learning? Please contact us we would love to hear about it!
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ASSOCIATION NEWS A note from the President Michelle Jensen
A full year at Management Committee Sunny South
Let’s make it happen! Professional Learning Program 2015
School Libraries as Pedagogical Centres: Using Research to Inform Practice
Action Research to the Rescue: The Case for Recreational Reading
OFFICE BEARERS 2013-14 President: Michelle Jensen Vice President: Anne Plowman Secretary: Sunny South Treasurer: Crystal Choi Past President: Bill Sommerville Metropolitan committee members: Adam Carron Mary Nikolakopoulos Margo Pickworth Regional committee members: Joanna Deegan - Blue Mountains SLANSW CONTACT DETAILS School Library Association of NSW Inc. SLANSW Inc. ABN 19653510071 PO Box 23, Leichhardt NSW 2040 firstname.lastname@example.org General enquiries: email@example.com Admin enquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org Event enquiries: email@example.com
INTRODUCING... Carol Gordon
FEATURE ARTICLE Action Research to the Rescue: The Case for Recreational Reading Carol Gordon
A WEEK IN THE LIFE OF... A Guided Inquiry Practitioner Alinda Sheerman
RETHINKING OUR PRACTICE Goodbye Reference Shelves: Hello iBar Sunny South
Wired for Sound: How to Find Free Audiobooks Online Martin Gray
SUPPORTING READING AND LITERACY Reaching Reluctant Readers David Riley
RESOURCING THE AUSTRALIAN CURRICULUM Welcome to My Country: Introducing the Yol u Worldview Claire Rowland
28 A WEEK IN THE LIFE OF...
A Guided Inquiry Practitioner
PROFESSIONAL READING Reviews of the latest professional literature PROFESSIONAL LEARNING SLANSW and Syba Academy Partnership
SLANSW State Library Day: Let’s make it happen!
Guided Inquiry Design: Putting it into Practice
Be the Change by Transforming Learning and Giving our Students a Voice in their Education
Integrating Digital Citizenship into the Australian Curriculum at your School
SCHOOL LIBRARY SUPPLIERS GUIDE
RETHINKING OUR PRACTICE
Teacher Librarians share ideas on how they are changing school library practice
RESEARCH FOCUS School Libraries as Pedgogical Centres: Using Research to Inform Practice Dr Ross J. Todd
A sense of belonging Lyn Hay
Welcome to the inaugural issue of the Learning Hub. It is with great pleasure that I bring the first issue of this new journal to you as guest editor. I have had a long association with SLANSW as a teacher librarian in NSW public schools, and later in my capacity as Lecturer in Teacher Librarianship with Charles Sturt University. In fact my earliest recollection of involvement with SLANSW was in the third year of my undergraduate teaching degree in the early 1980s, where I plucked up enough courage to attend my first professional learning day hosted by SLANSW. I was quite petrified with the thought of attending a professional association event, “Who will speak to me? I’m just a student!”, echoed in my mind as I drove that Saturday morning to the inner city primary school in Sydney where the day was being held. To my surprise, as soon as I walked through the doors of the school library I was greeted by friendly association Committee members, who made me feel welcome and at ease, and by the end of the day, I felt like I ‘belonged’ to the NSW school library profession. I am sure many members will have similar accounts of their first time gaining entre’ into our state association’s professional
community of practice at a SLANSW event. Since then I have presented at a number of association professional learning events, had the great pleasure of presenting Association awards to a number of members (many of whom have been students of mine at CSU!), and also been honoured as a recipient of SLANSW’s John Hirst Award. I feel with the invitation to be guest editor for this issue, my professional life has “come full circle”. The editorial process has provided a critical point of reflection regarding the power of tapping into our professional networks, and the value of having an association provide a professional community with the infrastructure to build partnerships and networks; working together in strategic ways to provide a voice for members within their profession, as well as being a vehicle for advocating the needs, concerns, issues, challenges, and successes(!) of the profession within the broader library and education sectors, and out in the general community. Within this issue, you will find the new format provides members with a range of professional reading from research-based scholarly articles and thought pieces, to professional practice-based articles, tips and reviews. SLANSW President, Michelle Jensen and Secretary, Sunny South provide a comprehensive overview of Association business for the year. We are thrilled to have Dr. Ross Todd’s contribution to
the inaugural Research Focus column. Ross presents an evidence-based argument that school libraries as pedagogical centres are making a significant contribution to student learning in schools based on evidence from 10 years of CiSSL research. We introduce members to Dr. Carol Gordon, a school library media specialist, academic, researcher, writer and consultant, who will be a featured speaker at SLANSW’s State Library Day on Saturday March 14, 2015. Carol shares her experience using action research to evaluate the value in, and effectiveness of, the recreational reading program in a school. Carol has considerable experience in employing research methods to inform professional practice; so for those of you who are not sure where to begin with building local evidence of your impact, her workshops could be important ones for you to add to your professional learning plan for next year. Also a special thanks to Alinda Sheerman for being brave to take on the challenge of diarising a recent week in Term 4, where she juggled the everyday demands of school life and school library happenings while planning and teaching Guided Inquiry (GI) units with 100s of students across classes from three year levels and several teachers. Those planning on trialling a GI unit in the future may find this account of Alinda’s experience of great value. Other contributors for this issue include Sunny South and Martin Gray, who encourage us
to rethink the collection. New Zealand author and teacher, David Riley shares with us his strategies to encourage boys who are reluctant readers to ‘give it a go’, while Claire Rowland introduces us to the book Welcome to My Country, one of the three crosscurriculum priorities of the Australian Curriculum. Our Professional Reading column contains reviews of books on Appreciative Inquiry, questioning, and Resource Description and Access (RDA), the first two titles being particularly relevant to those designing inquiry learning units. I do hope you enjoy reading this first issue of the Learning Hub. The richness and relevance of future issues of this journal is dependent on your contributions as SLANSW members. If you have suggestions for other regular features, or wish to contribute a piece for an existing column, please do so. SLANSW’s theme for 2015 is a call-to-arms for NSW teacher librarians and the membership to make next year, a year of action, impact and evidence. You can start by sharing your practice at professional learning days, or by submitting an article to the Learning Hub. “Let’s make it happen!” Lyn Hay Guest Editor, Learning Hub Head of Professional Learning, Syba Academy Adjunct Lecturer, Charles Sturt University
Volume 1, Summer 2014 | Learning Hub | 3
A note from the President Michelle Jensen President, SLANSW
The past year has been an active one for SLANSW while we worked on the provision of new professional development opportunities to our members. Throughout the year, the Association partnered with the Syba Academy to offer regional SLANSW members opportunities to attend professional learning programs designed to assist them in supporting their school community’s implementation of the Australian Curriculum. These included the Resourcing for the Australian Curriculum seminar in Canberra (March), and a Curating Digital Collections for the Australian Curriculum workshop in Dubbo (August). Members were also offered to attend Will Richardson’s New Literacies for Networked, SelfDirected Learners and Makers, as a part of the Syba Academy’s Connected Educator Summit in August, at an affordable rate.
professional learning that can be accessed by all, and our webinar program is one initiative to help SLANSW achieve this reach into country areas. The first one, in October titled ‘Education Unleashed: Teaching in the Age of Knowledge Sharing’ was delivered by Mark Pesce. A webinar program for 2015 will be published on the SLANSW website, so watch this space! Quality face-to-face professional development will continue in 2015 with our annual State Library Day featuring Aaron Blabey and Dr. Carol Gordon. By attending this day, SLANSW members will receive 5 1/2 hours of AITSL/BOSTES accredited professional learning hours. I encourage all those interested to take advantage of the early bird rates on offer. SLANSW members will also receive discounted registration for the Connected Educator Summit with Shannon Miller in June 2015. Again I urge those interested to take advantage of the early bird rate.
In addition, SLANSW offered members the opportunity to host a Kevin Hennah workshop in their library. These two workshops on Cultural Weeding will be delivered in November at a discounted rate to all SLANSW members. This partnership with Syba Academy has been the highlight of the year for me, as we move towards a more formalised program of Professional Learning for next year.
SLANSW has also developed a presence in Second Life. This synchronous learning space is hosted on the island of Jokaydia [http://maps.secondlife.com/ seconlife/jokaydia/55/179/26] and is intended to provide members with an online space to connect in real time. Second Life is used by a number of professional associations to support communication between, and learning within, the membership and we look forward to hosting various SLANSW workshops throughout 2015 in this new space.
As a part of the 2015 membership package, SLANSW will also be delivering regular webinars. These are important professional learning sessions, particularly for our regional members. The Association is very conscious of providing
The Management Committee was busy in 2014 with efforts to strengthen our organisation. In the months of July and August, I travelled to Queanbeyan, Newcastle and Byron Bay where SLANSW hosted three NoTOSH workshops lead
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These statements are from members who participated in the NoTOSH Workshop tour. The statements have helped SLANSW work towards a new vision and strategic plan.
SLANSW’s Facebook page is another great way to keep upto-date on events. by Hamish Curry. These workshops were designed to recognise different ways of thinking and apply this to the issues relating to the daily work of teacher librarians, the outcomes of which were then used to inform a fourth and final workshop in Sydney in November, where the Association’s Management Committee was able to: Review of the mission and vision; Review of financial reporting; Review of governance with Management Committee members; and Review of administration and membership procedures. We believe in operating SLANSW as effectively as possible, and your feedback and ideas are important. I look forward to working on your behalf as SLANSW President in 2015.
SLANSW Management statement: How might we empower teacher librarians to add value to learning? Queanbeyan member’s statements: How might we engage and empower students to advocate for teacher librarians? How might we use the Australian Curriculum to lead teaching and learning in the school? Newcastle member’s statements: How might we strengthen communication between staff about the potential uses of library spaces? How might we raise awareness of the value that TLs add to learning? How might we sell ourselves to Principals without increasing workloads? Byron Bay member’s statements: How might we engage teachers in the creation of flexible learning environments in the library? How might we promote the changing role of the teacher librarian within the school?
SLANSW’s ‘home’ in Second Life
A full year at Management Committee Sunny South Secretary, SLANSW
The Management Committee has been busy both advocating for teacher librarians in New South Wales and providing quality professional learning opportunities for members. 2014 saw some changes that we are excited about, and we are continuing to work on ways we can add to our profession in positive ways. We kicked the year off with a successful State Library Day at the State Library of New South Wales. Over 100 teacher librarians gave up the first Saturday in March to see Jackie French and Morris Gleitzman as well as network with other teacher librarians from around the state. The Committee understands the value of State Library Day and we are pleased to announce that the tradition will continue with next year’s shaping up to be a wonderful programme. We hope lots of members will join us for this occasion in 2015. In May the Committee worked together at a weekend workshop with Hamish Curry from No Tosh to envisage the future of SLANSW as a professional association. Ideas were plentiful and with subsequent workshops happening with members in regional areas such as Queanbeyan, Byron Bay and Newcastle, we have been able to begin working on a path to move the association forward. Part of what has come out of the workshop process was that members value the role the association plays in the provision of quality and timely professional learning. As a result, a sub-committee was formed during the year
L to R: Cheryl Thomson, Vivian Harris, Sara Rapp, Hamish Curry, Michelle Jensen, Mary Langdon, Melisa Donaldson and Anne Plowman
of Management Committee members – Michelle Jensen, Sunny South and Mary Nikalopoulos – to focus specifically on matters regarding professional learning provision and how we can best serve members in the future. There is much to consider and so far the group has worked on and implemented a range of new and exciting initiatives. We are building a virtual space in Second Life where members can meet, share, network and learn. We have kicked off a series of webinars this month – with our first big name, Mark Pesce. There will be more learning experiences scheduled in this format for 2015. The website has been re-vamped and our publication has been updated and renamed. The new format of the Learning Hub reflects the changing role of the teacher librarian in schools, and we are looking forward to sharing research and stories from members and guest authors on innovative practice and the design of new programs that are re-engineering the nature and scope of what school libraries can offer. We are
looking for more contributions from New South Wales teacher librarians – so please feel free to contact us if you would like to submit an article about the work you are doing with teachers, students and parents within your school community.
members value the role the association plays in the provision of quality and timely professional learning” With regard to advocacy, members of the Committee have visited many regions this year. President Michelle Jensen has been tireless in her efforts to learn more about the particular issues facing regional schools and regional libraries. Michelle again, along with Secretary Sunny South
and past treasurer Crystal Choi all represented SLANSW at the Edutech conference in Brisbane in June. All three presented at the Library Congress and networked with rock star TL Joyce Valenza and other educational technology specialists such as Ken Robinson, Sugata Mitra and Gary Stager. Members of the PL subcommittee attended an excellent seminar with Will Richardson at the Powerhouse Museum in August and engaged in conversations regarding the future of learning and the future of our profession with other teacher librarians on the day. In 2014 we were a partner organisation and sponsor of Edutech (giving our members a 10% discount on entry), and have signed on to be a partner again in 2015. This is a significant saving for members and we encourage you to attend this premier event next year. Our Committee members write for professional journals such as SCAN, and regularly update our social media
Volume 1, Summer 2014 | Learning Hub | 5
School Library Association NSW Annual Awards NOMINATIONS ARE NOW OPEN! John Hirst Award The John Hirst Award honours the memory of our Association’s founder, John Hirst who had vision along with a passionate drive to establish the primary place of libraries in every NSW school. This award recognises excellence in professional leadership and/ or service by a teacher librarian in NSW school libraries.
Maurice Saxby Award
L to R: Matt Esterman, Sunny South, Joyce Valenza, Michelle Jensen & Sir Ken Robinson
presence with information for members. Our Twitter and Facebook sites are also great places to find out the latest in the teacher librarian world, so get connected and keep upto-date with what’s happening in our profession locally, nationally and internationally. Perhaps one of the biggest and most exciting changes to SLANSW for 2015 is our new partnership with the SybaAcademy. Syba Academy is a premier provider of professional learning for teacher librarians and we are proud to be collaborating with the Academy to deliver our professional learning program for 2015. The Academy has already assisted us to present Kevin Hennah to several areas in the Sydney metropolitan area and they will be coordinating our State Library Day in March 2015. This is a valuable partnership, which allows us to offer big names and great venues with the organisational expertise of Phyl Williamson and her staff, and to ensure our program includes AITSL and NSWBOSTES endorsed seminars and workshops, which provide our members with the opportunity to accrue accredited professional
learning hours addressing the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers. SLANSW members will receive a 10% discount on all Syba Academy courses for 2015, some of which are advertised in this issue of Learning Hub. Make sure you register early, so you don’t miss out. The Committee is developing a vibrant and innovative culture – we will be operating more extensively online as an association, and will continue to interact and advocate with like-minded professionals across the globe both face-to-face and online. We look forward to growing membership over the next 12 months and offering bigger and better services to members. Spread the word and encourage other teacher librarians to join us, for together we can be stronger. The Committee is a great place to develop skills in governance, organisation and advocacy. If you are interested in joining us in an official capacity, please contact: Michelle Jensen President SLANSW firstname.lastname@example.org We look forward to hearing from you.
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Maurice Saxby began his professional life as a primary teacher. Early in his career, he set up a school library and soon found himself appointed as a teacher librarian at Forest Lodge Demonstration School – a decision by the Department of Education to set up Demonstration Schools, each with a teacher librarian. Maurice moved on to Kuring-gai CAE, lecturing in English, Librarianship and Children’s Literature. His relentless focus on promoting Children’s Literature has established Maurice Saxby as a lifelong advocate for enriching young people’s engagement inlife through literature. The Maurice Saxby Award honours an individual, team or organisation that has displayed excellence and passion in promoting reading and/or writing for young people in NSW.
Teacher Librarian of the Year Award First commemorated as an ASLA (NSW) Association Award in 2007, the SLANSW Teacher Librarian of the Year is conferred on a teacher librarian or team of teacher librarians in recognition of excellence in supporting the school community and, in particular, student learning.
John H Lee Award Memorial Award The John H Lee award is presented to an individual, school team or school system in recognition of innovation in learning and teaching practice through learning technologies in a KLA, across a school or across a network of schools.
Download a nomination form at: http://slansw.asn.au/advocacy/awards
Submit nomination forms to: email@example.com Nominations close 31st December, 2014
Awards will be presented at: SLANSW Annual Awards Night Friday 13th March, 2015 Bangarra Dance Theatre 6.30pm for a 7pm start. Concludes 9pm Canapés and refreshments provided
Tickets: State Library Day Delegates: Free of charge Non-Delegates: $33pp RSVP: by Friday 20th February, 2015 firstname.lastname@example.org
Let’s make it happen!
Professional Learning Program 2015 Throughout 2014, SLANSW members have already received generous support by the association to attend Syba Academy seminars and workshops on Guided Inquiry and the Australian Curriculum, digital curation, new literacies for networked learners and makers, and cultural weeding – all at a discounted rate through our professional learning partnership with Syba Academy. The theme for our professional learning partnership with Syba Academy in 2015 is “Let’s Make It Happen!” This is a call-to-arms to the NSW school library profession to focus on professional learning in 2015 that educates and empowers them to develop a school library program that actively and visibly contributes to student achievement. Being able to provide local evidence of how one’s school library impacts student achievement has been a challenge for many teacher librarians. This requires the development of knowledge and skills in not just building evidence (gathering and analysing school-generated data), but strategically documenting and disseminating this evidence at the local, regional, state and national level.
Professional learning is also designed to expand your professional knowledge, skills and commitment as an educator and information specialist. What are your goals for 2015? What new aspects of your role as a teacher librarian do you need to develop? Do you want to learn how to become a connected educator? Do you need to develop skills in using social media to build your own PLN? Are you interested in designing inquiry learning units that explicitly teach the general capabilities of the Australian Curriculum across year levels? Do you need to learn more about Guided Inquiry Design as an inquiry process model? Are you interested in learning how digital curation sites can be used to resource specific learning areas of Australian Curriculum? Do you want to
help your school develop a digital citizenship program across the curriculum? Are you keen to find out about the range of ebook collections available for schools in Australia? Do you need to learn more about school library design? Are you seeking techniques and strategies for gathering evidence of your school library’s impact? If you have answered yes to one or more of these questions, then you are well on the way to planning your professional learning journey for 2015. Join us to make this happen! SLANSW Professional Learning Sub-Committee.
See pages 30-34 for SLANSW full 2015 professional learning program.
Event diary Future Schools Expo Sydney 11-12 March SLANSW Awards Night Sydney Friday 13 March SLANSW State Library Day: Let’s make it happen! Sydney Saturday 14 March Guided Inquiry Design: Putting it into Practice Canberra Friday 27 March EduTECH Brisbane 2-4 June Connected Educator Summit 2015: Be the Change Sydney Monday 15 June Canberra Friday 19 June Integrating Digital Citizenship into the Australian Curriculum Dubbo Monday 4 May
For more information and to register visit www.sybaacademy.com. au/learning/courses
EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT Register by 20/12/2014 for our 2015 course program and receive a 10% discount. SLANSW members receive an additional 10% discount!
Volume 1, Summer 2014 | Learning Hub | 7
School Libraries as Pedagogical Centres: Using Research to Inform Practice This feature article is the first contribution to Research Focus, a new column in the Learning Hub that highlights the contribution research makes to professional practice. The feature for our inaugural issue is based on the closing plenary address presented by Dr. Todd at the 43th Annual International Conference of the International Association of School Librarianship (IASL), recently held in Moscow, Russia. It examines 10 years of research undertaken by scholars in CiSSL that can be of value and use to the development of school libraries as centres for cognitive development, critical thinking and knowledge development, and to guide the pedagogical role of teacher librarians. Its central assumption is that school libraries, as pedagogical centres, are key dynamics that enable the transformation of information into knowledge, and that a focus on the cognitive capabilities to enable that transformation are at the heart of the instructional role.
Introduction Over the last decade, large scale examination and analysis of research findings have become an important research strategy to make sense of growing bodies of research, and to establish meaningful patterns that can inform ongoing research and shape professional practice. Such an approach enables researchers to combine the results of many pieces of research on a topic or theme to determine whether the ﬁndings hold generally across a set of studies. Essentially this methodological approach is the application of a systematic technique of searching for all the existing research reports on a particular issue, and combining them to get an overall result. Such an approach is not without controversy: seeking to find patterns in a large corpus
some thousands of educational research studies. His findings, published in the book Visible Learning (Hattie, 2009), is built on some 800 meta-analyses encompassing 52,637 studies, many of which are quantitative studies involving experimental, quasi-experimental and correlational studies. The scale of this task is truly inspirational. The results of Hattie’s meta-analysis of educational research shows that the most powerful moderators on student learning and achievement are: feedback, students’ prior cognitive ability, instructional quality, direct instruction, and students’ disposition to learn (see Atherton, 2013 for a concise table of this meta-analysis).
Dr. Ross J. Todd is Chair of the Department of Library and Information Science, School of Communication & Information, and Director of the Center for International Scholarship in School Libraries (CiSSL), at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Ross has presented many times at SLANSW professional learning events over the past 30 years, and was recipient of the John Hirst Award in 1999.
of research with different epistemologies, different disciplinary research traditions, different research goals and questions, different samples, different data collection and data analysis approaches, and different types of findings, is both complex and confrontational. It begs the broader question: is it possible to establish generalisations which have power and salience in the academic and professional arena across this often competing and divergent methodological landscape?
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The Inspiration for This Work One of the most notable educational scholars in this arena of large scale research analyses is John Hattie, Professor of Education and Director of the Melbourne Education Research Institute at the University of Melbourne, Australia, and formerly Professor of Education at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. Hattie sought to address the question “what works best in education” through a meta-analysis of
The school library literature does not have any substantive corpus of experimental, quasiexperimental and correlational studies in order to do a similar meta-analysis. The school library profession does have however a sixty year foundation of research and scholarship. Much of this work has been done in the USA and Canada, with an increasing amount of international research being published in School Libraries Worldwide, the peer review research journal of IASL. In addition, a number of highly valuable and cited analyses have been done, including School Libraries Work! (2008), and the Australian review of research literature authored by Lonsdale (2003). Multiple summaries of this research have been developed, and intended to answer the question: “Do school libraries make a difference?” The summary variously put forward by these reviews and journals of professional associations typically identifies librarycentric factors such as physical infrastructure, personnel, resources and budgets, which
correlate with higher levels of student achievement as measured by standardised test scores, particularly reading and literacy tests. These specifically are:
is given to research that investigates learning outcomes through the application of inquiry-based learning processes. Creative Technologies for Learning. The emergence and convergence of mobile information technologies and their integration into and impact on teaching and learning, the creation of virtual learning worlds; virtual gaming and other innovative approaches to the integration of digital content into learning and their impact.
Increased hours of access for both individual student visits and group visits by classes; Larger collections of print and digital resources with access at school and from home; Up-to-date technology with connectivity to databases and automated collection; Information literacy instruction implemented in collaboration with teachers that is integrated with classroom curriculum; Higher total library expenditures; and Leadership activities by the teacher librarian in providing professional development for teachers, serving on key committees, and meeting regularly with the principal (Scholastic, 2008). These analyses provide a complex and rich picture of what school libraries need to have in order to sustain a vital role in the learning agenda of schools. The research of the Center for International Scholarship in School Libraries is represented in these compilations.
CiSSL Background and Research Studies The Center for International Scholarship in School Libraries (CiSSL) was founded in 2003 by Dr Carol Kuhlthau, now a Distinguished Professor Emerita at Rutgers University. CiSSL exists as a research centre in the School of Communication & Information at Rutgers University. Its mission is to advance knowledge about building a sustainable future for children and youth as they engage in utilising information for learning through Foundation to Year 12 education, and as they prepare for living, working and civic engagement in a complex,
Two slides from Dr Toddâ€™s conference presentation.
technology-centred and networked information world, and become informed, active citizens. Information science, librarianship, education and informatics are the core disciplines that intersect in CiSSLâ€™s research and professional development initiatives to provide the central focus of scholarship in school librarianship, with the following themes providing a focus for the research it produces: Digital Youth. The information seeking and use of youth as they engage with information in all its forms for learning and every-day living, with emphasis on engagement with digital
information, digital devices and digital networks. Information Worlds. The changing face of the information landscape in schools; imagining and creating innovative instructional informationfor-learning environments through school libraries, digital collections, and reading, writing and literacy initiatives across a range of platforms, tools and media. Inquiry Learning. The development of creative pedagogies centring on information-based inquiry, and how inquiry-based learning fosters the development of intellectual, social and digital agency of youth. Emphasis
Since 2003, CiSSL has undertaken a substantive number of large state studies that focus on: impact studies, guided inquiry, reading and literacy, everyday life information seeking behaviour, knowledge construction, and evidencebased practice and school improvement. These studies include large scale studies: Student Learning through Ohio School Libraries (13,123 students, 879 teachers); Student Learning through Delaware School Libraries (5,733 students, 408 teachers); New Jersey Impact of School Libraries on Student Learning (574 students, 27 teachers and teacher librarians); Ohio School Librarian-Teacher Collaboration Study (by ILILE-Kent State University-CiSSL with 130 teachers and teacher librarians); New Jersey One Common Goal: Student Learning Phase 1 (765 teacher librarians); and NJ One Common Goal: Student Learning Phase 2 (100 principals, classroom teachers and curriculum co-ordinators). In addition, a number of small-scale studies have been undertaken that have focused on reading and literacy development in a range of contexts: reading to learn, reading in digital environments, reading in and out of school, and reading for personal enrichment, everyday life information seeking of children and youth, and most recently, an ongoing study focusing on collaborative learning in digital environments, with emphasis on the co-construction of knowledge.
Volume 1, Summer 2014 | Learning Hub | 9
RESEARCH FOCUS One of the challenges often presented to the CiSSL researchers is to develop some empirically generated principles that can guide the development of school libraries and their transformation as sustainable and vital dimensions of learning. In essence, we have been encouraged to undertake some kind of meta-analyses of CiSSL’s research to generate evidencebased models and conceptions of schooling and information services for young people in a networked digital information world. We have begun this analysis, which is following three overlapping themes: (1) School libraries and evidence-based advocacy; (2) School libraries as centres of cognitive development and knowledge construction; and (3) School libraries and reading and literacy development in transliteracy contexts. The comments that follow are a reflective commentary on this analysis to date, primarily based on the first two themes. The first theme centring on school libraries and evidencebased practice was presented as a paper at the recent IFLA World Library and Information Congress in Lyon, France (Todd, 2014). In this paper, I have identified several evidencebased principles for advocacy initiatives emerging from our ongoing research that highlight the role of the library as a centre for knowledge development, and these are now summarized from that paper.
The School Library as a Pedagogical Centre CiSSL’s corpus of existing research challenges the profession to move from a helps-as-inputs orientation (what is provided in the library, its infrastructure, systems and resources, and what teacher librarians do) to a helps-asoutcomes/impacts orientation. ‘Help’ has been a powerful concept in all of CiSSL’s research since its inception, and school leaders in CiSSL’s most recent
affective, personal and interpersonal competencies, and outcomes related to reading to learn and reading for enjoyment.
A slide from Dr Todd’s conference presentation. New Jersey study (Todd, Gordon, & Lu, 2011) identified the following ‘helps’ of school libraries: The school library is a multidisciplinary learning space where all curriculums are represented and enabled. The school library’s mosaic of knowledge and global access creates an environment where learning is respected and pursued, helped and nurtured in safe and critical ways through curriculum-centred instruction. Learning in the school library is viewed as process of discovery, developing research and inquiry capabilities. The school library is defined and distinguished as a place that helps them to learn how to learn. The school library is seen as key to the school’s mission to produce engaged readers and informed learners who can thrive in a digital, knowledgebased world. The teacher librarian is central to learning because s/he is viewed as a partner teacher enabling the information-to-knowledge journey of students. The learning-centred work of the teacher librarian helps define the school library as a pedagogical centre.
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The school library offers a learning environment that is not based on “the right answer” prompted by rote learning, but on a more complex model of teaching and learning that is inquiry-driven. Students want to be in the library. They view it as their information home and value the expert guidance and help they receive. This list is consistent with the ‘helps’ research undertaken in Ohio and Delaware (Todd & Kuhlthau, 2005a, 2005b; Todd, 2005a, 2005b) and replicated in Australia (Hay, 2005, 2006a, 2006b), some years earlier.
A Holistic Competencies Approach for Knowledge Growth The notion of the school library as a pedagogical centre provides the challenge to move beyond the generic information literacy concept that has defined the uniqueness of school library instruction to elaborating and measuring an instructional program that contributes to a holistic set of competencies embedded in state and national curriculums, such as: resourcebased competencies; mastery of research processes and learning management competencies; development of thinking-based competencies and knowledgebased outcomes; development
Our New Jersey studies (Todd et al., 2011) highlight that many of these competencies, developed through school library initiatives, are highly valued by students, teachers and school administrator, and articulating outcomes in relation to these competencies places school libraries on a stronger curriculum-based agenda (Todd, 2014). Collectively, these competencies enable the information-to-knowledge journey of students. It is not just about a set of information skills rolled out in some kind of scope-and-sequence teaching framework. While the rhetoric of school librarianship revolves around information processes grouped under an information literacy label, it is clear in our research that content or disciplinary knowledge is of great importance – knowledge of science, history, geography, mathematics, economics, and the likes. From our earliest studies on how students perceive school libraries as helpful, to recent studies on the knowledge construction process (Todd, 2008; Todd & Dadlani, 2013), it is evident that students tie information handling processes to depth of disciplinary knowledge developed. The cognitive development of students is as much about information handling processes to enable engagement with information, as it is about understanding the nature of the disciplinary knowledge developed as one outcome. In the New Jersey Phase 2 study (Todd et al., 2011) in particular, the team-based instructional role positioned the school librarian as a coteacher enabling curriculum standards to be met, and this revolved around disciplinary knowledge. This is actually the fundamental assumption made by the longstanding professional principle of collaborating with classroom teachers, bringing
and often contradictory, construct that needed to be scrutinised in the process of building new understandings. This altered their conception of information seeking as fact-finding, into a broader constructivist and reflective notion.
together the integration of information processing and disciplinary knowledge in a holistic and dynamic way. The outcome is both the development of procedural knowledge (knowledge of information processes) and declarative knowledge (knowledge of the discipline itself), and the importance of articulating outcomes of both kinds of knowledge.
Instructional Collaborations as Key to Transformation The points above raise important questions surrounding instructional collaborations, and the pedagogy that informs them. In the analysis of the 20,000 student stories collected in the Ohio and Delaware studies (Todd & Kuhlthau, 2005a, 2005b; Todd, 2005a, 2005b), it is evident that the role of the teacher librarian as an instructional partner was highly valued by the students. Embedded in the thousands of narrative stories of the students collected in these studies is the portrayal of the school library as a wholeschool pedagogical centre, and a common instructional zone where students learn to learn through information. Emerging out of these studies was the model, ‘The School Library as A Dynamic Agent of Learning’. This shows the centrality of knowledge construction, enabled by a pedagogy that transforms information into knowledge (see figure 1). This transformative and formational role is a consistent pattern in our research to date, and more strongly elaborated in the New Jersey Impact of School Libraries on Student Learning undertaken during 2003-2005, funded by the Institute for Museums and Library Services (Todd, 2006; Kuhlthau, Heinstrom, & Todd, 2008). In this study, we sought to develop an easy-to-use and reliable measurement toolkit to enable teacher librarian and teacher teams to show the growth of knowledge through
Figure 1: The School Library as A Dynamic Agent of Learning
instructional collaborations. The research involved 574 students from 10 diverse public schools in New Jersey undertaking inquirybased projects. The students were from Years 6 to 12, and were learning a range of curriculum topics, such as the Middle Ages, Westward expansion in America, and chemical compounds. The study involved 10 teacher-TL teams, consisting of 10 teacher librarians working on 17 different curriculum projects with 17 classroom teachers. The research sought to measure student learning in multi-dimensional ways, with particular emphasis on the growth of knowledge of their curriculum topic, interest, feelings, and experiences during the inquiry process, and their reflections on their learning. Data were collected through three short survey instruments at the initiation of the research task, midway during the task, and at the completion of the task, which captured responses to open-ended questions as well as categorical responses. The Student Learning through Inquiry Measure (SLIM) toolkit was further developed and refined from this process, including feedback from participating school teams, critical feedback from the school library research community and further verification from teacher-TL teams not involved in the initial
research. Through using the toolkit in the New Jersey schools, the teacher-TL teams were able to show several key learning outcomes that could be documented through applying the SLIM toolkit. First, the students learned topical content in two predominant ways: fact finding as an additive (transport) approach to knowledge building, and an integrative/ transformative approach which went well beyond describing the topic, to showing understanding of complex concepts and explanatory and predictive relationships of topical content and reflecting on this. These students became more skillful and confident as information seekers, they became increasingly engaged, interested and reflective during their learning process, and saw information seeking as a constructive process of building both deep knowledge and deep understanding. They became more critically aware of the broad variety of sources and their different purposes. They gained practical skills in independent information seeking, and they underwent a significant conceptual change regarding information. These students showed increasing awareness of the varied quality of information, as well as information as a problematic,
This toolkit is freely available to the school library community to explicitly enable instructional teams to measure the growth of knowledge, and articulating that knowledge in terms of information processes and curriculum knowledge (Todd, 2006; Kuhlthau et al., 2008). The SLIM toolkit is available at http:// cissl.rutgers.edu/joomla-license/ impact-studies/57-impactstudies-slim and can be used in various settings, involving a diversity of curriculum topics and grades. In fact, a number of Australian teacher librarians have successfully used this to demonstrate the impact that a guided inquiry approach can have in assisting students construct new knowledge (Fitzgerald, 2007; Scheffers, 2008; McLean, 2011; Sheerman, 2011). The instruments measure changes in knowledge, specifically in relation to substance of knowledge, structure of knowledge, amount of knowledge, estimate of extent of knowledge, and label of knowledge. The site provides the Student Learning through Inquiry Measure (SLIM) toolkit, SLIM Handbook, SLIM Reflection Instruments and Scoring Guidelines and SLIM Scoring Sheet. We continue to use this instrument to collect data on the dynamics of knowledge construction, and to encourage its use as part of evidence-based practice.
Guided Inquiry as a Research-Validated Instructional Model Constructivist, resourcebased inquiry defines all of CiSSL’s research studies, both philosophically and methodologically. In April 2013, CiSSL held its Third International Research Symposium attended by almost 100 participants
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RESEARCH FOCUS from around the world: school library and educational researchers, doctoral students, graduate students undertaking their MLIS degree, and teacher librarians. The purpose of the symposium was first to celebrate the 30 years research journey and contribution of Dr Carol Kuhlthau, particularly the empirical testing and validation of the Information Search Process model, and its development as an instructional design framework for school libraries, known as Guided Inquiry (Kuhlthau, 2004; Kuhlthau, Maniotes, & Caspari, 2007, 2012). Second, it was to engage with the research and practice of this empirically validated, constructivist model for resource-based inquiry. One of the key learnings from our research is the importance of implementing an authentic and powerful inquiry-centred pedagogy that empowers learners to become expert consumers of information and producers of knowledge. All of our research, and particularly our study of the school leaders in New Jersey (Todd et al., 2011) affirm the belief that library-based instruction must go beyond teaching a schema of skills, particularly those highlighted in the plethora of information literacy models available to the library profession. Many of these models have no or little empirical testing and validation to commend their use, particularly in an educational climate that is increasingly emphasising the use of educational models with tested validity. Rather, it is about utilising developing knowledge building capabilities through an inquiry-centred framework: activating prior knowledge, building excitement, interest and motivation for learning, building background knowledge, generating meaningful questions to research, developing research capabilities, producing knowledge through information analysis and synthesis, and reflecting on process and outcomes. These are at the heart of the Guided Inquiry Design framework, developed by
Kuhlthau, Maniotes and Caspari (2012). I invite you to take the time to explore the YouTube Channel of CiSSL that showcases a group of students speaking about their inquiry-centred learning. (insert todd-cissle-talks. png image here and include the caption: CiSSL Talks (YouTube Channel) https://www.youtube. com/playlist?list=PL66E2826ED 9D669C7 )
Some Concluding Thoughts What works in teacher librarianship? The answer is both simple, and complex. Quality instruction directed to meaningful intellectual engagement to transform information into deep knowledge. Our school libraries need to be staffed with teacher librarians who are quality teachers, who enable the active construction of meaning and deep understanding, who foster cognitive growth of young people growing up in a sea of information, and who develop the intellectual skills which are essentially life skills for our information world. Such a statement has major implications for the professional training and ongoing performance evaluations of teacher librarians. A significant step in this direction is the recent announcement of the American Association of School Librarianship’s (AASL) new mission statement and strategic plan. The mission statement is: “The American Association of School Librarians empowers leaders to transform teaching and learning.” Eileen Kern, chair of the working party leading the mission statement review states: School librarians serve as the guiding light in transforming learning through new tools and technology… the essence of school libraries is teaching and learning. This concept places school libraries at the center of any discussion dealing with education ... [and we] need to work with leaders, within and outside our profession, to be our voice in
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the transformation process. (ALA, 2014) This focus on teaching and learning is the most pervasive theme that unites all of CiSSL’s research to date. As teacher librarians, I urge you to engage with these research findings to inform and transform your practice as leaders of inquiry learning in your school.
References American Library Association (ALA). (2014). AASL transforms learning with new mission statement and strategic plan. Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/news/pressreleases/2014/07/aasl-transforms-learningnew-mission-statement-and-strategic-plan Atherton, J.S. (2013). Learning and teaching: What works best. Retrieved from http:// www.learningandteaching.info/teaching/ what_works.htm Ellerson, N.M. (2010). Surviving at thousand cuts: America’s public schools and the recession. Arlington, VA: American Association of School Administrators. Retrieved from http://www.aasa.org/ uploadedFiles/Policy_and_Advocacy/files/ AASAThousandCutsFINAL1 21610.pdf. Fitzgerald, L. (2007). Investigating guided inquiry: A beginning. Scan, 26(2), 30-37. Hattie, J. (2009). Visible learning: A synthesis of over 800 meta-analyses relating to achievement. London: Routledge. Hay, L. (2005). Student learning through Australian school libraries. Part 1: A statistical analysis of student perceptions. Synergy, 3(2), 17-30. Hay, L. (2006a). School libraries as flexible and dynamic learning laboratories… that’s what Aussie kids want. Scan, 25(2), 18-27. Hay, L. (2006b). Student learning through Australian school libraries. Part 2: What students define and value as school library support, Synergy 4(2), 27–38. Kuhlthau, C., Heinstrom, J., & Todd, R.J. (2008). The ‘information search process’ revisited: Is the model still useful? Information Research, 13(4). Retrieved from http://InformationR.net/ir/13-4/paper355. htm. Kuhlthau, C.C., Maniotes, L., & Caspari, A. (2007). Guided inquiry: Learning in the 21st Century. Santa Barbara, CA: Libraries Unlimited. Kuhlthau, C.C., Maniotes, L., & Caspari, A. (2012). Guided inquiry design: A framework for inquiry in your school. Santa Barbara, CA: Libraries Unlimited. Lonsdale, M. (2003). Impact of school libraries on student achievement: A review of the research. Report for the Australian School Library Association. Melbourne, Vic.: Australian Council for Educational Research. McLean, I. (2011). Taking the plunge: Guided inquiry, persuasion and the research river at Penrith Public School. Scan, 30(4), 26-35.
Scheffers, J. (2008). Guided inquiry: A learning journey. Scan, 27(4), 34-42. Scholastic, Inc. (2008). School libraries work! (3rd ed.). New York: Scholastic Library Publishing. Retrieved from http:// www2.scholastic.com/content/collateral_ resources/pdf/s/slw3_2008.pdf Sheerman, A. (2011). Accepting the challenge: Evidence based practice at Broughton Anglican College. Scan, 30(2), 24-33. Todd, R.J. (2005a). Report of Phase Two of Delaware School Library Survey. Student learning through Delaware school libraries – Part 1: Background, theoretical framework, methodology and findings. Delaware: CISSL. Todd, R.J. (2005b). Report of the Delaware School Library Survey 2004. On behalf of the Governor’s Task Force on School Libraries. Delaware: CISSL. Todd, R.J. (2006). From information to knowledge: Charting and measuring changes in students’ knowledge of a curriculum topic. Information Research, 11(4). Retrieved from http://www. informationr.net/ir/11-4/paper264.html Todd, R.J. (2008). The dynamics of classroom teacher and school librarian instructional collaborations. Scan, 27(2), 19-28. Todd, R.J. (2009). School libraries and continuous improvement: A case study. Scan, 28(2), 26-30. Todd, R.J. (2012). The shifting sands of school libraries: Sustaining the next gen school libraries. Proceedings of the International Association of School Librarianship Annual Conference 2012, November 11-15. Doha, Qatar: IASL. Todd, R.J. (2012). School libraries and the development of intellectual agency: Evidence from New Jersey. School Library Research, 15. Retrieved from http://www.ala. org/aasl/slr/volume15/todd Todd, R.J., & Dadlani, P.T. (2013). Collaborative inquiry in digital information environments: Cognitive, personal and interpersonal dynamics. In A. Elkins, J.H. Kang, & M.A. Mardis (Eds.), Enhancing Students’ Life Skills Through School Libraries. Proceedings of the 42nd Annual International Conference Incorporating the 17th International Forum On Research in School Librarianship, Bali, Indonesia, August 26-30 (pp. 5-24). Bali: IASL. Todd, R.J., Gordon, C., & Lu, Y. (2011) Report on findings and recommendations of the New Jersey School Library Study Phase 2. Once Common Goal: Student Learning. Rutgers University. New Brunswick, NJ: CiSSL. Todd, R.J., & Kuhlthau, C. (2005). Student learning through Ohio school libraries, Part 1: How effective school libraries help students. School Libraries Worldwide, 11(1), 63-88. Todd, R.J., & Kuhlthau, C. (2005). Student learning through Ohio school libraries, Part 2: Faculty perceptions of effective school libraries. School Libraries Worldwide, 11(1), 89-110.
Carol Gordon Lyn Hay introduces Carol Gordon to SLANSW members.
Some recommended readings of Dr. Carol Gordon’s work Adams, H., Bocher, R.E., Gordon, C.A., & Barry-Kessler, E. (2005). Privacy in the 21st century: Issues for public, school, and academic libraries. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited.
I first became familiar with Dr. Carol Gordon’s work when I came across her School Library Media Research article, ‘Students as authentic researchers: A new prescription for the high school research assignment’ in 1999, which I selected as a reading for the Masters subject I was teaching at Charles Sturt University. Over the years, Carol’s research has informed the education of Australian teacher librarians with regard to authentic learning, information literacy, reading, school library impact, action research, and evidencebased practice, just to name a few. She has presented at a number of conferences and seminars in Australia in the past decade, and is well known for her regular contribution to the column ‘Research into Practice’ in the School Library Association of Victoria’s journal, Synergy. Carol began her career in education as an English teacher in New York City public schools and has worked as a teacher librarian in public and private schools in the USA and Europe. While working as the Director of Library and Information Services at Frankfurt International School in Germany, Carol completed her educational doctorate, where she examined how students used concept mapping as a pre-search activity as part of the research process. Carol recently retired from her position as Associate Professor in the School of Communication and Information at Rutgers
Gordon, C. A. (2014). Dewey do or dewey don’t: A sign of the times. Knowledge Quest 42(2). Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/aasl/sites/ ala.org.aasl/files/content/ aaslpubsandjournals/ knowledgequest/docs/ KNOW_42_2_OE_DeweyDo.pdf Gordon, C.A. (2010). The culture of inquiry. School Libraries WorldWide, 16(1), 7388. Retrieved from http://www. iasl-online.org/files/slw2010gordon.pdf Gordon, C.A. (2009). Raising active voices in school libraries: Authentic learning, information processing, and Guided Inquiry. Scan, (28)3, 34-41.
University and Co-Director of the Center for International Studies in School Libraries (CiSSL). Before that, she was an Associate Professor in the School of Education and Head of the Pickering Educational Resources Library at Boston University. Her interests include instructional and management practices in libraries, information-based inquiry and the information searching behavior of adolescents, traditional and emerging literacies, personalised and selfdirected learning, and action research. Carol has published extensively, having written over 50 journal articles, and several books and book chapters, based on her research.
Carol now spends her time working within the library and education sectors as a consultant and provider of professional development services in the United States and internationally. She continues to write for the profession; currently collaborating with Susan Ballard on a new book, The transcendent school library: A model for 21st century teaching (working title). We are looking forward to having Carol visit Australia in March next year to present at a number of Syba Academy seminars, and being the featured speaker for SLANSW’s State Library Day on Saturday, March 14, 2015. Her research and practice will be an invaluable contribution to the theme of SLANSW’s professional learning program, ‘Let’s Make It Happen’.
Gordon, C.A. (2007). The real thing: Authentic teaching through action research. In Hughes-Hassell, S., & Harada,, V.H. (Eds.). School reform and the school library media specialist, (pp. 161178). Westport CT: Libraries Unlimited. Gordon, C.A. (1999). Students as authentic researchers: A new prescription for the high school research assignment. School Library Media Research, 2. Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/aasl/ sites/ala.org.aasl/files/content/ aaslpubsandjournals/slr/vol2/ SLMR_AuthenticResearchers_ V2.pdf Editor’s note: A number of Carol’s Research into Practice columns in Synergy are also freely available via http://www. slav.vic.edu.au/synergy/.
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Action Research to the Rescue: The Case for Recreational Reading
Carol A Gordon In this feature article, Carol shares her action research experience as a teacher librarian, who was trying to determine the value of, and investment of effort in conducting a Summer Reading Program at her school. SLANSW members will have the opportunity to learn from Carol’s experiences and insights as a teacher librarian practitioner, researcher, and educational consultant at our State Library Day in March 2015. Carol will also be presenting a series of one day seminars in Brisbane and Adelaide.
Carol Gordon worked as a teacher and school library media specialist in the United States and Germany before moving to the higher education sector where she worked as an Associate Professor at Rutgers and Boston Universities. Carol was also Co-Director of the Center for International Scholarship in School Libraries (CiSSL) at Rutgers between 2007-2013. As Director of Gordon Consulting, Carol now designs professional development programs for the library and education sectors.
learning. We recognise best practice, quality teaching and learning, and are continuously learning the complex systems at work to maintain and improve our practice. We, however, need a lens to view our practice so we can better understand how its working parts. Action research is such a lens that can help us to
If you can’t describe what you are doing as a process, you don’t know what you are doing. W. Edwards Deming Imagine that you could look at your professional practice through a lens that makes its surface transparent. You see the gears and other working parts as if it were a clock or machine that had a life of its own. This is how Deming (2000), a statistician, viewed organisational structure of corporations to understand how they worked and how they could work better. His quotation about process is linked to his idea of leadership. It is only when we understand processes in the workplace that we can become leaders who know how to keep our practice running effectively. Our profession is far more complex than the organisational structure of any corporation because our ‘products’ are teaching and
fix what’s not working and invent better versions of the processes we are using.
What is action research? Action research is investigative teaching that aims at solving problems in practice. According to Anderson,
Herr, and Nihlen (1994), it is “… insider research done by practitioners using their own site as the focus of their study... it is oriented to some action or cycle of actions that practitioners wish to take to address a particular situation” (p. 2). The components of action research are reflecting, planning, acting, observing, and reflecting again to repeat the process. The origins of action research are attributed to Kurt Lewin, a social psychologist who wanted to fix real world social problems such as drug addiction, debilitating emotional effects of war on veterans, homelessness, and prisoners’ return to society. Lewin defined the spiraling nature of action research, similar to what is represented in Figure 1 (Cartwright, 1951, p. 240) that included: reflecting to identify a problem; planning by fact finding and collecting evidence, taking the first action step; reflecting again to decide on next steps. The spiral is recursive; it repeats each year as practitioners learn from their action research and continue to improve their practice.
Why action research?
Figure 1: Action Research Cycle
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Action research has been heavily examined and often implemented with positive results that lead to improving practice. Usually such improvement involves increasing confidence of teachers in their ability to reflect on their standard practice and the potential to improve their future instructional role. Action research may help teachers and teacher librarians gain more insight into the reasons for how their students are performing. The collaborative
nature of the classroom teacher/teacher librarian relationship in planning and instruction is ideal for action research. The following quote by action research leaders, Kemmis and McTaggert (1998) captures the essence of this approach: Action research is a form of collective self-reflective enquiry undertaken by participants in social situations in order to improve the rationality and justice of their own social or educational practices, as well as their understanding of those practices and the situations in which the practices are carried out.... The approach is only action research when it is collaborative, though it is important to realise that action research of the group is achieved through the critically examined action of individual group members (pp. 5-6).
How does action research work? Action research seeks to understand why something happens, or the frequency of occurrence to establish what is happening, and involves smaller samples of participants for the purpose of gaining insight and depth of understanding of a specific case. Practitioners do not have to worry about whether their action research meets high standards of formal research for generalising findings from a small sample of people to the general population. This is because action research studies the population of participants that are affected by the results. In many cases, there is no sample. For example, when a teacher librarian administers a survey to all her students to find out what they like to read, this is the population and not a sample, so the results are valid for that population. Another attractive feature of action research is that it is usually qualitative, or
ethnographic. This kind of research helps practitioners gain a deeper understanding of a phenomenon, such as recreational reading. It requires the use of evidence collection methods such as interviews, focus groups, case studies, and journals/blogs that can be incorporated into instruction. Although participants may want to collect numerical data that can be treated statistically (i.e., descriptive statistics such as averaging), quantitative action research is not always the best method, depending on what the practitioner wants to learn.
The Case of for Recreational Reading What does action research look like? Could this true story take place in your library? A long-standing tradition of summer reading at my high school required students to read at least three books during their ten-week vacation. As teacher librarian I collaborated with English Language Arts (ELA) teachers to update printed reading lists for each grade. My enthusiasm for promoting summer reading was beginning to wane, however, as I overheard these comments: Struggling student: “I hate to read! Why do we have to read in the summer?” 9th grade Honors student: “Why can’t I read a book from the 10th grade list?” Boys: “There aren’t enough books about sports and real stuff?” Girls: “There aren’t any Nicholas Sparks books on the list!” Low achievers complained about the classics, or the idea of reading any book. High achievers wanted more choices. Boys complained about uninteresting titles and girls wanted their favourite authors included. Everyone complained about limited choices and writing book summaries.
I decided to explore what other schools were doing and found they were doing the same kind of summer reading program as my school, so I turned to the literature on reading. Here is what I learned: Young adult titles comprised 18% of all summer reading list titles reported that even though studies show that adolescents consistently choose young adult or contemporary adult novels over traditional titles. (Williams, 2000) Among the 57 lists studied, two did not list titles, merely giving a reading assignment; the remaining 55 lists contained from three to 300 titles, usually organised by grade level. (Williams, 2000) Annotations appeared on 27 lists, mostly oneliners or short summaries. Commonly, summer reading lists did not reflect what students wanted to read: 43% to 92% were fiction even though research studies report that boys prefer nonfiction (Gurian, 2001). I saw many similarities between this research and my school’s reading lists. I wondered what our ELA teachers thought. Here are some examples of responses: Traditional Teacher: “I don’t believe the writing assignment ensures that students read the books, but I feel I have to make them accountable so they will read. Summer reading should be rigorous, based on the curriculum. Most of all, I want my students to read good literature.” Progressive Teacher: “I’m not comfortable giving a grade for summer writing assignments the first week of school. Summer reading should be fun. I would like to see more diverse reading lists and would even consider non-graded lists.” I feared that I would be opening a can of worms because of the lack of consensus among
ELA teachers on the purpose of summer reading and what students ‘should’ read. I feared that teachers would think I was challenging their professional judgment. Would I destroy good relationships I had worked so hard to build? I began to wonder whether summer reading really mattered. Was this battle worth fighting? I went to the research once again and learned that: “The long summer vacation breaks the rhythm of instruction, leads to forgetting, and requires a significant amount of review when students return to school in the fall.” (Cooper, 2003, p. 2) The “faucet theory” (Entwisle, Alexander, & Olson, 2000) posits that opportunities to read and learn are turned on during the school year for all students. As a result, learning gains made during the school year are remarkably similar for students from different social and economic backgrounds (Entwisle, Alexander, & Olson, 1997; Heyns, 1978; Murnane, 1975). However, when school is not in session and the faucet is turned off there are inequalities in educational opportunities and outcomes (Alexander, Entwisle, & Olson, 2001; Cooper et al., 1996). A meta-analysis of 39 studies (Cooper et al., 1996) revealed that all income levels showed lower reading comprehension scores after summer, and disadvantaged children showed the greatest losses, with a loss of three months of grade-level equivalency during the summer months each year, compared with an average of one month loss by middle-income children when reading and math performance are combined. Children with special educational needs (Sargent & Fidler, 1987), or those who speak a language other
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FEATURE ARTICLE than English at home, may experience a greater negative effect from an extended period without practice. Now I knew that summer reading mattered. I shared this evidence with the head of the English Department who asked me to work with ELA teachers to revise the summer reading lists. However, the rigorous versus recreational reading controversy still worried me. I thought about going to the research again, but was daunted by the vast volume of literacy research. Then I discovered Stephen Krashen’s book, The Power of Reading (2004) that summarises research about Free Voluntary Reading (FVR). I discovered summer reading was a type of FVR whereby students read independently with minimal accountability. From scanning the margins of the book I learned FVR has been shown to have a strong positive effect on second language learners (Elley & Mangubhai, 1983; Elley, 1991; Elley, 1998; Mason & Krashen, 1997). It has been shown to result in more reading and better writing (Anderson, Wilson, & Fielding, 1988; Postlethwaite & Ross, 1992; Kim, 2004). Free reading studies in both second and foreign language confirm that those who read more do better on a variety of language acquisition tests (Stokes, Krashen, & Kartchner, 1998; Lee, Krashen, & Gribbons, 1996; Salyer, 1987; Janopoulous, 1986; Kaplan & Palhinde, 1981; Gradman & Hanania, 1991; Constantino, Lee, Cho, & Krashen, 1997). Other benefits of FVR address aliteracy, or the lack of motivation to read. Lastly, studies support the finding that those who read know more (Ravitch & Finn, 1987; West & Stanovich, 1991; Filback & Krashen, 2002). I took the evidence to the ELA Committee, knowing that I was taking a risk when I asked them to base their decisions about summer reading on
research, rather than on their professional expertise. I was convinced that evidence would point the Committee in the right direction and I was right. The Committee accepted the following guidelines for revising summer reading: “People who say they read more read better” (Krashen, 2004). Therefore, the primary purpose of the program is to encourage students to read more. In order to encourage students to read more, the primary purpose of summer reading is reading for fun. Summer reading offers choices because choice is an important element in reading engagement (Schraw et al., 1998). In this first stage of reflecting I stated my problem, gathered evidence of what other schools were doing, and gathered evidence from my own school by surveying students to determine their reading interests and attitudes. I collected staff recommendations through email. Now I was ready to look at my evidence and translate it into action. The Committee was beginning to realise that their task was bigger than revising reading lists; they had to shift their thinking to conceptualise a summer reading program based on evidence. We decided that the summer reading program would be web-based to appeal to our digital youth, all of whom used the Internet and engaged with social media. Since the net generation is not only attracted to image-rich environments, but is more comfortable with them, the website was visually attractive with lots of colourful graphics. In ordinary practice, this would be the end of the story. However, action research is never-ending: the revised summer reading program became the object of new reflections. Is it working? Do students like it? What do teachers think? How can it be
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improved? The second year began with these reflections. Informal, anecdotal evidence, however, was not good enough to answer these questions because perceptions are not always accurate. Students had favorable comments about the website. Teachers thought more students were participating. The principal was getting good feedback from parents in the community. While nice to hear, I knew this was anecdotal and might not be accurate, so I decided to survey the students when they returned from summer vacation. I discovered that boys had a higher non-participatory rate than girls (21 to 6) so a new reading list, Guys Eyes Only, was added to the website after surveying boys to find out what they liked to read. We also learned about an underserved population from the survey. While the participatory rate school-wide for using the website was 90 percent, low-achievers had a nonparticipatory rate of 33 percent, compared with 10 percent for average students and zero percent for honors students. This evidence led to collecting data from low-achieving students by forming focus groups to better understand why they did not participate in the reading program. We learned a lot! Lowachieving students do read during the summer, but they do not read books. They read alternative media, i.e., newspapers, magazines and websites. These students feel that their summer reading was not validated and they are right! We learned that most of these students only read books required in their ELA classes. Their attitudes toward these books were directly associated with how they feel about their ELA teacher. If they liked their teacher, they liked the book. Action research provided evidence that only one-third of low-achievers participated in summer reading. However, anecdotal evidence was
overwhelming that the program was a success, but we were not hearing the voices of our low-achievers. The survey led us to form focus groups to listen to those voices. We could then make informed decisions about adapting our summer reading website to include alternative media and establishing email connections between low achievers and teachers they chose. We also realised that the website could be used year-round to motivate students to follow their interests and share their reading through links with social media and other reading websites. Action research is a powerful tool of evidence-based practice. Evidence helps us to make meaning of what we are doing on a daily basis through reflection to ensure we continuously improve. However action research cannot be done in a vacuum; it is nourished by knowledge. This means being a keen observer and capturing the evidence that is waiting to be found in your practice, learning how to purposefully collect evidence, and reading the relevant research to inform your interpret of your evidence. What is a problem in your practice?
References Alexander, K.I., Entwisle, D.R., & Olson, I. S. (2001). Schools, achievement and inequality: A seasonal perspective. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 23, 171-191. Anderson, G.K., Herr K., & Nihlen, A. (1994). Studying your own school: An educator’s guide to qualitative practitioner research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Pr. Anderson, R., Wilson, P., & Fielding, L. (1988). Growth in reading and how children spend their time outside of school. Reading Research Quarterly, 23, 285-303. Cartwright, D. (Ed.). (1951). Field theory in social science: Selected theoretical papers. New York: Harper. Constantino, R., Lee, S.Y, Cho, K.S., & Krashen, S. (1997). Free voluntary reading as a predictor of TOEFL scores. Applied Language Learning, 8, 111-118. Cooper, H. (2003). Summer learning loss: The problem and some solutions. ERIC Digest, May, ED475391, 1-7. Cooper, H., Nye, B., Charlton, K., Lindsay, J., & Greathouse, S. (1996). The effect of summer
vacation on achievement test scores: A narrative and meta-analytic review, Review of Educational Research, 66, 227-268.
of reading the bible and studying the bible on biblical knowledge. Knowledge Quest, 31(2), 50-51.
Deming, W.E. (2000). Out of the crisis. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Gradman, H., & Hanania, E. (1991). Language learning background factors and ESL proficiency. Modern Language Journal, 75, 39-51.
Elley, W. (1991). Acquiring literacy in a second language: The effect of book-based programs. Language Learning, 41, 375-411. Elley, W. (1998). Raising literacy levels in third world countries: A method that works. Culver City, CA: Language Education Associates. Elley, W., & Mangubhai, F. (1983). The impact of reading on second language learning. Reading Research Quarterly, 19, 53-67. Entwisle, D.R., Alexander, K.I., & Olson, I.S. (2000). Summer learning and home environment. In R.D. Kahlenberg (Ed.). A nation at risk (pp. 9-30). New York: Century Foundation Press. Entwisle, D.R., Alexander, K.I., & Olson, I.S. (1997). Children, schools and inequality. Boulder, CO: Westview. Filback, R., & Krashen, S. (2002). The impact
Gurian, M. (2001). Boys and girls learn differently: A guide for teachers and parents. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Heyns, B. (1978). Summer learning and the effects of schooling. New York: Academic Press. Janopoulous, M. (1986). The relationship of pleasure reading and second language writing proficiency. TESOL Quarterly, 20, 763-768. Kaplan, J., & Palhinde, E. (1981). Non-native speakers of English and their composition abilities: A review and analysis. In W. Frawley (Ed.). Linguistics and literacy, (pp. 425-457). New York: Plenum Press. Kemmis, S., & McTaggart, R. (1988). The action research planner. Geelong, Vic.: Deakin University Press.
Kim, J. (2004). Summer reading and the achievement gap. Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association, Chicago, April 21.
Salyer, M. (1987). A comparison of the learning characteristics of good and poor ESL writers. Applied Linguistics Interest Section Newsletter, TESOL, 8, 2-3.
Krashen, S. (2004). The power of reading: Insights from the research. (2nd ed.). Englewood, CO: Libraries Unlimited.
Sargent, L.R., & Fidler, D.A. (1987). Extended school year programs: In support of the concept. Education and Training in Mental Retardation, 22(1), 3-9.
Lee, Y., Krashen, S, & Gribbons, B. (1996). The effect of reading on the acquisition of English relative clauses. ITL: Review of Applied Linguistics, 113-114, 263-273. Mason, B., & Krashen, S. (1997). Extensive reading in English as a foreign language. System, 25, 91-102. Murnane, R.J. (1975). The impact of school resources on the learning of inner-city school children. Boston: Ballinger. Postlethwaite, T., & Ross, K.N. (1992). Effective schools in reading: Implications for educational planners. An exploratory study. The Hague: The International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement. Ravitch, D., & Finn, C. (1987). What do our 17 year-olds know? New York: Harper & Row.
Schraw, G., Flowerday, T., & Reisetter, M.J. (1998). The role of choice in reader engagement. Journal of Educational Psychology, 90(4), 705-14. Stokes, J., Krashen, S., & Kartchner, J. (1998). Factors in the acquisition of the present subjunctive in Spanish: The role of reading and study. ITL: Review of Applied Linguistics, 121-122, 19-25. West, R., & Stanovich, K. (1991). The incidental acquisition of information from reading. Psychological Science, 2, 325-330. Williams, L. (2002). How I spent my summer vacation - with school reading lists. Voice of Youth Advocates, 24(6), 416-421.
! d e t i v n i e ’r u o Y School Library Association NSW State Library Day
Let’s make it happen! Building evidence of the NSW school library profession’s impact.
You’re invited to join Lyn Hay, Carol Gordon & Aaron Blabey for a one-day seminar where you’ll discover how to develop a school library program that actively and visibly contributes to student achievement.
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Presented in partnership by Syba Academy and School Library Association NSW More information and registration at www.sybaacademy.com.au/learning/courses Volume 1, Summer 2014 | Learning Hub | 17
A WEEK IN THE LIFE OF...
A Guided Inquiry Practioner Alinda Sheerman describes her experiences in Week 3 of Term 4 as a Guided Inquiry practitioner.
(IRP). They use some of the GI scaffolds and I support them in developing information literacy and database skills. This week I have continued to work with them as well. The following diary entries represent those aspects of my working week where I focused my time and energy on Guided Inquiry programs.
Every Guided Inquiry (GI) experience is different because every teaching team is different, and classes respond in different ways. Some of this is an unknown quantity until the experience is under way.
Monday Year 11 CAFS – Independent Research Project (IRP) Teach a previously booked session for the Year 11 CAFS class, at the GI stage of ‘Immerse’ in their IRPs, to remind them of database use, access to our subscription databases and referencing.
This is the GI experience of one of my typical weeks. It so happens that I am at the start of two projects – one with two Year Five classes and one with a Year 10 Commerce class. By Week 5 this term, however, I will also be adding in three Year 7 classes for the rest of the term. Two of those teachers are very experienced in GI. One I have worked with for five years, and the other for four years, so I will only need to be a support for them. One of the 5H teachers, Catherine, is new to teaching as well as new to Guided Inquiry but her enthusiasm is amazing. We began planning this unit exactly one month ago and have emailed and met many times. The other Year 5 teacher is ‘in the slipstream’ and we hope the unit works concurrently with both classes. Catherine’s attitude to my planning suggestions are encapsulated in her reply to my email about whether we should use Diigo to share the links she was finding for the students – she said, “I’m not familiar with Diigo... but I can be!” Now she is familiar with Diigo, so I have given her access to use the IRC account to add links for everyone. I first spoke to the Year 10 Commerce teacher, Tara, when I ‘bumped’ into her in the IRC and asked her if she
Alinda Sheerman is the Head of Information Services of the Information Resource Centre (IRC) at Broughton Anglican College (Menangle Park, NSW). Alinda introduced Guided Inquiry as an instructional framework to support teachers and students in her school in 2007. Alinda is well-known to SLANSW’s membership, as the winner of the 2012 SLANSW Teacher Librarian of the Year and 2012 ASLA Australian Teacher Librarian of the Year awards.
Feedback from Year 11 CAFS teacher after the lesson where I had advised some students who liked two topic areas and couldn’t choose between them: “The advice you gave the Year 11s regarding choosing a topic that they could actually find a decent amount of information on was well received. It might seem obvious to those of us (oldies) who already know to search for ‘the path of least resistance’, but to the Year 11s it seemed like a revelation!” Year 5 Global Connections
Large wall poster with Guided Inquiry stages.
had considered using Guided Inquiry for any of her research topic areas as we had used it with Year 10 Commerce for a number of years. She really wanted to know more about GI and now a month later we are beginning an Issues in Society unit. She had the teacher’s program from last year and really liked the methodology. Her quote on ‘Tuesday’ (next page) reflects her enthusiasm.
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She helped prepare the Edmodo site, so she is learning a new delivery platform as well, and I am guiding her in this more than I need to guide the Year 5 teachers who already use Edmodo for their classes. Every year I assist the Year 11 CAFS (Community and Family Studies) class with their Independent Research Project
Visit one Year 5 classroom to speak to the teacher and observe the integration of Reading and Information report writing. They were using a passage from a topic applicable to Global Connections. [I pop in on classes occasionally so they are used to me being in the room and this helps me to be more collaborative with the teacher during our unit together because I already know how they operate and about the classroom environment and practices.]
Receive email Feedback about their ‘Open’ activities of the previous week, which I could not attend. The teacher gathered feedback (comments) from the students and emailed them from the class.
collect scaffolds and to submit reflections throughout the process.] I also arrange Issues in Society books on IRC tables for browsing
Year 5 students’ feedback on the ‘Open’ stage of their Global Connections project: “I enjoyed the open stage because it got me ready for what I’m going to write about” – Piper “It was overwhelming as there was lots of information all at once” – Aaron “It is good practice for HSIE researching” – Jordan “It is good practice for Year 6” – Zac “All the information has been interesting” – Jacob In preparation for tomorrow’s first ‘Immerse’ lesson, I check links are accessible to students, complete the library Diigo list and make it available to everyone (and provide access to the teacher to add more links), copy these links and place in the Moodle space for selected Weblinks by topic, and gather physical resources from the search completed last term during the Planning phase to determine books we can use for this unit. Year 10 Commerce - Issues in Society I check with the teacher via email that all students are enrolled in the Edmodo Class space, and if so lock it. I also confirm with the teacher via email that the ‘Open’ session is tomorrow, flowing on to the start of ‘Immerse’ and confirm the activities and scaffold.
Year 5 students had a choice of using print and digital scaffolds to complete activities for the Immerse stage of GI. to show examples of resources that could be useful on this topic. Year 5 Global Connections We had Periods 1 and 2 to work on this unit. I began the lesson by speaking about resources for the topic – IRC Moodle links and IRC website subscription links to encyclopedias, SKWIRK access, as well as the Diigo links the teacher gave them via their class Edmodo Group. Along with the box of selected books. Catherine then presided over the rest of the lesson with support from me. The first scaffold ‘Making the Choice’ was explained with examples from their Open activities last week. She reminded them that they were going to be asking “Who, What, Why and How” for each organisation they investigated and finally the global impact of each. The students found their way to the Diigo list of links through
Edmodo and set to work with a choice of a digital scaffold or a printed copy to work on. About half opted digital. The teacher was ecstatic about their attitude and progress, with Catherine saying to me: “This is the quietest they have worked all year!” Year 10 Commerce – Issues in Society During Period 3, I prepare for Year 10 Commerce Open lesson. I set up Interactive Whiteboard with links ready for digital resources and the Buzzle site (http://www.buzzle. com/articles/social-issues/) that was sent to their class Edmodo. [I assisted the teacher to set up Edmodo last week and I deposited a folder of scaffolds there for the students. She is still getting her head around it but making good progress and will invite the students in tonight. It will be used to give out and
Tuesday Before school Prepared Theatrette for Year 5s initial instructions and familiarisation with resources for Immerse Stage – computer logged on, projector on, pages and links loaded in separate windows for fast presentation. Took the box of books in there
Resources display for Year 10 Issues in Society lesson on the ‘Open’ stage.
I also used the time remaining to complete some initial preparation for the Year 7 Guided Inquiry unit which starts in Week 5. I saw a Year 7 teacher heading into the computer lab so I blocked him and asked when he was going to give me his computer lab bookings for Week 5 – the short story from this encounter is that now I have another job to do urgently! This reminded me that I must email the third teacher who also needs computer lab bookings! In Period 4, Year 10 come to the IRC for an ‘Open’ session. All the planning paid off and the lesson ran smoothly with all students apparently keen to approach a personal research task using this method, which seemed new to them. [Most seem to have forgotten that in Year 7 they used Guided Inquiry for a World Heritage task. I hope it is just the change in names of stages that caused this lapse, because I have not forgotten them!] The wide choice of topics excited them as we went into the possibilities and I reflected on some of the topics of past students and what they did in their research. The large vinyl wall poster of the GI steps assisted in our discussion of the process, which included how they will feel about their progress throughout. We showed students the wide range of resources for the Open activity and let them use the remainder of the time to browse the many volumes of Issues in Society books. Digital copies were also available through our ‘Subscriptions’ page on the Intranet. At the end of the lesson I showed them the Edmodo site the teacher had set up and she told them to all be joined up by the next lesson. On that site they will collect the initial scaffold, ‘Constructing
Volume 1, Summer 2014 | Learning Hub | 19
A WEEK IN THE LIFE OF... Meaningful Choice’.
Both classes accessed resources from the Diigo list and used their Edmodo feed to add resources for each other. By the end of the lesson a few students from 5H were at Explore stage and downloaded their scaffold from Edmodo.
I encouraged them all to get signed up and to bring their own device from now on, as we are in a change-over period and not all students are coming to class with personal computer access. Booking labs is very difficult at this stage. I put a lot of effort into making sure the teachers do most of the ‘up front’ teaching in the classes so that they are confident to proceed without support if needed the second time. [I also make scaffolds available on a Moodle Guided Inquiry lesson that follows through each step with instructions and scaffolds. This course is open to all teachers and students.] The class teacher is new to Guided Inquiry but already sees the potential. She realises that because we have not given the students an end task yet, they are focusing more on the topic of choice and the process of dealing with information and less on final assessment. She wrote this in an email after the lesson and began to ask me about using GI for her Geography classes as well. “It appears already that Guided Inquiry helps shift students away from the concept of a prescribed endpoint and towards autonomous learning and creative thinking. I spent 13 years in management in the area of Human Resources and GI is developing skills I always looked out for when recruiting.” – Tara, Humanities Teacher
Year 5 Global Connections For Periods 5 and 6, the same Year 5 teacher, Catherine, from this morning’s lesson, had made a ‘swap’ arrangement and brought over the other Year 5 class for their first Immerse lesson. We were all set up to repeat the lesson from this morning when she found out through a few questions that they were not up to date and had not done the “Open Stage” last week! As she said later, “Guided Inquiry is the
Year 5 students using iPads to complete Immerse activities.
One student with learning difficulties worked from her teacher’s Mac computer (brought in especially) using the text to speech facility, and was very pleased to keep up that way. After the lesson, 5H sent me another email with feedback: Subject: With love from 5H Hi Mrs Sheerman,
kind of process where it is best to expect the unexpected.” [Catherine is new to primary teaching having been a paramedic for many years prior to a career change. Her biggest problem with Guided Inquiry is that I keep saying GI – and to her this is ‘Gastro Intestinal’!] Catherine changed tact and proceeded to lead them through the ‘Open’ activities she had done for her class the previous week. Fortunately the videos she had used were on the Diigo list I had made, so we put that up as a clickable list and were thankful that we were in the theatrette with video facilities! Through Catherine’s excellent guidance the concept of Global Connections was understood very well by all. I had to confess to my jacket being made in China, whilst hers was made in Indonesia and the children’s uniform shirts in Australia. Trade was explained in a video clip, was understood and the concept applied when one student stated, “So, like, if there was a war in China we couldn’t get stuff from China”. ‘Sick’ economies and the flow-on effect were discussed and one student in telling what they had learnt this lesson said, “that countries can get a cold”, because the Behind the News clip said “that when one country sneezes the others catch a cold”!
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Now that this class might always be one step behind, I need to check with their own teacher how they are going before the next lesson.
Wednesday There are no GI lessons today, but I make bookings for GI for the last 5 weeks of term in computer labs for two of the three Year 7 teachers. Using their timetables and a prior agreement that I could swap English periods for History when needed. I managed to find enough bookings that did not clash too much with the other Year 7 already booked, and the commitment to support Year 10 Commerce GI unit – it took more than an hour.
Thursday Year 5 Global Connections For Periods 1 and 2 we managed to bring both classes together, with all of Year 5 in the IRC we used the Computer Lab with 30 computers, 20 computers in the main area, and 10 iPads they brought over from the Junior School (Primary Department). One class was still at the beginning of Immerse but progressed well. Catherine had organised for the Gifted Support teacher and Special Needs student teacher to be there so this meant that we had five teachers to keep the students focused.
Here are some of our thoughts about Guided Inquiry today. “Guided Inquiry is much easier to do when the templates are digital” - Ashley “It fills your brain with information” - Zachary “It is much easier to think about what you are doing when you type things down” - Aaron “Finding out about world organisations makes me want to help as well” - Noah “I found it much easier with multiple teachers helping” Siobhan “I found it easy to find lots of information about FIFA” - Kenny “Guided Inquiry is fun because you get to learn and work with your friends all at the same time” - Amarie Have a great day, Mrs Sheerman! See you at the Book Fair! From 5H
Friday My week ends with more GI classes for Periods 5 and 6. The Year 10 Commerce GI group and also the Year 11 CAFS research group shared the computers in the IRC. This meant I was able to concentrate on the Year 10 Commerce group and also keep an eye on how the Year 11 CAFS group were progressing with their teacher.
The last two periods of Week 3 with two GI classes using the IRC.
Our Headmaster visits a Year 10 GI class in the IRC.
Year 10 Commerce – Issues in Society
understand the process and their feelings. The time given to the students to select an area of their own personal interest is important - this initial research is vital. A teacher librarian once said to me in an ‘aha’ moment, “I get it now! They research to do research!”
My Year 10 Commerce GI group (whose teacher was away so I took the lesson) was working very well. I had gone through the whole process on Tuesday and they had scaffolds at the ready on Edmodo. They had all joined Edmodo, downloaded the first scaffold and by the end of the day had either finished it, or had almost completed it and ready to begin the next Immerse/Explore stage scaffold. The Headmaster was wandering around for a break from his office, as he is prone to do, so I suggested he check what my group was doing. He spent about ten minutes speaking with individual students about their topic areas (Scaffold 1) and then their final topic preference. He told me later they were all enthusiastic about their choice of topic but one student couldn’t decide what issue to choose out of four - so asked him what he thought. The Headmaster said, “I looked at his work and saw he was considering Drug Abuse, Marijuana, Alcohol Abuse and Privacy Issues. I looked at all choices and told him that Privacy was a big problem these days and he said he was actually very interested in that - and was swayed in that direction.” I think the Headmaster was quite pleased with himself! I need to assist the teacher by getting an assignment up on Edmodo soon, so the first
scaffold can be returned before Tuesday. I must also set a ‘Reflection Task’ for this stage of the process. Next week we will discuss forming Inquiry Circles to share the journey so far. Last year the Year 10 group, working on the same unit, reflected that meeting in Inquiry Circles at regular intervals was the highlight of the process for them.
Some thoughts on Guided Inquiry Implementation If time is limited, only work with teachers that come to you with enthusiasm for trying GI. Invariably they will want to use it again and training them well pays off for the second experience when you become more of a support and not the initiator of events in the classroom. Preparation takes time and after an initial discussion we usually manage it digitally with emails and shared documents. If the unit of work is prepared thoroughly with access to all scaffolds, it runs smoothly and flows so that students can work ahead (differentiation). I have begun to use Edmodo with secondary classes but some teachers, with whom I have previously worked on wikis, still prefer them. Open stage is very important. The time taken to explain the process especially to secondary classes pays off. We refer to the wall chart of stages constantly and students
Primary classes, especially the younger years, sometimes glue scaffolds in stage order into scrapbooks and this works well. I have a set for primary and secondary, and because they are digital we change them to suit the group (sometimes adding pictures). As computer access improves with further implementation of BYOD, I suspect even Year 3 students will eventually be working from a digital copy. Time to reflect throughout the unit of work is important. I email the teachers after the lesson to discuss aspects of the lesson or students of note. This is the time to make changes for the next session or note evaluation for the next unit. Students do not need to know the final product until later in the unit. Sometimes we even change our initial plan for this when we see where the student’s interests lie, and will certainly give them a choice of product for sharing. A final evaluation of the unit of work (program), the students and the teaching team is vital so that changes can be noted and made for the next time. Student feedback is very important and I usually collect this from their
reflections throughout, as well as an evaluation questionnaire at the end of the unit.
Conclusion My role in the school has dramatically changed since my first AIS Action Research grant into changing pedagogy through Guided Inquiry back in 2008. That was when I first witnessed dramatic changes in student engagement and application of their learning. This enthuses me and the class teachers, to continue using Guided Inquiry. I have become a welcomed collaborative part of many teaching teams. As teachers observe results presented by others at staff meetings and workshops they want to ‘give it a go’, and as a result change their pedagogy to an Inquiry approach with great enthusiasm. Initially my role with teachers asking for my assistance is to share about Guided Inquiry, then assist with programming to discuss and suggest methods of delivery, formative and summative assessment, integrated technologies throughout, and finally evaluation of the unit of work by all parties involved. And… of course as well as this I am also in charge of physical and digital collections of resources and literature, and a large vibrant community space in constant use by our P-12 school population.
Volume 1, Summer 2014 | Learning Hub | 21
RETHINKING OUR PRACTICE Teacher librarians share ideas on how they are changing school library practice.
Goodbye Reference Shelves. Hello iBar! placed. It is a good idea to locate it within eye view of the circulation desk. Repurposing a free-standing desk is a cost effective possibility, but other options such as a purpose built unit around a pillar, or at the end of a shelving bay, or against a wall, are also feasible.
As part of the constant renewal of a school library’s collection, it is important to review all areas for purpose and relevance, including the reference collection. Reference shelves take up valuable real estate in a library and often contain print resources that should be discarded because the information is out of date, items are in a state of disrepair from over use, or contain information that can be found online more readily by students (and which is regularly updated). It is not, however, a case of discarding absolutely everything. A careful sorting of the shelves may result in the weeding of up to half (or more) of the collection, depending on your collection management policy and criteria for evaluating resources. What remains could be repurposed as borrowable resources and integrated into the non-fiction collection. As space is saved, there is possibly more room for the print collection to be spread out – allowing for those pesky large format books to reside close to their Dewey number, perhaps laid flat on bottom shelves to free up important display space of new resources. It does not have to be a major re-jigging of the collection (unless you want it to be), but it does provide a good opportunity to look more holistically at your collection. Your students will also enjoy the new freedom of borrowing previously prohibited books! With that job done, it is time to explore new ways of supporting those ready reference requests, such as atlases, dictionaries, encyclopaedias, year book data and the like. Enter the iBar. As a substitute for a print-based reference collection, an iPad kiosk or
What to include on the devices For Reference, choose from a range of apps including dictionaries, encyclopaedias, language translators, and atlases (including geographical and historical). There are plenty of options both as paid and free apps, and you can emulate your old reference collection quite easily for very little cost.
Sunny South is Teacher Librarian at Sydney Secondary College, Leichhardt Campus, and is the Secretary of SLANSW. Sunny believes that librarians should be leading changes in pedagogy and learning spaces, and likes to explore ways of ‘doing things differently’ in the school library to support teachers and engage students.
iBar offers a whole lot more functionality as well. Take a cue from the Apple store where it is common to see visitors in the space hovering over tables that have iPads attached to table mounts. Four to six devices would be optimum for a busy school library.
The hardware Apart from the iPads themselves, choose a suitable table or wall tablet mount. There are several models in a number of price points. iLocks have a great range, including one very similar to that used in the Apple store itself (see http:// www.ilocks.com.au/). Some
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models allow for charging cables to be neatly hidden away, others do not. Look for mounts that allow the iPad to swivel between portrait and landscape. Seating. Don’t let your clientele become too comfortable, after all it is just for a quick ‘look up’ or browse. Depending on the tabletop on which the devices or the height you mount the device to the wall, look for a stool of a suitable height. Several stools around one device encourage collaboration. The Bar. When choosing a tabletop it depends of course on where such a kiosk is being
Also consider the inclusion of fabulous multimedia books that might be a bit expensive to add as a class iPad set, for example, Virtual History Roma or The Elements. Just purchasing a couple of copies is not expensive – in fact purchasing four copies of one app is no more expensive than purchasing one glossy full colour book! Try titles from the Kids Discover series. More and more publishers are coming on board with apps for education. Review journals such as the NSW Education & Communities’ Scan will keep you up to date with new publications and apps. At no cost, a selection of free iBooks can be also downloaded; look at doing some in-house publishing (using iBooks Author) or select from a range available from the iBooks store. Some you chose might be purely of a recreational nature and others will have application across learning areas. Well-designed free titles include Disney’s Maleficent and Frankenweenie; these movie tie-ins are
examples of commercially created multimedia book apps that are not only interesting iBooks for students, but are inspiring examples of what is possible in the medium. Building Titanic (National Geographic) is another wellmade free multimedia app. Keep your eye out for other free titles from reputable publishers. Explore the range of e-zines available and download apps such as Zinio, Issuu and Newstand to make available periodicals that can replace or enhance your periodicals collection. Encourage students to create their own Zines on apps such as Deezine – and make good ones available at the iBar as well. Perhaps the most exciting set of apps to include at the iBar are well-crafted puzzles, mysteries and games. The titles in this genre are expanding all the time. Criteria for inclusion are that they must be interesting, creative, challenging, and beautifully
designed. To get started check out the award winning, The Room and The Room 2, Year Walk, Tengami, Botanicula, and then explore the makers of these games and see what’s new from them. If space allows, include notice boards above the iBar for students to share their thoughts about the games/ puzzles, ask for help to complete the challenges, and put up questions, clues, etc. This can be a collaborative activity that challenges and inspires students in their writing, and in designing and creating games and stories. Use notice boards to publicise new apps, iBooks and e-zine additions to the set. The iBar will certainly be a vibrant, well-used section of any school library in no time. With a relatively small outlay, some good research on killer apps and a re-arranging of the physical space can bring your school library into the 21st century.
Recommended apps for iPads to get you started Building Titanic (National Geographic) http://channel. nationalgeographic.com/ channel/titanic-100-years/ articles/download-the-buildingtitanic-ipad-app/ Botanicula http://amanita-design.net/ games/botanicula.html
Maleficent (Disney) https://itunes.apple.com/us/ book/maleficent-official-multi/ id878664479 Newstand https://itunes.apple.com/au/ genre/ios-newsstand/id6021 Tengami http://nyamyam.com/category/ tengamigame
Deezine https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/ deezine/id439942928 The Elements http://periodictable.com/ipad/
The Room http://www.fireproofgames.com/ the-room The Room 2 http://www.fireproofgames.com/ the-room-two
Frankenweenie: An Electrifying Book (Disney) https://itunes.apple.com/ au/book/frankenweenieelectrifying/id557041056
Virtual History Roma https://itunes.apple.com/au/ app/virtual-history-roma/ id410358487
Issuu: A World of Magazines https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/ issuu-world-magazines.-free./ id914453825
Year Walk http://simogo.com/work/yearwalk-ios/
Kids Discover series http://www.kidsdiscover.com/ apps/
Subscriptions for NSW Education & Communities’ journal Scan are available at http://scan.nsw.edu.au/.
Introducing... LinksPlus Collection A range of expertly curated, curriculum-linked websites to guide research Guide research tated Expertly anno hing ac Maximize te time ng ni ar le and Linked to curriculum
WebLinks Linksplus allows our database of expertly curated and annotated websites to seamlessly integrate with your library catalogue’s search function. Websites searchable by subject heading and linked to the curriculum Regularly updated Available in two formats: MARC records API for federated search
WebLinks is an online database featuring thousands of expertly curated and annotated websites. Use on school intranet for easy access Resource topics for students or teachers For use at school and at home Regularly updated Websites searchable by subject heading and linked to the curriculum
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For more information call 02 9808 3377 or visit www.sybasigns.com.au Volume 1, Summer 2014 | Learning Hub | 23
RETHINKING OUR PRACTICE Teacher librarians share ideas on how they are changing school library practice.
Wired for Sound: How to Find Free Audiobooks Online Free eBooks have been available to those of us with Internet access for some time now through websites such as Project Gutenberg (1971-2014). With many of these books on school reading lists, those of us with stretched budgets have been taking advantage, and are ready to look further. Another such set of parallel resources available online are audiobooks. There are several obvious advantages for using audiobooks (Khazan, 2011; Gray, 2013). Students with reading difficulties, either educational or physical, can access the content and message of a narrative. Reluctant readers may be less reluctant as listeners; some may have time to listen but not read (Scholastic Inc., 2014). There is also the dramatic aspect; a good reading can convey extra meaning to some children. If you don’t believe me, just go to any public library at storytime when the children’s librarian does voices! Project Gutenberg, along with 30,000+ free copyright free eBooks, also has a large selection of audiobooks (Project Gutenberg, 20072014). These books consist of both human speakers as well as computer-generated narration. All are free and may be linked to, or even given to, your students. The computergenerated books in my opinion are to be avoided as they can sound too unnatural, but will do if there is no other option. You can access many of the audiobooks narrated by people directly from the LibriVox (2005-2014) website, or other services like AudioBook Treasury (2014); examples that I have listened to from here include, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Jane Eyre and Pygmalion.
if the resources are already there and paid for, then it makes sense to encourage our students to use them and to improve cooperation between school and public libraries in the process.
References Apple. (2007-2014). iTunes U. Retreived https://www.apple.com/education/ipad/ itunes-u/ AudioBook Treasury. (2014). Free audio books. Retrieved http://www. audiobooktreasury.com/free-audiobooks/ Bianchi, D. (2004-2014). RadioTheatre. Retrieved http://www.radiotheatrenyc. com/
Martin Gray is Teacher Librarian at Singleton High School. Martin has been using audiobooks with students for three years and finds these assist students to connect with the narrative at a deeper level, especially those who are time-poor or reluctant readers.
Bianchi, D. (2004-2014). RadioTheatre Podcasts. Retrieved http://www. radiotheatrenyc.com/PODCASTS.html Education Services Australia. (2013). Schools Catalogue Information Service (SCIS). Retrieved http://www2.curriculum. edu.au/scis/home.html Free Audio Books UK. (2010). Retrieved http://www.free-audio-books.co.uk/index. html
Some books have several different readings so you may want to try a few versions before recommending one to your English faculty. For more dramatic readings I tend to go to radio plays. The Radio Theatre of New York (Bianchi, 2014), for example, makes recordings of several of their previous performances available. The Frankenstein podcast is quite good and includes not just a reading, but music, sound effects and several cast members. If you are ever in New York, I recommend catching a live show. The plays are made available through the Internet Archive (1996-2014) which itself hosts several thousand out of copyright audio, document and movie files. If your students use iPads, then you also have access to Apple’s (2007-2014) wide array of resources at iTunes U. This collection includes
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a number of audiobooks from respectable education providers around the world. With an Apple account, staff and students can download anything from iTunes U for free and listen at will. The iTunes U application is downloaded at the iTunes store, and then used as a catalogue. Links to individual items can be copied, shared and some are already catalogued on SCIS (Schools Catalogue Information Service). Android users may have access to a variety of free educational resources as well through the Google Play Store, but nowhere near as many. Finally, do not forget your local library. Many public libraries have an audiobook provider, for example, my local library subscribes to OneClickdigital. These paid services include non-fiction as well as fiction, and books still within copyright. Your students are all eligible to sign up for a public library card, and
Google, Inc. (2014). Google Play Store. Retrieved https://play.google.com/store Gray, M. (2013). Free, legal, ready-to-use electronic resources. Connections, 86. Retrieved http://www2.curriculum.edu. au/scis/connections/issue_86_2013/ articles/free_legal_ready-to-use_electronic_ resources.html Internet Archive. (1999-2014). Audio Archive. Retrieved https://archive.org/ details/audio Khazan, O. (2011). Is listening to audio books really the same as reading? Forbes, 12 Sept. Retrieved http://www.forbes.com/ sites/olgakhazan/2011/09/12/is-listening-toaudio-books-really-the-same-as-reading/ LibriVox. (2005-2014). Librivox: Free public domain audiobooks. Retrieved https://librivox.org/ Project Gutenberg. (1971-2014). Retrieved https://www.gutenberg.org/ Project Gutenberg (2007-2014). The Audio Books Project. Retrieved from http://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/ Gutenberg:The_Audio_Books_Project Scholastic Inc. (2014). The literacy benefits of listening: Use audio books to bring life and depth to your child’s reading experience. Parents raising readers and learners. Retreived http://www. scholastic.com/parents/resources/article/ developing-reading-skills/literacy-benefitslistening
SUPPORTING READING AND LITERACY .
Reaching Reluctant Readers ‘What’s the name of the book we’ve been reading all term, Jonah?’ Empty stare. ‘How about I give you a clue? It starts with the letter “T”.’ Shrug.
David Riley is a respected New Zealand high school Drama and English teacher. His innovative teaching has been referred to in numerous research on educational theory and practise. David’s specialty is working with Polynesian students. David is also a published author who writes reading resources for teachers, parents and young people.
‘How about you just give me any word that starts with the letter “T”? Can you do that, Jonah?’ Silence. ‘Do you even know what the letter “T” looks like?’
‘Oh regret it, will I! Get out of my class, Jonah, I don’t want to see you in here. Get out, now!’ Excerpt from Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) TV series, Summer Heights High (2007)
But I have a lot of teacher friends, in NZ and in Australia, who find working with Polynesian young people to be a real challenge. Jonah Takalua to them is not a fictional creation – he’s a real kid in the back row! I would persuade my students about the importance of reading through watching inspirational talks by people like Dr. Ben Carson, or show them how New Zealand Warriors league players read as part of their everyday lives. Having convinced my students that reading is important and
“Yeah Sir, this book is solid,” said the other. A mum wrote to me to say thanks for writing the SBW book. She said it was the first book her son had voluntarily read by himself, that he was giving his Dad daily updates and having to hide it from him so that he could finish it! It really makes me happy to hear these things. Not happy for myself, but for the boys. Sometimes young people who struggle with reading can be misjudged, but I know for sure they want to be good readers.
‘Don’t mess with me Miss, you’ll regret it.’
I’m a high school Drama and English teacher in New Zealand. One of the biggest challenges as a teacher of literature is finding reading material that appeals to the students I work with, mainly Polynesian youth. I love working with them!
of the Benji book. ‘This is the first book I’ve ever read right through,” one said proudly.
can be cool, we’d head down to the library to select books. Students with low literacy levels or little history of personal reading really struggle in many of our libraries. Where do you start when trying to find a cool book to read? Awesome cover? Sure … but after reading the first paragraph, the glazed look on the student’s eyes show he’s lost in the language! Famous subject? Definitely … but 500 pages of text?! We have the biographies of Tana Umaga, Valerie Adams, Ruben Wiki, Jonah Lomu and other national sporting heroes in our school library. I’ve read all those books and they contain some incredible stories of achievement.
If we can get them started with something high interest, at the right level, and they can experience success as readers, then we can help them come to see reading as an amazing skill, hobby, power to have.
But mostly, those books stay on the library shelves. Why? Because they’re written for adults. Boys especially, are often told they should read more. But where are the books written especially for teenage boys, about things they love and in language they can relate to? Books that say, “Hey, check me out, I was written especially for you! ” I’ve found that boys can be encouraged to read, if they find captivating reading material … that they can understand! That’s what I’ve set out to do in these books about Benji Marshall and Sonny Bill Williams.
Teacher librarians know how special that feeling is when you connect a book with a ‘reluctant’ reader. There’s a feeling that you’re contributing to something life changing for that young person, just by bridging a gap between them and the written word. As the late Maya Angelou said, “Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him.” David Riley has also developed teaching resources to support his books. These can be downloaded from his website at www.readingwarrior.com.
Two Year 11 boys visited my office recently, holding a copy
Volume 1, Summer 2014 | Learning Hub | 25
RESOURCING THE AUSTRALIAN CURRICULUM
Welcome to My Country — Introducing the Yol u Worldview Claire Rowland
Welcome to My Country is a critically important account of a successful Aboriginal community in Arnhem Land, penned by Yol u knowledge holders and educators in collaboration with three non-Indigenous academics who have been adopted into their family. The book provides insight into some of the patterns and relationships connecting human-ecological systems and underpinning ways of being and belonging at Bawaka in North East Arnhem Land. In each chapter a special activity takes place which highlights a specific concept, such as counting and sharing, astronomy and space, language and Country, kinship and belonging, and the day ends with a story that reflects the ‘lessons’ of that day told at sunsets. Woven through the book and following each chapter are the authors’ stories. These sections provide a personal perspective to recent and important events in Australian history, such as the struggle for Land Rights and the Homelands Movement, which give us insights into how Yol u people live in Arnhem Land and what it means to live with Country in Australia today. The book is unique in that it explicitly aims to educate non-Indigenous people about the existence and complexity of Yol u knowledge, from the perspective (and with the voice of) senior knowledge holders. It aims to promote greater understanding and awareness of Indigenous worldviews and connection to country.
than ‘beautiful’; underneath the beauty the Yol u see multiple layers of knowledge, connections, obligations, communications and understandings.
Claire Rowland is a Research Officer at Macquarie University. She works with Kate Lloyd, Sandie Suchet Pearson and Sarah Wright, three of the academic authors of the book, Welcome to My Country. This team is interested in exploring the usability and potential impact of this book as an educational resource. In this article, Claire outlines the nature and intent of the book, and explains how teacher librarians, teachers and students can contribute to this usability study as participants.
A reviewer described the book as follows: There is one word I would use to describe Welcome to my Country; rich. The deep connections to the land and environment that are described through stories, images and songs are what undergird the Yol u people from north-east Arnhem land. There are so many stories throughout the book that speak of relationship with the animals and earth, and each can be taken out and examined on its own making it a useful book to delve into multiple times. (Reber, 2013, p. 1) One of the keys to the book’s success so far has been its accessibility and thought provoking content. It has received excellent reviews and has already sold out of its first print run. Welcome to My Country was also shortlisted by the Book Council of Australia for the prestigious CBCA Eve Pownall Award 2014, recently receiving Honours in the Information Books category.
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Educational Content With an aim to educate nonIndigenous people, particularly students, about the existence and complexity of Indigenous knowledges, the book comes with Teaching Notes that provide practical ways to integrate knowledges of the Yol u people living in Bawaka into the Australian Curriculum.
The Authors Laklak Burarrwanga is an Indigenous Datiwuy elder and caretaker of Gumatj Country and together with her sisters Ritjilili, Merrkiyawuy and Banbapuy and her daughter Djawundil, is a recognised educator, author and leader. Sarah Wright, Sandie Suchet Pearson and Kate Lloyd are non-Indigenous academics that have been adopted into Laklak’s family as a sister, daughter and granddaughter. They work in Newcastle University and Macquarie University respectively. Together these eight women weave together the story of life in Bawaka. They have worked together since 2006. This is the collaborators second book, the first being Weaving lives together at Bawaka (Burarrwanga et al., 2012). The inspiration of this book came from the authors’ desire for non-Indigenous and Indigenous people to learn from each other. The book attempts to demonstrate the Yol u worldview that sees Bawaka Country as far more
This knowledge is not representative of all Indigenous communities in Australia, as each community has different beliefs and practices. Instead it is a glimpse into one Indigenous community’s connection to Country, which the authors hope will inspire the reader’s interest in and respect for the practices and beliefs of other Indigenous groups. The authors believe understanding connection to Country is critical to progressing respectful relationships between Indigenous and nonIndigenous Australians, and ultimately reconciliation. As such, the book serves as not only an invitation to learn about Indigenous worldviews, it is also an invitation for nonIndigenous and Indigenous people to reconcile and envisage a shared future. The significance of this book is captured in this 2013 review: The sharing of these stories will build more bridges between Australia’s Indigenous and non-
From L to R: Sarah Wright, Dawu Webb, Kate Lloyd, Laklak Burarrwanga and Djawundil Maymuru sharing perspectives. Indigenous communities than any political movement could ever hope to achieve. (Food, Wine and Travel Magazine, August 19, 2013) Greater understanding and awareness of Indigenous worldviews could not come at a more critical time. The Bradley Review (2008) found that, “it is critical that Indigenous knowledge is recognised as an important, unique element of higher education” (p. 33). The new Australian Curriculum for schools identifies Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures as a cross-curriculum priority, to be incorporated in all areas of primary and secondary teaching. However, the curriculum provides little guidance for teachers seeking to embed Indigenous knowledges in their teaching. Welcome to My Country has the potential to fill this critical gap – providing support and inspiration to teachers to explore Indigenous worldviews with confidence. Educators reviewing Welcome to My Country have stated: In a collaborative account of the north-east Arnhem Land community, the Yolnu people, Laklak Burarrwanga and her family offer an important and colourful insight into Indigenous culture and customs
that certainly has a place in today’s high school classroom ... It would be a highly useful text for the classroom as educators could select sections or snippets as appropriate to various age groups or tasks to explore diversity and difference. (Ridgway-Faye, 2013, p. 1)
One aspect of our research is exploring the receptiveness of non-Indigenous people to ideas of connection to Country when expressed through different mediums. In September-November 2014, we intend to interview interested readers of Welcome to My Country to gain insight into their experiences reading the book, and any aspects of the book that promoted greater understanding and respect for Indigenous cultures and world views. We are also interested in hearing about how successful the book has been as an educational tool in the primary and secondary school context. If you have read the book and would like to share your thoughts with us, we would be very keen to talk to you. Contact us through our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/ bawakawelcomesyou) or
by emailing Claire Rowland (email@example.com. au) to get more information about the research and what participation in the research would involve.
References Bradley, D., Noonan, P., Nugent, H., & Scales, B. (2008). Review of Australian higher education: Final report [Bradley review]. Canberra: DEEWR. Burarrwanga, L., Shaw, K., Ganambar, R., Ganambarr-Stubbs, M., Ganambarr, B., Maymuru, D., Wright, S., Suchet-Pearson, S., & Lloyd, K. (2012). Weaving lives together at Bawaka: North East Arnhem Land. Callaghan, NSW: Centre for Urban and Regional Studies, University of Newcastle. Reber, E. (2013). Review of ‘Welcome to my Country’, Allen & Unwin Reviews Newsletter, 19 November. Retrieved https://www.allenandunwin.com/_uploads/ BookPdf/TeachersReview/ 9781743313961.pdf Ridgway-Faye, E. (2013). Review of ‘Welcome to my Country’, Allen & Unwin Reviews Newsletter, 19 November. Retrieved https://www. allenandunwin.com/_uploads/BookPdf/ TeachersReview/9781743313961.pdf
In discussing the potential impact of the book on students, one reviewer stated: When Yol u culture is shared in context and to the ‘right’ audience, it must result in a deeper appreciation of what has gone before for thousands of years, and the caretakers of this land. Students can only be enriched by exploring what it is for this indigenous culture to be so profoundly connected to the land. (Reber, 2013, p. 1-2)
Research Impact The authors are currently researching intercultural communication between Indigenous and nonIndigenous Australians, with the intention of proposing new ways of communicating (particularly at policy level) that value and respect Indigenous connection to Country. In doing so, it is hoped that this communication could contribute to improved Indigenous policy, better outcomes at community level, and greater steps towards reconciliation nationwide.
NATIONAL SIMULTANEOUS STORYTIME Wednesday 27 May 2015 Be a part of NSS! Visit www.alia.org.au/nss to register for NSS, download free resources and purchase your NSS merchandise. Registrations open March 2015.
by Aaron Blabey
Volume 1, Summer 2014 | Learning Hub | 27
PROFESSIONAL READING Reviews of the latest professional literature of relevance to teacher librarians and teachers.
Appreciative inquiry: Practitioners’ guide for generative change and development by Neena Verma, (2014). Boston, MA: Dr Neena Verma. Ebook, $3.99 Dr. Neena Verma’s selfpublished book on Appreciative Inquiry (AI) is a welcome addition and introduction to the field of AI. Its accessibility in terms of cost and availability on the Internet, makes it available to teachers and school communities who are looking for a more positive, strengths-based approach to school renewal through vision creation, than the more common deficit models of identifying problems, and working to “fix” them. The AI process, developed by David Cooperrider in the 1980s, has transformed numerous organisations, such as businesses, hospitals, government departments, and educational institutions, through reframing the issues they face to reveal the potential beneath those issues. Verma often quotes the words of Cooperrider (her AI teacher and mentor) throughout the book, in deference to his articulation of the concept, for example: AI involves, in a central way, the art and practice of asking questions that strengthen a system’s capacity to
anticipate and heighten positive potential. It centrally involves the mobilization of inquiry thru (sic) the crafting of the ‘unconditional positive question’ often involving hundreds and sometimes thousands of people. (Ch 1., para 11) Interviews around positively worded questions are used to identify themes and ideas, about what is already working, to inform an ideal vision that can drive an organisation forward. Case studies of diverse workplaces and institutions on implementing an AI approach have highlighted significant impacts on leadership and organisational change; because it creates “a context for people inclusion, turning command and control cultures into communities of collective cooperation.” (Ch. 1, para 5). Verma briefly and clearly outlines the philosophical bases of AI. She then gives practical guidance on how to conduct an Appreciative Inquiry in an organisation. Verma clearly explains how AI works, and how the vision and plans created are grounded in what has worked before, and what energises the organisation. She provides a range of examples of guiding questions and tips and strategies ensuring inclusivity. Teachers and experienced practitioners will find Chapter 4, her “Indianized Adaptation of AI Process”, a much needed guide to creating a more inclusive process to ensure whole community involvement and buy in, to the change process. Verma has added to the foundational 4D process of AI to create the 7i Generative Mandala, her guide to AI. The addition of her Invoke stage, would be very useful for teachers working in areas with a high Indigenous population. The step can be adapted, through involving Elders in the Welcome to
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Country. Additionally in independent faith-based schools, the invocation stage can be adapted to ceremonies important to other culturally diverse groups. Apart from a few typos and repetitions, that are easy to ignore, the book is a very practical guide to the power of AI. Brenda Stewart has worked as a social studies teacher, Head of Department in HSIE, and consultant in NSW government and Catholic schools since the 1980s. She currently works as a Literacy, Social Studies and Leadership Consultant supporting schools in high poverty areas in New York. She can be contacted via https:// www.linkedin.com/pub/brendacatherine-stewart/4b/277/585.
A more beautiful question: The power of inquiry to spark breakthrough ideas by Warren Berger, (2014). New York: Bloomsbury. Hardcover, $29.99 Berger’s (2014) book is an exploration into how innovation happens. He investigated over a hundred of the world’s leading innovators, entrepreneurs, and creative thinkers to learn how they ask questions to generate original ideas and solve problems. Although there was no single formula or explanation for their success, one common denominator among those studied was
that they were all exceptional at asking questions; asking what he refers to as “beautiful questions”, which were the catalyst to developing their innovation (p. 1). Berger defines a beautiful question as: an ambitious yet actionable question that can begin to shift the way we think about something and that might serve as a catalyst to bring about change. (p. 8) Pertinent in the digital age where information is being delivered at an alarming rate through our devices that are often connecting us 24/7, Berger argues for innovation to occur, knowing the “right information” is not the ultimate goal – it is asking the right questions. He cites many interesting examples of great innovators and inventors such as Einstein, who reportedly said, “that if he had an hour to solve a problem and his life depended on it, he’d spend the first fifty-five minutes making sure he was answering the right question.” (p. 3). It is interesting to read how specific successes and inventions can be tied back to the question someone had. In fact, this is one of the unique contributions of Berger’s work to books published on questioning. The book is full of examples of how ‘naïve’ questions lead to innovation. One example is the inventor of the Polaroid camera (printing instant photos), Edwin Land, who did so in response to his 3 year old daughter’s question in 1943, “Why do we have to wait for the picture?” (pp. 72-75). These stories of ‘beautiful questions’ could be used as case studies for students to explore how innovation comes to be. Some examples include: The inventor of liquid paper (typing correction fluid), Bette Nesmith Graham who was a secretary by day and commercial artists at night wondered, “What if I could
paint over my mistakes when typing, the way I do when painting?” (p. 25) Water.org’s innovative ‘Water Credit’ system which makes small loans available to people in developing countries who can then develop or acquire their own water sources in response to little actual dollars from charitable donations being used to drill wells. Engineer/activist Gary White teamed up with actor Matt Damon to work on the water credit project based on their question, “Why isn’t the water reaching the people who need it?” (p. 95) Bob Kearns designed the intermittent windscreen wiper after being dissatisfied with his car’s wipers moving at only one speed, whether it was pouring with rain or slightly drizzling. His question, “Why can’t a wiper work more like my eyelid, blinking as much (or little) as needed?” (p. 35) For educators, Berger explores the power of inquiry and asking questions as a basis for creativity and innovation for 21st century thinkers; how questioning deeply, imaginatively, “beautifully” can help us identify and solve problems, come up with game-changing ideas, and pursue fresh opportunities. He calls on schools to teach and encourage students to create their own questions, citing a recent study that found the average four year old girl asks an average of 390 questions a day. This in itself, he says, raises questions such as, “Why does that four-year-old begin to question less at age five or six?” (p. 4). He suggests, questioning is natural, like breathing, and as teachers we need to encourage students to ask their “naïve” questions. He quotes the Zen master, Shunryu Suzuki, “The mind of the beginner is empty, free of the habits of the expert”, in support of the idea that we need to step back from our “expert”
minds and see things from an almost childlike perspective (p. 81). He highlights Steve Jobs (Apple founder, designer and inventor) as a proponent of this “beginner’s mind” approach, citing Jobs as being known in his industry for his questioning of everything. As teachers we can use Berger’s ideas to open our minds to the possibilities for inquiry, created from our students’ questions. Because naïve questions help break us out of our disciplinary or expert thinking. In many classrooms the teacher is the one who asks the questions, however, in an inquiry classroom we know student questions need to be articulated, shared and explored. What is special about this book? Berger’s focus on developing people’s capacity as “expert questioners”, who have critical and creative thinking skills, and the curiosity and imagination to ask “beautiful questions”. In terms of practical ideas for the classroom, Berger includes a number of strategies that provoke questioning using his ‘Why / What If / How’ system of inquiry. His strategies to ask powerful Why questions can be found on page 75. In the back of the book, there is an index of all the “beautiful questions” mentioned in the book, along with an index of the “questioners”. These may be useful in inquiry classrooms, as examples for students to explore. Students would find some of the anecdotes of innovative thinkers interesting, and teachers could use these as springboards to encourage student questioning. Reviewer: Brenda Stewart can be contacted via https://www. linkedin.com/pub/brendacatherine-stewart/4b/277/585.
The RDA workbook: Learning the basics of Resource Description and Access. Margaret Mering, (Ed.) (2014). Santa Barbara, CA: Libraries Unlimited. Paperback, $99.00 This practical workbook was written and edited by cataloguing professionals and teachers of cataloguing in Nebraska. It is intended for a general audience rather than for specialist cataloguers from large academic libraries. While it briefly introduces the theoretical framework of RDA (Resource Description and Access), its main purpose is to provide practical experience in applying RDA instructions to the description of simple bibliographic resources. The book is well-researched and includes a glossary, bibliography of “manifestations cited”, and a list of useful resources. It could perhaps have benefited from some more rigorous editing to improve its layout and design. The text includes many figures, quick guides and “mini-exercises”, while an accompanying CD-ROM contains longer exercises and printable versions of the guides, samples and worksheets. It is a nice touch that the exercises and worksheets are provided in an editable format. The entire work is also available as an ebook. The workbook does not require the user to have a subscription to the RDA toolkit;
access to the RDA table of contents is freely available and the quick guides and figures in the workbook are intended to provide sufficient information for the reader to accomplish the exercises. The contributors are working from the premise that their audience is already thoroughly familiar with MARC (MAchine Readable Cataloguing) and has at least some knowledge of AACR2 (Anglo-American cataloguing rules, 2nd ed.). Some of the choices in the workbook, such as following the Chicago Manual of Style for capitalisation rather than the RDA instruction (which maintains compatibility with AACR2) seem inconsistent with widespread AngloAmerican practice. The punctuation of data elements in the examples and exercises follows ISBD (International Standard Bibliographic Description), presumably because such punctuation is specified in MARC, although it is not required in RDA. These sorts of assumptions could perhaps be more clearly explained. Although this book could certainly be used by a motivated individual working alone, I think it would be more useful in supporting a structured in-house training program to assist cataloguers with the transition from AACR2 to RDA. I think it would be less useful as part of a cataloguing instruction course unless that course also covered MARC coding. Reviewer: Leonie Bourke is a Libraries Australia trainer in RDA. She has worked in cataloguing librarian positions since the 1980s. More recently she has worked with the Schools Catalogue Information Services as a database and cataloguing services coordinator, Manager of the SCIS team, and as an RDA consultant. She can be contacted via https://www.linkedin.com/in/ leoniebourke.
Volume 1, Summer 2014 | Learning Hub | 29
PROFESSIONAL LEARNING EVENTS 2015
SLANSW and Syba Academy Partnership Syba Academy and School Library Association NSW (SLANSW) are pleased to announce an exciting professional learning partnership in 2015. This partnership will have a positive impact on the quality, availability and variety of professional learning opportunities for NSW teacher librarians in 2015. Phyl Williamson, Director of Syba Academy, said “Developing partnerships is at the heart of what it means to be a teacher librarian in the 21st Century. We are honoured to be partnering with NSW’s peak teacher librarian body and excited about what this partnership will mean for NSW teacher librarians.” As a result of this partnership SLANSW members will receive: Professional learning of outstanding quality that is relevant to issues faced by the profession today, accredited by NSW BOSTES to AITSL National Professional Standards for Teachers Access to Syba Academy’s professional learning portal for completed seminar materials Access to Syba Academy’s Consolidated Learning in Practice (CLiPit!) program,
for support in applying new knowledge in your school Discounted, fully accredited professional learning in metropolitan and regional areas. Quality professional learning is Syba Academy’s core business so while they seamlessly organise all our professional learning, the SLANSW committee can focus on supporting our members through advocacy of our profession,” said Michelle Jensen, President of SLANSW.
Teacher Accreditation in NSW To work as a teacher in NSW, you must be accredited with the NSW Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards (BOSTES). Accreditation means that a teacher has met the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers at one of four career stages – Graduate, Proficient, Highly Accomplished, or Lead. Once a teacher achieves the mandatory level of Proficient
Teacher Accreditation, they are required to maintain this status to continue working as a teacher in NSW. This involves participating in professional development that helps individual teachers continuously improve and maintain their teaching practice. The maintenance requirements for a teacher employed full-time is over a 5 year period, while those teachers employed part-time have 7 years to meet the requirements. To maintain Proficient Teacher Accreditation, teachers are required to complete 100 hours of professional development every five years. These 100 hours can be made up of BOSTES Registered PD, Teacher Identified PD and, university or TAFE study (through an approval process). Of a teacher’s total of 100 hours of professional development (per 5 years), a minimum of 50 hours of BOSTES Registered PD is required. The remaining hours (up to 50 in total) can be completed as Teacher Identified PD, which covers formal and informal training, courses, workshops, seminars and activities that are attended either in or outside of school hours, but are not registered with BOSTES as accredited PD programs.
T +61 2 9808 3377 E firstname.lastname@example.org W www.sybaacademy.com.au
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For further information about NSW BOSTES Teacher Accreditation, go to www. nswteachers.nsw.edu.au/ The Syba Academy is endorsed by the NSW Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards (BOSTES) as a provider of professional development for the teaching profession of NSW. All seminars and workshops hosted by the Academy for SLANSW in 2015 will be accredited to ensure members receive endorsed credit for relevant professional learning hours (i.e., BOSTES Registered PD), along with a Syba Academy certificate of completion, and access to the Academy’s digital badging facility for those who wish to record the progress of their professional learning journey on an e-portfolio, professional website, personal blog, or social network sites such as Google+ or LinkedIn.
Stay up to date Please contact Syba Academy if your local area network group would like to be included in the SLANSW and Syba Academy 2015 program. Register your email address for the Syba Academy newsletter to receive regular information.
SLANSW PROFESSIONAL LEARNING PROGRAM 2015
SLANSW State Library Day:
Let’s make it happen! A one-day seminar with Lyn Hay, Carol Gordon & Aaron Blabey. Presented in partnership by Syba Academy and School Library Association NSW
Sydney Saturday 14 March The theme for this seminar and the 2015 Professional Learning Program is “Let’s Make It Happen!” In keeping with the theme this seminar is a call-toarms to the NSW school library profession to focus on professional learning in 2015 that educates and empowers them to develop a school library program that actively and visibly contributes to student achievement. Being able to provide local evidence of how one’s school library impacts student learning has been a challenge for many teacher librarians. This requires the development of knowledge and skills in not just building evidence (gathering and analysing school-generated data), but strategically documenting and disseminating this evidence at the local, regional, state and national level. This seminar is designed to expand your professional knowledge, skills and commitment as an educator and information specialist. What are your goals for 2015? What new aspects of your role as a teacher librarian do you need to develop? For more information and to register visit www.sybaacademy.com. au/learning/courses
Day program 9.00 Welcome & Launch of 2015 theme “Let’s make it happen!” Lyn Hay
9.15 Invited Keynote Aaron Blabey Aaron is excited to be presenting at SLANSW State Library Day, making himself available for this conference despite taking a short break from author visits while he prepares a new title. Aaron shares everything he is passionate about; literacy, picture books, his title The Brothers Quibble selected for National Simultaneous Story time 2015.
10.15 SLANSW Updates Michelle Jensen
10.30 Morning tea 11.00 NSW State Library Services for Schools Megan Perry
11.30 What’s your story? Scripting an action research plot Carol Gordon What are the problems in your instructional practice? Where is the evidence that can inform your teaching decisions? Dr. Gordon explores an action research model that is a tool of evidencebased practice. Using systematic inquiry and the action research cycle, Dr. Gordon sets the stage for you to tell your story as you identify critical
problems, generate provoking questions, and collect and analyse the rich evidence embedded in your teaching. Before the curtain closes on this session you will script an action plan that will attract an audience in your school to a program of change and continuous improvement.
1.00 Lunch 1.45 Lights! Camera! Action! Staging the action research story Carol Gordon How can you put your action research plan into action to continuously improve instruction? How can you to do it better next time? Dr. Gordon shares props – pedagogies and digital tools that facilitate evidence collection, analysis, and reflection. Since action research is context-specific, Dr. Gordon presents a literacy-based project that addresses the connection between literacy and information literacy in the context of Guided Inquiry and invites you to “rehearse” your ideas for producing an action research project in a curriculum context in your school. She offers tips for selecting your cast of collaborators, setting the scene in the library and classroom, and directing coordinated instruction and assessment scenarios. At the end of the day you will be writing your own reviews as you evaluate teaching and learning outcomes.
3.15 Closing remarks, Q&A, online evaluation 3.30 Seminar concludes
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SLANSW PROFESSIONAL LEARNING PROGRAM 2015
Guided Inquiry Design: Putting it into Practice A one-day seminar with Lyn Hay and leading Australian practioners
Canberra Friday 27 March This one-day seminar focuses on Guided Inquiry unit design for school-based teaching teams. Participants will be provided with an overview of the Guided Inquiry Design framework and a range of digital tools to support student inquiry. This will be followed by a series of practical examples of GI unit design, implementation and evaluation presented by primary and secondary TLteacher teams. The remainder of the day will involve school-based teams designing a GI unit facilitated by our presenters to ensure greater interaction and feedback for each planning team. This seminar is designed for school-based instructional teams involving teacher librarians, classroom teachers, curriculum and e-learning coordinators, and school principals/assistant principals. For more information and to register visit www.sybaacademy.com. au/learning/courses
Seminar participants will... Explore Guided Inquiry as an instructional framework for designing inquiry learning units that address Australian Curriculum learning areas, general capabilities and cross-curriculum priorities Examine the potential applications of Web 2.0 technologies to support the 8 phases of the Guided Inquiry process Compare and contrast examples of Guided Inquiry unit design, implementation and evaluation Evaluate their schoolâ€™s curriculum needs within the context of the Australian Curriculum
Analyse the Australian Curriculum for inquiry learning opportunities within one or more learning areas Design a Guided Inquiry unit that meets the content descriptions and achievement standards of one learning area/year level of the Australian Curriculum Receive individual consultation throughout the process of designing a Guided Inquiry unit on the day.
Day program 9.00am Introduction 9.10am Guided Inquiry Design and the Australian Curriculum Lyn Hay This session will provide an overview of current research and practice on the implementation of Guided Inquiry as an instructional framework to achieve Australian Curriculum content descriptions and achievement standards.
9.50am Integration of Digital Technologies in the Guided Inquiry Process Lyn Hay This session will present ways in which digital technologies are used to support the Guided Inquiry design process. Common features and functionality of a range of tech tools are examined based on current research and practice.
10.30am Morning tea
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11.00am Guided Inquiry Design: Panel of Practice Leading practitioners This session will involve 30-minute presentations from three local teacher librarians on their experiences with Guided Inquiry unit design, implementation and evaluation in their school. These presentations will be followed by a 5-minute Q&A session per panel member.
12.45pm Lunch 1.30pm Designing Guided Inquiry Units for the Australian Curriculum Leading practitioners In this workshop-style session, participants will work in their school-based planning teams to design a new Guided Inquiry unit of work that addresses one learning area/year level of the Australian Curriculum. Each team will be provided with guidance and feedback from the facilitators.
3.30pm Sharing session & group feedback on Guided Inquiry Units
Connected Educator Summit 2015
Be the Change
by transforming learning and giving our students a voice in their education
Sydney Monday 15 June Canberra Friday 19 June Be inspired and motivated by education and thought leader, teacher librarian Shannon McClintock Miller We live in a world that is constantly changing and connecting through creative and collaborative new technologies, media, and communications. This has changed the way we teach and learn. It has changed our spaces within libraries and schools. And it has changed the way we, as learners, makers and teachers, connect with each other and the world. In this seminar, Shannon McClintock Miller will explore these changes in education and within the library while giving the participants a foundation to bring creative, collaborative, and new experiences and learning to your school community while connecting outside of the walls to the world. You will be inspired and motivated to be the change and a connected, creative, and collaborative educator too. For more information and to register visit www.sybaacademy.com. au/learning/courses
Seminar participants will... Be inspired to Be The Change that they can be within education and to the students, teachers, and school communities they are part of.
Develop a network as a connected educator that can bring others to themselves and their students, teachers, and schools.
Reflect on how new technologies, media, and communications can change their space and practice.
Examine the maker movement and all of the wonderful tools and change it can bring to our young people and education.
Explore how digital tools and social networks can be used to create, collaborate, and connect our learners to themselves, each other, and others around the world.
Day program 9.00am Welcome 9.15am Be the change you want to see in education Why all of us must Be the Change in education and in the lives of the young people and school community we are part of. There are major shifts within education and the library including collections, social media, technology, advocacy, collaboration, spaces, the maker movement, and so much more. Shannon will dig into these shifts, while sharing wonderful stories from the library, students, teachers, and others including authors, experts, and people around the world. Participants will reflect on their own practice while exploring how they can integrate these shifts and changes into their libraries and classrooms.
10.45am Morning tea 11.15am Empower your students to connect, create and collaborate with each other and the world Our students love being engaged and connected to their learning, passions, and technology. We have the opportunity to give them the tools they need to collaborate, connect, and create with others not just in their classroom and school, but around the world. In this session, participants will learn how to use a variety of digital tools to do just that...Connect, Collaborate and Create! Shannon McClintock Miller will tell stories, show a number of amazing digital tools, and give lots
of real-life examples that worked for her in the library and classroom. You will walk away with a rich tool box filled with things you can put into practice with teachers and students.
12.45pm Lunch 1.30pm Bringing a voice to the library and classroom through Makerspaces There are so many ways that libraries and schools are being redesigned and changing. One way is by the addition of Makerspaces which are adding new places for creativity, collaboration, and connections. When Shannon and her students added a Makerspace and tools like a Makerbot 3D printer, LittleBits, knitting, and “Maker Lunches” to the library, little did they know what it would bring to the entire school community. Through classroom PBL projects, individual passions, and global connections, the students at Van Meter have been inspired to make a difference within their Makerspace, school and the world. Participants will engage in a lively conversation about the maker movement, creativity, and tapping into students passions. They will try out a few of the fun new tools and have a chance to share their amazing ideas too.
3.00pm Sharing and reflection 3.30pm Seminar concludes
Volume 1, Summer 2014 | Learning Hub | 33
SLANSW PROFESSIONAL LEARNING PROGRAM 2015
Integrating Digital Citizenship into the Australian Curriculum at your School A one-day workshop with Lyn Hay exploring ways teachers can integrate digital citizenship knowledge and skills across learning areas of the Australian Curriculum to meet the specific needs of their school community.
Dubbo Monday 4 May This workshop is designed to provide teachers, teacher librarians, curriculum and e-learning coordinators with an opportunity to interrogate the Australian Curriculum for digital citizenship knowledge and skills outcomes across learning areas and general capabilities for each year level. Participants will be introduced to the breadth of these understandings and skills using Ribble’s (2011) nine elements. These include: digital access, digital commerce, digital communication, digital literacy, digital etiquette, digital law, digital rights and responsibilities, digital health and wellness, and digital security. It is expected that participants undertake an audit of Australian Curriculum for digital citizenship knowledge and skills in either one learning area across year levels, or across a number of learning areas for one year level, as part of the hands-on component of the workshop. Participants can gain credit for the professional learning hours completed for this workshop when enrolling in Syba Academy’s AITSL/NSW BOSTES accredited Online Extension Course on Digital Citizenship (30 hours).
If you are interested in hosting this workshop in your area please contact jodie@ sybaacademy.com.au For more information and to register visit www.sybaacademy.com.au/ learning/courses
Seminar participants will... Define digital citizenship. Identify a range of digital citizenship issues that are of relevance to their school.
Identify strategies for teaching digital citizenship knowledge and skills to students. Undertake a curriculum audit of the Australian Curriculum for digital citizenship knowledge and skill outcomes.
Day program 9.00am Welcome 9.15am Digital Citizenship and the School Curriculum This session will provide participants with an overview of digital citizenship knowledge, skills and behaviours that people need to learn as effective digital citizens in today’s society, and introduces participants to Ribble’s nine elements of digital citizenship as an effective framework for designing a school’s digital citizenship program.
10.15am Digital Citizenship: Issues and challenges in schools In this hands-on session, participants are required to identify a range of digital citizenship issues and challenges currently being faced by their school community.
10.45am Morning tea 11.15am Digital Citizenship and the Australian Curriculum In this session, participants are presented with examples of digital citizenship knowledge and skills articulated in the Australian Curriculum. Participants are then provided with strategies
34 | Learning Hub | Volume 1, Summer 2014
for interrogating the Australian Curriculum to effectively identify digital citizenship knowledge and skill-based outcomes across learning areas, general capabilities, and year levels.
12.30pm Lunch 1.15pm Designing a Digital Citizenship programme In this hands-on session, participants work individually to undertake a curriculum audit of the Australian Curriculum for digital citizenship knowledge and skill outcomes, based on either one learning area across year levels, or across a number of learning areas for one year level. Participants are also required to identify appropriate strategies for teaching these digital citizenship knowledge and skills to students as part of the curriculum unit design process.
3.00pm Sharing of curriculum audit 3.15pm Evaluation task 3.30pm Workshop close
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