SLA 2010 Miranda McKearney Keynote Address
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SLA 2010 Miranda McKearney Keynote Address

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Miranda McKearney's keynote address from the School Library Association's 2010 Weekend Course, The Magic Threshold: Step Into New Worlds

Miranda McKearney's keynote address from the School Library Association's 2010 Weekend Course, The Magic Threshold: Step Into New Worlds

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  • Slightly surreal - Last here at a Bhuddhist retreat… Since I always start with sharing what I’m reading …TNH’s Mindfulness and Peter James Love how complicated human beings are…amazing job to be helping those rich and complicated young minds develop and they’re going to have to be remarkably nimble in these strange times…create our shared reading list
  • Tricia has asked me to talk today about my main area of work and interest – partnerships between schools and libraries And I’ll take a look at this new world we find ourselves in and what opportunities and challenges there are for school librarians But want to start with a quick heads up on some key bits of research which highlights the challenges/ the job to be done, and important things to think about Most research material on literacy teaching and research focus on the technical aspects of reading. But There have been some important relevant pieces of research in the last 2/3 years looking at the affective aspects of reading – motivation , attitudes, reader self concept. And that’s backed up by evidence from important programmes and projects working on the ground with young people. Last year did some research with ACE with the public on their perceptions of reading… Fascinating about the value some people attached to it in their lives, how they felt they had become readers, and the barriers to enjoying and doing it
  • This is what we all hope the young people we work with will be saying by the time they’ve grown up, isn’t it? Love when you see people reading walking along, bumping into people
  • Research identifies the importance of the work you’re doing in helping lay crucial reading foundations
  • And sobering how the less engaged readers in the sample saw their experiences in school as having thrown up barriers to their development as readers… We’re all in this room about breaking those barriers down, about not letting them get thrown up in the first place
  • Need research to understand the barriers so we can dismantle them. Some big challenges to our practice and perceptions And to understand the new world young people are living in Loads of research around, around NLT 2008 research showed significant chunk of young people don’t associate reading with positive things – significant proportion see readers as geeks, or as clever people not like them. Gap between what they read in leisure time – magazines, websites, emails – and what they think is valued at schools/ makes people a reader – fiction. If young people don’t see being a reader as something desirable, encouraging them to become a reader won’t work. Highlights importance of validating what they do read, so they recognise them selves as a reader and associate it with positive things. and Role models: 24% of YP don’t see a link between reading and success. Sig opportunity to use role models to shift this and to inspire reading, especially family members, for teens as well as younger children. Critical to get YP oin FSM more likely to pick sports role models. Even if celeb not famous for reading skills Y/p would follow their reading reccs., Writing seen as bigger issue – standards improved up to 2006 but levels not increased recently. Just like reading skills, crucial for education and economy. 75% said they write regularly using tech based formats. 56% has a social networking profile, 24% their own blog. People with a blog more likely to enjoy reading and writing
  • research confirms the importance of motivation and enjoyment for children’s reading development and attainment And the transforming role of particular books.  In case studies, teachers indicate that …books chosen help many children to experience the kinds of emotions and responses which can hook them into reading Children’s reading attitudes have changed as a result of their involvement with the project.  The percentage of children judged to be ‘can and do’ readers increased from 49.56% to 77.88% in the project year Oct 07 to Jul 08 (statistics included in the attached report). Attainment levels have been significantly raised as a result of the project.  Over 67% of children progressed by 2 or more National Curriculum sub levels (statistics included in the attached report) There is a significant role for creative teaching approaches for children’s engagement Continuing to develop their professional knowledge of children’s literature should be a priority for teachers in order for them to engage children with books and reading Teachers’ knowledge and experience of books affects the extent to which they use literature in the classroom The Power of reading project has developed teachers’ confidence and enjoyment of teaching and their sense of autonomy
  • UKLA’s Teachers as Readers: highlighting the critical importance of teachers’ book knowledge , where of course the LRC mgr can play a huge role. Plus underexploited potential of public library partnerships. And then the importance of a sense of young people’s agency…
  • So…we know just how essential it is for young people’s life chances, to be skilled readers. Don’t need in this audience to tackle that one!! But this recent research and fast moving world throwing up profound challenges around how we engage young readers: rapidly changing world which means reading is changing, so old ways of encouraging won’t work…becoming more social; technology changing way we read, no longer linear (Times research). Encouraging lots of writing too, lines becoming blurred. . need for self direction and autonomy. Need new solutions in a new world, need to redefine reading and how we promite it. Great to see xxxxx in School Librarian on using IPOds etc
  • We know lots of children falling through the reading net, think reading just isn’t for them, families not seeing reading as an activity to share. How to solve this? Whose responsibility? new understanding of what it means to be a reader in 21C…importance of ownership, creativity, social engagement, different kinds of literacies, seamless blend of on and off line, importance of talking and writing… Still so much of the dialogue still assumes it’s the responsibility of schools alone to make sure every child grows up to lvoe reading. . I think this is dangerous. And the challenge is so big need all the bits of the system working together. Very interested in UKLA research making clear distinction between learning to read and choosing to read, between a reading instruction and a reading for pleasure agenda. And lots of bits of our system have an ability to support that r for pleasure agenda and an interest in prosecuting it. Reading shown to have a relationship to crime and democratic participation. It’s important in so many contexts and therefore to whole range of partners . We need to hardwire partnerships into cracking the problems and I suggest the school/public library one is pivotal and in need of development, with SLS as essential glue. So how might that pivotal partnership flourish? V interested in Estelle Morris’ comments at recent SRC conference about perception that schools and libraries have moved apart, that schools don’t need public libraries – and that libraries are not seen as modern/fit for purpose
  • Of course lots of libraires aren’t fit for purpose still, but hugely changing. I’m sure you’ll all have links, and some of you like Tricia prob from pub lib background? One of great things in TRA is you get quite an overview across country, and time after time in library programmes we work on, hear about children/y like these Bolton and kent y people – disengaged young people who are reshaping library spaces … buying stock for the library, helping programme reading activities. doing things which amaze the school, but which could really helps schools in terms of a reading for pleasure agenda that highlights need for fostering readers’ independence and sense of agency, a shift in control So libraries’ are changing in ways that could really help schools and really important shared concerns – community cohesion …student voice .
  • So what else do p libs bring to the party? If you’re from Norwich, Manchester, Newcastle you’ll know there’s been a quiet revolution in the building stock…obviously not universal. Some councils are investing majorly…Manchester £165m, Birmingham major new central library But much more than that… In last fifteen years, UK libraries have effecting a radical shift in how they promote reading and learning. No longer just rows of books – the best are buzzing community reading hubs. much livelier offer – challenges, reading groups, rhyme times, author events, promos, family reading support, adult literacy support, youth offer etc a much more developed national scene – shared programmes, often developed with support of third sector. With us involve 725k children in SRC. With BT do BookStart. universal computer access, vital for those young people with no computers at home more understanding of outreach/ connecting to communities and more embedded in local authority partnerships.Big family emphasis
  • New public library activity has so much to offer schools, needs to be plugged into a seamless way of working that joins up the support of public, school and SLS. If all these bits worked together as a whole offer teachers serious package to help boost young people’s love of reading and writing . Reader motivation and development CPD Curriculum support Comm partnerships/extended services Family involvement Lots of important work happening already – hands up if doing joint work around library led local book awards around Carnegie But I’d urge that we need broader strategic understanding and action on uniting the bits of the system to develop reading in children and families in a radically improved joined up way. This is happening with schools and museums, CCE’s work on creative learning…whole new era of joining up around informal education…bonkers for it not to happen with libraries where the joins are much more obvious because reading such a central pivot Hands up if you’re happy that you are working with the community library in the most effective way possible.Log for later action planning
  • Some dreams …imagine if… Different professional relationships based on new understanding of joint work. And importance of creating seamless sense for child of their reading world – blur the boundaries between home, school, the community…Systematic planning for developing reading for pleasure alongside reading instruction. Shared planning systems between schools, SLS and public libraries, with partnership work hardwired into key plans like School Improvement Plan, championed by head teacher and local authority children’s plan. Linked to new inter agency planning frameworks to develop a rich extended school offer . Every child joined to library at birth and helped by joint work libraries and children’s centres etc to arrive at school knowing how to handle and enjoy books, rich vocab through library rhyme times Mike Rosen’s nice idea of when children join the school, family get a map of what reading support entitled to, and reminder about using library …reminders all the way through – eg older children using libraries’ homework clubs UKLA TAR found “serious under use of valuable service and expertise” so…a regular joint school/library visits/events programme – librarians to schools, schools taking classes to library, shared author events, parents being involved in library joining vents, rich out of school learning opps being promoted harnessing potential of public libraries’ community based activities – volunteering/ developing citizenship, creative opps through working with authors, bloggers, manga artists, joining reading groups… and libraries’ partnerships being wired into support for families with parents in prison, youth services for young teen parents etc
  • Making these dreams a reality PP Estelle Morris new pivots for joint work So, getting practical….how do we take existing seeds of great shared work to a whole new level, so every child has seamless reading and writing inspiration wherever they are?. Changes I described earlier mean that there are crucial new pivots for joint work.Really practical places to start. Want to talk about a large scale, catalytic programme - SRC, implications . far beyond the six week summer holiday . Important in terms of cuts – libraries talking about consolidating/building on what they already have . EM and Alan Y core is primary school age 4-11, but extends younger through partnership with Bookstart Book Crawl and older through extra materials for Year 6 to Year 7 transition. Linked to Booked Up. Encourages new students to use the library at secondary school and continues links with local libraries Shared school/library activity in summer and autumn term. Community sandwich. Free/ disadvantaged families. PP Space Hop this year’s theme – some authorities linking to+ adult literacy 6 Book Challenge PP skip SHop PP UKLA research in 2009 - shows how partners can work together in really practical way. Headline findings Children: helps prevent the summer reading dip PP Children : widens reading repertoire, boosts inclination to read at home and talk about reading. Crucial activity in relation to speaking and listening PP: libraries a rich resource for children and teachers PP: links – new understanding of rich possibilities of the pub library world PP: headteacher : critical diff made by support of headteachers – school imp plan the aim So……research shows impact and importance of joint work. Can be a community reading sandwich, all about reading for pleasure – lots of joint promotional/prep work in the summer term – using website etc , family reading Webster primary school in Moss Side has 240 pupils; over ¾ of the children have free school meals and almost all are from ethnic minority groups – over ¾ speak EAL. They have mobile library visiting the school, and good links with the Powerhouse Library for young people.   Jeremy Jackson (head teacher at Webster Primary School), his team and the library staff involved understand the importance that environmental factors, social interactions and teaching of library skills play in the development of lifelong readers and library users.  This is demonstrated in the working relationships between the school and the libraries that serve the local community.  They used the SRC for the first time last year, to encourage more families to use the libraries over the summer. The children who undertook the Challenge were extremely positive; they responded well to the incentives and rewards.  Those who undertook the Challenge read far more books over the summer than those who did not.    Jeremy and his team value the local library services and the working relationships that have been made between Webster primary school, the mobile library services and the Powerhouse Library.  They feel that the Summer Reading Challenge has raised pupils’ awareness of what libraries have to offer.  They recognise that they can now build on the successes of this year’s Challenge by being innovative and finding further ways to engage parents and children.   Re: Miranda/SLA -- he's very happy for any of the quotes from him in last year's impact research to be used in Miranda's speech. Are you OK to pull these out for Miranda, or would you like me to??   He also adds that what they have learned over the past couple of years is the importance of:   a) promoting SRC as a school-wide thing, rather than to individual classes   b) The importance of getting parents on board, and selling SRC to the whole family -- hence this year they are holding a parents' meeting about it.
  •   Teachers/head teachers encouraging children in the whole school to join the SRC; promoting it using materials from libraries (and library visits),  free downloadable materials (from www.summerreadingchallenge.org.uk /schools ), and using the website (currently www.spacehop.org.uk ), following up in the autumn term with a celebration of the children’s achievement, and classroom displays for showing children’s favourite books they read during the summer (our A1 classroom wall display) Some schools are targeting groups of children who they think would particularly benefit from taking part and are working with libraries to give them special attention and support: for example children from EAL families, or families with difficult circumstances where there is little support for children’s reading and no library membership. SRC is being used for transition from primary school to secondary school. School librarians or transition staff will hand out information when Year 6s visit for induction; they encourage the children to take part in the SRC and use activities/prizes as a starting incentive for library use when they start school.  We have our new resources for this age group, which are a simple set of activities based on the theme, just to get the kids thinking creatively about stuff they’re reading, so a more grown-up extension of the Challenge.  This year’s is called Space Hop – the Next Frontier. Werneth School in Stockport (transition).  Just heard about a model being researched in Durham, too, using a learning project with families who aren’t library users, to extend the impact of the SRC. Nikki Heath at Werneth is on the SLA committee so she’ll be there at the conference.  She did a workshop on transition at our conference (and came with us to the pub afterwards!).  These are all the ways Nikki will using Space Hop to encourage year 6s to join at their library, and to encourage their reading in their school library in the autumn: She prepares a CD to give to year 6 teachers & liaises with them at local library class visits.  It includes: lesson plans/activities from TRA, plus the link to the www.summerreadingchallenge.org.uk website so that they can see what else is there;  a letter telling them about the SRC, and the link to the Space Hop website, too. Also a Welcome Lesson on there so they can see what Nikki has taught. From Nikki: I will be speaking to the students at their local library class visit and will be going in to assemblies with the local librarian to push it too, where I can get out to do so! We'll have part of the Y6 taster day looking at the Challenge and I'll do some follow up work in Y7 when they arrive. This will probably only be very brief, but I will also have a party for those who completed it, too! She’ll be using the Next Frontier notebook and Book Buzz cards to get pupils talking about books they’ve read, and recommending their favourites to eachother.
  • Have gone into some depth because SRC libraries’ biggest shared reading promotion, happening pretty much everywhere and really immed and practical opps to use it to strengthen partnerships. Kent and Reading Recovery team, research schools in Brighton and Wilts put in SDPlan But of course rich tapestry of p/lib work to tap into across the year for all ages – pre school, primary, secondary. Research recc around following up SRC with all year round book talking activities… in some areas schools and SLSs linking into public libraries’ Chatterbooks reading groups . Knowlsey here? Chatterbooks Parton JW, established in libraries, quality tool, support network, newsletter, training, models of good practice, lots of publisher offers. As youth led as possible. PP Extended this year in BC CC pilot, linking English schools with schools abroad to share experiences of texts and big issues – important links to Global dimensions aspect of the curriculum, and community cohesion now subject of inspection, Here are children at the pyramids Now being offered to schools…. Material in your pack. 36 SLS. Really interesting models targetting diff groups – gifted and talented to the unengaged. Staffs fyunded by Adult and Comm Learning to run 2x5hr Widcer Family Learning sessions delviered by lib staff and including a lib vist. Sefton running as part of the extended school activity with teachers walking groups to the librayr afetr school. Derby school and librayr jointly run boys groups targetting schools identified by CYPS with wide gaps between boys and girls’ achivements. Stope running groups in schools for 6 weeks at a time – diff themes, like Yuk, revolting… There's Great Baddow High School in Chelmsford - they plan to run a Chatterbooks group for children from year 6 from their feeder primaries. Tx Tricia: a bit more info on this…”school librarians who have been to our training and are planning to use Chatterbooks with their feeder primaries as part of their transition work” – an example of a school and how they would use it for transition work would be great   Lynne: could you give me a bit more detail on Werneth School in Stockport (transition). ?   Very many thanks Mx
  • 5500 young people helped create 20 cutting edge library environments called HeadSpace. 2000 took up creative participation leadership roles. In four regions we involved 9000 young people in new creative activities. We launched groupthing.org for word based creativity, and ran a great writer mentor programme for 9 young people. One mentor, the rapper Akala, was so fired up he adopted us as his Pledge charity.
  • And on the teen side: masses of libraires running postive activities for y people - SRC volunteering, new ways of shaping lib service, .GT for teenagers, helping libraries blend on and off line reading promotion…another pivot for joint work, in use in third of public librayr network
  • So a rapidly changing world, and a challenge to change working practices Exciting to see such great work emerging Research suggests that these are the success factors of work to promote reading for pleasure And everything we’ve done indicates what you already know that the more strategic you can be – getting the support of the HT, getting partnership working into the School Improvement Plan , has to be the way forward Will be fascinating to see reccs of School Library Commission
  • So…I’ve been talking a long time…time for a bit of action…stand up and give yourself a shake Have a postcard…going to spend five mins on action planning…in the world of a new govt, new research, breathtaking tech change, how can you as a school librarian position the work you are doing most effectively? What changes do you need to make? What immediate opportuniteis are there for you? As the landscape shifts and we all try to read the runes, got to be really canny to ensure chidlren get the school library provision they need…and get the right supporters – have to applaud the efforts of writers – Alan Gibbons and Mike Rosen who really understand the issues Can you demonstrate clearly what difference you make in relation to reading and information literacy ? If the evidence base for the improtance of the school library is not strong enough, do you need to put in palce a new evaluation strategy Can you evidence the cost effectiveness of the school librayr in terms of being a conduit for collective buying across the school and the value of your skills to evaluate the best resources to buy? Can you play a key role in managing the VLE? - could you be part of strategic new thrust on community partnerships, working with SLS and public library? Could planning on SIPLan and library plan have a point of intersection? What role can you play in extended projects if you’re in a school with Diplomas or the Baccaleuriate How can you link your young people into new reading based volunteering opportunites in the community? As more academies come on stream, how can you harness case studies of those great academies where the librayr is really integrated in school improvement . If you’re from SLA, how can you get closer to the Academies? How can you harness the new research which shows the improtance iof reading for pelasure – how can you be a powerful reading champion in the school and beyond
  • So…front foot…not is not the time to despair or retract … In times of change it’s the innovators who’ll survive. Who knows, in ten years time we could be like Japan where 50% of all nvoels are published on mobile phones… But I’d content that in the maelstrom of all that change, there is an enduring human need for the human contact that can turn a child into a reader….Charlie LeadBetter, improtance of relationships in effective public servies. You are a crucial animateur and champion of reading. story, for narrative, for reading …which this quote sums up. We are hardwired for it, and you have an enduring role to play in helping every child, from whatever background, harness its joys

SLA 2010 Miranda McKearney Keynote Address SLA 2010 Miranda McKearney Keynote Address Presentation Transcript

  •  
  • Reading expands horizons
    • “ This is my brain, I’m taking
    • in all the information and I’m
    • always reading, I’ll read
    • anything. And it’s made from
    • when I was at school, the
    • world was quite small and it’s
    • really, really made the world
    • so much bigger in lots of
    • ways”
    • regular reader
  • Lost without a book
    • ‘ It’s that important. It’s
    • just like losing an arm, it’s
    • a comfort blanket, it’s
    • escapism, it’s a friend, it’s
    • having something wherever
    • I go, train, waiting,
    • whatever, odd days in the
    • bag, it’s just always there.’
    • Highly engaged reader
  • crucial reading foundations “ I think there is a period from about 8 to 17, just the books you read then just sort of define you, somehow”
    • “ Making a mess of reading aloud”
    • “ You almost have a mental block where you think I wasn’t very good at that, I can’t do that
    • now, and it brings back bad memories”
    • “ School books stop you reading books of your own choice”
    barriers to reading
  • Pointers from recent research and projects
    • Importance of self perception
    • Role models
    • Writing
  • NLT research
    • 73% of young people have books of their own
    • Book ownership is related to enjoyment of reading, attitudes towards reading and reading frequency
    • Reading attainment was related to:
      • having a computer
      • having a desk of one’s own
      • having books of one’s own
      • having access to newspapers and magazines
  • Pointers from recent research
    • importance of motivation and enjoyment for children’s reading development
    • transforming role of particular books. 
    • significant role for creative teaching approaches
    • professional knowledge of children’s literature should be a priority for teachers
    • teachers’ knowledge of books affects the extent to which they use literature in the classroom
  • Pointers from recent research
    • Reading teachers’ develop genuinely reciprocal reading communities
    • Reading for Pleasure Agenda:
    • can positively impact upon children’s attainment and desire to read
    • is distinct from, although closely related to a reading instruction agenda
    • is strongly influenced by relationships:
      • between teachers
      • between teachers and children
      • between children and families
      • between children, teachers, families and communities
  • UKLA research
    • The ‘Teachers As Readers’ report recommends:
    • developing reading for pleasure alongside reading instruction
    • making time and space to build reciprocal reading communities in classrooms
    • blur the boundaries between children’s home and school reading
    • foster children’s autonomy as readers who can exercise discrimination and choice
  •  
    • “ In the last three decades schools and libraries have gone through periods of hectic change…they have moved apart and there is a perception that schools don’t need libraries; that libraries are not modern or fit for purpose” Baroness Estelle Morris
  • “ It’s not a space that the adults have made – it’s for us by us”
  • Libraries are changing!
  • Libraries helping teachers
    • Reader motivation and development
    • Continuing professional development
    • Curriculum support
    • Community partnerships/ extended services
    • Family involvement
  •  
  • New pivots for joint work
    • “ The Summer Reading Challenge is a sign post pointing the way to an enduring relationship between schools and libraries.”
    • Baroness Estelle Morris
    • “ The Summer Reading Challenge is one of the UK’s largest creative reading opportunities available to children. It introduces children to one of the best free resources for their minds on their doorsteps – the local library - and focuses on developing skills that are vital for their life chances.”
    • Alan Yentob, Creative Director of the BBC
      Next year we will hold a parents’ meeting to promote the Challenge. Jeremy Jackson, Headteacher   We would like to have a special meeting next year, some kind of high profile event with the school, like you do with world book day. Sarah Jones, Y4 teacher   when the kids feel that they have a personal relationship with you as their librarian they are more likely to bring books back, to visit again... all that is going to help with their self-esteem... this is somebody that is helping me who is outside of school, there is a chance to connect more with the parents... so it just connects things... community cohesion. Claire Trivino, Manager of the Children’s Mobile Library Summer Reading Challenge
  •  
  •  
  • Public libraries and young people
  •  
  • Reading based community activism
  • New survey on volunteering and creative activities
    • Young people want more activities: music 89%, games 88%, reading 74%
    • Public libraries rated best place to go 81%
    • Want to volunteer: 70% said would make them more confident
    • “ it will bring back community spirit”
  • 21C reading for pleasure
    • Created with young people
    • Peer to peer promotion
    • Social, active, relaxed, fun
    • Experiential, live, contact with authors
    • Volunteering opportunities
    • Supported by parents as role models
    • Multi platform/ redefining reading
    • Multi agency
  •  
  • “ To read is to soar, to fly to a point of vantage”