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Trab Todd Ross


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Trab Todd Ross

  1. 1. Dr Ross J Todd Director, Center for International Scholarship in School Libraries Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey [email_address] Evidence-Based practice: Building the Future of School Libraries
  2. 2. Björk “New Worlds” in “ Selmasongs” album <ul><li>“ If living is seeing </li></ul><ul><li>I’m holding my breath </li></ul><ul><li>In wonder – I wonder </li></ul><ul><li>What happens next? </li></ul><ul><li>A new world, a new day to see” </li></ul>
  3. 3. Dhinawan: Learning as a Beautiful Thing <ul><li>Never neglect our children </li></ul><ul><li>Our country is the children that we work with </li></ul><ul><li>Recognize their footprints – intervene early </li></ul><ul><li>Help them become the strong tree that can sway in the wind </li></ul><ul><li>Listen to the beat of their drums; tap into the rhythm of their lives </li></ul>
  4. 4. 50 Years of Research “ With the school library literally the heart of the educational program, the students of the school have their best chance to become capable and enthusiastic readers, informed about the world around them, and alive to the limitless possibilities of tomorrow.” Mary Gaver, 1958 Gaver, M. Every child needs a school library. Chicago, ALA, 1958 Gaver, M. Effectiveness of Centralized Library Service in Elementary Schools. Rutgers University, 1963
  5. 5. School Libraries Work <ul><li>Since 2000, 17 USA state-wide studies undertaken </li></ul><ul><li>Over 8,800 schools </li></ul><ul><li>Elementary, middle and high school libraries serving an estimated 2.6 million students </li></ul><ul><li>Diverse funding authorities: Sate Libraries, Education Dep’ts, Federal; professional school library associations </li></ul>
  6. 6. The Evidence Says …. <ul><li>In schools with well stocked, well-equipped school libraries, managed by qualified and motivated professional school librarians working with support staff, one can expect: </li></ul><ul><li>Achievement scores tend to be 10 to 20% higher than in schools without this investment; </li></ul><ul><li>Development of capable and avid readers; </li></ul><ul><li>Learners who have a range of information skills to transform information into personal knowledge; </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers who are partnering with school librarians to create high-quality learning experiences based on curriculum standards; </li></ul>
  7. 7. High Levels of Student Achievement <ul><li>Qualified full time, school librarian; </li></ul><ul><li>Active instructional program of information literacy; </li></ul><ul><li>Collaborative teams; </li></ul><ul><li>Providing training in information literacy to the teaching faculty; </li></ul><ul><li>Appropriate budget allocation to ensure currency and quality of the collection; </li></ul><ul><li>Strong networked information technology infrastructure </li></ul>
  8. 8. Evidence-Based Practice Our claim School libraries are an integral part of education reform and leaning. The reality? “ Occupational Invisibility” (Hartzell) Others often do not see depth, breadth and importance of what School Librarians contribute to learning in schools
  9. 9. I am a school librarian at x. We are confronting a serious situation. Because of the financial crisis in our community, our school board is addressing a proposed substantial budget cut. One of the proposed strategies is to drastically reduce the number of school librarians in the area claiming that school libraries can be effectively run by aides to ensure services are provided and the library remains open. This is despite the fact that I have hundreds of students in the library each day, and teach in the classroom regularly. I have voiced my objection, but I am told that such reductions will not impact on student learning in any way.
  10. 10. Key Challenge <ul><li>Move from rhetoric and advocacy: “Without evidence, it is just another opinion” </li></ul><ul><li>Essential to establish an evidence /accountability framework </li></ul><ul><li>Move from a “tell me” framework to a “show me” framework </li></ul>
  11. 11. Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) What is it?
  12. 12. Evidence-based Practice <ul><li>Evolving concept in many professions and new approach to professional practice </li></ul><ul><li>1990s: Medicine and Health Care professions; gradual take up by many service professions </li></ul><ul><li>2000+ Evidence-based education - international movement </li></ul>
  13. 13. Evidence-Based Librarianship <ul><li>“ an approach to information science that promotes the collection, interpretation, and integration of valid, important and applicable user-reported, librarian-observed, and research-derived evidence. The best-available evidence moderated by user needs and preferences, is applied to improve the quality of professional judgments” </li></ul><ul><li>Andrew Booth </li></ul>
  14. 14. SLs and Evidence-Based Practice <ul><li>Evidence FOR Practice: using research to inform and shape our day-to-day practice </li></ul><ul><li>- reading, information literacy, information technology, instruction; </li></ul><ul><li>- combine research, professional wisdom, and experience </li></ul><ul><li>Evidence IN Practice: gathering data from our practice, and using data within our schools – diagnosing learning needs, matching collection to curriculum </li></ul><ul><li>Evidence OF Practice: impacts of our libraries on student achievement; gathering local evidence as well as national evidence to document outcomes; build cycle of improvement </li></ul>
  15. 15. Evidence-Based Practice <ul><li>Gathering evidence in your local school, district, region and country </li></ul><ul><li>You are able to provide convincing evidence that answers these questions: </li></ul><ul><li>“ What differences do my school library and its learning initiatives make to student learning outcomes? </li></ul><ul><li>“ What are the differences, the tangible learning outcomes and learning benefits of my school library”? </li></ul>
  16. 16. Traditional Approaches to Evidence in Libraries <ul><li>Emphasis On Information </li></ul><ul><li>Number of classes in the library </li></ul><ul><li>Number of library items borrowed </li></ul><ul><li>Number of students using the library at lunch times </li></ul><ul><li>Number of items purchased annually </li></ul><ul><li>Number of web searches </li></ul><ul><li>Number of books lost </li></ul><ul><li>Students suffering from PFS and LHC </li></ul><ul><li>And who can do this? </li></ul>
  17. 17. Learning-Centered Approach to Evidence <ul><li>Emphasis on Knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Understanding how school libraries help kids learn: Learning outcomes in terms of </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Information processes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Information technology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reading </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Knowledge outcomes – mastery of content </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Independent learning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Attitudes and values of information, learning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Self concept and personal agency </li></ul></ul><ul><li>And who can do this? </li></ul>
  18. 18. Evidence-Based Practice
  19. 19. Evidence-Based Practice Evidence FOR Practice Evidence IN Practice Evidence OF Practice
  20. 20. Delaware Research <ul><li>Survey of 154 public school libraries in Delaware (Todd, 2004-2006) (100% of public school libraries) </li></ul><ul><li>39% indicated school library had helped students develop skills in locating, selecting, organizing and evaluating information </li></ul><ul><li>37% indicated school library helps improve reading skills; interest & motivation in reading </li></ul><ul><li>22% indicated improvement in technology skills </li></ul><ul><li>16% indicated development of positive attitude to libraries </li></ul><ul><li>4.5% indicated outcomes linked to curriculum standards and goals </li></ul>
  21. 21. Evidence of What? STUDENT Learning Literacy Living STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT: Learning Outcomes Knowledge-based Outcomes EFFECTIVE READERS AND WRITERS: Literacy PRODUCTIVE MEMBERS OF SOCIETY: Living
  22. 22. EBP – Key Activities <ul><li>Identify indicators and outcomes of learning – What is the evidence about? What are you looking for? </li></ul><ul><li>Systematically locate evidence – what evidence collecting strategies will you use? </li></ul><ul><li>Analyze and organize the evidence </li></ul><ul><li>Summarize the evidence: what claims can you make </li></ul><ul><li>Present the evidence: tell the evidence story </li></ul><ul><li>Celebrate achievements </li></ul><ul><li>Reflect on evidence to reshape practice </li></ul>
  23. 23. Typical Evidence-based Practice Strategies <ul><li>Knowledge and skills mapping </li></ul><ul><li>Analysis of student bibliographies </li></ul><ul><li>Reflection sheets / self assessments </li></ul><ul><li>Comment Cards </li></ul><ul><li>Minute Papers </li></ul><ul><li>Rubrics </li></ul><ul><li>Checklist of current skills and acquired skills </li></ul><ul><li>Process / search journals </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge tests (pre-post) </li></ul><ul><li>Teacher feedback </li></ul><ul><li>Video Recording of learning process (for showing at staff meeting) </li></ul><ul><li>Summaries of evaluations of presentations and products </li></ul><ul><li>Surveys / questionnaires (e.g. variation of Ohio Study) </li></ul><ul><li>Informal comments / anecdotes </li></ul><ul><li>Before / after brainstorming records </li></ul><ul><li>Portfolios of work </li></ul><ul><li>Photo voice </li></ul><ul><li>Exhibitions, displays of products plus student self assessments of learning </li></ul><ul><li>Motivation Board (staff room and library) </li></ul><ul><li>Individual Instruction Review </li></ul>
  24. 24. How do effective school libraries help kids? <ul><li>25,574 students tell us! </li></ul><ul><li>1,812 teachers tell us! </li></ul>
  25. 25. Student Learning Through School Libraries <ul><li>3 Studies: </li></ul><ul><li>Ohio: 13,123 valid student responses and 879 teacher responses (39 schools) (2003-4) </li></ul><ul><li>Australia: 6,718 valid student responses and 525 teacher responses (46 schools) (Lyn Hay, 2004-5) </li></ul><ul><li>Delaware: 5,733 valid student responses and 408 teacher responses (13 schools) (2005-6) </li></ul>
  26. 26. 7 Sets of “help” <ul><li>how helpful the school library is with getting information you need </li></ul><ul><li>how helpful the school library is with using the information to complete your school work (l.L skills) </li></ul><ul><li>How helpful the school library is with your school work in general (knowledge building, knowledge outcomes) </li></ul><ul><li>How helpful the school library is with using computers in the library, at school, and at home </li></ul><ul><li>How helpful the school library is to you with your general reading interests </li></ul><ul><li>How helpful the school library is to you when you are not at school (independent learning) </li></ul><ul><li>General school aspects –Academic Achievement </li></ul>
  27. 28. Benefits <ul><li>Base line data: picture of school libraries across Portugal </li></ul><ul><li>Importance of every school participating </li></ul><ul><li>Identify strengths and weaknesses </li></ul><ul><li>Establish gaps and needs </li></ul><ul><li>Strategic planning / Annual goal setting and action plans </li></ul><ul><li>Establishing cycle of continuous improvement </li></ul><ul><li>Documenting and accountability </li></ul><ul><li>Evidence-based advocacy </li></ul>
  28. 29. EBP – Issues and Concerns <ul><li>Accountability: Threat to professional authority and autonomy </li></ul><ul><li>I have to be a researcher: intellectual skills required to undertake evidence-based practice are information literacy competencies </li></ul><ul><li>Our goal is lifelong learning: so how can we identify outcomes? Providing learners with explicit feedback on how they are learning in their formative years is fundamental to effective teaching and learning </li></ul><ul><li>EBP detracts from the job! What then is your job? </li></ul><ul><li>Time: I do not have time to do this. </li></ul>
  29. 30. Alternatives to Evidence <ul><li>Beating around the bush </li></ul><ul><li>Jumping to conclusions </li></ul><ul><li>Throwing my weight around </li></ul><ul><li>Dragging my heals </li></ul><ul><li>Pushing my luck </li></ul><ul><li>Making mountains out of molehills </li></ul><ul><li>Bending over backwards </li></ul><ul><li>Jumping on the bandwagon </li></ul><ul><li>Running around in circles </li></ul><ul><li>Mouthing on </li></ul><ul><li>Pulling out the stops </li></ul><ul><li>Adding fuel to the fire </li></ul><ul><li>Going over the edge </li></ul><ul><li>Picking up the pieces </li></ul>
  30. 31. Evidence-Based Practice “ Without quality we are condemned to be ordinary. With it, we have a shot at being part of the future” (Koechlin & Zwaan) Todd’s Variation “ Without evidence we are condemned to be oblivious. With it, we have a shot at being part of the future
  31. 32. A TIME OF BOLD ACTION <ul><li>“ Upon this gifted age, in its dark hour </li></ul><ul><li>Rains from the sky a meteoric shower </li></ul><ul><li>Of facts, they lie unquestioned, uncombined. </li></ul><ul><li>Wisdom enough to leech us of our ill </li></ul><ul><li>Is daily spun, but there exists no loom </li></ul><ul><li>To weave it into fabric. ” </li></ul><ul><li>Edna St Vincent Millay 1892-1950 </li></ul>