Librarians as Learning Specialists Meeting the Learning Imperative for the 21st Century

ISBN-10: 1591586798
ISBN-13: 9781591586791
Edition: 2008
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Description: There are an increasing number of job descriptions in schools for "learning specialists" - certified teachers with specialized areas of expertise whose job it is to improve student performance. While these positions are attractive ideas in theory,  More...

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Book details

List price: $40.00
Copyright year: 2008
Publisher: ABC-CLIO, LLC
Publication date: 6/30/2008
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 128
Size: 7.00" wide x 10.00" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 3.960
Language: English

There are an increasing number of job descriptions in schools for "learning specialists" - certified teachers with specialized areas of expertise whose job it is to improve student performance. While these positions are attractive ideas in theory, there are real challenges in effectively leveraging such roles to positively effect student learning. School librarians have been one of these learning specialists for decades. The ranks have expanded in recent years to include reading specialists, literacy coaches, writing coaches, technology specialists, mathematics specialists, science specialists, and teachers of English Language Learners. References included throughout the book incorporate quotations, exemplars, and findings from experts in both mainstream and librarian-focused education literature. This inclusive approach makes the text accessible and credible for any leader charged with improving the system's ability for improved student achievement Grant Wiggins' foreword to this book emphasizes the premise that the relevance of learning specialists is grounded in their ability to deliver results on mission-critical measures.

ALLISON ZMUDA began her work in education as a public high school social studies teacher in Sandy Hook, Connecticut. Zmuda's focus is to help every educator create a competent classroom-a learning environment where all participants believe it is possible for them to be successful-in which what teachers and students are expected to know and be able to do is challenging, feasible, and worthy of the attempt.

Violet H. Harada is professor emeritus in the Library and Information Science Program at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Illustrations
Foreword
Acknowledgments
Introduction
Organization of this Book
Challenge Posed
Closing the Learning Gap: Reframing Our Mission
The Significance of Mission in Schooling
Adopting a Mission-Centered Mindset
The Role of Learning Principles in Achieving the School's Mission
Predictable Problems in the Design of Schooling
The "Isolation of School from Life" Continues to Create Passive Learners and Significant Dropout Rates
Persistent Achievement Gaps Exist among Students in an Increasingly Diverse Student Population
Persistent Challenges in Collaboration
Isolation Remains the Enemy of School Improvement
Assumption that "Craft Knowledge" Is Acquired through On-the-Job Experience
Implications for the Library Media Specialist
Challenges Faced
Framing a Learner-Centered Mission Statement
Pairing Mission with Learner Performance Expectations: The AIME Example
Developing a Mission Statement for the Library Media Center
Collaborating with Staff and Administrator on the Mission (and Mission-Centered Mindset)
Learning Principles in the Library
Conclusion
The Learning Specialist: Clarifying the Role of Library Media Specialists
Summary of Significance of a Learning Specialist
Predictable Challenges in the Design of Learning Specialist Positions
Importance of a Clear Job Description
School-Level Factors that Impact Effectiveness
Collective Accountability for Results
Collegiality among Staff
Leadership Structures that Support Learning Specialists
Persistent Challenges in Collaboration between Learning Specialist and Teaching Staff
Collaboration
Content and Pedagogical Expertise
Reflection and Adaptability
Implications for the School Library Media Specialist
Focus on Teaching and Learning
Nurturing a Collaborative Culture
Planning and Working Strategically
Teaming with Other Learning Specialists
Conclusion
Designing Instruction to Fit the Nature of the Learning and the Learner
Expectations of the Learning Specialist
Summary of Significance of Effective Instructional Design
The Core Belief that All Children Can and Will Learn Well
Learning Specialists as Coaches of Learning
Predictable Challenges in Instructional Design and Practice
The Challenge of Engaging Students in Their Own Learning
The Challenge of Knowing What the Student Needs and Quickly Responding to that Need
The Challenge of Troubleshooting Learner Problems Predictable because of the Nature of the Learning
The Challenge of Trying to Teach All Kids Without Being Responsive to Cultural Background and Prior Experiences
Persistent Challenges in Collaboration
Effective Instructional Practice Is a Matter of Opinion
Only Inexperienced, Weak, or Lazy Teachers Use Other People's Instructional Designs-Competent Teachers Design It Themselves
Implications for the School Library Media Specialist
Personalizing Learning
Supporting Differentiation for Learners
Collaboration Is the Key
Scenarios of Practice: Personalizing the Learning Experience
Conclusion
Providing Robust Assessment and Feedback
Expectations of the Learning Specialist
Summary of Significance of Assessment
Principles of Assessment
Types of Assessment in a Robust Assessment System
Predictable Challenges in Assessment
Playing into Mythology that What Comes Quickly or Easily Is a Sign of Intelligence and What Comes Slowly and More Painfully Isn't
Measuring What Is Easy Instead of What Is Necessary
Viewing Assessment Solely as an Evaluation of Student Performance
Predictable Challenges in Collaboration
Learning Specialists Do Not Have Curricular Goals or If There Are Curricular Goals They Are of Secondary Importance to Subject Area Curricula
Learning Specialists Are Not in Charge of the Design of the Assessment, Just the Orchestration of It
Effective Collaborative Partnerships Require the Development of Leadership Skills
Implications for the School Library Media Specialist
Answering the Challenge for Deeper Learning
Pursuing Personal and Aesthetic Growth
Inquiring and Gaining Knowledge
Drawing Conclusions and Creating New Knowledge
Sharing Knowledge and Working in Teams
Conclusion
Looking to the Future: Providing Resources to Support 21st-Century Learning
The Role of the Library Media Specialist in Identifying, Acquiring, and Accessing Resources that Support Learning
Resource Demands of a Constructivist Teaching and Learning Context
Impact of a Changing Student Population
Extending Beyond the School
Impact of Technology on Information
Ethical Issues Dealing with Information Access
Navigating the Changing Information Landscape
Developing Digital Collections
Supporting Digital Natives
Web 2.0: Moving from Resources to Tools for Learning
Snapshots of Practice
Conclusion
Afterword
Index

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