Good article on differentiation

Morgan, H. (2014). Maximizing student success with differentiated learning. Clearing House, 87(1), 34-38. doi:10.1080/00098655.2013.832130
Morgan examines the benefits of differentiation in the modern classroom. She starts with a hypothetical situation in which an unruly student and a frustrated teacher find a way to work together to differentiate the content of the class and make everybody happy.
Despite the saccharine nature of the theoretical situation, this article makes a strong case for differentiation, but makes the point that this is hard to achieve, given the amount of students for each teacher, so this may be a good niche for librarians to fill.

Short and good article

Rycik, J. A. (2015). 21stcenury skills in secondary schools. American Secondary Education, 43(2), 2-3.
Rycik identifies and spells out a brief summation of the skills needed in the 21st century. He lists a set of earning areas and then summarizes what is being done in research in these areas.
This article is short and sweet—and very informative. Published in 2015, it is right on the leading edge of pedagogical theory.

Working with teachers

Kimmel, S. C. (2011). “Consider with whom you are working”: Discourse models of school librarianship in collaboration. School Library Media Research, 14
In this article, Kimmel examines the language (her term is “discourse”) used in meetings between teachers and librarians belies teachers opinions about the identity of said librarians. Kimmel asserts that the identity as “gatekeepers, specialists and helpers” are difficult to escape.
Kimmel’s close analysis of her data is an excellent and her insights are fascinating. The methodology she employs is quite clever and, unlike the other article of hers I ousted, this is really straightforward. It is on the dens side, but worth the read.

Patterns in Chaos? One author believes so.

Kimmel, S. C. (2012). Collaboration as school reform: Are there patterns in the chaos of
planning with teachers?. School Library Research, 151-15.
Summary: Kimmel collected a year’s worth of notes on collaborative planning sessions and broke them down statement by statement to find patterns in the seemingly chaotic discussion. She then categorized these into five categories: making connections, orienting, coordinating, making sense, drifting. Then she broke down into percentages the amount of time spent on each category.  
Review: At first it was hard for me to make sense of this article, but when I did, it was very enlightening. I was impressed by the nature of what had to be painstaking research. The conclusion she draws is that librarians help the collaborative meetings because they contribute more to the productive ends of the meeting. Also that the meetings do a have a pattern amid the chaos.

Disney ‘Connected Learning’ Aims To Infuse Games with Learning

Posted by Darren Ng


Corcoran, B. (2013). Disney ‘Connected Learning’ aims to infuse games with learning.

Disney has been developing games with learning in mind. A marriage of entertainment and education. Game designers and educators are collaborating to produce games that can hopefully be both “fun” and support “learning”.

Unfortunately there is not any research provided in this article as to whether or not the efforts of Disney to “infuse games with learning” has been successful. As of the writing of this article it is still too soon to know if their efforts have had the impact that they intend. There are too few games at the moment designed with these teaching goals in mind, and the games that do exist have not incorporated all of the concepts that the game designers and educators hope to teach. This is a great idea and one that has gained a lot of STEAM.

Racial Microaggressions in Everyday Life: Is Racial Bias Harmless? Derek Wing Sue

Faulk, M
Info 250                                                                                                                                              

Racial Microaggressions in Everyday Life: Is Racial Bias Harmless? Derek Wing Sue (Links to an external site.)

Summary:Space does not allow me to elaborate the harmful impact of racial microaggressions, but I summarize what the research literature reveals. Although they may appear like insignificant slights, or banal and trivial in nature, studies reveal that racial microaggressions have powerful detrimental consequences to people of color. They have been found to: (a) assail the mental health of recipients, (b) create a hostile and invalidating work or campus climate, (c) perpetuate stereotype threat, (d) create physical health problems, (e) saturate the broader society with cues that signal devaluation of social group identities, (f) lower work productivity and problem solving abilities, and (g) be partially responsible for creating inequities in education, employment and health care.

Evaluation: An eye-opening article about the “little” things (slights) that may happen each day in the classroom, possibly, to any student. The perspective is from an Asian American’s viewpoint who speaks to what he sees going on around him and incidents that draw attention to this very real problem.

"Welcome to the Jam": Popular Culture, School Literacy, and the Making of Childhoods

Faulk, M.

In this ethnographic study of a group of African American first graders, Anne Haas Dyson illustrates the textual processes-the deliberate manipulation of popular cultural material–involved in the children’s shared practices as playful children and good friends. These same processes shaped the ways the children made sense of and began to participate in school literacy. The observed children did not approach official literacy activities in their classroom as though they had nothing to do with their own childhoods. They made use of familiar media-influenced practices and symbolic material to take intellectual and social action in the official school world. Dyson offers a fresh perspective on children’s experiences with popular media, emphasizing that they are an integral aspect of contemporary childhoods, not an external threat. Moreover, she presents an alternative view of the pathways and mechanisms through which children enter into school literacy practices, one that illuminates how children build from the very social and symbolic stuff of their own childhoods. (pp. 328-361).

Very fluid and informative article on the multi-modal ways children assimilate new information and learn effectively. The reader receives an honest snapshot in the day of the life.

School literacy, African American 1st graders, multiple literacies, childhood, girls

Lesson Study Technique: What Teachers Can Learn From One Another

Horton, Melissa


Hanford, E. (2014, September 14). ‘Lesson study’ technique: What teachers can learn from one another. Retrieved from 
In Japan, professional development is known as a “lesson study” and is a long process in which teachers work together to solve a problem by studying the latest educational trends and looking at real lessons to gauge exactly what works and plan how to become more effective educators.  They then create their own lessons and teach these lessons both to their students and a real audience made up of colleagues and teachers from other schools who focus not on the teacher, but on the students and their reaction to the lesson.  In order to have this in-depth collaboration, Japanbuilds that time into school schedules.
This article is a snapshot of what educators are doing in other countries, and it is just another example of how collaboration can take many forms.  After spending a substantial amount of time working closely together with experts and colleagues, teachers have the confidence to take risks with their lessons.  This text highlighted the importance of co-teaching and the value of creative partnership in education.

Teaching Students to Learn and to Work Well with 21st Century Skills: Unpacking the Career and Life Skills Domain of the New Learning Paradigm

Horton, Melissa


Kivunjal, C. (2015). Teaching students to learn and to work well with 21st century skills: unpacking the career and life skills domain of the new learning paradigm. International Journal of Higher Education, 4 (1), 1­-11.

This research article gives an in-depth overview and analysis of the Career and Life Skills domain which helps make up the framework by Partnership for Teaching 21st Century Skills (P21).  The author explains which skills fall under the CLS strand and offers ideas on how to teach students to work effectively and cooperatively in the real world.  The article focuses on the need for educators to go beyond simply teaching content because there is greater competition than ever for higher education and career positions that require self-directed, independent and flexible young adults who are equipped to thrive in any environment.
This author really delves into the rationale behind the Career and Life Skills set from P21 and breaks down each strand and expands on each skill.  The conclusion summed it up best with the explanation that although these skills are not new, they have never been integrated directly into the curriculum at most schools.  However, that is quickly changing.

It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens

Posted by Karen Kotchka


Boyd, Danah. (2014) It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens. Yale University Press: New Haven, CT.


This full-length book is a well-written study that compiles and analyzes the results of on-the-ground research into how teenagers use social media.  It talks about the reasons and the ways that teens communicate and the platforms they use as well as addressing some of the dangers and problems that are real or that adults think are a problem with teens and social media.  Boyd also addresses the importance of digital literacy and how some teens are device savvy without being necessarily able to critically examine what is being put out there.


I thought this book was an excellent resource for any adult working with teenagers today.  It contained origianl thought as well as honest research and would be helpful to gain insight into how social media can be understood and exploited for learning.