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Evidence-Based Practice for School Libraries


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Dr. Ross Todd's presentation to librarians at the NYC DOE Spring Summit, May 13, 2014.

Dr. Ross Todd's presentation to librarians at the NYC DOE Spring Summit, May 13, 2014.

Published in: Education, Health & Medicine

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  • 1. School Libraries and Learning Outcomes: Measuring your Impact Dr Ross J Todd Center for International Scholarship in School Libraries (CISSL) School of Communication & Information Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
  • 2.  Report published March 2011, tabled at Parliament 23 May 2011. • “6.10 - The Committee has been struck by the breadth of anecdotal evidence that it received demonstrating the significant contribution to learning outcomes in primary and secondary schools that a fully resourced school library, when staffed by a fully qualified and active teacher librarian, can make. This supports the findings of Australian and international research in this area.” (p.118)
  • 3. Developing Capacity as Evidence-Based Practitioners “We recommend that the profession as a whole needs to develop the capacity to articulate needs from research-based evidence and local evidence collected in the school.”
  • 4.
  • 5. Evidence-Based Practice Gathering evidence in YOUR local school You are able to provide convincing evidence that answers these questions: “What differences do my school library and its learning initiatives make to student learning outcomes? “What are the differences, the tangible learning outcomes and learning benefits of my school library”? EVIDENCE = ADDING VALUE: Learning, Living, Life
  • 6. Holistic Model of Evidence-Based Practice for School Libraries Evidence FOR Practice FOUNDATION INFORMATIONAL Existing formal research provides the essential building blocks for professional practice: Evidence IN Practice Applications / Actions PROCESS TRANSFORMATIONAL Locally produced evidence; Data generated by practice is meshed with research-based evidence to provide a dynamic decision-making and learning environment: Librarian’s evidence / thinking / wisdom Evidence OF Practice Results – impacts & outcomes OUTCOMES FORMATIONAL user-reported evidence learner changes as result of inputs, interventions, activities, processes
  • 7. Evidence-Based Strategies: Emphasis on Information • Number of classes in the library • Number of library items borrowed • Number of students using the library at lunch times • Number of items purchased annually • Number of web searches • Number of books lost And who can do this?
  • 8. Emphasis on Knowledge Understanding how school libraries help kids learn: Learning outcomes in terms of – Knowledge outcomes – deep mastery of content through inquiry; mastery of CCSS – Information processes: transformation of information into new knowledge through inquiry: key to CCSS – Information technology: using tools to construct representations of knowledge and to present new knowledge: ICT impact – Reading for learning in digital and print formats – Independent learning: knowledge transfer – Attitudes and values of information, learning – Self concept and personal agency And who can do this?
  • 9. Mission Statements & Policy Documents are Contexts for Evidence School Library Policy and Mission Statements: •Redefine school libraries from Place to Experience: Learning Commons; iCenters; Knowledge Place •Shift in focus from School Library as collections, access, information literacy, to inquiry, thinking, knowledge development and learning outcomes Test criteria: “Celebrate the Understood, not the Found” Does your mission and policy statements do this?
  • 10. What is a School Library? The school library is the school’s physical and virtual learning commons where reading, inquiry, thinking, imagination, discovery, and creativity are central to students’ information-to-knowledge journey, and to their personal, social and cultural growth.
  • 11. School Libraries as Verbs "Libraries are the verbs in the content standards. Wherever verbs such as read, research, analyze, explore, examine, compare, contrast, understand, interpret, investigate, and find appear in the standards, Teacher Librarians and library resources are involved." (Oxnard Union High School District)
  • 12. NJ Research Study 2009-2012 • School libraries as pedagogical centers • Key role of the school librarian as co-teacher implementing curriculum • Creative pedagogies centering on inquiry, critical thinking and development of knowledge • School library as connector: school and community • Digital and ethical citizenship
  • 13. EBP Knowledge Outcomes
  • 14. Intellectual Quality Intellectual Agency Deep knowledge Deep understanding Problematic knowledge Critical thinking Meta-language Substantive communication Personal Agency Self Confidence Willingness to take risks Trying new ideas and practices Independence Autonomy Social and Cultural Agency Respect for different values, cultural knowledges and viewpoints Team building, collaboration, negotiation and decision making: inclusivity Knowledge integration: conceptual coherence and integration Connect with current and future lives Social and ethical values: digital citizenship Gore, J.M. et al.Towards better teaching: productive pedagogy as a framework for teacher education. Teaching and Teacher Education 20 (2004) 375–387 Curriculum: Dimensions of Evidence
  • 15. Examples of Knowledge Claims • Following an inquiry-based unit of work, 70% students showed improved ability in formulating essential questions that directed their inquiry as compared to their previous research task • As a result of instructional interventions focusing on the development of arguments, students showed stronger ability to identify claims, provide supporting evidence and to identify rebuttals • Students’ final products showed improved ability to analyze and synthesize information • Students’ research reports showed improved ability to draw conclusions and state implications of their findings • Students’ presentations showed ability to present different viewpoints and to provide a strong and supported case for their own position
  • 16. Example of Knowledge Claims • 93% of the students showed mastery of strategies for evaluating websites for misinformation and bias • Following instructional interventions that focused on establishing the quality of websites, 100% of the students’ bibliographies showed use of high quality websites • Based on a pre-test of initial and final knowledge of the Grade 8 science curriculum topic, students’ knowledge of their topics changed from descriptive and random listing of facts to statements that showed explanations, conflicting knowledge and making predictions • Students’ products showed increasing complexity of language used to describe their knowledge, and the ordering of this knowledge into conceptually coherent units • 83 % of the class show improved ability in thoughtfully analyzing and evaluating alternative points of view
  • 17. STUDENTS AS GOOD RESEARCHERS • Resource-based capabilities • Knowledge-based capabilities Reading-to-learn capabilities • Thinking-based capabilities • Learning management capabilities • Personal and interpersonal capabilities
  • 18. Tools and measures for charting and documenting evidence
  • 19. NJ Schools Study: Did they learn anything? •10 New Jersey public schools •Experienced and expert school librarians •10 teacher-school librarian teams working on curriculum inquiry projects with 17 classroom teachers •574 students in Grades 6 – 12 •Data collected over four weeks: 1. Writing Task 1 (at initiation of inquiry unit) 2. Writing Task 2 (at midpoint of inquiry unit) 3. Writing Task 3 (at conclusion of inquiry unit) 4. Search Journal Log
  • 20. Writing Tasks Writing task 1 and 2 consisted of the following questions 1. Write the title that best describes your research project at this time. 2. Take some time to think about your research topic. Now write down what you know about this topic. 3. What interests you about this topic? 4. How much do you know about this topic? Check (✓) one box that best matches how much you know. Nothing, Not much, Some, Quite a bit and A great deal 5. Write down what you think is EASY about researching your topic. 6. Write down what you think is DIFFICULT about researching your topic. 7. Write down how you are FEELING now about your project. Check (✓) only the boxes that apply to you. Confident, Disappointed, Relieved, Frustrated, Confused, Optimistic, Uncertain, Satisfied, Anxious or Other.
  • 21. Additional Questions at Writing Task 3 1. What did you learn in doing this research project? (This might be about your topic, or new things you can do, or learn about yourself) 2. How did the SCHOOL LIBRARIAN help you? 1. How did the TEACHER help you?
  • 22. CISSL WEB SITE • studies/57-impact-studies-slim • Student Learning through Inquiry Measure (SLIM) SLIM Handbook • SLIM Reflection Instruments and Scoring Guidelines SLIM Scoring Sheet
  • 23. Analysis of student bibliographies • Diversity of choice of sources • Depth / levels of knowledge • Accuracy of citations • Relevance to learning task • Use of multiple formats • Engaging with state-of-the art knowledge – recency / accuracy • Digital citizenship: ethics
  • 24. Rubric Strategies • Students’ performance in final products are scaled according to a set of criteria that clearly define what is the range of acceptable to unacceptable performances and/or information products look like • Compare with previous assignments where no instructional intervention took place See Kathy Schrock’s Guide to Everything •
  • 25. CriticalThinking:MakeThinkingVisible​Rubric%20HCTSR.pdf
  • 26. Evidence through formal feedback strategies Examples • simple feedback survey every term on what the library does “best” and “least” to help students with their school work • Feedback at end of instructional unit: what helped and did not help • Feedback on quality of resources • Feedback on what students could do better at • Use of “How School Libraries Help” Survey instrument (Ohio / Australia) • Judicious use of evidence: How learning is enabled and hindered
  • 27. Student Learning Through Ohio School Libraries “Now, remember one time when the school library really helped you. Write about the help that you got, and what you were able to do because of it”. TODD, R. & KUHLTHAU, C. (2005). Student learning through Ohio school libraries, Part 1: How effective school libraries help students. School Libraries Worldwide, 11(1), 89-110.
  • 28. Students’ Voices •1015 I I would have never have found the sources I needed for the paper if not for the school library, the public library, and the helpful people who staff those places. They even showed me steps to work through to do the research and complete it. They ran some classes specifically for us and they were very very very helpful •1075 Well one time was when we had to do a report on Animals and I had no clue how to find information about my animal. So Mrs. X helped me find the information on the computer. On the internet if its true or false – to learn that is very important at school.
  • 29. Students’ Voices •3532 I was working on History project and we had to have several sources (primary documents) and the librarians instructed the students on how to go about finding the information we needed and compiling it into something worthwhile. I was able to combine everything together and earn a good grade. •100 I needed help doing a project for government that had to do with presidents and they had so many books and then the librarian helped me find web sites. But then they gave me ways of sorting through all the ideas to extract the key points so I could get my head around it all
  • 30. •433 It helped me find info on racism for a 10th grade project, and made me really think about that, especially I didn’t realize how racist some of my ideas were •6256 Sometimes I argue with my parents about things and use the library to check if my opinions are true •1408 One time, I wanted books on Teen Suicide and they were able to get some for me. It was helpful of them as my cousin died that way and I could figure it out a bit more for me. •6110 I guess I’ve discovered one thing. When I do my research well, and do the proper thing with note cards and writing in my own words, I seem to just get to know the stuff and that makes a big help when I talk about the stuff in class. Students’ Voices
  • 31. Personal Reflection •What did I learn? What worked well? •What pleased me? •How do I know that it was successful? •Who can/did I share my success with? •What did I do that helped me to: - prepare for the task - create new ideas - practise new skills - improve existing skills - modify my learning habits - find relevant information or materials - organize information or materials - correctly summarize information - understand unfamiliar ideas - take relevant notes - use my existing knowledge or skills - represent information in meaningful ways? •What could I do differently next time? •What factors influenced my ability to learn? •What might help me learn more about this?
  • 32. Teacher-Related Strategies • Number of collaborations • Instructional focus of collaborations (curriculum standards and inquiry- based interventions • Subject / grade levels • Teacher observations of student engagement • Teacher summary of outcomes • Teacher summary of benefits
  • 33. Planning a change Acting & observing the process & consequences of the change Reflecting on these processes & consequences Replanning Acting and observing again Reflecting again Replanning... ACTION RESEARCH (Kemmis & McTaggart, 2005)
  • 34. TOOLS FOR DATA GENERATION collection & analysis
  • 35.
  • 36. Sticky note & collaborating apps • to collect student feedback, capture data and publish as is • Padlet • Thoughtboxes • Google Docs (Drive) • Qikpad • Zoho • Edmodo
  • 37. Blogs & wikis & pics • Edublogs • Wordpress • Blogger • Wikispaces • Glogster • Pbworks • Flickr • Photobucket
  • 38. presentation & publication Tools for reporting
  • 39. LibGuides
  • 40. Pdf in slideshare by Jennifer LaGarde
  • 41. Self publishing
  • 42. Powerpoint slides as pdf
  • 43. Infographics report/ using
  • 44.
  • 45. Shout it out loud! The essentials of dissemination •School library website •Reports •Newspaper articles •Research journals, featured research columns •Teacher journals, discipline-based newsletters •Exhibitions •Photo voice & digital story telling
  • 46. “If living is seeing I’m holding my breath In wonder – I wonder What happens next? A new world, a new day to see”