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

Education training for instruction librarians: a shared perspective.

Nicole Katz


Brecher, D., & Klipfel, M. (2014). Education training for instruction librarians: a shared perspective. Communications in Information Literacy, 8(1), 43-49. 

This 2014 article talks about the shortcomings of Library Schools in offering specific courses, as a requirement, in educational theory and pedagogy. They argue that while the rise in job descriptions calling for librarians to have experience in instruction, the same is not being seen in library school program offerings, leaving recent graduates or seasoned professionals to have to seek out additional professional development, post-graduate certifications or even second Master’s degree in Education. They also offer a less drastic approach in seeking out educational blogs by other Instructional librarians, free online seminars and MOOCs.

While researching topics on process skills, I came across this article, dated 2014, “Education Training for Instruction Librarians: a shared perspective”. While I agree with the authors that the information that they feel Librarians should be learning in their graduate courses is crucial, I am standing off to the side and very happy with SJSU’s program. As of the date of this article, I had already been enrolled in the MLIS program and the requirements for the degree already set in stone. Requirements, that the authors argue that library schools do not place enough emphasis on or at all: Learning about how a demographic seeks information or learns, (a core idea in LIBR/INFO 200) and how to teach (LIBR/INFO 250), both of which are graduation requirements.  So, I raise my glass to our fearless leaders at SLIS!

An old problem needs a new solution: Incorporating librarian-led legal research instruction into directed research

Gary Lui

Talley, N. B. (2014). An old problem needs a new solution: Incorporating librarian-led legal research instruction into directed research. Legal Reference Services Quarterly, 33(4), 292-309. doi:10.1080/0270319X.2014.972209

The Talley (2014) article believe librarian-led legal research courses are the best way to teach law students legal research. The article specifically mentions a pilot program implemented by Rutgers University School of Law – Camden in order to help improve law students’ legal research skills. “The pilot program increased students’ exposure to legal research through librarian-led instruction that incorporated pedagogy to help students learn valuable legal research skills” (Talley, 296). What makes the pilot program successful is that it increases law students’ exposure to legal research instruction.

The article also mentions modeling, which is when law students are introduced by law librarians to new resources and research strategies (300).  “The librarians modeled proper research techniques by showing students how to locate materials in the library catalog, searching by keyword, subject heading, or author” (305). Librarians’ implementation of legal research pedagogy such as modeling are therefore providing support to law students.

I decided to post about this article about a pilot program with librarian-led instruction because this pilot program is trying to replace the old bird units way of teaching legal research which is to give little to no instruction to law students who lack basic legal research skills. I think the author of the article designed the most effective legal research course for the law students. Those law school students who come into law school without basic legal research skills will now through the pilot program be better legal researchers by being given the opportunity to model the law librarian and ask questions to the law librarian during the legal research process.

Frustrated With One-Shot Library Instruction?

Maricar Laudato


Buchanan, Heidi E., & McDonough, Beth A. (2014). The one-shot library instruction survival guide. Chicago: American Library Association.

In the introductory pages of this fairly short book, Buchanan and McDonough explain that they were pressed to write this book because of the great, and largely unmet need, for discussion on how librarians could improve “one-shot” library instruction sessions. This slim, 7-chapter book is only 124 pages, and it covers topics such as collaborating with teachers, classroom strategies to engage students’ attention, how to make instruction student-centered rather than teacher-centered, and the importance of assessment.

I think that this book is an excellent source for anyone working in school libraries. While I was thinking over what to classify this resource under (ET, CA, CO, or IL), it could have been all four! However, I deliberately chose ET because I feel that this book is a realistic response to the great amount of theory we have to absorb in our classes. Don’t get me wrong, theory is great and is the reason for why school libraries are able to transform into innovative spheres of learning. However, this book was a reminder that “one-shot” library instruction is often the norm for most school librarians and we only get about 45-minutes to teach a class of 30 or so students. Also, we do not determine what the students learn, it is the teacher that provides librarians what they want the librarians to teach. It is a rare thing indeed for a teacher to want to collaborate with a librarian when it comes to planning lessons. Librarians are oftentimes not included in the curriculum planning process, thus making us less effective when we do teach such skills in a “one-shot” lesson. This book provides sample scripts on how to approach teachers so that librarians can gain insight into the lesson-planning process. It also gives tips on how to change traditional demo-like teacher-centered lesson plans into more collaborative student-centered learning experiences. Overall, I think that this “survival guide” does a good job of living up to its name.