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What is an Information Literate School Community? The Role of Principals and Teacher Librarians… Lyn Hay School of Information Studies Charles Sturt University
Principals and teacher librarians are together responsible for establishing environments for effective teaching and learning to take place.
What might that environment look like?
An Information Literate School Community. . . n whole school information policies and ICT plan n benchmarked information competencies and student portfolios n funds for information services provision n members understand TL role as teacher as well as information expert
n teacher in charge of info services is qualified TL n teachers as learners n information skills across curriculum/ in context n process of learning from information – resource based, problem-solving learning n learning contexts varied/wide range of resources n teaching teams encouraged
n student drafts included in assessment n information tasks negotiated with stakeholders n social justice issues considered re use of information process in homework n student feedback encouraged n student records of self-assessment n principal expects TL to meet ‘corporate’ information needs
What does an information literate person look like?
Information Power § Build partnerships for learning through collaboration, technology & leadership § American Association School Librarians (AASL) & Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT) § 9 information literacy standards with 31 indicators § Links content-area standards to IL standards
Information Literacy Standards for Student Learning I. Information Literacy The student who is information literate… § accesses information efficiently and effectively § evaluates information critically and competently § uses information accurately and creatively Refer to IL Standards handout
Information Literacy Standards for Student Learning II. Independent Learning The student who is an independent learner is information literate and… § pursues information related to personal interests § appreciates literature and other creative expressions of information § strives for excellence in information seeking and knowledge generation
Information Literacy Standards for Student Learning III. Social Responsibility The student who contributes positively to the learning community and to society… § recognises the importance of information to a democratic society § practices ethical behaviour in regard to information and information technology § participates effectively in groups to pursue and generate information
Creation of an information literate school community
Inhibitors & enablers n analyse school for primary inhibitors and basic enablers n inhibitors – lack of time, confusion of roles, poorly designed assignments n basic enablers n team approach to teaching n understanding of constructivist learning n commitment to lifelong learning n competence developing learning strategies (Kuhlthau, 1993)
Information literacy traits n invention n fluency n support n navigation n searching n selection n questioning n planning n interpretation n deep thinking n commitment (Mc. Kenzie, 1998)
A review of the literature… § role of the Principal in developing school library and information services § Teacher librarian’s role in developing the school library program
§ involvement of principal in implementation processes essential Fullan (1982; 1993) § the most powerful and pivotal force behind educational change § roles of visionary, enabler, role model and motivator to achieve successful change Wilkes (1992) § plays crucial role in school improvement Rosenholtz (1985; 1989)
If principals and TLs are responsible for establishing environments for effective teaching and learning. . . what factors are critical to a successful and professional partnership?
Research findings Phase 1. . .
Principals. . è understanding of information literacy and encouraged teachers to embrace it è preferred verbal communication è support TLs as a quasi-senior member of staff as long as the TL is credible è identified TLs as ‘natural’ ICT leaders
Principals. . è rely on TL’s professional judgement è not exposed to TL issues at Principals’ conferences and meetings è provide TLs with major freedom to ‘do their own thing’ è allow release to plan/teach collaboratively, and undertake professional development
Principals. . èsupport information literacy via major ICT funding and ongoing support of collection development èare uncertain how to evaluate the success of information literacy programs èplace high value on TL qualifications and merit selection for the school’s TL position
Principals have high expectations. .
They have high expectations of. . è TLs being ICT literate and having a vision of the future development of information services in the school è what the TL should achieve in and beyond the library è the TL as information advisor to the Principal
Teacher Librarians. . è indicated while principal support was essential, it was not sufficient for success – staff support had to be won è sought support of a senior mentor as a ‘sounding board’ and potential advocate
Principal/TL relationship. . TRUST èprincipals gave TLs ‘what they wanted‘ because they believed the TL would only make ‘legitimate’ demands èTLs tended to be ‘conservative’ in their requests - did not abuse the principal’s trust
SHARED VISION Development of an ILSC could only be achieved through an integrated school library program: è close alignment between the TL’s and principal’s vision was essential è TL had to be credible and act as a change agent è TL needed broad based support and not seen as part of factional politics
Research findings Phase 2. . .
Themes of principal support n understanding and believing in a collaborative school library program n recognising the importance of the TL n ensuring collaborative planning time and other program resources n providing appropriate staff development n monitoring implementation of a collaborative school library program
Level of principal support n measuring perceptions n identifying the level of attention given at present and in future n measuring beliefs n indicate strength of alignment between P & TL n open-ended questions n identify barriers & support, P & TL roles and contributions
Findings n Ps and TLs demonstrated close affinity across perceptions and beliefs n Ps viewed themselves as spending less time on critical matters than their TLs thought they did n Ps perceived current allocation of time on information literacy support as all they could give n Ps needed to increase support in 5 areas n TLs disagreed with some belief statements
Findings n Ps and TLs differed in 3 beliefs about TL absence, credibility and professional competence n Ps & TLs viewed TL critical contributions to quality teaching and learning as: professional development of teaching staff n collegiality n collection management n process orientation n ICT expertise n
Findings n Ps & TLs strongly agreed barriers hindering IL across curriculum were: funding n teacher knowledge & beliefs n teachers desire n planning time n credentials n n TLs saw lack of top-down support as major impediment in ability to influence curriculum
What do we need to do? Follow these 8 ‘Guiding Principles’. . .
Guiding Principles. . . 1. Communicate regularly 2. Don’t assume anything. Keep yourself and your partner informed 3. TL must be visible 4. TL must seek alliances
Guiding Principles. . . 5. Ensure a balance in TL duties 6. Lead by example as information users 7. Work and learn together 8. Develop an ILSC blueprint – work from ‘emerging’ thru to ‘advanced’
Define your role in designing an information literate school community. . . …with your Principal or Teacher Librarian today.
Further Reading The Principal's Role in Developing and Supporting an Information Literate School Community, 1995 -2000 [Online] farrer. csu. edu. au/principal/survey/report. html Hay, L. , Henri, J. and Oberg, D. (1999). The role of the principal in an information literate school community: Think global, act local. In Henri J. and Bonanno K. (eds). (1999) The information literate school community: Best practice. Wagga: CIS, 119 -144. Henri, J. , Hay, L. and Oberg, D. (2002). The role of the principal in an information literate school community: Findings from an international research project. School Libraries Professional Session at the Libraries for Life: Democracy, Diversity, Delivery, 68 th IFLA Council and General Conference, Glasgow, Scotland, 18 -24 August. [Online] http: //www. ifla. org/IV/ifla 68/papers/031 -097 e. pdf Henri, J. , Hay, L. and Oberg, D. (2002). The School Library-Principal Relationship: Guidelines for Research and Practice. [International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) Professional Report]. The Hague, Netherlands: IFLA Headquarters. Oberg, D. , Hay, L. and Henri, J. (2000). The role of the principal in an information literate school community: Design and administration of an international research project. School Library Media Research. Vol. 3. (Refereed journal) [Online] www. ala. org/aasl/SLMR/vol 3/principal. html Oberg, D. , Hay, L. and Henri, J. (2000). The role of the principal in an information literate school community: Cross-country comparisons from an international research project. School Library Media Research. Vol. 3. (Refereed journal) [Online]
Bibliography Bredeson, P. V. (1987). Principally speaking: an analysis of the interpersonal communications of school principals. Journal of Educational Administration. 25(1): 55 -71. Fullan, M. (1982). The meaning of eduactional change. Toronto, Canada: OISE Press. Fullan, M. (1993). Change forces!: probing the depths of educational reform. London: Falmer Press. Hartzell, G. N. (1997). Invisible school librarian. School Library Journal, 43 (11), Nov: 24 -29. Haycock, K. (1992). What works: research about teaching and learning through the school's library resource center. Seattle, Wash: Rookland Press. Haycock, K. (1981). Getting to first base: developing support from school principals. School Libraries in Canada 1(3): 17 -18. Kulleseid, E. R. (1985). Beyond survival to power for school library media specialists. Hamden, Conn. : Library Professional Publications. Linderman, WB (1944) What should the school librarian expect of the school principal? The School Review: 611 -617. Lipham, J. (1981) Effective principal, effective school. NASSP, Reston. Va. Martin, B. & Carson, B. (1981). The principal's handbook on the school library media center. Hamden, Conn. : Library Professional Publications. Rosenholtz, S. (1985). Effective schools: interpreting the evidence. American Journal of Education. 53(3): 352 -359. Rosenholtz, S. (1989). Teachers' workplace: the social organisation of schools. New York: Longman.