Professional Reading Choices

Here are links to some of my favourite professional reading material.

Peer-reviewed journals

il_logo-trans.pngInformation Literacy Journal

Articles in the Information Literacy Journal are written by presenters from the Librarian Information Literacy Annual Conference held in the UK in March or April each year.  Excellent range of articles around all aspects of information literacy in an education context.  I attended the Glasgow conference as a presenter in 2012 and it remains a highlight of my professional experiences to date and marks my introduction to the rockstar Professor Tara Brabazon!

 

alberta2Evidence Based Library and Information Practice Journal

I discovered this Evidence Based Practice journal when exploring what gathering evidence in my own professional practice could look like following the 2012 SLANZA workshop on Evidence Based Practice with the redoubtable Dr Ross Todd.  Not all of the articles are pertinent to a school library setting, but they all demonstrate how and why we could collect evidence as an advocacy tool.

 

New Zealand based professional reading

SquareGreenLogo_400x400SLANZA Collected magazine 

Published two or three times a year, each issue of Collected tends to have themed feature articles along with a variety of shorter articles and regular features including book reviews.

 

LIANZALIANZA Library Life

Library Life has recently had a facelift. It is a regular monthly newsletter with plenty of topical issues across library sectors and provides New Zealand food for thought for informational professionals.

 

HMWEVE Magazine 

A yearly publication from the Heroes Mingle stable which takes a fresh approach to thinking about librarianship, what inspires us and how that inspiration can make a difference.  Watch out for their next offering in the latter part of this year.

 

What are your favourites?  Would love you to share them in the comments!

 

 

 

Prime Minister’s Science Teacher Prize 2015

CC Flickr Image

I am super excited for and very proud of my good friend Tania Lineham, Head of Science at James Hargest College, who has just been awarded the very prestigious Prime Minister’s Science Teacher Prize for 2015.  Tania is one of the most innovative, passionate and hard working teachers I’ve had the privilege of working with. (Huge emphasis on passionate!)

That in itself is more than enough reason for me to give her public accolade, however having just listened to Tania’s interview on Kathryn Ryan’s Nine to Noon Show on RNZ National aired this morning, I felt compelled to share it with my librarian and teacher friends.

During this short 7 minute interview Tania talks about:

  • separating science fact from science fiction
  • fostering critical analysis and scientific literacy
  • developing critical thinking tools
  • evaluating information, including the sources information comes from
  • identifying reliable websites
  • embedding digital citizenship

Any of this sound familiar? Are these the topics of conversations we have in our libraries? Or if not, are they the types of conversations we’d like to have with our teaching colleagues or should be having with our librarian colleagues?  These skills, among others are opening topics of conversations in which both teachers and librarians have things to share with each other

Tania has been and will always remain one of my flock-mates. She is a strong collaborator and we had many professional discussions when we worked together which really inspired me in my role as a co-educator.  Well done my friend.  It is richly deserved. (and the piccy at the top is just for you)

Study Skills and Exam Prep

As part of supporting our seniors, especially our Year 11’s, to prepare for their NCEA exams, I have offered tutorials to help them actively and successfully make the most of their study leave.  I have also added it to our library management system so the students can also access the information from home.

This is a trial only at this stage so I would love to know if there’s any other areas you think I need to add that would be important to tell our students.

Formative Assessments: Our Compass for Understanding Affective, Cognitive, and Physical Aspects of Information Search Processes

I have been a huge admirer of Buffy Hamilton’s work for a number of years, and as I venture further into collaborative planning and teaching with my staff it makes more and more sense.

I love her concept of Birds of a Feather searching groups. I also like her concept for pre-research/search mapping. In my experience this is an area in the research process that doesn’t have enough time allocated to it. Having visual maps and scaffolds helps to give it due credence. I also love the “ticket out the door” method of getting students to reflect on the period of work they’ve just completed. It also gives opportunities for more targeted interventions as required.

I encourage you to read this meaty post if you are:
1. following my posts about teacher librarian collaboration
2. interested in the Guided Inquiry process by Carol Kulhthau
3. considering ways to work more closely with teachers or librarians

The Unquiet Librarian

Original photo by Buffy Hamilton Original photo by Buffy Hamilton

I’m currently working with a section of American Literature/Composition students who have been asked to look at a historical or current event that embodies a degree of hysteria or abuse of power and compare that to the hysteria or abuse of power in the play The Crucible.   This research task is a fairly typical high school assignment for this text and course.  Initially, the teacher wanted me to cover five major areas of research in one class period in lecture format with no hands-on learning activities because she initially thought they had a greater degree of prior knowledge.   However, after a series of email conversations, we worked out a series of learning experiences to implement this week to address student learning needs in a richer and more meaningful way for students.   As many of you know, these collaborative conversations are sometimes really

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The Tertiary Prep Programme 2015

TTPP SBHS Title page

It’s been a great learning journey to date.  Six years on and The Tertiary Prep Programme a la 2015 only vaguely resembles the unit designed in the fledgling days as I tentatively began forming my thoughts about preparing students for the transition to further study.

After presenting on the work I had begun at Hargest at the LILAC Conference in 2012 I had a whole new lens thrown across it when I began working at Southland Boys’ High School.  Two years of further thinking, trialling, talking and tweaking has now led to the development of a programme designed not for just one particular school, but for any school wanting a solution to bridging the gaps between secondary and tertiary study.

So at the end of last month, at a workshop presentation during the recent SLANZA Conference I launched The Tertiary Prep Programme to a group of librarians and teachers.

Why should we be considering this type of programme in our secondary schools? Recent research out of Massey University, published in the current SET magazine indicates areas of concern in how prepared students are for the switch to tertiary learning. Lisa Emerson and fellow researchers Angela Feekery and Ken Kilpin make some clear conclusions from their work with a group of secondary and tertiary teachers.  Watch out for a blog post on The Tertiary Prep Programme website about this article, Lets talk about literacy: preparing students for the transition to tertiary learning, in coming days.

If you are interested in learning more about The Tertiary Prep Programme, visit the website, check out the resources and follow the site.  I would like it to grow into a community of educators who can share ideas, thoughts and suggestions with each other.

If you’re interested in my next steps with tertiary prep or you’d like my brief summary of the issues and mitigating factors relating to the research article then be sure to take a look at my conference presentation on Slideshare.

And if you’d like support towards embedding a tertiary prep programme in your school, please don’t hesitate to contact me as I’d love to work with you!

Research and the Internet – Are we getting smarter?

Human – business evolution

Reused from Flickr with Creative Commons License

I have just finished reading a thought-provoking article from the American Psychological Association regarding research into whether internet searching makes us feel smarter than we truly are.

It would seem that it does!  Apparently the research would suggest that we gain an inflated sense of our own knowledge, even when we don’t find the answer to what we’re looking for, after the physical act of searching the internet. However, it appears this is not the case when researchers provided the link to a website to enable subjects to answer specific questions.  It is the act of searching that makes us feel all-knowing.

Lead researcher Matthew Fisher suggests that as a result of the act of reading a book or talking with an expert we are more engaged in the research process than when we are searching the internet and so it becomes apparent to us when we have gaps in our knowledge.  This then leads us to investigate further to find the answer. “With the Internet, the lines become blurry between what you know and what you think you know.”

So what are the implications of this on education and our future generations? And will it become more obvious as our current crop of young people who seem surgically connected to their smart phones become adults?

My initial thoughts are that we need to be designing lessons that require a level of critical thinking that demands our students to engage with the material they find, and that we should not be too quick to physically or mentally throw out our non-fiction collections.

We also need to continue to engage in learning conversations with our students as well as encourage those conversations to take place between peers, and demand not only reasoned and cited answers to questions but that further questions need to be asked in the quest for new knowledge.

It could become a dangerous world indeed when decisions are being made by people who think they know everything, but in fact know very little at all.

Scaffolding Research and Guided Inquiry

Yesterday was a big day for me!  About a month ago I had been invited to speak to student teachers studying at Otago University in Dunedin about the process of scaffolding research and guided inquiry as part of their Literacy Across the Curriculum paper. I was a little nostalgic and it felt even more surreal walking into a lecture theatre I had sat in during my year at teachers college back in the early 1980’s, only this time I was the one standing at the front talking to students, some of whom had already completed degrees and were now training to go into classrooms as teachers.

The time allocated just wasn’t long enough! There was so much to tell them, share with them and discuss with them.  I easily had enough content to spread across two sessions, but we were constrained to one and so I made the best of it.  My hope is that our short 50 minutes has only just opened up potential discussions as they all contemplate graduation and beginning in their own classes next year.  To that end I have invited them to join me in the new Scaffolding Research and Guided Inquiry Group on the Virtual Learning Network.  I hope we can continue to discuss what guided research and inquiry can look like in classrooms, as these skills are relevant to all subject disciplines in all schools across every year level.