The powerofourvoicesbsla2010

  • 572 views
Uploaded on

 

More in: Education
  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Be the first to comment
    Be the first to like this
No Downloads

Views

Total Views
572
On Slideshare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
0

Actions

Shares
Downloads
0
Comments
0
Likes
0

Embeds 0

No embeds

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
    No notes for slide

Transcript

  • 1. Saskatchewan Library Association Conference
    • The Power of Our Voices: Public and School Libraries Acting on Behalf of Marginalized Adolescent Youth
    • Dr. Barbara McNeil
  • 2.  
  • 3.  
  • 4.  
  • 5.  
  • 6. Why I am here
    • I am here to share, listen, learn, and act. I am here to
    • engage in a number of problem-posing scenarios with you,
    • on matters that I believe are important to us.
    • I am here because I acknowledge that I am part of two
    • socially conscious professions: teaching and librarianship. I
    • am here because I believe we need to continuously work
    • toward the creation of a democracy—one in which all
    • participants can—have the opportunity to—influence the
    • decisions that affect their lives (Busching and Slesinger,
    • 2002, p. 6).
  • 7.
    • The research that I will speak about today emerges from
    • an explicit intention to work with a group of adolescent boys
    • who struggle in key areas of school literacy. Ensconced in
    • a vision of social justice, our research was premised on the
    • idea that success in key areas of school literacy would
    • better equip the boys to participate and influence the
    • decisions that affect their lives and that of others.
  • 8.
    • Referring to the idea of social justice, educational theorist
    • and philosopher, Maxine Green (1998), explains that
    • “ Justice….is incarnated in human action in spaces where
    • people live together. Most of us would agree that there
    • should be an equitable, a fair distribution of goods and
    • services..., and surely, people ought not to be used for
    • others’ benefit, certainly not without being consulted.
    • Indeed, one of the requirements in a just society ought to
    • be that everyone affected by a decision ought to have a
    • part in making the decision” (cited in Ayers, Hut, & Quinn,
    • 1998, pp. xxviii-xxix).
  • 9.
    • At the heart of this vision of democracy are the values of
    • justice, equity, and citizen responsibility, In a true
    • democracy, the core values of justice and equity are
    • embodied in daily life. Who gets what would be determined
    • through a political process involving participation among
    • equals (Ayers, Hunt, & Quinn, 1998) rather than by a
    • system such as we have now in which all might be able
    • participate , but a few benefit from privileges that are
    • denied others.
  • 10.
    • I believe that participation in democratic processes aimed
    • at creating justice and equity are accelerated with, by, and
    • through literacies and cultural practices that can be
    • learned in schools. This includes the development of skills
    • and abilities to read the word and the world critically ,
    • and understand the codes of the language of power so that
    • they might be able to use it for self-actualization and social
    • transformation for justice and equity.
  • 11.
    • However, we continue to have systems of domination that
    • create the unequal social conditions that we have now and
    • the students most affected by these conditions are not
    • getting the full benefits of schooling—especially in key
    • areas such as literacy. Failure to receive the full benefits of
    • schooling in literacy curtails the possibilities of students
    • such as those who participated in the study. Limited literacy
    • achievement can inhibit participation in democratic
    • processes and students’ capacity to work for social
    • transformation that could lead to greater equity in school
    • and in life and society.
  • 12.
    • Through our research, we wanted to teach in opposition to the
    • existing inequality of races, classes, and sexes. Like
    • Busching and Slesinger (2002) we believe that failure to teach
    • critically against domination in society means allowing dominant
    • forces a free hand in school and out (p. 7). With such beliefs,
    • our research, our actions, and that of the student participants’
    • were premised on four dimensions of engagement:
  • 13.
    • Empathy —Compassionate concern for others’ welfare
    • Critique —A critical discussion of taken-for-granted issues and
    • institutionalized decisions
    • Hope —Learning from others who have successfully challenged
    • undemocratic and unjust systems (e.g., Woodrow Lloyd, Tommy
    • Douglas, Viola Desmond, Maude Barlowe, Martin Luther King
    • Jr., Mahatma Ghandi, Eleanor Roosevelt, Nelson Mandela…
    • Action –Doing something to further a just society
  • 14. The Library Connection: On Whose Behalf Are you a Librarian?
    • Librarian, Anne Sparanese (2008) explains that she became an
    • activist librarian when she realized that her library was not
    • serving “the whole of our community” (p. 74). In order to create
    • change, Sparanese operationalized the four dimensions of
    • engagement suggested by Cherland and Edelsky (2002) .
    • Empathy for those underserved or not served at all (the 40
    • % of the community who were African-Americans, as well as the
    • Spanish-speaking communities).
    • Critique of her library’s service to minority populations
    • Hope —Deciding to remedy the situation and taking action
    • by applying for grants to support collection development and
    • outreach programs to the targeted groups.
  • 15. The Library Connection: On Whose Behalf Are you a Librarian?
    • Data from Statistics Canada (2009) reveal that Saskatchewan
    • Has a graduation rate of approximately 70%. Therefore, 30 % of
    • our students are dropping out of high school.
    • Among the provinces, Prince Edward Island recorded the
    • highest high school graduation rate at 85.4%, while Alberta
    • recorded the lowest at 65.0%.
    • The high school graduation rate at the Canada level
    • in 2006/2007 was higher for females (75.3%) than for males
    • (67.6%) (Statistics Canada http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily- quotidien/090827/dq090827d-eng.htm
  • 16.
    • We work with students who drop out of school and
    • who are vulnerable to dropping out (Bowlby, 2008).
    • We have information from Statistics Canada that indicates that the majority of those who drop out are
    • young men (Bowlby 2008); we know that many young women drop out too and we are equally concerned about them.
    • Data from Statistics Canada (2008) indicate
    • that:
    • Potential employers avoid hiring high school drop-outs.
    • The unemployment rate among drop-outs is double that of other 20-24-year-olds, a reality that will be reflected in their earnings and their prospects in the longer term.
  • 17.
    • I have looked at considerable literature and understand
    • that multiple factors contribute to dropping out of school
    • (poverty, school climate and social adjustment, learning
    • difficulties, family difficulties and/or responsibilities,
    • personal problems, and anti-social behaviour (Epstein, 1992;
    • Fortin, Marcotte, Potvin, Royer, Joly 2006; Jonker 2006; Terry 2008;
    • Wise, 2009).
  • 18.
    • I agree with Wise (2009) who states that “adolescent literacy [is] the
    • cornerstone of student success” (p.369) and hold the view that students
    • who are successful in schools are less likely to drop out.
    • I am here because I believe that librarians, teacher-librarians,
    • teachers, and others can work together to foster the development of
    • higher levels of literacy for adolescents who struggle in this area.
  • 19. Literacy Results for Saskatchewan 2008
    • Nearly 4 out of every 10 children in SK are struggling readers i.e. their reading skills significantly hinder their ability to master the curriculum (average classroom).
    • Reading performance has declined from 2000 to 2006.
    • Many youth have not made the transition from “learning to read to reading to learn” at age 9 or 10.
  • 20. Saskatchewan Literacy Results continued
    • Strong correlation between performance and socio-economic status
    • Vulnerable children are not distributed evenly
    • The proportion of struggling readers in some schools is as high as 75%
  • 21. On Whose Behalf are you a Librarian?
    • In view of the data presented, I pose the following questions:
    • -How should libraries respond ?
    • -What can school and public libraries do to help?
    • Will we stand by or is it possible to use the power of our voices to act
    • on behalf of Saskatchewan children and youth—especially those who
    • are dropping out of high school and are likely to be vulnerable to
    • unemployment, poverty, and other socially limiting possibilities? Can
    • we become activists and advocates for change?
  • 22. Using our Voices to Support Saskatchewan’s Children and Youth
    • The subtext of the research project that I will present is one
    • of activism, advocacy, and collaboration in order to make
    • the world—our society—a more democratic and socially
    • just place. The research positions school and public
    • librarians and their libraries as agents of positive social
    • change—agents that can actively work with and alongside
    • marginalized boys and girls who struggle in key and other
    • areas of school literacy . The research report invites
    • participation in dialogue about the library’s role in educational
    • equity for vulnerable and other youth in Saskatchewan.
  • 23. The Social Location of the Researcher
    • I am a liminal individual, I am in a state of transition—I stand on the
    • threshold of multiple worlds professionally and socially —I occupy an
    • in-between space—one of alterity; one that is ambiguous (that of the
    • Other). For example: I am a teacher, teacher-librarian, and now an
    • assistant professor who draws on both of these worlds constantly and
    • simultaneously Ladson-Billings and Donnor, p. 281, 2005; Turner,
    • 1967; Wynter 1992).
    • I am shaped by my class, ethnicities, gender, language, race, and the
    • historical moment in which I live. I am deeply interested in actualizing
    • a critical, caring, moral and generous pedagogy (Frank, 2004; Freire,
    • 1970, McLaren, 2003; Noddings, 2005).
  • 24.
    • With further reference to my social location in this research, I
    • was, to use the words of Tedlock (2005), a participant observer
    • and actively engaged in the observation of my participation.
    • Tedlock refers to this practice as autoethnography (p. 467).
    • Tedlock explains that during this activity, the researcher reflects
    • on and critically engage with her own participation within the
    • ethnographic frame. Autoethnography transcends self-
    • referentiality by engaging with cultural forms that are directly involved in
    • the creation of culture (2005, p. 467). In our case, joint construction of
    • meaning via socially conscious young adult literature within the
    • sociocultural framework of literature circles.
  • 25.
    • The issue becomes not so much distance, objectivity, and
    • neutrality as closeness, subjectivity, and engagement. This is a
    • change in approach that emphasizes relational over
    • autonomous patterns, interconnectedness over independence,
    • translucence over transparency, and dialogue and performance
    • over monologue and reading (p. 467).
  • 26.
    • This kind of participation and observation of participation
    • allowed me and the other researchers to connect the
    • autobiographical impulse (the gaze inward) with the
    • ethnographic impulse (the gaze outward) (Tedlock, 2005,
    • p.467).
    • Anchored in critical pedagogy (Freire, 1970; McLaren,
    • 2003) the researchers were knowing and active
    • participants in the process of acting upon our ideas about
    • social justice and equity.
  • 27.  
  • 28. Genesis of the research
    • Grounded in my lived experiences in secondary schools, trends in the
    • literature ( Bussière, Cartwright, & Knighton, 2004; OECD, 2009; Lemke
    • et al., 2001; Lemke & Gonzales, 2006). This literature states that the
    • boys who struggle the most in literacy, mathematics and science—all
    • areas assessed by PISA—are those who are poor and experience
    • hardships based on their social class, ethnicity, and/or race.
    • The research is also grounded in observations from my home and
    • community life that supports what the literature says about gender and literacy
    • (Asselin, 2003; Haupt, 2003; Jones, Fiorelli & Bowen, 2003; Scieszka, 2003;
    • Welldon, 2005).
    • The research stems from a desire to foster direct instructional collaboration
    • between principals and teacher-librarians and to see greater interaction
    • between teacher-librarians and marginalized adolescent boys.
  • 29. A team Approach
    • This research flows from a desire to foster direct instructional
    • collaboration between principals, teachers, and teacher-librarians .
    • The principal holds considerable power in schools. The teacher-
    • librarian has power. The school library, where it exists, can be site of
    • tremendous power. The classroom teacher has power. The power of
    • these key actors can be combined to enact meaningful
    • transformations and advance the scholastic achievement of all
    • students.
    • In view of some of challenges that face marginalized adolescent boys
    • who struggle in school literacy, we believe that a team approach is
    • essential for success. Our research operationalized a team approach
    • as we engaged leadership for literacy and social justice.
  • 30.  
  • 31. Literacy and Why Adolescent Literacy Matters Now
    • If knowledge is power, then literacy is the key to the kingdom.
    • For centuries, the ability to read and write have given power to
    • those who possessed it, although access to book learning—indeed, to
    • books themselves—was often limited to a privileged minority…We
    • inhabit a digital age in which written texts are more widely and
    • democratically available than ever before. A prerequisite for access,
    • however, is still the ability to comprehend and appraise those texts.
    • Individuals who lack strong skills for finding, understanding, and
    • evaluating written information cannot easily arm themselves with that
    • information or use it to advance the causes they value. And because a
    • free society depends on informed and autonomous citizenry, the loss
    • is not theirs alone…Literacy is the cornerstone of freedom….
    • Ippolito, Steele, Samson, 2008: Harvard Educational Review, 78,1, 1-5.
  • 32. Research on Gender and Literacy
    • Rattner (2008) states that it has been known since the
    • 1960s that mostly working-class boys and working-class
    • minority boys who are slower to read and require more
    • intervention. However there has been little mainstream
    • concern over the situation until fairly recently….
    • *****Breaking News…
    • The Toronto District School Board is seeking to
    • act…What is driving the actions of the Board… See The
    • Globe & Mail , Wednesday, October 21, 2009: Ontario
    • Board pushes for ‘boy friendly’ school (A1 and A 7).
  • 33. Theoretical Frameworks
    • This research is grounded in three theoretical perspectives.
    • The critical pedagogy of Paulo Freire (1970), a theorist who linked literacy to social justice and others in the critical tradition (McLaren, 2003; New London Group, 1996; Peterson, 2003).
    • Advocacy research . We base our work on the literature surrounding the emerging role of the school principal as practitioners and advocates for social justice (e.g.see Fennell, 1999; Shields, 2009). We use the work of Theoharis (2007) who theorizes that principals must act as advocates of social justice to enact meaningful change.).
    • In addition, we draw on critical and sociocultural perspectives of
    • literacy (Gee, 1996, 2003; 2004; Lankshear, 1997; Rogoff, 1990;
    • Tatum, 2005)
  • 34. Theoretical Frameworks
    • The research project was an expression of praxis—reflection and action upon the world (Freire, 1970) in order to transform it, to make it better for some marginalized adolescent boys who struggled in school literacy and through it, my colleagues and I wanted, among other things, to use critical pedagogy to engage the participants in their own acts of criticality and transformation.
    • Critical pedagogy serves the goal of social justice because it is intended to and can lead to what Freire (1970) refers to as conscientização —“learning to perceive social, political, and economic contradictions, and to take action against the oppressive elements of reality” (p. 19).
    • The problem we perceived was the growing number of marginalized
    • adolescent boys who are not succeeding in school literacy and we
    • wanted to take action.
  • 35. Perspectives on Literacy
    • The research project was guided by sociocultural and critical views of literacy (Freire, 1970; Gee, 1996, 2004; Gutiérrez, 2008; Rogoff, 1990; Vygotsky, 1978). These complementary views of literacy assert that school literacies are situated, embodied, constructivist, dynamic sociocultural practices (listening, speaking, thinking, reading, writing, responding, valuing, acting etc.).
    • These sociocultural practices are learned from and between people (e.g., more knowledgeable adults and peers) over extended periods of time as they interact and carry out a variety of activities geared toward constructing meaning, acting in, and upon the world.
  • 36. Research Questions
    • Can literature circles promote the literacy growth and development of struggling and marginalized adolescent boys?
    • What is the influence of engaging a principal, a school library specialist, and a participant researcher in a literature circle designed to promote critical reading engagement among a group of striving/marginalized adolescent boys?
    • What can we learn from/about the literacy practices and the interactions of adolescent boys engaged in a critical literature circle characterized by caring, connectedness, and explorations of the social construction of gender/masculinities, social justice, and equity?
  • 37.
    • Qualitative case study (Stake, 2005; Merriam, 1998, 2002).
    • What is a case study?
    • Qualitative research specialist Robert Stake (2005) argues
    • that case study is not a methodological choice but a “choice of
    • what is to be studied…By whatever methods, we choose to
    • study the case . We could study it analytically or holistically,
    • entirely by repeated measures, hermeneutically, organically or
    • culturally, and by mixed methods—but we concentrate, at least
    • for the time being, on the case ….As a form of research , case
    • study is defined by interest in an individual case, not by the
    • methods of inquiry used. The name “case study” is emphasized
    • by some of us because it draws attention to the question of what
    • specially can be learned about the single case (p. 443).
  • 38.
    • The driving question behind our research is: What can be
    • learned about the single case? With regard this research , the
    • case is that of two university researchers, a high school
    • principal, and 11 adolescent Grade 10 boys who struggled in
    • key areas of school literacy: reading and writing.
    • Stake (2005) argues that a case is “bounded system” – it has
    • particularities and or features. In this instance, the case is
    • bounded by gender, grade, and performance in school literacy.
    • Stake identifies three types of case studies: intrinsic,
    • instrumental, and collective/multiple case study. Ours is an
    • Instrumental case study.
  • 39.
    • This means that though we had an intrinsic interest in the case,
    • in what happened between these particular boys, the
    • researchers, and the school principal, we were also interested in
    • the case based on its potential to provide insight into an issue:
    • that of leadership, literacy, and social justice. In this scenario,
    • the case as Stake points out, “ facilitates our understanding of
    • something else. The case still is looked at in depth, its contexts
    • scrutinized and its ordinary activities detailed, but all because
    • this helps us pursue the external interest” (p. 445). For this
    • research the external interest is growth and development of
    • school and other literacy practices among marginalized
    • adolescent boys through the intentional acts of the school
    • principal and significant others.
  • 40. Research Methods
    • Selection of the principal
    • We selected the principal using reputational sampling (Merriam, 1998).
    • We worked with a particular principal at a particular school based on
    • his reputation as a caring instructional leader, committed to progressive social
    • change and the overall principles of social justice.
    • Also, the principal had a reputation (among students and teachers) for being an
    • individual who “stood up for his principles.”
    • The principal is the leader of a secondary school in a mid-size urban centre
    • that serves a diverse student population (e.g., socioeconomic, cultural,
    • linguistic, racial) and offers a broad range of programs.
  • 41. Research Methods
    • Using the sociocultural process of literature circles (Daniels, 2002), the researchers, principal and students engaged in a book discussion group based on their reactions, thoughts, ideas, and feelings to the socially conscious texts they read.
    • In addition to guiding the students to make personal connections to the literature they read (e.g., social, class, race, culture, and gender), we were very much interested in initiating explicit conversations about social justice issues and the boys’ social construction of gender and masculinities.
  • 42. Research Methods
    • The researchers provided a corpus of young adult literature from which
    • students made their selection but which were also suited to the purposes of the research.
    • We invited the boys to make suggestions about the texts they would like to
    • read. We were interested in knowing who they are, their interests, and dreams
    • The books were carefully and purposefully selected to match the reading
    • interests and development of the boys in the literature circle.
    • Since we decided to work with marginalized boys who struggled in
    • literacy, we chose a wide range of texts that were accessible and that
    • were from a variety of genres (e.g., novels, picture books, song lyrics,
    • and poetry etc.
  • 43. The Students
    • Diverse grade 10 boys who were identified through conversations between the teachers
    • and the principal based on the students’
    • achievement in school literacy.
    • Striving readers and writers with rich and complex lives (e.g., some of the boys were workers, others provided care to their siblings..).
  • 44.  
  • 45. Why Literature Circles? (Daniels, 2002)
    • A recognized pedagogical framework that:
    • Gives choice in the selection of reading materials (interest and needs)
    • Allows dialogue and meaningful exploration of texts.
    • Can be used to create a caring, nurturing, reading community
    • Encourages critical examination of texts
    • Is sensitive to problem-posing learning
    • Rests on making connections: text-to-self, text-to-text, text-to-world
    • Can lead to sustainable literacy development
  • 46. Literature Circles: Modified and Contextually Tailored
    • Group meetings aim to be open, natural conversations about books, so personal connections, digressions, and open-ended questions are welcomed.
    • The teacher(s) serves as a participant, guide, a member and is conscious of his/her power…Constant negotiations. This is a change…(We were more than facilitators). We provided guidance. We were in dialogue, we were in relationships with the students.
    • Evaluation is by teacher observation and student self-evaluation .
    • A spirit of playfulness and fun pervades the room.
  • 47.  
  • 48. Enhancing Literature Circles
    • Our literature was infused with the pedagogy of care (Noddings, 1996,
    • 1999, 2005).
    • Care Theory:
    • “ Caring now refers properly to the relation, not just to an agent who “cares,” and we must consider the response of the cared-for…
    • Children need more than a “caring” decision; they need the continuing attention of an adult who will listen, invite, guide, and support them” (Noddings, 1999, p. 13).
  • 49. Enhancing Literature Circles
    • A caring relation requires the engrossment and motivational displacement of the one-caring, and it requires the recognition and spontaneous response of the cared-for (Noddings, 1996, p. 38).
    • Caring practices cannot be separated from knowing or doing because, in the human world, caring practice is always bound up in knowing and doing (Benner & Wrubel 1989, cited in Benner, Gordon & Noddings,1996).
  • 50. Enhancing Literature Circles
    • When we care-when we are in the position of carer—our
    • consciousness exhibits two fundamental characteristics. First, we are
    • in a receptive mode. We attend non-selectively to the cared-for. We
    • are, at least momentarily, engrossed in the other’s plans, pains, and
    • hopes, not our own. Second, we feel our motive energy flowing toward
    • the other. We want to help in furthering the plan, relieving the pain, or
    • actualizing the hope .
    • Literature circles as we constructed and lived them, allowed us to
    • demonstrate that “ to live is not only to be in relationship, but to turn
    • toward the other, ready to meet him or her where he or she is. To
    • live is to care deeply for the other ” (Buber, 1970, p. 67).
  • 51. Enhancing Literature Circles
    • We predicated our literature circles on a moral vision that included
    • generosity.
    • Frank (2004) explains that:
    • “ Generosity is the opposite of [the] humiliation of feeling trapped in a
    • situation you did not create and cannot control . Generosity asserts its
    • own choice, trusting the promise that if you choose for the other, you
    • will make your own life possible” (p. 22).
    • I take up Frank’s vision of generosity and its invitation to see ourselves
    • as hosts , those temporarily in a position to offer care and to see our
    • students as guests—those needing care (2004, p. 10-11).
  • 52. Enhancing Literature Circles
    • Enhancement of the literature involved the fusing of Freirean (1970)
    • ideas with those of Noddings (2005) and Frank (2004) through an
    • orientation that all three advocate: the importance of dialogue. Roberts
    • explains that to “live well, on the Freirean view, is to transform the world
    • Through reflective, critical, dialogical action (2000, p. 43).
    • Dialogue was fundamental to literature circles with the boys. We acted
    • as communicative beings, willing to enter relationships with one
    • another and create a social world around or mediated by the use of
    • texts (Roberts, 2000).
    • Frank argues that people realize themselves through dialogue with
    • others (and others have the power to block this realization). He states
    • that “what dialogue enables, refusal of dialogue can deny” (2004, p.
    • 23). Our literature circles allowed for self-disclosure—for students to
    • speak.
  • 53.  
  • 54. The Literature Circles
    • The literature circles were scheduled to take place twice per month
    • from 3:30 – 5:30 P.M.
    • The library/reading specialist selected and ensured the
    • books were made available to the students...
    • The principal worked with boys at school (reminders, equipment…)
    • The professor of Educational Leadership purchased the
    • snacks
    • We all read the books and prepared our literature circle role
    • requirements
    • We started by meeting in a classroom and then moved to the school’s Food
    • Laboratory….A tremendous gift! It was located across from the library.
  • 55.  
  • 56.  
  • 57.  
  • 58. A Principal’s Journey
    • In the Circle…
  • 59.  
  • 60. September 18
    • I was thinking today about what participation in this project will do for me personally and professionally.
      • I am hoping that professionally I will become a better teacher/administrator. Most of my day and time is spent allowing teachers to do their job. I support what they do; their good work; and attempt to inspire and challenge them to grow professionally.
      • Participation will help me grow as I will learn, apply and practice a new strategy that of Literature Circles.
      • I will see a master in action, Barbara McNeil, and will learn from her and be able to model this with classroom teachers.
      • Personally, it will also have an impact as I will have the opportunity to make close connections and perhaps develop relationships with a group of boys that I normally would not have the opportunity to engage with in a meaningful and on-going way.
  • 61. October 8
    • The boys asked about getting time to read in class. Some do not have a quiet place to read at home. I mentioned that I could provide a quiet place on a regular basis after school.
    • This speaks to our middle class assumptions about everyone having a quiet home and can find a place to read or do homework if they want.
    • I also know that some of these boys don’t have a positive adult male role model in their life. If I can be that and make a difference, however small, what a great reward that would be!
    • Today I heard a complaint. Students complained about the way they were being taught. Complained about the undemocratic process of having to read books that did not engage them; having no choice in the books they are to read.
      • How do I respond as principal?
    • Should students have choice all of the time? Can we balance a required reading list with a literature selection that allows for choice?
  • 62. November 4
    • The project is of personal interest that has professional implications. I am volunteering my time and the school division has allowed the project to take place at FWJ but I am not getting paid for it. So, how do I justify ‘stealing’ moments during the day or week to feed my interest in it?
  • 63. November 5
    • I’m trying to be a literacy leader. Yet, literacy leadership impinges on my other job. How do I get them to move closer together i.e. make my established or recognized traditional role more that of a literacy leader?
  • 64. November 26
    • Met with a teacher earlier today to review her professional growth plan. She indicated that a boy in her class likes to read but is very reluctant to pick a novel. I pulled “Bang!” off of my shelf and suggested that she show him the book and see if he ‘bites’.
    • It was a great feeling to be able to do this.
  • 65. February 10
    • I now have novels in my office. Titles we’ve read; accessible text.
    • It has changed my discourse with teachers. I can suggest titles and ways of teaching; I can speak to students re: titles and make suggestions.
        • Some students with behavior issues are struggling readers. As I work more with some of them, I ask the question about their ability to read. Some are confused by the question but for others they admit their difficulty.
    • How can I engage my teachers and students to reader for enjoyment? Does the fact that reading is always connected with looking for answers to questions prevent students to read for enjoyment?
    • I look at how I perform masculinity. What kind of male role model do I want to be for these young men? It’s important that they respect me as most young people look up to their principal. When they place me on a pedestal, I want to be worthy of the honor. If I am doubly blessed in that they want to emulate me, I want to be proud of the young men that they have become.
    • I feel the same way about my son. This speaks to the personal nature of education and the personal nature of the project.
  • 66. February 24
    • As Barbara and I spoke afterward, we discussed that the project would probably work better if it was embedded within a classroom; where the researcher or research team could work with a classroom teacher.
  • 67. May 19
    • I have coached basketball at many levels and have developed relationships with students. But through the vehicle of lit. circles, the discussion has immersed us in a variety of topics so our relationship is deeper and richer as we speak openly.
    • The literature is the catalyst. The boy of 15 and the old man of 54 are in a dialogue about significant issues not just making small talk.
  • 68. Personal/Professional Reading
    • My personal & professional reading has changed.
    • I have read all or parts of:
      • The Literacy Principal
      • Deeper Reading
      • Do I Really Have to Teach Reading?
      • I Read It but I Don’t Get It!
      • When Adolescents Can’t Read
      • Reaching Reluctant Young Adult Readers
      • Readicide: How schools are killing reading and what you can do about it.
  • 69. Impact at School Level
    • Used children’s literature in school PD
      • To introduce the importance of read alouds and to demonstrate that significant issues can be discussed using low vocabulary texts, I read aloud Dr. Seuss “Hooray for Diffendoofer Day!”
      • Used “The Mysteries of Harris Burdick” (no text) to examine Reader Response; provided copies to ELA teachers
  • 70. Preliminary Insights:
    • Successes:
    • The boys read, conversed, connected, related to us and each other in nuanced ways, and grew..
    • The researchers also grew…Greater insights about the
    • complexities of literacy learning with adolescent boys in an
    • urban high school
    • The research was inspiring. We had fun! We are on to something…
    • Challenges:
    • Time (to read, for dialogue, to respond, for relationship work…)
    • Material conditions of the participants
    • Research design (e.g., after school versus in school)
    • Limitations of the research and researchers
    • Visiting the public library is not a sociocultural practice for any of the boys. The school library was not a significant part of their lives when we began the research. There was some change as the research progressed.
  • 71. We have learned that…
    • Literature circles are an effective strategy for supporting struggling/striving marginalized adolescent boys in school literacy
    • Students need choice in what they read, in how they respond, and act on their engagements with texts…
    • Teachers need support: they cannot do it alone. The teacher- librarian is indispensable and necessary for the success of teachers and students…
    • We agree with Kuhlthau (2007) that teams of three are effective for supporting students’ development in literacy and other areas
    • The classroom remains a site of oppression and disadvantage
  • 72. We have learned that…
    • Teachers’ power can be used in harmful and helpful ways.
    • Guided assistance in literacy needs to be strengthened in high schools in explicit, and structured ways
    • Together, principals, teacher-librarians and teachers create a super power—an effective team for positive and progressive transformations in literacy achievement
    • Research can be a way of moving toward others, of bearing witness, of starting conversations, of walking with and alongside striving/struggling high school students in agential ways…
  • 73. We have learned that…
    • In addition to critical approaches, the success of literature circles is
    • significantly enhanced through the explicit operationalization of
    • humanist approaches: articulating pedagogies of love/humanization
    • (Freire, 1970); pedagogies of care (Noddings, 1996, 1999, 2005; and
    • pedagogies of generosity, Frank, 2004) and more…
    • When people learn as a cultural process, whether this be cooking,
    • hunting, or how to become literate , they learn through action and talk
    • with others, not by memorizing words outside their contexts of
    • application or doing work sheets…
    • The texts students use need to resonate with their unfolding identities
    • (Gee, 2004, p. 39). Situated language and learning: A critique of
    • traditional schooling by J. P. Gee.
  • 74. Lingering Questions, Lingering Tensions
    • 1. Our decision to have a boys only literature circle
    • 2. Issues of ethnicity, language, race, and social
    • class
    • 3. The material conditions of the boys involved in
    • our study….
  • 75. Some things that are certain
    • There are many youths who struggle with literacy in our province
    • They need considerable support
    • Schools can do more
    • Schools cannot do it alone
    • Teachers need support
    • We need community-based actions—a wider circle of people to
    • enact empathy, critique, hope, and action in service of youth…
  • 76.  
  • 77.
    • Like Sparanese (2008), I believe in the Moon school of library
    • activism. Moon was activist editor of Library Journal ,
    • (1959). He stated that “Libraries had a simple choice: to be a
    • significant thread in the social fabric, an active participant in
    • social change or to face an inevitable passage toward
    • irrelevance, possible extinction or an existence as some
    • kind of grey historical relic.” Socially responsible librarianship is
    • librarianship that is part of—not dissociated from society and its
    • needs, problems, and concerns. Intellectual freedom is not the
    • only ethic of the profession of librarianship and it is not a purist
    • value, separated from other democratic principles and human
    • rights.
  • 78.
    • Literacy is a human right and there are many
    • Saskatchewan youth who are leaving school without it and
    • who are dropping out of school because they are wrestling
    • with it and need the support of many caring people and
    • institutions in order to be successful at and with it.
    • Can the library be partners in action with schools (through
    • literature circles) and/or other sociocultural arrangements
    • to support the literacy growth and success of marginalized
    • adolescent boys and girls in Saskatchewan?
  • 79. Social Dreamers
    • I am a social dreamer…and you, I hope are likely one too.
    • Therefore, I ask you to dream and enact socially conscious
    • dreams with me. Together, let us enact the role of
    • activist librarians to promote democracy and an informed
    • citizenry (through literacy) as our main and most important
    • mission. Let us work together to do even more to help
    • Saskatchewan children and youth and in this way build a
    • better Saskatchewan—one that is more socially just and
    • equitable than it is today.
  • 80. Appreciation
    • Thank you….We would love to hear your
    • questions….
  • 81. Thank You!
  • 82. The Teacher-librarian as a leader
    • Some literature on school librarianship emphasize collaboration
    • between teacher-librarians and school principals (American Association
    • of School Librarians (AASL) & Association for Educational
    • Communications and Technology (AECT), 1998; Asselin, Branch &
    • Oberg, 2003; Doll, 2005; Farmer, 2007; Oberg, 1995).
    • Farmer for instance, suggests that “teacher-librarians need to align
    • their efforts with those of the school in general, and specifically those of
    • the principal” (p. 1). Farmer (2007) rightly contends that “the chief
    • catalyst for collaboration at the site level [of the school] is the principal,
    • who serves as the vision-maker and curriculum facilitator” (p. 1).
  • 83. School Leadership for Literacy and Social Justice
    • This research project is premised on the view that collaboration
    • b etween teacher-librarians and principals can be extended into the
    • area of research as well as in the joint planning and implementation of
    • an instructional program such as the literacy project described herein.
    • In other words, the teacher-librarian and the principal can model
    • instructional collaboration, by teaching students together in order to
    • challenge inequity in student achievement (McKenzie, Christman,
    • Hernandez et al., 2008).
    • Through such collaboration, each person will better understand their
    • respective roles and see the rich potential of what they can achieve by
    • working together to combat social injustices.
  • 84. School Leadership for Literacy and Social Justice
    • Within the conceptual framework of social justice and
    • democratic schools furnished by Theoharis and Shields, a
    • good school is one where inclusive community is anchored
    • in strong interpersonal relationships and ongoing dialogue.
    • In this environment, principals and teacher-librarians, as
    • critical educators, are called to address issues of equity
    • and social justice.
  • 85.
    • References
    • Birdsall, W. F. (1982). Librarianship, professionalism, and social change. Library Journal , 107, 223-226.
    • Busching, B & Slesinger, B. (2002). “It’s our world too”: Socially responsive learners in middle school language arts . Urbana, IL: National Council of Teachers of English.
    • Bussière, P., Cartwright, F., & Crocker, R. et al. (2001). Measuring Up: The performance of Canada's youth in reading, mathematics and science, OECD PISA study—first results for Canadians aged 15 . Ottawa, ON: Minister of Industry (Statistics, Canada). Retrieved February 2, 2009 from http://www.pisa.gc.ca/pisa/81-590-xpe.pdf
    • Bussière, P., Cartwright, F., & Knighton, T. (2004). Measuring Up: Canadian Results of the OECD PISA Study, the performance of Canada's youth in mathematics, reading, science and problem solving—2003 first findings for Canadians aged 15 . Ottawa, ON: Minister of Industry (Statistics,Canada). Retrieved March 31, 2009 from http://www.pisa.gc.ca/81-590-xie2004001.pdf
  • 86.
    • References
    • Daniels, H. (2001). Looking into literature circles (Video VHS). Portland, ME: Plum Pictures (Producer) for Stenhouse Publishers.
    • Daniels, H. (2002). Literature circles: Voice and choice in book clubs & reading groups . Portland, ME: Stenhouse Publishers.
    • Freire, P. (1970). Pedagogy of the oppressed (Myra Bergman Ramos, Trans.). New York: Continuum.
    • Freire, P. & Macedo, D. (2003). Rethinking literacy: A dialogue. In A. Darder, M. Baltodano & R. D. Torres (Eds.), The critical pedagogy reader (pp. 354-364). New York: Routledge Falmer.
    • Gee, J. P. (1996). Sociolinguistics and literacies: Ideology in discourses (2 nd ed.). London: Taylor & Francis.
    • Gee, J. P. (2004). Situated language and learning: A critique of traditional schooling . London: Routledge.
    • Haraway, D. (1991). Siminas, cyborgs, and women. New York: Routledge.
    • Iverson, S. (2008). Librarianship and resistance. In A. Lewis (Ed.) Questioning library neutrality: Essays from Progressive Librarian , 25-31.
    • Merriam, S. B. (2002). The nature of qualitative inquiry. In S. B. Merriam and Associates, Qualitative research in practice: Examples from practice, pp. 3-17. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
  • 87.
    • References
    • Sparanese, A. (2008). Activist librarianship: Heritage or heresy? In A. Lewis (ED) Questioning library neutrality: Essays from Progressive Librarian , 67-81.
    • Stake, R. E. (2005). Qualitative case studies. In In N. K. Denzin and Y. S. Lincoln (Eds.), The Sage handbook of qualitative research (3 rd ed.), pp. 443-466. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
    • Statistics Canada. (2009). Public school indicators . Retrieved May 4 from http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/090827/dq090827d-eng.htm
    • Tedlock, B. (2005). The observation of participation and the emergence of ethnography. In N. K. Denzin and Y. S. Lincoln (Eds.), The Sage handbook of qualitative research (3 rd ed.), pp. 467-481. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.