Mary Kay Biagini: Director, School Library Certification Program, SIS, University of Pittsburgh Daniel Hood: Information Literacy Fellow, Carnegie Mellon University Samuel Jackendoff: Curriculum Supervisor for Library & Info. Sciences, Pittsburgh Public Schools Development of a K-12 Information Literacy Scope and Sequence for School Libraries
The AASL Standards utilized throughout our document are the old ones. The new Standards weren’t finalized until we had finished all but the final editing and the approval. We could not afford to go back and re-edit this. We solved this by listing the new standards after the old ones in the appendix.
We did not have time/budget to add a column for the “eligible content” for PSSAs.
This document was created by – and at the behest of – Pittsburgh’s teacher-librarians to help them to address the needs of our school-learning-community.
Pittsburgh, like many other urban school districts, has a mobile student population . The teacher-librarians want to help to provide a uniformity of skills learned during the students’ progression through the grades, so that no child will be left behind when (s)he moves between grades, teachers or schools.
There are differences among schools within the Pittsburgh Public Schools. These differences are based upon some combination of the following:
The physical differences of the school buildings;
The demographics of the student population;
The academic and social needs of the students within those buildings;
The differences in the site-based budgets;
Mandated usage of varying resources; and/or
The scheduling of student classes.
Consequently, there are great differences among the school levels in the school libraries – and the roles of the teacher-librarians – from school-to-school . Some elementary and middle schools have a full-time teacher-librarian. Other schools have a teacher-librarian on faculty only half-time, or even just one day per week. Several schools have no teacher-librarian at all. Some elementary and/or middle school teacher-librarians teach each student once per week, while some teach each student three or even five times per week. In fact, within any given school in the District, there may be differences as to how various grade levels utilize the library. This is at the discretion of the school schedule and the principal.
Develop your Preliminary Documents (Preface, Acknowledgements, etc.)
Explain the reality of your situation
Make sure to build in flexibility in your language. Make sure that your document allows you to retain the flexibility required to do a good job
… this document has been designed to be used as a set of recommended guidelines and lessons – rather than as a list of requirements – for the individual teacher-librarians.
As mentioned previously, it is understood that due to the lack of uniformity within the District, not every teacher-librarian will be able cover every topic listed in the Instructional Timelines for each grade every year . This means that the teacher-librarians need to monitor and reassess their students’ abilities and needs each year, and throughout the year. If a student – or a class – didn’t learn a prerequisite skill, then the teacher-librarian should actively introduce or reinforce the “missing” skill or knowledge.
It is important that it be understood that the Instructional Timelines in each chapter are strictly guidelines, and teacher-librarians cannot be expected to adhere to them without deviation . For example, in Chapter 6 it is suggested that bibliography/Works Cited be formally introduced in fifth and sixth grade, with the topic to be reinforced after that. This is not to say that the general topic cannot be introduced informally – or even formally, if the students can handle it – at a much earlier age.
… Along with each concept, questions are suggested to help stimulate learning activities and discussions. These are only suggested questions, as each teacher-librarian will have to adjust the questions to the level of the class and the depth to which that class can comprehend the conceptual framework and the material . Also within these matrices is a listing of which of the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) Academic Standard(s) correlate(s) with the listed skill or knowledge.
Build in Flexibility
Find a descriptive title Utilize an appropriate vocabulary to be descriptive, to grab attention and to ensure acceptance.
There is a great likelihood that the administrators that have to approve your document won’t take the time to read it.
Many administrators and teachers may find your document scary and threatening – you are proposing to teach material that falls into everyone else’s curricula (research, reading, science, etc.)
A Rationale , stuck at the beginning might be all you need to push the document through.
In our case, it was.
Rationale for Information Literacy for Life-Long Learning
Skills and techniques learned and practiced in the library will lead our students towards information literacy, i.e., the wherewithal needed to collect, evaluate, process and appropriately utilize information of all sorts throughout their lives. While the library may be at the center of the “web of learning,” the long-term mission of the Pittsburgh Public School’s (PPS’s) library program is to provide our students with the resources and skills needed to succeed in today’s information-based society .
Methods and strategies for information retrieval and processing – as well as the love of literature and reading – promulgated by the PPS’s library program cannot stand in isolation, and should not be considered ends in themselves. The teacher-librarians of the District are fully cognizant of this, and expend a great deal of time and energy working collaboratively with other teachers in the learning community. In other words, the entire library experience should supplement – not supplant – any learning done within other curricula.
This scope and sequence – created for PPS’s library program – provides teacher-librarians with the roadmap needed to plan our students’ library experiences, thus ensuring students an exposure to the range of information literacy and library-specific skills needed for life-long learning.