DEC Scan Journal : May 2011
Scan Vol 30 No 2 May 2011 25 AIS (NSW) also provided the teacher librarian with training in action research. The evaluations of the first two projects were shared with the K--12 staff by the whole team (teacher librarian, teachers and students involved). Because of the evidence and enthusiasm displayed, many teachers wanted to embark on inquiry projects and guided inquiry when the teacher librarian could join the team. Each year the teacher librarian has conducted action research on one of the team projects. In 2010, action research was again undertaken independently in a different subject area and with a different group of students. The results of these three studies combined to demonstrate valuable evidence of the success of the GI process to engage students in their learning and to enable them to reach a level of deep personal knowledge in their chosen topic areas. The vital role of the teacher librarian as an active member in the teaching and learning team was also apparent. The cycle of action research described in this article is in its third revolution. More and more members of the school community have been influenced by the findings of each cycle and, in turn, the findings of this project will be shared with the wider school community and other teacher librarians. This action research project looks at a team approach to the use of GI and the Information search process (ISP), and the use of a wiki to support shared learning and knowledge construction. In this action research project, the class teacher and the teacher librarian worked together diagnostically to identify learning dilemmas and plan for instructional interventions at the point-of-need (Hay & Todd, 2010, p. 35). This produced a learning environment where authentic learning took place. Action research project: pedagogy 2010 How does the use of guided inquiry using wiki technology affect the teaching and learning of the Year 10 Commerce topic: Current issues in Australia? Plan -- determine the position and need for change Through observation in the school library of students and teachers activ- ities, assessments and attitudes to work, it was apparent that many students across all grades and subjects were not engaged in their learning. The reasons for this lack of engage- ment included: • learning styles -- students of this generation look for opportunities to share and communicate as they learn • obvious lack of interest with the learning task at hand • transportation of information rather than transformation of information to solve issues or problems • acceptance of plagiarised work by teachers, mainly due to a lack of skills and time to check assign- ments digitally -- plagiarised PowerPoints were observed being produced as products of learning. It was time for pedagogical change. The goal of this change was to enable teachers to implement a thinking curriculum, one that would transform learning to become an individual s personal quest for gathering, transform- ing and sharing knowledge. This would need to include an integration of technology tools to make the sharing of learning and knowledge seamless. Act -- specify the goal and act upon this The teacher librarian goals were to: • investigate the depth of knowledge and understanding students are able to achieve through using guided inquiry and a wiki while investigating an issue in Australian society • determine the effectiveness of the team s use of Web2.0 technology in sharing the experience of the path of learning to new knowledge. The class teacher s goals were similar and also included the desire to: • monitor the level of student engagement in their learning • assess the effectiveness of guided inquiry and individually selected research areas to achieve the curriculum outcomes for this topic area. The final stated team goals were to: • collaboratively plan and teach a guided inquiry unit of work with a Year 10 Commerce class using the Information search process and Web2.0 tools, and to evaluate its effectiveness as a teaching and learning tool • use this product and the evalua- tion of this project to demonstrate its effectiveness to other teachers and teacher librarians, and to encourage pedagogical change through the school library. Planning and execution Step 1: staff training and research Before planning began, the class teacher, Brad Gillion, grounded Figure 1 The action research cycle The evaluations of the first two projects were shared with the K--12 staff by the whole team.