Task C: A Critical Synthesis

Task C: A critical synthesis of your reflection on how your view of the role of the teacher librarian may have changed during the subject. This should include examples captured from your personal blog and from participation in the ETL401 forum (about 750 words).
I was certainly naive when I began this course. I knew I had much to learn but the enormity of the TL role or the expertise required was unimaginable. I need to take responsibility for this naivety; it certainly isn’t good enough. Maybe the interviewers saw my potential but I certainly hadn’t reflected on what was required. However I was open to learning. Through osmosis my students learn the hidden curriculum, the unstated culture of my thinking so it is important that conscious reflective practice becomes disposition. Sometimes we take routes by accident and end up in the right place.
It is imperative to have a clear vision of the role of a TL and this course has certainly made me have that. I was initially overawed by the multifaceted role of the TL. I undertook a time study as advocated by Purcell (2010). The results are captured in my blog post ‘Too much to do and so little time’. The exercise certainly provided me with a better understanding of how best to serve my patrons and identify barriers to success. I was spending too much time on administration but when I focused on teaching and learning ‘my attitude was positively rejuvenated’. Herring’s (2007) statement ‘reading for pleasure is a small part of school curriculum…given unnecessary prominence in library mission statements’ certainly proved divisive with course participant. The debate consolidated my opinion that information literacy is at the heart of the role as evidenced in my forum post.
By employing metacognition my own information literacy model I realised the power of this tool to consolidate skills and critically evaluate practices in order to explore transferability. It made me aware of the importance Lloyd (2005) places on social interaction for workplace information literacy. When teachers begin employment in a new school, they bring their understanding of pedagogy assimilated at University but they must then dialogue with this knowledge in the context of how the program is implemented in the school setting by interacting with colleagues.
I have become aware of the enormity of implementing and teaching information literacy. My initial thoughts recorded in ‘Let’s go fishing’ show my belief is in line with Purcell (2010) that it is both staff and students who need assistance. My mind map of the role of the TL captured in my ‘Collaborarian’ blog shows a limited understanding of information literacy as a standalone subject in comparison to my zoom recorded in ‘Concept Maps Work’ which explores the notion of higher order thinking, the benefits of information literacy models, the necessity for collaboration and the importance of creativity. Herring acknowledges the school website as a tool for collaboration. I have created a staff blog to share and document learning. Like Herring (2007) and Cibulka et al (2003) I have always believed in the reciprocality of learning and teaching technology. My students knew that I didn’t have all the answers. According to Prensky (2011) I had created a partnering culture. Throughout this course I have been reminded and validated about things I do and it is great to know that research advocates it.
‘A profession without reflective practitioners willing to learn about advances in research in the field is a blinkered profession, …disconnected from best practice and best thinking…’ (Todd). Harada’s study of action research has inspired me to implement my own research, analyzing the roles my colleagues and I assume as teaching partners in inquiry learning? Using Loertscher & Woolls (2003) recommendation for triangulation of data we hope to analyse the evidence and innovate a new way to teach inquiry learning more effectively. As an English leader ‘transitional leadership’ certainly makes sense. Inherent is ownership and trust, key factors for Montiel-Overall’s (2005) integrated instruction collaboration.
Kulhthau et al (2007) advocates designing authentic learning tasks and assessments and integrating these into the curriculum standards. The AASL Standards for the 21st Century Learner provide a framework for this. Examining the standards was a valuable exercise. It led me to believe that they achieve their aim to provide a framework for inspiring quality teaching and promoting professional development but no more than anyone ever becomes truly information literate, one can never attain all requisites. It is the quest that is important. As explored in my blog ‘Risky business’ I reflected on the challenges of my online learning, a lack of confidence and trust in a new environment being key players in my ‘silent’ forum participation. There is always the potential to learn more, but I will consolidate what I know before assimilating more. I will certainly revisit the literature iteratively.

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