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