Monday, August 10, 2009

Taxonomies of the School Library Media Program - considering teaching and learning context.

Taxonomy - division into ordered groups or categories (check out the complete definition at
This book:
Loertscher, D. (2000). Taxonomies of the School Library Media Program (2nd ed.). San Jose: Hi Willow Research and Publications.
was also 'recommended reading' for topic 1 of ETL501 'The learning and teaching context of information resource provision'.
As with Improving Learning, this book has a lot to say on the topic of leadership, which is pertinent to ETL504. It is also due back at the uni library on Wednesday. For now, I'm going to confine my comments to things relevant to the teaching and learning context.
  1. Pressures on teachers include:
  • teach more content in less time
  • teach in such a way that students score high on achievement tests
  • improve student learning by matching resources totheir learning styles and abilities
  • provide opportunities for students to develop independent learning and problem solving skills
  • provide a variety of methods for classroom teaching and learning activities
  • stimulate students' creativity and experimentation
  1. Teachers tend to use either mainly behaviourist or mainly constructivist styles of teaching.
  2. Teachers vary in their use of the library, its resources and the teacher librarian:
  • self-contained teaching (no use of library)
  • teaching with a borrowed or electronically accessible collection (independent use of library for resources)
  • using the library staff as an idea resource
  • using the library staff and resources for enrichment of a unit of work
  • using the library staff and resources as an integral part of a unit of work
  • the teacher and TL experiment with partnerships in teaching and learning
  • teacher/TL partnerships become a natural part of teaching and learning
  • teachers involve the TL in curriculum development
  1. The TL can use various strategies to help teachers to make better use of the library:
  • Reading - TL can suggest that teachers have a rotating collection of high-interest materials moved from the library into the classroom, read aloud to students and schedule time for silent reading, let students choose from a wide variety of materials when completing assignments, and role model reading to the students.
  • Technology - TL can suggest to teachers ways to inject technology into learning, perhaps by changing the nature of the final product required.
  • Information literacy - TL can help teachers to integrate information literacy skills into all units of instruction.
  • Resource-based teaching and learning units - TL can work to establish collaboration with teachers.
  1. Students should be able to gain many benefits from the library, but vary in the use of its staff and resources:
  • no involvement
  • spontaneous involvement (just pops in occasionally for something)
  • gets assistance with information, materials or technology for specific needs
  • gets involved with specific campaigns run by the library (e.g. book week)
  • building skills for utilising all the resources of the library
  • is involved in planned, structured activities in the library
  • the student becomes a 'power reader' (more later)
  • the student becomes a 'power learner' (more later)
  • the student is equipped for lifelong library use.
  1. The level of principal support effects the success of the library:
  • ambivalence or neglect of the library
  • makes an effort to understand the role of the modern TL in a world of information technology
  • attracts a TL to head the program who has the vision and energy to creat and maintain a solid program
  • creates a partnership with the TL and places that person on the leadership team of the school
  • creates an organisational structure that allows the library program to succeed
  • provides leadership in building financial support over the long term
  • expects TL to be involved with collaboration, reading, enhancing learning through technology and information literacy
  • assesses the impact of the library program on the academic achievement of the students

So far, we have seen that the principal, the teachers and the students all have an impact on the learning and teaching context that the teacher librarian and library are working within. More to follow...

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