Teaching Methods for Inspiring Students of the Future

Teaching Methods for Inspiring Students of the Future – Joe Ruhl – TEDxLafayette

Ruhl talks about how he changed his teacher-centered way of teaching to a student-centered way of teaching. He calls the move from front and center to a guide on the side.  Ruhl has been teaching for 37 years and teaches high school biology. Ruhl believes there are 6 Cs regarding important 21st Century skills, with the first C being Choice. Give students a choice in their learning process, then you have the 4 Cs of Collaboration, Communication, Critical thinking and Creativity and the sixth C is Caring. If students know the teacher cares about them it will be one of their most effective, motivating, powerful and inspiring tools.

Distance Education Trends

Alpers, Jessica

IL-Information Literacy and 21st Century Skills

Beldarrain, Y. (2006). Distance education trends: Integrating new technologies to foster student interaction and collaboration. Distance education, 27(2), 139-153.

Summary: The beginning of this article discusses technologies that are used in distance education, such a blogs and podcasts. Seven principles are given to describe how technology should be used in distance education. It should “encourage contact between students and faculty, develop reciprocity and cooperation among students, use active learning techniques, give prompt feedback, emphasize time on task, communicate high expectations, [and] respect diverse talents and ways of learning.” After discussing these seven principles, the article discusses how distance learning is changing.

Evaluation: I found this article very appropriate as we are all distance learners. We are very involved in technology as part of this class. The article was interesting to read to evaluate how this class and others use technology. For those who may run online classes as educators, this article would be a very valuable resource.

Co-Teaching without Boxes or Boundaries

Alpers, Jessica


Stein, E. (2017, January 30). Co-teaching without boxes or boundaries. Retrieved from https://www.middleweb.com/33987/co-teaching-without-boxes-or-boundaries/

Summary: The purpose of this blog post is to encourage teachers to “allow their thinking to be stretched and empowered” in the area of co-teaching. The argument is made that two teachers who are “in-synch” with each other will have a wonderful co-teaching experience. The advice Stein gives is to express the expertise of both teachers, make sure to co-plan, create a log, communicate with post-is and email, and be resilient.

Evaluation: What I like about this blog post is that it is concise but gives really good advice about co-teaching. Some educators are afraid of co-teaching, due to the fact that collaboration is required. But two experienced educators can create such a valuable experience for both themselves and their students. The advice Stein gives is easy to follow and helps create a path to success.

Co-teaching Relationships among Librarians and other Information Professionals

Alpers, Jessica


Medaill, A., & Shannon, A. W. (2012). Co-teaching relationships among librarians and other information professionals. Collaborative Librarianship,4(4), 2.

Summary: The article begins by discussing librarians as teachers and then delves into collaboration. A table is presented showing attributes of successful collaboration. This is followed by a discussion of co-teaching, with an explanation. Much information is given on the topic, including factors for success. The article goes on to describe methods for co-teaching, and explain what works and does not work. Following this discussion is a set of guidelines for successful co-teaching.

Evaluation: This is a good article describing co-teaching between librarians and teachers. For someone who may not have a lot of experience co-teaching this is a good resource to begin with. The tips and guidelines are very easy to understand. For those who have more experience, it is a good resource to help strengthen your understanding and performance as a co-teacher.

Legislation Influences Curriculum Development

Alpers, Jessica

CA-Curriculum Assessment

Robinson, G. (1961). Legislation Influences Curriculum Development.Educational Leadership, 19, 26-30.

Summary: This article begins with a discussion on how “authority for regulating both the content and conduct of public education in the United States resides in the state legislatures.” Most states have given power to the school boards, however. These bodies all give input in what subject matter is taught in public schools, especially in history, health, and safety. These bodies also set rules to prohibit the teaching of certain subjects, such as subjects that are religious in Utah or the facts of birth control in Michigan. The discussion continues by describing how some states set lists of subjects that must be taught, then gives a history of how curriculum legislation evolved in the first half of the 20th century. The second half of the article gives a long discussion about financing and finance legislation.

Evaluation: While this article is over 50 years old, I believe is gives some good information. It is a good article for beginning research in this area as it gives good background knowledge. I felt that the finance section was a bit off topic, but that is because I was primarily looking for information about curriculum and subject matter. The discussion was still very informative.

From Behaviorist to Constructivist Teaching.

Alpers, Jessica

ET-Educational Theory and Practice

Scheurman, G. (1998). From Behaviorist to Constructivist Teaching. Social Education, 62(1), 6-9.

Summary: Scheurman begins this article by explaining that in a given subject, when the constructivist view is applied deep understand of the topic develops and rigorously defensible beliefs about important disciplinary issues are developed. This is enhanced because student view the problems from different perspectives, and come to develop their own views. This is where knowledge is constructed. Teachers are able to be both transmitters and managers of knowledge. Transmitting occurs when a lecture is given, textbooks are read, and then that knowledge is used in an activity. Managing might looks more like “chunking” information, and helping students to build connections and their own thinking processes. Scheurman further describes the teachers as facilitators or collaborators. This means monitoring the “classroom learning and participate actively with students in its evolution.” Ending with some connections and concerns, one being how the movement to constructivism abandons the traditional instruction and assessment models. It is a challenge that would need to be overcome.

Evaluation: This is a good article that describes different ways teachers can teach. For those wishing to be more involved in their classrooms, and less lecture driving this article gives a good explanation of how to begin. This article is primarily directed at social studies classes, but it can be applied to any number of subjects.

Coteaching and the Learning Comons

Alpers, Jessica

ET-Educational Theory and Practice

Loertscher, D. V., & Koechlin, C. (2015). Coteaching and the learning commons: Building a participatory school culture. Teacher Librarian, 43(2), 12.

Summary: The focus of this paper is to inform on how to build a school culture with emphasis placed on participation. The two strategies used to accomplish this are creating a learning commons and instituting collaboration and coteaching with the librarian and teachers. Dr. Loertscher defines coteaching as “the art of two or more mentor adults who plan, teach, and assess a learning experience together.” This is then supported with a study he conducted. A learning commons is then described, much like we have described in our workshops. Adding to this, the collaboration is described. One specific not is the use of the 18 think models, and moving past “bird units.” The paper concludes by stating that this movement will strengthen the school as a learning force.

Evaluation: This paper is a wonderful source for a summary of what many of our workshops have discussed. None of the information is new, however it is a good review and a good resource. For those wishing to have a written form of what we have discussed, or a compiled summary, I would highly recommend this article. It does not hurt that it was written by our very own Dr. L.!

Implementing Learning Commons

By: Amy Bush

Implementing Learning Commons

Kolod, L. & Ungar, B. (2016). A collaborative journey: The learning commons. Teacher Librarian. 43(4).

This was a very interesting article about how a school library went through reconstruction to become a learning commons. Kolod and Ungar discuss the process that the school went through including; grants, planning, physical transformation and curricular change. This article also addresses the importance of co-teaching and how it is an intricate piece of this school’s learning commons. I highly suggest reading this article because comprehensive and concise. 

A Collaborative Journey: The Learning Commons

Amanda Rude


KOLOD, L. k., & UNGAR, B. b. (2016). A Collaborative Journey The Learning Commons. Teacher Librarian43(4), 22-27. Retrieved from http://libaccess.sjlibrary.org/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=lls&AN=114825284&site=ehost-live&scope=site

This article takes the reader though one school’s Journey from a traditional library to a 21st century learning commons.  Outlined in particular is the planning, research and collaboration that went into the process.  the end product is truly amazing and is an idyllic representation of the the learning commons.

Deeper Learning, Inquiry and the Teacher Librarian

Amanda Rude


Loertscher, D. V. (2016). Deeper learning, inquiry, and the teacher librarianRetrieved from http://libaccess.sjlibrary.org/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=lls&AN=119117881&site=ehost-live&scope=site
This article proposes two new ideas for inquiry. First, a framework for teachers to self-check for areas of proficiency and deficiency according to the  Digital Promise organization’s website.  Deficiencies are then to be addressed through Micro Credentials.  Secondly the article discusses how  teacher’s and students can utilize a learning commons to deepen their own learning.  An example is provided along with the UTEC maker model.