Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Why educational research is important for Teacher Librarians

EER 500 was indeed the hardest of all the subjects, but it was very satisfying at the end. I like to be working on ideas that are concrete and grounding, but most of the work in this subject was theoretical. I found opportunity in this subject to talk to some friends (Lawson, 2013) about research and to define what it means to me and in turn start conversations with students.

Research is more than just covering the Big 6. It is about building curiosity, encouraging students to be inquisitive and supporting them as they nut out an idea using socratic strategies. It is about is about improving practice and putting evaluative opportunities into the curriculum (Doolittle, 2008). Backing up our strategies with proven research can add weight to what it is that we are doing with teachers and students.

Research has enabled me to embrace the unknown and to also develop the skill in interrogating curriculum and teaching and learning strategies. Having the dialogue to be able to be a curriculum expert without being a subject expert is very powerful. Completing an assignment for EER 500 lead me to the Japanese concept of Kaizen (Wiser, 2005) which advocates continuous improvement. When as Teacher Librarians, we implement an idea, we should know how we are going to prove that it has made a difference (Lawson, 2014).

Libraries can be the centre of research within schools. The critical theory in how to construct a research question is important to develop and share with our colleagues. Pushing the bar, encouraging greater rigour when planning curriculum and skilling up teachers on how to create more challenging research tasks that encourage higher order thinking.

When I visited Santa Sabina College (Lawson 2014a) we had an opportunity to look at their Information Literacy strategy which engaged students in research through the application of innovative teaching and learning strategies. The new Australian Curriculum is well placed to leverage the guided inquiry, but the process of researching and planning a piece of work to engage and improve students skill levels takes a lot of effort. The library staff at Santa Sabina College, spend a lot of time planning and then after the task is done, evaluating both students and teachers to see where they can improve.


Doolittle, G. P. (2008). Creating Professional Learning Communities: The Work of Professional Development Schools. Theory Into Practice, 47(4), 303-310.

Lawson, M. (2013) Welcome to 2013 [blog]

Lawson, M. (2014) Kaizen in Schools [blog] Retrieved from:

Lawson, M. (2014a) Santa Sabina College [blog] Retrieved from

Wiser, J. (2005) Kaizen Meets Dewey: Applying the Principles of the Toyota Way in Your Library. Toronto Conference. Special Libraries Association.

No comments:

Post a Comment