What Teachers Need from Researchers

Mary Fobbs-Guillory

ET

Saul, Roger. (2016) Education and the mediated subject: What today’s teacher’s need most from researchers of youth and media. Journal of Children and Media, 10(2). Pp.156-163


Roger Saul shares that the majority of today’s educators are still operating with archaic understanding of what young people are capable of and how to engage them in school.  He argues that researchers need to provide educators with a better understanding of their students’ potential to make meaningful contributions to their education.  He also shares that teachers may not realize they are marginalizing their students by not allowing students the opportunity to explore their identity and express themselves as they learn in school.


Saul has offers a balanced perspective in his argument as he shares that teachers too are regulated and may not have the autonomy to change how they address students needs.  He shares that districts need to trust teachers more and allow them to do what research says is best for students.  This was interesting to read as an educator because I often felt that in district schools, teacher’s don’t have much of a voice and they have to do what they are told or else find a new school to work at.  It is encouraging that some people see the need to empower teachers who can in turn empower students to be more involved and engaged in their education.

Cultivating your inner leader

Aubree Burkholder

ET
Brautigam, F. October 2016. Cultivating Your Inner Leader. Retrieved from http://publiclibrariesonline.org/2016/10/cultivating-your-inner-leader/
Summary:
This article points out the fact that most librarians are too busy with their day to day activities to focus on developing supervisory, management, or leadership knowledge and skills. The author lists different blogs and websites that are great resources to help librarians garner their leadership and managerial skills.
Evaluation:

I enjoyed this article because it reminds busy librarians to take time out of their days to work on bettering themselves so that they may better serve their communities. 

Good Leaders Learn What Not to Do – Leading from the Library

Reyna, Lisa

ET – Government and Professions

Bell, S. (n.d.). Good Leaders Learn What Not to Do – Leading From the Library. Library Journal. Retrieved May 20, 2016, from http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2012/09/opinion/leading-from-the-library/good-leaders-learn-what-not-to-do-leading-from-the-library 

Summary/Evaluation

Leadership in the Academic Library Profession: Evaluation and Assessment of Leadership
In the article, “Good Leaders Learn What Not to Do”, Steven Bell mentions how Kouzes and Posner are responsible for the “ten truths of leadership” and how valuable an asset this information is to the working professional, but voices his opinion on the importance of learning what leaders should not do in the workplace as well. [2]
Truth 1: You Make a Difference
Truth 2: Credibility is the Foundation of Leadership
Truth 3: Values Drive Commitment
Truth 4: Focusing on the Future Sets Leaders Apart
Truth 5: You Can’t Do It Alone
Truth 6: Trust Rules
Truth 7: Challenge Is the Crucible of Greatness
Truth 8: You Either Lead by Example or You Don’t Lead at All
Truth 9: The Best Leaders Are the Best Learners
Truth 10: Leadership Is an Affair of the Heart
The ten truths listed above are from Kouzes and Posner’s book, The Truth about Leadership, which each concept is featured in it’s own chapter. [1]
Steven Bell believes that by identifying the presence of ineffective leadership in libraries, this approach could also prove to be just as valuable to the overall success of professional leadership. Throughout this article, he refers to the effectiveness of how not to lead and focuses on another article written by Steve Staninger titled “Identifying the Presence of Ineffective Leadership in Libraries”. Staninger mentions the inability of leaders to treat their employees, as they would want to be treated themselves. Other instances of ineffective leadership include moral disengagement and micromanagement. When these instances arise within the workplace, the negativity can lead to damage of employee morale as well as fundamental damage to the organization itself. [2]
Although leadership can be expressed in many facets, academic librarianship possesses a need to conduct it in a highly professional manner, while working with internal as well as external stakeholders, such as librarians; library staff; administrators; students; faculty; non-library administrators and staff. [2]
I truly believe that all individuals placed within a leader/management role should possess a certain type of skillset and quality, which would allow them to be a positive role model as well as leader in the workplace. Staninger describes that ineffective leaders have a disregard for the importance and value that represents institutional culture by neglecting the consultation of employees who could be beneficial in the overall decision-making process in creating a better workplace. I also believe that there is truth to this theory. As an effective leader, he/she has to maintain a certain quality in order to achieve greatness. True leaders aspire to make a difference and when mistakes are made, they learn from them allowing themselves room for growth and wisdom when bestowing their knowledge onto others. True leaders also allow their employees the credit deserved when making a positive impact on the organization by acknowledgement and recognition.
As Steven Bell describes in his article, I too believe that it is always a better practice of knowing all aspects of management and leadership, even when it comes to researching the ways in which a leader could be ineffective in order to learn and determine which concepts and behaviors to avoid.
Additional Sources:
1. McKinney, M. (n.d.). Leading Blog: A Leadership Blog: Ten Truths about Leadership. Leading Blog: A Leadership Blog: Ten Truths about Leadership. Retrieved May 20, 2016, from http://www.leadershipnow.com/leadingblog/2010/08/ten_truths_about_leadership.html

2. Staninger, S. (2011). Identifying the Presence of Ineffective Leadership in Libraries. Library Leadership & Management, 26(1), 1-7. Retrieved May 20, 2016, from http://journals.tdl.org/llm/index.php/llm/article/view/5782/5815  

Differences Between Learning and Education

Johnson, Meghan

ET

Heick, T. (2014). Learning is different than education. TeachThought. Retrieved from http://www.teachthought.com/learning/learning-is-different-than-education/

Summary: Terry Heick bases his whole article around a quote by Wendell Berry: “… all our problems tend to gather under two questions about knowledge: having the ability and desire to know, how and what should we learn? And, having learned, how and for what should we use what we know?” This excellent quote is not only used to break down the differences between learning and modern education, but also how modern education needs to be a more communal process. Learning is self-directed and driven by curiosity. Education is guided and caused, a measured policy. Heick argues that education needs to be a more communal process, a process in which everyone contributes.

Evaluation: Once again, I find myself baffled for having never looked at learning and education through this lens. As many in our class are, Heick is extremely critical of current education which is based in Common Core assessments and detached community input. Common Core, then, is just a promise to the community that all students will know certain things; the burden is placed on the teachers to fulfill this promise. This is a thought that I have long had. I could say that I did not like the current educational system, but, without having a viable alternative, I was at my wits end on what else to do. I think Heick has that solution. Education has gotten a bad reputation because of Common Core, but it really can be the pillar of any community as a learning tool. In order to be that pillar, though, the community needs to be involved in the learning process. Community, in my mind, refers to parents, siblings, grandparents, local businesses, anyone who has an investment in the community and helping everyone grow. Putting the “burden” of education on teachers alone helps to create this problem.

We need to give students educational opportunities outside of their protective bubble at school. Education needs to extend beyond the classroom.

Trust: A "Radical" New Way to Create Better Students

Johnson, Meghan

ET

Schwartz, K. (2014). Why trust is a crucial ingredient in shaping independent learners. KQED. Retrieved from http://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2014/11/04/why-trust-is-a-crucial-ingredient-to-shaping-independent-learners/

Summary: This article by Katrina Schwartz discusses the need for trust in schools. Despite the fact that students are supposedly being prepared for the “real world” in high school, they have many restrictions placed on them ranging from the types of materials they can view to the tools they are allowed to use to approach problems. There needs to be trust between students, teachers, administrators, districts, and parents as well. While this is a scary prospect, Schwartz believes that this is ultimately the best way to create fully functioning and accountable students.

Evaluation: I found this article to be absolutely fascinating. I could see myself in the anti-trust kind of teacher described by Schwartz. It is indeed a terrifying prospect to look at entire student body and grant them a larger portion of responsibility for the success of their education. I believe Schwartz is correct, though, when she states that the likely benefits outweigh the potential negatives. She provided great details from a school called New Caanan High School where a system of trust in regards to cell phones and new technologies exists. These students seem to realize the benefits of maintaining this system of trust and honor it, which astounded me! As an academic librarian, though, I can see how this type of system is necessary. I constantly complain to my coworkers about how new undergraduates have no idea how to use certain tools (such as an online catalog) and don’t have any respect for the higher educational institution they get to study at. These are the students most systems are creating, though. Students who have it drilled into them that they cannot be trusted to know what they want to study and to determine which tools they need to use. I think Schwartz is right. Trust-based educational systems are the only way to create students that will succeed in higher education and in society.