I love reading.
Libraries for are one of my favourite places in the world.
These two points were part of my reasoning to start thinking of studying Teacher Librarian (TL) ship and. I also simply thought I could be a helpful TL for students who came from non-English back ground as I probably have had common experiences as them (Usui, 2012a). It is obvious I did not understand then what roll TL really play in the school.
This is my reflection of how my view of TLs has changed during this subject.
What is my purpose?
I am undertaking this course to obtain another qualification to expanding my career as an educator beyond my current role as a Japanese teacher. The Master of Education TLship at Charles Sturt University provides me an ideal opportunity. However after commenced this course, I immediately found out my ignorance of the TLs’ role and what exactly happens in learning and teaching contexts in schools such as Guided Inquiry (GI) learning.
What do I already know (believe)?
When I started studying this course I thought I had a little knowledge about the role of the TL such as checking out books, managing the study area and teaching students library skills.
What did I learn from this? And what do I still need to find out?
The role of TLs
First assignment in this subject required to choose 2 Standards from “12 Standards of Professional Excellence for Teacher Librarians” ( ALIA/ASLA, 2004). I found many unfamiliar words through first reading. This situation can be referring to Initiation in Kuhlthau’s Information Search Process (ISP) (2012). As I moved on to the Selection process to choose 2 standards however I was really confused and frustrated therefore often thought to change my choices of standards. I started to find information to support my essay in Exploration stage however I then found out I could not move forward to next stage, Formulation My information seeking skills are still need to develop and I was confused by new information. Consequently my understanding of TLs’ role was superficial. I am still trying to understand what really TLs do however Herring (2007, p30 Figure2.1) has given me a new light to progress my understanding of the role of the teacher librarian. My one of understanding of the TL’s role at the present is that TLs need to work as Information Literacy (IL) coordinators that collaborate with teachers to prepare students to be lifelong learners in 21st century.
Information Literacy (IL), Guided Inquiry (GI) and the collaboration
I think that IL is much more than just a set of skills. It is also the process involving using those skills and the transfer of those skills and learning across time and curriculum areas (Usui, 2012d). Students need to develop their IL to become effective information users inside and outside school and IL will assist students living and working in the digital environment.
GI is an ideal way to prepare students with the capabilities and competencies of lifelong learners that will meet the requirements of the 21st century (Usui, 2012b). The collaboration with teachers is essential to implement GI into learning and teaching contexts in school.
The definition of collaboration in GI impresses me. I am familiar with a sort of collaboration called team teaching. The team teaching has been used in English and Mathematics classes in junior high school Japan, the team is conducted by a main teacher and a support teacher. A support teacher is generally new teacher and is expected to support lower students and to learn various teaching methods through observing classes. However, in the collaboration between TLs and teachers they work as experts from each special area and both have a common terminology as it is vital to teach IL (Herring, 2011). Furthermore, many studies such as Fitzgerald (2011) have shown how collaboration between TLs and teachers plays an important role in the creation of inquiry units. Therefore I am looking forward to collaborating with teachers when I become a TL.
Honestly, I cannot say I really understand all topics in this subject ETL 401 as I have never worked as TL or a part of stuff in libraries and I am currently not working as a regular teacher. Therefore learning this unit is a sort of impractical theory for me and I sometimes feel uncertain if I could complete this course or not (Usui, 2012c). However I am sure my understanding and knowledge has been progressing.
Australian Library and Information Association and Australian School Library Association (2004) Standards of professional excellence for teacher librarians Retrieved 22, July, 2012 from http://www.alia.org.au/policies/TLstandards.pdf –
FitzGerald, L. (2011).The twin purposes of Guided Inquiry: guiding student inquiry and evidence based practice Scan 30(1), 26-41Retrieved 4, October, 2012 from http://www.curriculumsupport.education.nsw.gov.au/schoollibraries/assets/pdf/guidedenquiry.pdf
Herring, J.E. (2007). Teacher librarians and the school library. In S. Ferguson (Ed.) Librariesin the twenty-first century : charting new directions in information (pp. 27-42). WaggaWagga, NSW : Centre for Information Studies, Charles Sturt University. Retrieved August 2,2012 from http://www.csu.edu.au/division/library/ereserve/pdf/herring-j.pdf
Herring, J. E. (2011). Improving students’web use and information literacy. A guide for teachers and teacher librarians. Facet Publishing, London, UK.
Kuhlthau. C. C. (2012) Information Search Process. In Carol Collier Kuhlthau Retrieved August 20, 2012 from http://comminfo.rutgers.edu/~kuhlthau/information_search_process.htm
Usui,T.(2012a,July 14) What does a TL really do? [Blog post] Retrieved from https://pandamoco.wordpress.com/2012/07/14/what-does-a-tl-really-do/
Usui,T.(2012b,September 10) Guided Inquiry [Blog post] Retrieved from https://pandamoco.wordpress.com/2012/09/10/guided-inquiry/
Usui,T.(2012c,September 21) No experience as a TL [Blog post] Retrieved from https://pandamoco.wordpress.com/2012/09/21/no-experience-as-a-tl/
Usui,T.(2012d,September 26) Blog Task #3 Information Literacy: More than a set of skills. [Blog post]