Urban Myths about Learning and Education – Book

Clem, Katy


De Bruyckere, P., Kirschner, P.A., & Hulshof, C.D. (2015). Urban Myths about Learning and Education. Academic Press.

Preview available at https://books.google.com/books?id=7h4tBAAAQBAJ&lpg=PP1&pg=PR4#v=onepage&q&f=false

This is a full book rather than a journal article, but it is a great place to begin understanding educational theories. The authors devote the first section to a wide-reaching foundation in ET background before moving on to describing and debunking 12 common myths in education.

Urban Myths About Learning and Education serves as a particularly elegant source of background to Education Theory & Practice; as it is aimed at novices and experts alike, its early chapters are dedicated to providing a foundational overview of the current educational paradigm, operating theories, roles in education research, and definitions of frequently used terms. I found this so helpful and used it as a launching pad for deeper investigation into individual ideas. The many, many useful references from this book alone could take me years to examine! Ultimately, this single title emerged as my most useful resource on education theory, and I’ve been going back to it repeatedly for further topical background as I stretch my knowledge base. It provided a mental map to how the world of educational research is currently laid out and allowed me to create a scaffold of understanding into which new ideas could be categorized and linked in a meaningful way rather than just added to the top of an ever-growing pile of information.

Lamb, A. (2016). Crowdsourcing and the School Library. Teacher Librarian, 44(2), 56-60.  Retrieved from:
This article discusses the usage of Crowdsourcing in the Library and how this method can be used to teach information literacy skills to students.  Student can participate in activities that can use crowdsourcing in which they can real world information to organize information.  This can be done with interesting activities where students can group information and data in a fun and interesting way.

Eduardo Briceño: How to get better at the things you care about

Andrea Phillips


Briceño, E. (2016, November). Eduardo Briceño: How to get better at the things you care about [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.ted.com/talks/eduardo_briceno_how_to_get_better_at_the_things_you_care_about

In his TED Talk, Eduardo Briceño identifies the difference between the learning zone and the performance zone. The learning zone is where learning happens: mistakes are made, and specific skills are focused on in order to improve. The performance zone is when the skills practiced in the learning zone are put to the test. Then reflection happens, and the process begins again. Briceño argues that we spend too much time in the performance zone without giving students the opportunity to participate in deliberate practice in the learning zone in order to improve.

Understanding the difference between the performance zone and the learning zone, and what needs to happen in each zone in order to become better in any given area, is an important idea for educators, parents, and people in general. Briceño makes it very clear that we need to build in time for deliberate practice in a low-stakes environment in order to see learning improvements. Most of our time is spent in the performance zone without reflecting on what we need to improve in order to be better, and how to deliberately practice those skills. By building time for learning into our daily lives and into the education model, people will experience more success in the areas that matter to them. Although this TED Talk is short, it provides a good introduction to the idea and importance of deliberate practice.

Practicing Learner-Centered Teaching

Hudson, Evelyn


Megwalu, A. (2014, July-September). Practicing learner-centered teaching. Reference Librarian, 55, 252-255. doi:10.1080/02763877.2014.910438

This article discusses the importance of centering teaching strategies around the learner. The author asserts that when librarians build on existing knowledge, students feel less overwhelmed by the knowledge and gain confidence as their skills grow. The author also provides two real-life examples of using learner-centered teaching in a reference situation.
This article was useful to me because it directly related to my experiences as a librarian. The real-life examples showed me that the content of the article was actually valid and a change I could implement immediately. I also felt that the strategies would be useful outside of a reference situation.

Approaching the inquiry process from a cultural perspective

Esling, Kathleen
Naluai, N. (2014). Approaching the inquiry process from a cultural perspective. Knowledge Quest, 43(2).

In this article, Naluai discusses how Kamehameha Schools revamped their education with inquiry-based practice; beyond this, they also wanted to implement Hawaiian educational traditions alongside inquiry-based practice. To do so, they focused on Eisenberg and Berkowitz’s “Big Six” (task definition, information-seeking strategies, location and access, use of information, synthesis, and evaluation) and paired them with Hawaiian words and proverbs. For example, the guidelines for student “practice” is now “Ho’oma’ama’a.” (For a complete list of the Hawaiian terms and how they tie into the Big Six, I definitely recommend checking out this article!)

I really thought this was a good article, especially because the author explains how the school wanted to call upon Hawaiian educational traditions and history in order to help their students work with inquiry-based learning. Implementing new technologies or educational theories doesn’t need to cancel out a cultural background or focus in school, and I really enjoyed how this school focused on their history as well as the future.

They Do Call it a "Play," Don’t They?

Esling, Kathleen


Werberger, R. (2014, May 20). They do call it a “play,” don’t they? EduTopia. Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/blog/they-do-call-it-a-play-raleigh-werberger
I actually found this during a quick search while I was working with my partner on Transformation B. This short article discusses how educators can use drama in part of a Project-Based Learning (PBL) unit. As a theatre minor, I wanted to know how drama (a very hands-on subject) could help further a PBL unit’s goals.
Werberger describes his approach in using Euripedes’s The Trojan Women in a 9th-grade multidisciplinary humanities unit. How could he get kids interacting with the material and thinking in-depth about the content?  Through a combination of performance, research, and seminar discussions, Werberger put together a PBL unit that got his kids working. After learning about different performance artists and styles, students alternated performance and non-performance days. On performance days, students used the text and brought five class-chosen scenes to life. Students struggled with acting and speaking at the same time, so students were divided into “performers” and “readers,” with the performers manifesting the action that the readers spoke aloud. The class as a whole would dissect the performance and point to ways that movement could be used differently to bring the text to life properly and convey the most pertinent ideas and emotions from the scene.

On non-performance days, they had seminar discussions about the play. Students were responsible for looking into the history behind the period and the play, and they had to devise their own “driving questions.” Researching these questions and posting them on a class site helped shape the performances, and it helped give the students a great deal to discuss in their in-class “Socratic Circles.” Putting history and text side-by-side helped the students to understand the play a great deal better.

I thought that this article was a good way to explore how drama has a place in “serious” coursework. (Perhaps this is a touchy subject as, during undergrad, during finals week no one took my finals stress since “all you have to do for theatre is play dress up” — WRONG!) Instead, Werberger and his students found that using drama can be awkward and challenging at first, but it pulls you in and helps you to find something of interest in the text. It spurred students to connect with the material, making the culminating projects more interesting for them. 

Teacher Librarian and Teachers Co-teaching on an Inquiry Cycle

Swenson, L. (2015). Extraordinary Deeds. Teacher Librarian, 42(5), p28-31.
This article offers a practical view of co-teaching from a teacher librarian in Santiago, Chile who sees eight classes a day in her library for mini-lessons and book check-out.  The author describes how she co-teaches, what basic theory is embedded in her practice, what co-teaching models she uses, then lists and describes the lessons she teaches, and finally reflects, evaluates, and offers many general and some specific insights as to her process she underwent, and what could have been and what is different as one co-teaches in varying situations.

Swenson subscribes to Loertscher’s and premises, Beninghof’s co-teaching models, and Eisenberg Big 6 model.  Lessons happen over time as an inquiry, constructed with classroom teachers, and embed language, library, information-seeking and acquisition skills, peer interaction, reflection and evaluation.  Throughout the article, research quotes are provided from librarians, other specialists and teachers, administrators with concerns and comments/evaluations.  Communication with teachers happens in quick informal meetings and by email, and lessons are listed on a communal website that parents can see.  As the article is short, focused, and also includes graphics that could be used for lessons, this article is a useful presentation/outline of co-teaching and collaboration.
posted by Gabrielle Thormann