For your consideration: An Outlier

Solomon, Samantha

Ullman, R. (2018). No, Teachers Shouldn’t Put Students in the Driver’s Seat. Teacher Teacher. Retrieved 26 September 2018, from https://www.edweek.org/tm/articles/2018/09/05/no-teachers-shouldnt-put-students-in-the.html

Summary: This opinion piece is written by Richard Ullman, a 29 year veteran of teaching in public high schools. In the piece Ullman defends the practice of teachings using direct instruction to communicate complex skills and concepts to students. He feels that the pendulum has swung too far towards a pedagogy based on “equat[ing] cosmetic engagement with actual learning.” He argues that educational trends are dictated and propelled by people who are removed from actual classrooms, and that as a result, the current trends around game-based learning and student driven learning actually don’t improve student outcomes. He points out that “even though the classroom looks dynamic, students appear to be busy, and the right boxes get checked during classroom observations, achievement gaps don’t close.” Ullman argues that traditional, teacher-centered instruction does work, but that confirmation bias causes experts to ignore the merits of this style in favor of chasing educational fads.

Evaluation: It’s not that I agree with Ullman’s strong preference for teacher-centered instruction, but I do think it is important to acknowledge what people who might be out of this moment’s mainstream might be thinking. I absolutely feel that there is a place for more traditional, direct instruction in classrooms and school libraries, but I also think that it has to be blended with more engaging, student-centered techniques to fully resonate and connect with students and truly enhance their learning.

School Library Challenge

McNeil, Lauren

CO

Harper, M., & Schwelik, J. (2013). School library challenge. Knowledge Quest, 42(1), 24-28. Retrieved from http://libaccess.sjlibrary.org/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=90230623&site=ehost-live&scope=site

This peer-reviewed article discusses the importance of Library Advisory Committees (LACs), particularly to collaboration and library advocacy. Meghan Harper and Jennifer Schwelik (2013) state that “LACs are established to gather input in the design and development of the school library program” (p. 25). These groups allow the librarian to make “informed decisions” that will have a positive impact on the school community (Harper & Schwelik, 2013, p. 25). The authors essentially outline steps to implement an LAC and aspects such as member recruitment and LAC tasks.

In that vein, the article helpfully offers practical advice for creating an LAC. For example, rather than forming one large LAC, in which some voices may be lost, the authors recommend smaller groups of just one type of stakeholder, which can discuss topics that are unique to them (Harper & Schwelik, 2013, p. 26). They also offer advice regarding types of LAC representatives representing all stakeholder groups and their respective numbers. Meghan Harper and Jennifer Schwelik (2013) assert that beyond school members, “Including community partners such as the YMCA, public library, or other social-service agencies who serve the youth population in the school can help the school library identify possible connections for sharing services or resources and maximize the flow of information and communication among the school librarian and LAC members” (p. 25). For teacher librarians who are interesting in creating an LAC, this article is chalk-full of applicable advice.

Collaborative Strategies for Teaching Reading Comprehension : Maximizing Your Impact

Khera, Michelle

Collaboration (CO)

Moreillon, J. (2007). Collaborative strategies for teaching reading comprehension: Maximizing your impact. Chicago: American Library Association.

https://ebookcentral-proquest-com.libaccess.sjlibrary.org/lib/sjsu/detail.action?docID=3001627# 

This is a link to a book called Collaborative Strategies for Teaching Reading Comprehension: Maximizing Your Impact by Judi Moreillon. It provides excellent information about the different ways teachers and librarians can collaborate in order to help increase students’ reading comprehension. What struck me was the vast amount of evidence showing that the higher rate of collaboration between teachers and librarians, the higher the students’ reading scores. I also liked the different approaches the book gives as far as how to co-teach, such as one teaching, one supporting, or station or center teaching, or parallel teaching. I look forward to spending more time with this book, as this is a topic about which I am very passionate.

 

Why Teachers & School Librarians Should Unite!

Murphy, James

CO

Grover, R. (2017, March 6). Students learn more when teachers and librarians collaborate. Retrieved May 12, 2018, from https://www.middleweb.com/34240/why-teachers-school-librarians-should-unite/

This article relates the experiences of a classroom teacher collaborating with a school librarian and then expands on collaborating as the author becomes a school librarian herself. Her first collaboration involved integrating historical fiction into seventh grade English. The project integrated primary sources from a database to inspire students to create home/war front letters from the World War II era. She then goes on to briefly describe several collaborations after she became a librarian. Next, she details how schools with certified librarians are higher achieving and how librarians improve technological effectiveness in their schools. Finally, she encourages teachers to start collaborating with their librarians and suggests inviting them to department meetings.

This article ran a nice gamut of interesting personal projects and demonstrated the value of the school librarian to an educational community. Showing collaboration from both the classroom instructor and school librarian sides was illuminating.

Collaboration Study

Veronica May

Collaboration

Harada, V. H. (2016). A Practice-Centered Approach to Professional Development: Teacher- Librarian Collaboration in Capstone Projects. School Library Research (19), 1-47. http://libaccess.sjlibrary.org/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=eft&AN=119793547&site=ehost-live&scope=site

This article is packed with amazing information and I wanted to pass it on. The report discuss three years of research on a school in Hawaii in which Professional Development supported the work of teachers and teacher-librarians. The research highlights the difficulties of TL and CT collaboration but also ways it significantly makes a differences. The collaboration study last for more than one school year, which gave researchers an advantage in having a lot of data to work with. The CT and TL worked with students on an inquiry-based capstone project. They were continually mentored through the rigorous process of teaching the students how to complete the project. The researchers were able to study multiple areas of IL instruction as they observed the students, the CT and TL, and the PD mentors.

Educational theory, interventions, and professional development techniques are discussed throughout.

Collaborative Learning: Group Work

Amdahl, Scott

CO

“Collaborative Learning: Group Work.” (2018) Cornell University. Center for Teaching Innovation. Retrieved from: https://www.cte.cornell.edu/teaching-ideas/engaging-students/collaborative-learning.html

Summary

This article defines and explains the basic concepts of collaborative learning and group work. It explores what impact group work can have on deeper learning, along with general strategies for creating, managing and evaluating lesson plans.

Review

This is a fairly good, and simple, article that covers the basics of collaborative learning. Using bullet points to define some of the topics, and linkable headings allowing for easy navigation, it explores the topic in an easy to follow format. By giving examples of how to create various group projects, it also clarifies the process and would make it less daunting to integrate group projects into your own classroom.

 

Tags: Collaboration, Group Work, Collaboration strategies, definition

A Digital Teaching Platform to Further and Assess Use of Evidence-based Practices

A Digital Teaching Platform to Further and Assess Use of Evidence-based Practices

Elias, Jenann

CA
Bondie, R. (2015). A Digital Teaching Platform to Further and Assess Use of
Evidence-based Practices. Rural Special Education Quarterly, 34(1), 23-29.

The author, Rhonda Bondie, presents a solution to the challenge of assessing candidate teachers who are learning online. This solution is called Project REACH, which is a free online digital teaching platform.


The platform is learner centered which allows for collaboration, and support is available at any time, 24 by 7.


This paper seems more of an instruction sheet on using this platform. The learning path for teacher candidate steps are:

  1. Learn Evidence-based practice (EBP). The website includes resources for 67 EBP’s. A teacher candidate uses resources developed by others to “develop knowledge about specific EBPs and guides for classroom implementation.”
  2. Plan instruction, using learning and collaborate tools on the website. Invite other Project REACH users to collaborate on instructional plans. This includes:
    1. Unpack curriculum standards
    2. Develop multiple assessments
    3. Design differential lesson plans
    4. Apply Universal Design for Learning
    5. A field-test report
    6. Analysis of student work
  3. Reflect on impact. Field test. Upload and annotate student work. Track student progress.
  4. Share accomplishments. Earn “badges”. Learn, share, and add badges throughout career.
The website is: www.projectreachonline.org and much of the article I read includes screen captures and “how-to” instructions.