Knowledge and Power
Sharing the effort to get the reward: the librarian, my students, and I
Another fantastic example of teachers and librarians working together, and playing to their strengths.
When I first started teaching research skills I noticed that students, who were supposedly digital natives, did not know how to find information, and when they did find any they did not know how to tell if it was any good. It was as if they had no reference point to tell the good from the bad. So I took it upon myself to teach them; after all, I am a teacher.
Unfortunately, for them and me, I do not come from a research background. Like them, my knowledge of where to find information started and ended with a Google search; unsurprising really considering I come from a generation that used Encyclopedia Britannica when I wanted accurate information. I would spend lessons talking to students, Googling their topics and suggesting websites where they could find information; basically I was doing their research for them. This approach got minimal results…
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Who Ya Gonna Call?
To Infinity and Beyond!
As the result of the work in our Information Literacy Spaces schools grows, here is a library flockmate’s view of collaborative practice in her school
To Infinity and Beyond was not the first title I thought of when contemplating what to name this blog post. As someone who manages to always find a quote, song or movie title for most occasions, I had three possible titles swirling around in my head that reflect my journey so far this year.
The first heading I contemplated was Back to the Future (awesome Michael J. Fox). At the beginning of this year I began a new job back in Taranaki returning to a school library and its librarianship, something I had not done for the previous 4 ½ years. So you see I was coming back to my library roots, but with a whole new focus on the future.
It was a couple of weeks into my new position when a discussion with our Deputy Principal of Learning introduced me to what we affectionately refer to as the…
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Why science teachers need both information literacy skills and content-specific knowledge
Loving the science teachers who have been willing to share their thoughts and experiences through the Information Literacy Skills research project. We’ve had an English teacher also share her observations, and I just know there’s more to come. This is such an exciting project to be part of!
I was marking Year 12 Biology NCEA reports on the extreme environment of the deep ocean and reading about the goblin shark and the adaptations they have to survive in this dark inhospitable place when it struck me that I was correcting the grammar and punctuation in my head! I had always considered myself a teacher of biological information, but I realised I was emerging as a facilitator of students learning biological concepts for themselves and writing like scientists. I was also a teacher of search techniques, a collaborator with other professionals, namely our school librarian who knows infinitely more about referencing than I, and a facilitator for students to formulate focus questions to keep themselves on track. This came as quite a shock after so many years in the job!
Reflecting on my own path through the education system, I can recall doing very little research or peer review…
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Is Information Knowledge?
How do we put a spotlight on literacy?
As the secondary librarian on this research team, I am conscious that information literacy features at many library-centric conferences, which illustrates the point Lisa makes in this blog post about preaching to the choir. My focus, since becoming involved with this TLRI, is to extend the conversation into wider education groups, to begin some of the conversations that need to happen, and shine a light on the examples that provide evidence for the success on student outcomes when teachers and librarians work together to make IL skills visible in the classroom.
It’s a month now since I returned from the (very) sunny Northern Hemisphere, and the tan lines have all but faded away. The trip certainly included plenty of fun (and shopping!), but most of all it was an opportunity to present our research findings at two significant conferences on higher education.
Both conferences looked very relevant to the work we’re doing in the Information Literacy Spaces project. The first conference was the European First Year Higher Education Conference, held in beautiful Utrecht. I had high hopes for this conference, as I have a long-held interest in student transition to higher education, both from a research perspective, but also in my role as a Director of Teaching and Learning at Massey University. And, indeed, there were some interesting papers. But the whole focus of the conference seemed to be about testing students at point of entry and ensuring students’ skills/knowledge matched…
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Making the implicit explicit: Reactions to chemistry report writing and collaborative learning
One of the collaborations I’m involved with through the Information Literacy Spaces research project, Jess is one of the teachers in our Science department and is so open to ideas and working with others. I hope to get her to collaborate on another blog post about the working we’re doing with Year 7 Science, alongside Heather, a very experienced Science teacher.
It’s fair to say that when I left teachers college three years ago I had greatly underestimated how much focus there would be on teaching literacy strategies. As a science specialist, I had been taught some scientific literacy, but mostly it was theory-based or examples given during lectures of other peoples teaching practice. As a learner, I find it a lot easier to implement new techniques into my teaching if I can watch or talk to someone who is already giving it a go. This made it difficult to know where to start when I came to realise just how much support my students needed with literacy.
Before Southland Boys’ High School became involved in the Information Literacy Spaces research, I was already working with our amazing librarian Senga White, as well as English teachers on different literacy strategies for junior science. When Senga approached me about the new project…
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