DEC Scan Journal : May 2011
Scan Vol 30 No 2 May 2011 Introduction eacher librarians are being challenged to produce evidence showing the benefits and results of their partnerships and leadership role in teaching and learning through the school library. Todd (2008, pp. 23--24) says that the traditional role of teacher librarians must change to take on the instructional dimensions, ensuring that student learning is based on discovery, curiosity, inquiry, critical and reflective thinking so that students can construct deep knowledge. The teacher librarian should advocate for change at a whole school level, even to the level of the school mission and goals, demonstrating that their practice in teaming to deliver authentic learning is backed by evidence. Teacher librarians, teachers and students, in learning teams, can realise authentic learning experiences. Gordon (2009, p. 34) says that the school library gives information users permission to make mistakes and revise their work through formative, rather than summative, assessments using digital technology on all stages of the Inquiry. A teams approach allows for supportive interaction and sharing. Foley (2010, p. 3) suggests that evidence of specific outcomes achieve- ment should be shared in the form of explicit feedback. Action research conducted in the school by the teacher and teacher librarian team provides this evidence. Canniff (2010) describes how teachers can now learn how to conduct action research through an online action research support website to train teachers to examine their own practice. The purpose of conducting action research is to improve educational practices through a systematic and collaborative investigation that is cyclical in nature. It should be a devel- opmental process that systematically increases the scope of the investigation (Stringer, 2008, p. 13). In 2008 and 2009, action research projects on Incorporating Guided Inquiry into the teaching and learning process were undertaken at Broughton Anglican College by the teacher librarian in collaboration with teachers. The projects were funded by Australian Government Quality Teaching Programme (AGQTP) grants and supported by the NSW Association of Independent Schools (AIS). These grants and the guidance of AIS (NSW) support officer Karen Stapleton were pivotal in introducing Guided Inquiry (GI) as a research framework at Broughton. They enabled time for staff training in GI and for planning and formal evalua- tion of the process by the whole team. 24 Scan s Research columns values research as a process which: • strengthens the theoretical basis for the practice of teacher librarianship • informs practice, through the application of findings, questioning of assumptions, and identification and analysis of practical problems • is informed by practice as part of an essential professional practice cycle. In this issue, Alinda Sheerman presents the planning, implementation and results of collaborative action research projects, which used guided inquiry as a framework. The evidence provides an exciting example of the explicit learning gains and student engagement achieved through this approach. Note: See complementary, detailed student reflections in iInquire... iLearn... iCreate... iShare: Guided Inquiry at Broughton Anglican College , Scan 30(1), pp. 4--5. Accepting the challenge: evidence based practice at Broughton Anglican College Alinda Sheerman, Head of Information Services, Broughton Anglican College, Menangle Park, NSW. T Reseach columns ...improve educational practices through a systematic and collaborative investigation...