Posted by: eheino | April 17, 2013

TL and Curriculum Development

What is an appropriate role for the teacher librarian in curriculum development?

The teacher librarian should effectively collaborate with other members of staff to plan, resource and implement all aspects of the curriculum. The teacher librarian’s main role in doing this is to integrate information literacy and digital technology instruction and learning into other areas of the curriculum. Students are more likely to become information literate when the assignments are relevant to their learning. The TL is responsible for ensuring these skills are appropriately integrated.

An excellent way of doing this is by including inquiry-based projects into different areas of the curriculum. Inquiry-based learning  involves students actively partaking in their learning by formulating questions, researching and investigating, creating solutions, sharing experiences, and reflecting on the process (Edutechwiki, 2010). Teacher-librarians are the most appropriate facilitators of this learning style because they are experts in acquiring and processing information.

What benefits can a school obtain from the active involvement of the teacher librarian in curriculum development?

A teacher-librarian’s expertise in information literacy is a huge benefit to curriculum development. Teacher-librarians are in the unique position of being able to identify opportunities for inquiry-based learning, and getting students out of the classroom and into a wider world of information. This style of learning fosters deeper understanding for students (Collins et al. 2008). Teacher librarians also have the best knowledge of digital and print resources that would enhance curriculum outcomes.

Should a principal expect that teachers would plan units of work with the teacher librarian?

A principal that is aware of the potential of their teacher librarian should absolutely expect classroom teachers to plan units of work with the teacher librarian. Supportive principals should schedule time for teachers to work collaboratively with the teacher librarian to plan units and inquiry based learning projects

How are students disadvantaged in schools that exclude the teacher librarian from curriculum development?

Schools that exclude the teacher librarian from curriculum development may not fully develop the skills they need to be active participants in a 21st century learning environment. Unless the classroom teacher has expert knowledge in information literacy skills, and a particular interest in knowing all the possibilities for finding, collating and synthesizing information, students would miss out on gaining these skills that the teacher librarian could offer them. With the teacher-librarian excluded from the curriculum development process, it is impossible for the library facilities to be used to their full potential.

References:

Collins, T., Gaved, M., Mulholland, P., Kerawalla, C.,  Twiner, A.,  Scanlon, E., Jones, A.,  Littleton, K., Conole, G. and Blake, C. (Oct 2008). Supporting location-based inquiry learning across school, field and home contexts. Paper submitted to the Proceedings of the MLearn 2008 Conference, Ironbridge Gorge, Shropshire, UK.

Eductechwiki. (2010) Retrieved from http://edutechwiki.unige.ch/en/Inquiry-based_learning

To finish I wanted to share this clip I was provided in the module for this topic. I really love this video because it demonstrates that inquiry-based learning can be used with any topic!

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