A Community of Learners
Making an information literacy program work school-wide requires planning and careful implementation and evaluation.
To be effective in meeting the needs of diverse student information scientists, the instructional media specialist must be able to apply a variety of teaching and learning strategies. Peer teaching, classroom teaching teams (with and without the media specialist), as well as parental and community collaborations are all part of this process.
The teacher on the right is sharing her travel experiences and helps student connect their geography activities to a specific context. The instructional media specialist is a learner, leader, teacher, facilitator, and curriculum developer.
While the traditional teacher librarian has instructional responsibilities, the instructional media specialist's role is much larger including expectations for facilitating and modeling inquiry. This means that the IMS actively engages in inquiry along with students, displays work, and applies systematic methods for students and self-assessment to learning as well as teaching.
The instructional media specialist on the left is sharing her love of a wide variety of music. She encourages students to go beyond popular music and explore many genres.
View Learning Communities (4:47).
In this video, the importance of collaboration, time, and resources in building learning communities are discussed. – Excerpt from Collaborative Learning – Create a “Learning Community” in Your School, Pt. 12 of Know It All Series by GPN / Univ. of NB series
Use of this video clip complies with the TEACH act and US copyright law. You should be a registered student to view the video.
A Community of Inquiry
It's the responsibility of the school librarian to create an atmosphere for inquiry. Barbara Stripling in Curriculum Connections through the Library (2003, p. 29-33) describes four areas that support a schoolwide community of inquiry:
- Learner-Centered. School librarians help students become independent learners by designing environments responsive to divergent individual needs, interests, and perspectives. These environments provide opportunities for collaboration. Students become both independent and interdependent by participating in active learning environments focusing on activities such as learning beyond the classroom (i.e., nature centers, museums, community oral history projects).
- Knowedge-Centered. A coherent approach to knowledge links the indepth learning in one classroom with other situations and learning opportunities. Multiple resources and varied perspectives help students connect to prior knowledge and build accuracy, complexity and sophistication of their ideas.
- Assessment-Centered. Assessment involves more than testing, students are observed throughout the learning process including before, during, and after.
- Community-Centered. Students need to be involved in learning communities that support and also challenge their thinking.
OPTIONAL: Read Chapter 10: The Role of Libraries in Learning Communities by Rebecca J. Pasco in Curriculum Connections through the Library edited by Barbara K. Stripling & Sandra Hughes-Hassell.
OPTIONAL: Read Chapter 3: Collaboration, Leadership, and Technology in Information Power (1998, p. 47-57) to learn about the three basic ideas that underlie Information Power's vision.
OPTIONAL: Read Chapter 9: Building Learning Communities Using Technology by Frances Jacobson Harris in Curriculum Connections through the Library edited by Barbara K. Stripling & Sandra Hughes-Hassell.