Etl 503 Assignment 1

Part A – Assessment of curriculum resource needs (approx 500 words) (20 marks)

  •         Identify a unit of work from a school curriculum.
  •         Provide a clear overview of the chosen aspect of the curriculum and explain the nature of the resources needed to meet the learning and teaching needs of this unit of work for a specific group of learners.

 

Unit of Work

The Stage 2 HSIE Unit “British Colonisation of Australia” seemed a very relevant school curriculum unit to investigate as I will be teaching it in term 1 2015. This unit provides opportunities for students to explore issues related to Australia’s original inhabitants, explorers before the British and the British arrival and occupation of Australia.  The unit focuses on the evaluation of viewpoints about the consequences of British colonisation for people, groups and the environment, and on formulating informed opinions.

A lot of children today are completely oblivious to the actual happenings of how Australia came to be what it is today. Yes students have a basic understanding of certain aspects, for example, the Aboriginal people were the first inhabitants of the land and the British “took over”. But I feel as though this is quite limited to what students should be engaged with and exposed to.

I find students today are not even aware of why we acknowledge the traditional leaders of the land, or even have a real understanding of the need for tolerance in light of our past and our present. We live in a very cosmopolitan city with a huge immigrant population – many of whom have come to Australia in search of better lives for their families; many of whom have endured great hardship to get here. Australia has a diverse cultural history and developing empathy and tolerance can only prevent a recurrence of the discrimination that exists in the world’s past.

Resources Required

As this is a History based unit, students need access to resources which are relevant and up-to-date.  Currency is a vital criterion for resourcing this area of the curriculum.  For a unit embedded in 21st century learning, students will need access to social networking tools, a range of ICT tools, as well as information sources such as books and websites (Wall & Ryan, 2010, p.ix). The nature of the learning outcomes dictates that students will need resources which demonstrate factual information, photographic evidence, and commentary on historical events and web content which provides unbiased information and/or a balanced discussion of the issues.  As this is a stage of 120 students and four teachers working on this unit, it is also important to provide a large number of resources.  It may be appropriate to purchase more than one copy of those items deemed to be high quality resources for the topic and also to use a wide variety of credible online resources.

School Context

Stage two consists of 120 students, four classes and four teachers. One teacher is from England and therefore sufficient resources would greatly assist her teaching practice. One of the four classes is also an enrichment class (gifted and talented). Our students are from various nationalities with 2% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent. This is important to note as this unit can be confronting and needs to be taught with sensitivity.

Therefore, the school library needs to show commitment to providing high quality resources for this area.  This cohort of students displays varying abilities, from highly-able to those with special needs.  The resources provided for this unit will need to be similarly varied and offer a range of access points.  This being said, Student Learning and Support Officers (SLSOs) always provide individual assistance to those students who require help investigating a concept and can assist students in their exploration of the more complex materials.  Teachers in this year level are experienced and have demonstrated in the past that they are keen to integrate non-book formats into their teaching.  As a consequence, the school library needs to provide and continue to encourage the use of materials in a variety of formats.

Overview of Current Resources

Our Teacher Librarian is highly experienced and is extremely passionate about what she does. She is an asset to our school and her knowledge and expertise is invaluable. The school has a number of resources on the topic of British Colonisation and Aboriginal history.  The library collection contains fifty-five resources that address Australian Colonisation and two hundred and thirty resources that are relevant to Aboriginal people. However, when searching for ‘British Colonisation’ the search engine only returns a result of five resources that are relevant to that topic. Staff and students also have access to some Web 2.0 tools, namely wikis and blogs, via the school intranet.

Although the library collection is strong in the reference and online reference area, overall the current resources do not adequately cater for the learning needs of students and teachers.  One weakness in the collection is the small number of non-fiction titles available to cater to a cohort of one hundred and twenty students and four teachers who need access to the resources. In order to cater for the different learning styles of students, a variety of books are needed, in addition to digital resources and websites.  When resourcing history-based curriculum, it is vital that the most recently published items are acquired and made available for use by the learning community.  Another area of improvement is to increase the number of websites bookmarked and catalogued for this topic – there are many websites which are relevant and more current, and which offer students interactive learning experiences.  There is also a lack of material in the collection that teachers can consult when planning the unit.

Part B – Annotated resource list (approx 1500 words) (40 marks)

 Drawing upon the knowledge and understanding gained from Modules 1, 2 and 3, (and any related readings):

    • Identify the selection criteria and selection aids you have used to choose your resources.
    •      Create an annotated resource list for the curriculum topic identified in Part A.

 The annotated resource list should represent a balanced collection of 10 resources relevant to that topic that supports the needs of the learners outlined in Part A. Each annotation should consist of:

    •    approximately 150 words, beginning with citation details (set out in APA reference style).
    •    an evaluation against the selection criteria you have chosen, and
    •    an assessment of the usefulness of the selection aids you have used.

PART B

Selection Aids

To resource this curriculum area efficiently and so that it enhances teaching and learning, I will use a variety of selection aids. This will ensure that I am adequately engaging with texts that have purpose, credibility and support the curriculum content sufficiently.

Recommendations are highly valued when selecting a resource. A variety of educational professionals and subject matter experts can greatly impact on the final selection of a resource. Their advice and expertise ensures that the resource will enhance the teaching and learning content. Subject listings that are prepared on various sites can validate relevance, currency and can be accompanied by recommendations.

Another very valuable selection aid is reviews. In terms of educational resources, most reviews are often published by those within the education field. They have specific expertise in the area being searched and provide valuable information that clearly evaluates and analyses the resource of choice. Often these reviews are published by those who specifically aim to provide information on considered, pertinent evaluations of relevant resources.

Selection Criteria

I evaluated my resources against the following needs-focused selection criteria. I tweaked my model for certain sources, excluding or including criteria when required:

CriteriaPoints of Consideration
Appropriateness·        Is the content appropriate for my students’ age, developmental level, and reading abilities?·        Is the style appropriate for the subject matter?·        Does it meet the teachers’ needs appropriately?
Content·        Does the content support the curriculum? Is it distinctive, accurate, and relevant?·        Is it interesting?
Arrangement and organisation·        Is the information arranged in a logical, understandable manner?·        Is it organised in a way that facilitates student location of information?·        Does it facilitate easy teacher navigation?
Authority·        Is the writer, creator, publisher a reputable/recognized source?·        Are his/her qualifications, experiences credible?
Currency·        When was the resource created, published and updated?·        Is it consistent with recent findings?
Visual appeal·        Will the resource appeal to my students visually?·        Is it too busy, too distracting and readable?

Table A: Needs-focused selection criteria

In conjunction with this needs-focused selection criteria, the Evalu Tech criteria (2010), which was developed for the evaluation of websites, was also used for internet resources.  This additional set of criteria was beneficial, as it offers other points to consider, such as the availability of last-updated dates, download rates and ease of navigation.  Reference was also given to the selection criteria outlined in the school’s “Library collection Management Policy” (Whiteside & Galbraith, 2010, p.5 -6) which places emphasis on the authority of the author, source or publisher, the appropriateness of the content, concepts and language of the work in relation to the library user group and the structure and layout of the resource, with regard to it being of high interest, clearly laid out and produced in a medium suitable to display content.

Resource 1

Wilson, Mark. (2010). The Little Wooden Horse. Australia: Windy Hollow Books.

I started with SCIS as a selection aid and identified this book as a possible resource. Mark Wilson is a well-known author at our school. We are an Accelerated Literacy program school and we have used his texts on various occasions as a focus text which relate to themes we are also studying.

The Syndetics review referred to curriculum-based content from the unit and the story sounded engaging and interesting from a child’s perspective. It also referred to the book as being “thoroughly researched” and “accurate”.

The list of subjects covered were relevant to the unit and the number of pages and illustration information led me to believe the story was an age appropriate picture book.

This seemed like a valuable teacher resource, with both text and visual stimulus, to open up empathetic conversation. I support Cory Doctorow’s point of view that “conversation is king [and that the] content is just something to talk about”. (as cited in Mitchell, 2011, pp. 14)

The Google Books link was a helpful inclusion for finding more information to cement my thoughts. It offered some options on where the book could be purchased. Although two sites did not have stock, it was available through Angus & Robertson and there I also came across a more comprehensive review.

Notwithstanding the fact that this was a bookstore’s website, I drew confidence from the author information. His accolades and achievements, as well as fine art skills seemed to corroborate the claim that the “stunning illustrations and paintings [would] give a compelling sense of the times”. This clearly fulfilled the criteria of authority and visual appeal.

 

Resource 2

Australian Broadcasting Corporation (Producer). (2004). Endeavour journal.  Available from http://dl.nfsa.gov.au/module/731/

A search for ‘James Cook’ on the SCAN website returned some impressive results. There was a whole page dedicated to First Contact, containing useful links to information, despite being written for stage 4. A further search for ‘First Fleet’ also displayed promising returns, however I was denied access to the more recent journals.

All resource links support the curriculum and many are easily identified as stage, subject or age-appropriate, making SCAN a useful and credible selection aid.

The video clip on Endeavour journal is only 3:27 minutes, making for easy inclusion into a lesson. It is a free educational resource and comes with instructions for download, making it conveniently accessible. The webpage also contains suggestions for activities that teachers could tailor to stage 2.

Although it is recommended for aged 9 & 10 learners, its subject matter still applies, and it would cater to the more advanced and curious learners (particularly the enrichment class). Providing a real-world visual of James Cook’s journal from the National Library of Australia would raise issues relating to the preservation of resources and the evaluation of primary sources – meeting a host of learning outcomes.

Resource 3

Dale, Darren & Perkins, Rachel (Producers). (2008). First Australians – Episode 1, They Have Come to Stay. . Available from http://aso.gov.au/titles/documentaries/first-australians-episode-1/clip2/

My SCAN search returned another video clip of interest that meets one of the crucial curriculum objectives – providing an indigenous point of view on the arrival of the First Fleet. Credibility is added by the opinions of an Aboriginal historian and pictures and sketches from the time.

The short clip provides an interesting counterpoint to many of the historical sources that focus on animosity between Aboriginal people and European settlers (or invaders). It suggests the idea that the first encounter may have been peaceful and even friendly.

Providing a balanced set of resources would promote constructivist knowledge as learners would need to draw their own conclusions after evaluating a range of differing perspectives.

It is once again freely available online, current and a visually effective medium with appropriate content.

Resource 4

Kwaymullina, A., & Tobin, L. (2014). The Lost Girl. Australia and New Zealand: Walker Books.

After several searches, I referred back to the HSIE unit of work to assist in the resource search process. The unit of work offers opportunities for students to learn about the original inhabitants of Australia and delves into the discovery of what life was like for Aboriginal people before British colonisation.  So after a SCAN search I found The Lost Girl by Ambelin Kwaymullina. The Creative Kids Tale review stated that, “This is a lovely book, illustrating the unique relationship that the Aboriginal people of Australia share with Mother Nature. The story unfolds through the stunning illustrations as we journey along with the little girl” (Creativekidstales.com.au, 2014).

The layout, number of pages and the visual stimulating illustrations suggested that this was an age appropriate book. This book could be viewed by a range of reading abilities which allows our special needs students to be easily supported throughout the exploration of the concepts and ideas this book shares. The content adheres to the outcomes required in this unit, as students get a glimpse of the unique relationship that the Aboriginal people of Australia have with Mother Nature, and how they teach their children to survive in the harsh and unyielding landscape they call home.

Ambelin Kwaymullina is and Australian Aboriginal author which suggests that her information and views are credible. She has written and illustrated a number of award winning picture books as well as writing a dystopian series – ‘the Tribe’ – for Young Adults. Being that she is a recognised and current author I find that this resource would greatly benefit the unit of work.

Resource 5

Treasure Explorer. [interactive website]. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://treasure-explorer.nla.gov.au/treasure/first-australians#canoe-tree

Using Google as a selection aid, I discovered these fantastic interactive resources on the National Library of Australia website. Teachers can involve children in accessing the digitally enhanced maps and pictures, developing crucial digital literacy skills. There are other useful links, including ‘Finding the Land Down Under’, which leads learners to explore Cook’s Endeavour journal, and ‘Early Settlement’ containing more images of historical items such as the last preserved convict uniform and journals which document specific events that occurred as well as illustrations of what the first settlers saw.

The search function works well and it is fairly straightforward to navigate. The site engages students through visual stimulus, colour and fonts that evoke interest. It is full of wonderful digital artifacts and gives children the chance to ‘visit a museum’ from the classroom.

Resource 6

Murdie, R., & Nixon, C. (2014). Meet Captain Cook. Australia: Random House Australia.

Meet Captain Cook is an engaging picture book that could be catergorised as an historical narrative. It is a part of a series of books about “the extraordinary men and women who have shaped Australia’s history” (www.randomhouse.com.au, 2014). The content within this book is of a high quality and provides readers with factual information in relation to Captain Cook within a narrative story format. The content is clear, well structured and appropriate to the target age of the text. It provides readers with a simplistic outline of events as Captain Cook and his crew discovered the eastern coast of Australia. There is also a comprehensive timeline feature at the conclusion of the text. This text could be used in the Years 3-6 classroom to support learning in both English and HSIE Key Learning Areas. The publisher, Random House Australia also provide a teachers resource pdf available free from their website to support using the text in the classroom. The book is published both in print and as an eBook for easy access. The digital version will engage readers whilst supporting them through their use of multiple tools and text features such as text-to-speech options, dictionaries and note-taking capabilities.

Resource 7

Barlow, Alex & Gilbert, Kevin, 1933-1993 & Hill, Marji, 1947- (1987). Heroes of the Aboriginal struggle. Macmillan, 1987, South Melbourne

An aspect that is repeatedly reinforced in the curriculum outcomes is the importance of focusing on both Aboriginal and European role players in events relating to the First Contact. A prominent resistance leader was a man called Pemulwuy, who until recent decades has not been acknowledged in Australian History. This provided some challenges in locating relevant, age-appropriate resources.

Trove was a selection tool that presented successful findings. The summary on the website affirmed that this book was for children, that it contained coloured illustrations, including maps (another curriculum specification) and illustrated resistance to the colony.

A further recommendation in terms of credibility was the inclusion of an Aboriginal consultant – an imperative source of cultural context and oral, generational knowledge.

Reviews would have been useful in providing a more personal assessment of the resource, particularly as Pemulwuy met with a rather gruesome end. However, as Trove specifies that it is juvenile literature, I would take the risk in assuming that this issue has been approached with sensitivity.

Resource 8

Wheatley, N., & Searle, K. (2011). Playground. East Melbourne, Vic.: Allen and Unwin.

Using Google as a selection aid, I decided to explore Aboriginal people prior to British settlement further. Google returned a search of various stories and resources to choose from, many which were not age appropriate for stage two students; so I refined my search by adding “stories for children”. This search returned the book, ‘Playground’ by Nadia Wheatley, illustrated by Ken Searle. With historical and contemporary photographs, artwork by leading Indigenous artists, and new colour illustrations throughout, this compilation of Indigenous stories gives a fascinating insight into Aboriginal childhood, both traditional and contemporary. This picture book lends itself to the curriculum in an age appropriate and stimulating way. The pictures and content allow students of stage two to engage with the concept of Aboriginal customs and traditions without being overwhelmed with information. The book is arranged so that students can absorb concepts vastly through the visual stimulus. The teacher is able to navigate and progressively lead discussions on past and present customs in Australia. This resource is a recent publication and therefore the content is relevant to today’s classrooms. Students can connect with what they already know as well as develop and acquire new information.

Resource 9

A convict story. [interactive website]. (n.d.) Retrieved from http://www.resources.det.nsw.edu.au/Resource/Access/427f4fb3-c587-4734-8e54-d7f91e4561fb/1

I found Scootle incredibly user-friendly. The ‘search by Australian Curriculum’ function returned a variety of accurate, curriculum-based, multimodal resources. The option of creating learning pathways is also a most useful tool.

A convict story’ is an interactive resource that I found highly valuable. This resource provides seven different interactive sections. Because our school is a technology empowered school, presenting these on the smartboard would allow teachers the opportunity to engage learners in hands-on games, quizzes and research activities. This would appeal to learners that are driven by curiosity and those that learn better by doing. It will further develop vital twenty-first century digital skills and address our ICT scope and sequence as well. The resource supports the unit of work and meets many of the learning outcomes, being made available on the DEC website, and would incur no cost.

The interactive website is not only visually interesting and rich with pictures, paintings and photographs, it is easily arranged in such a way as to be easily navigable by all learners. The links at the bottom, which provides teaching notes, a glossary of terms and a full bibliography with links to other useful and relevant websites certainly are an extra bonus for busy teachers!

Resource 10

australianscreen,. (2014). First Australians – Episode 1, They Have Come to Stay. Retrieved from http://aso.gov.au/titles/documentaries/first-australians-episode-1/clip1/

Another search on Scootle resulted in the resource ‘Bound for Botany Bay – unit of work’. This unit of work provides many relevant resources in many forms such as media, visual, audio and print. Upon reflection on the resources I have already found, I was drawn to the video resource, First Australians – Episode 1, They Have Come to Stay? (2008). A three part clip (‘Life Before Contact’, ‘Can You Imagine?’ and ‘A Genuine Relationship’) each with the duration of approximately 2:30 minutes provides encapsulating imagery of the Australian landscape. The narration is somewhat monotonous which may deter some student’s engagement.

Stage two students will absorb direct information without being overloaded and specific teaching content of British settlement are addressed. Some points made throughout this clip are interesting are often thought provoking. Some terminology used would need to be explained as it can become slightly complex. The short interviews with Aboriginal historians confirm that this is a credible resource as well as its currency due to this film being composed in 2008.

Teachers will be able to easily navigate this clip and find this resource useful in addressing curriculum content and provoking discussions that deepen the students understanding and extend their knowledge. The only negative about this resource is that some of the images are dated and not as engaging as the resources above. However being that it is only a short clip and most of the video of the Australian landscape are magnificent, I feel it is still a resource worth exposing the students to.

Conclusion

Throughout the resource selection process I have learnt to critically evaluate texts. Evaluating the collection is most important. It allows for strengths and weaknesses to be identified in the collection and highlights areas in need of improvement to meet the needs of its users (Bishop, 2007, p.142). Evaluation is extremely important as user’s needs are constantly changing so the collection must be evaluated in order to stay relevant (Kennedy, 2006, p.88). Evaluation of the collection not only highlights what is being done well and where improvement is needed, it also acts as a tool to increase funding (Bishop, 2007, p.142). The structure of the needs-focused selection criteria (which was predominantly used throughout this process) has allowed me to select various resources that are suitable for the stage two HSIE unit ‘British Colonisation’.

An integral part of evaluating a collection is weeding. Weeding was a term that I was unfamiliar with before completing this assignment. I now know that weeding is just as important as acquiring new resources for the library. It isn’t simply looking at a resource and removing it due to bias or condition, there are guidelines and criteria that can be used to effectively weed the current collection. The growth of digital information, exceptional levels in the production of global information where quality and authority of information is often not contested, and the emergence of participatory and collaborative web environments all provide a rich case for the necessity of school libraries to develop the intellectual, social and personal agency of students to learn, live, and be productive citizens in a 21st century world (Hay & Todd, 2010, p. 10).

A lot of resources I initially discovered were too advanced in terms of content for a year 3 and 4 group of students. With such a sensitive topic such as British colonisation, many articles, books and videos explored the massacres that occurred, delved into the stolen generation and the fierce discrimination that all accompanied that time in history. Therefore I found that I had to be particular with my choice of key words rather than generating a broad search. Some selection aids enabled me to tick a box that narrowed my search to suit year 3 and 4 students, but not all did.

Selection aids are also an important part of the process as it allows you to direct your search more thoroughly. Tools I found valuable were the SCIS OPAC, the resource reviews database, Scan, the National Digital Learning Resources Network (which provides online resources that I could access through Scootle), TaLe and the various curriculum pages of the NSW DET.  Online booksellers and retailers were also useful. I really had no idea that so many selection aids existed.  While I had never heard of TROVE (the online database of the National Library of Australia) before, this was the first time and as I explored the database I was amazed at how extensive it was. Prior to this assignment, I would often use Google to resource the curriculum and choose resources that mostly had visual impact. From this I have learnt to evaluate my search more thoroughly and adhere to the criteria named in the needs-focused selection criteria. Whilst it is more time consuming, the benefits for the teaching and learning program are far more relevant.

 

Reference list

A convict story. [interactive website]. (n.d.) Retrieved from http://www.resources.det.nsw.edu.au/Resource/Access/427f4fb3-c587-4734-8e54-d7f91e4561fb/1

Australian Broadcasting Corporation (Producer). (2004). Endeavour journal.  Available from http://dl.nfsa.gov.au/module/731/

australianscreen,. (2014). First Australians – Episode 1, They Have Come to Stay. Retrieved from http://aso.gov.au/titles/documentaries/first-australians-episode-1/clip1/

Barlow, Alex & Gilbert, Kevin, 1933-1993 & Hill, Marji, 1947- (1987). Heroes of the Aboriginal struggle. Macmillan, 1987, South Melbourne

Bishop, K. (2007). Evaluation of the collection. In The collection program in schools : concepts, practices and information sources (4th ed.) (pp. 141-159). Westport, Conn.: Libraries Unlimited.

Creativekidstales.com.au,. (2014). The Lost Girl by Ambelin Kwaymullina – Creative Kids Tales. Retrieved from http://www.creativekidstales.com.au/authors-illustrators/ckts-book-reviews/538-the-lost-girl

Dale, Darren & Perkins, Rachel (Producers). (2008). First Australians – Episode 1, They Have Come to Stay. . Available from http://aso.gov.au/titles/documentaries/first-australians-episode-1/clip2/

Evalu Tech. (2010) Criteria for evaluating websites.  Southern Region Education Board.  Retrieved from http://www.evalutech.sreb.org/criteria/web.asp

Hay, L., & Todd, R. (2010). School libraries 21C: School library futures project. Report for New South Wales Department of Education & Training, Curriculum K–12 Directorate, School Libraries & Information Literacy Unit. Sydney: Curriculum K–12 Directorate, NSWDET. Retrieved from http://www.curriculumsupport.education.nsw.gov.au/schoollibraries/assets/pdf/21c_report.pdf

Hughes-Hassell, S & Mancall, J. C. (2005). Collection Management for Youth: Responding to the Needs of Learners. Chicago: American Library Association.

Human Society and Its Environment (HSIE) K-6 syllabus. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://k6.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au

Kennedy, J. (2006). Collection Management: A concise introduction. Centre for Information Studies, Wagga Wagga, Australia.

Kwaymullina, A., & Tobin, L. (2014). The Lost Girl. Australia and New Zealand: Walker Books.

Mitchell, Pru. (2011). Resourcing 21st century online Australian Curriculum: The role of school libraries. (pp. 10-15). Retrieved from http://interact.csu.edu.au

Murdie, R., & Nixon, C. (2014). Meet Captain Cook. Australia: Random House Australia.

[www.randomhouse.com.au], R. (2014). Meet Captain Cook by Rae Murdie – Books – Random House Books Australia. Random House Australia. Retrieved from http://www.randomhouse.com.au/books/tba/meet-captain-cook-9780857980182.aspx

Scan Online Journal for Educators. (2014). Retrieved from http://scan.nsw.edu.au

SCIS Catalogue. (2014). Retrieved from http://opac.scis.curriculum.edu.au

Scootle. (2014). Retrieved from http://scootle.edu.au

Treasure Explorer. [interactive website]. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://treasure-explorer.nla.gov.au/treasure/first-australians#canoe-tree

Trove. (2014). Retrieved from http://trove.nla.gov.au

Wall, J. & Ryan, S. (2010). Resourcing for curriculum innovation: learning in a changing world. Camberwell, Vic: ACER Press.

Wheatley, N., & Searle, K. (2011). Playground. East Melbourne, Vic.: Allen and Unwin.

Whiteside, J & Galbraith, D. (2010).  Library Collection Management Policy.  Retrieved from https://portalkc.overnewton.vic.edu.au/Collaboration/library/stafflib_home/library_staff_resources/default.aspx

Wilson, Mark. (2010). The Little Wooden Horse. Australia: Windy Hollow Books.

 

 

 

Part A – Summary of the School Context 

Dream Primary School consists of 410 students with 17 stage based classes. Dream Primary School has one stage two and one stage three Enrichment classes (gifted and talented classes) and fifteen students with identified learning disabilities across K-6. The school also has a growing number of ESL students (currently at 4). Through excellence, flexibility and a vigorous learning program the staff provide a vast array of opportunities for the students. With the support of a strong parent body and vibrant local community we envisage a future of continued growth and success. We welcome change and embrace technology hoping to pass this on to all students – in turn equipping them with the necessary skills to continue their learning journey through life. The library is located in the centre of the school and is easily accessible to all members of the school community.

The school library is an essential entity as it serves to enhance student achievement. Dream Public School delivers the Accelerated Literacy Program as its core English program. This program involves studying one text per term. Part of a teacher’s preparation of the text for a teaching sequence involves the teacher reading it carefully and analytically. That is, the teacher will select texts or passages from texts to teach students about how to read and write like successful students. The teacher will decide on writing techniques to teach and at the same time, consider what students will need to know to learn to use these techniques e.g. What ‘ground rules’ of the subject English will students need to control to read the text with comprehension and to write like this author? Prior to studying the text in its entirety, students will develop background knowledge about the themes within the text. Therefore it is essential that the library is stocked with quality resources so that the teacher’s can expose students to a wide range of information, enhance their learning, build upon their understanding and ultimately meet the needs of their students.

The school library has a class set of desktops. There are three class sets of notebooks located at the front office for access convenience. There is also ten iPads for students to use. Each classroom also has two desktops in it as well as a teacher’s computer. All classrooms have an interactive whiteboard (IWB) run by a separate central processing unit (CPU). Teachers use Quizlet (Quizlet, 2014) for language learning and the class teachers use Mathletics (3P Learning, 2014).

It is one of the school’s priorities is to introduce more digital resources and with that there are a number of issues to consider.  E-Books can incur different types of costs, depending on the usage or the subscription. The amount of potential users must be known as this may affect the cost.  Any license issues need to be sorted before purchase and the concern of where they will be stored and how they can be accessed needs to be sorted. This is not to say the school should not consider eBooks, they just have to be able to gauge support for them before use.

Part B – Proposal for the establishment and management of a model library collection

 Purposes:

Resourcing the school library is a complex task. There are multiple considerations to adequately support the learning needs of a school community. This is to provide equitable access for all users and promote lifelong, independent learning habits (ILFA/UNESCO, 2006). It is therefore important to have policies and procedures in place to justify a school’s rationale for selection, acquisition and de-selection of resources if challenges occur (Hughes-Hassall & Mancall, 2005).

In selecting and acquiring resources for the library collection, it is important to understand the demographics of the community being catered for. This background knowledge will help highlight the needs of the students and the teachers.

Working collaboratively with teachers is the preferred way for developing a resource collection that is useful and enhances students learning. The Teacher Librarian is not an expert in all areas of the curriculum and by working collegially can utilise the expertise of other colleagues in the various KLAs.

Identifying under resourced areas of the curriculum is of great significance. Smaller subject areas may be overlooked because there may not be a great demand. However, is it possible that there is limited demand because there is the awareness that resources do not exist and therefore there is no reason to demand?

The selection of resources is quite time consuming. Reviewing resources can also be difficult. Therefore, in working collegially the responsibility of the general selection and review process can be of great benefit. Nevertheless, the ultimate decision of acquisition lies with the Teacher Librarian as the “ultimate arbiter” (Kennedy, 2006, p. 42).

Understanding the teaching priorities and learning agenda of the school acknowledges and ensures that the collection management policy can directly relate to these. Also understanding that the Australian Curriculum is being introduced to the school and its priorities must be reflected in the school’s library collection. The collection priorities teaching and learning agenda of the school are met by:

  • Appraising the current resources of the school library and ensure that they support the requirements of the new Australian Curriculum (AC) including the cross-curriculum priorities of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, Asia, multicultural literature from beyond Asia and sustainability (Braxton, 2013);
  • Ensuring that appropriate reading resources are available for students to promote questioning and understanding of texts as promoted in Debbie Miller’s ‘Teaching with Intention’ (Miller, 2008) prescribes. This also covers meeting the recreational reading needs of members of the school community; and
  • Selecting, acquiring and providing access to digital resources that the students may need as a part of the push to encourage the teaching body to embrace new technologies. This includes creating pathfinders with appropriate websites for students’ assignments, encouraging the use of the recently issued iPads and even considering the introduction of eBooks into the school community.

To engage students in the Dream Public School library there should be the opportunity for students to suggest or maybe vote for new books they want to read. This may promote ownership of the library by students. Librarians should know their library. They should know the areas of strengths in the resources and the weaknesses, knowing current resources should help the librarian know whether a new resource is needed or whether it is similar to current resources.

Nature of the collection:

There are multiple types of resources that the Dream Public School library should provide for the school and community.

(a) Non-fiction – this collection includes reference and information books as well as others. The best way to note what physical non-fiction is needed is by curriculum mapping, seeing what parts of the curriculum are well resourced and what parts are not. These can be both physical and digital resources. Recommendations from sources such as SCIS (Education Services Australia, 2013) can be used if the school pays for a subscription. One area the school needs to look into is foreign language fiction. As there are a number of students with another language background the school is not catering to these students.

(b) Fiction – this collection involves picture books, readers, comics, eBooks and novels. Discussions need to take place with teachers as to the fiction they would like available for their class. Selection can also be based upon users’ needs, recommendations from sources such as SCIS (Education Services Australia, 2013) and other professional networks, lists of literary awards, Premier’s reading Challenge books, student requests and reviews in journals such as Goodreads (Goodreads Inc. 2014), Inside a Dog (State Library of Victoria, 2014) and Magpies (Magpies Magazine, 2014). Fiction includes both the physical books as well as digital resources.

(c) Audio Formats – includes music and audio books. There may also be accompanying teacher’s notes if available.

(d) Charts – pictures, posters, maps, visual how-to guides and study prints.

(e) Games – board games, educational games, flash cards and cards.

(f) Models – scientific 3D models, experiment resources, aids for classroom teaching, dress-ups for language studies.

(g) DVDs – curriculum appropriate documentaries, entertainment shows or movies, taped television series and filmed classroom activities for both students and teachers.

(h) Online and electronic resources – can comprise of various formats including Digital resources can include internet sites, databases, Web 2.0 technologies, interactive learning technologies, Apps and eBooks.

In setting up a new school library in a K-6 environment with a class set of computers for individual use and access to ten i-pads; the library is well equipped with electronic devices to cater for 21st century learning. However, to ensure adequate use and access to digital and online resources, Dream Public School will need to:

  • Making teaching and learning easier by organising the school’s digital resources;
  • Have online ICT and Information Literacy lessons as part of the library’s resources for staff, students and the wider community, to develop the skills to understand how to use the computers properly;
  • Ensure consistent classification, storage and retrieval systems by following the SCIS standards for cataloguing;
  • Continue to respond to the historical, geographical, cultural, linguistic and educational dimensions of the local context with particular attention to the information literacy needs of the whole community; and
  • Remain ready to respond to the possibilities of an unknown future where interactive digital books like the Inkling productions are made available and accessible, i-Pads become more durable, and/or other new technologies can be supported in this school environment.

An awareness of how to remain abreast of the variety of resources available to suit our school library’s particular needs is essential. The use of selection aids can be extremely helpful in this regard (Wall & Ryan, 2010). Selection aids may include bibliographic tools, reviewing journals and publishers’ catalogues. They may also use library suppliers’ promotional literature, standing orders, bookshop and warehouse visits as well as suggestions from staff, teachers, students and the community. (Kennedy, 2006)

Also, keeping abreast of reviews outlining the cost and practical uses of new resources are extremely helpful tools. Gray’s (2010) exploration of the cost and practical uses of e-books within school libraries, for example, might help a Teacher Librarian judge what an e-books might offer that is different to the physical resources already within the collection.

However, knowledge of the types of resources available is useless without a consideration of whether they are appropriate for a particular environment. Each school library community has particular contextual issues to consider such as: special learning needs and languages spoken (Hughes-Hassell & Mancall, 2005), the gender of clients (Boon, 2008) and the learning context and curriculum employed within the school. In consideration of the current Australian learning context, for example, it is imperative a teacher librarian has a thorough understanding of The National Curriculum (ACARA 2013). This document highlights the importance of building on students’ own interests, suggesting the need to build a collection that reflects these interests and supports teachers and learners in a technology driven, constructivist based learning environment (Wall & Ryan, 2010).

ALIA’s submission to the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) on the resourcing needs for implementing the Australian Curriculum makes this clear. Kennedy’s definition of collection management underscores the needs and wants of “clients”. In our school community that is defined by the demands of the curriculum, assessment and reporting structures in place. The professional development needs of school staff would be included in this, as would, to a certain extent, the free independent reading of the student population. In broader terms, ALIA also notes that the library’s role in resourcing the curriculum is part of a core rationale for a liberal education to effectively prepare young people to participate and contribute to an open, pluralistic society:

“The primary function of a school library is to underpin the school’s mission statement by providing services, resources and programs that foster opportunities for lifelong learning, literacy, reading and the love of literature. The school library also offers all members of its community the opportunity to develop as informed and responsible citizens and to contribute to the Australian democracy, culture, society and economy” (ALIA, 2010).

This gives collection management in schools a fairly broad remit, which can be hard to meet in the context of competing priorities and limited budgets.

The Australian School Library Association (ASLA) has also made a statement about curriculum resourcing that implies a client and needs-focused approach to collection management in its “Statement on school library resource provision”:

Resourcing the curriculum is an ongoing process of selection and evaluation guided by policy and budget planning. Effective resourcing of the curriculum requires a collaboratively developed and agreed policy on collection development prepared as part of the school’s ongoing planning and review process.

Effective resourcing of a curriculum ensures:

  • every learner has equitable access to a variety of quality, relevant, accurate and current information resources;
  • adequate resources at appropriate levels for all curricula and to meet personal and recreational needs are provided;
  • new ways of teaching and learning are reflected in Information and Communication Technologies and resources;
  • teachers’ effectiveness is enhanced by access to recent curricular and professional development material (ASLA, 2009).

It seems to me that collection management in the context of the school library is a balancing act between the various needs of the school community and the realities of budgetary constraints. There may be issues with competing agendas, too, especially in schools working within a religious charter where the object of a free flow of information may be at odds with the school community’s definition of acceptable material. A teacher librarian would be making decisions about collection management within an implied or fully-worked-out matrix of factors to consider when selecting, acquiring, evaluating and weeding resources.

Copyright legislation is an enormous issue that is poorly understood in most schools. The most commonly held misconception in the school context is that if there is no copyright symbol and it is available in the public domain (such as on the Internet), the work is copyright free. However, in Australia, no formal registration is required as there is an assumption by the copyright legislation that all work is copyrighted (National Copyright Unit, n.d.). Learning about statutory and voluntary license schemes, creative commons and how to attribute work will be of immense value in educating teachers and students in the future.

Collection evaluation is important in school libraries as the collection must meet the needs and interests of the pupils and staff who use it. The school library staff at Dream Public School should choose the collection evaluation strategy that works best for them. I think that it is also preferable that the teacher librarian evaluates one section of the collection at a time, starting with the sections that they think need the most work. Firstly, because the job is time consuming and it would therefore make it easier to evaluate. Secondly, because then the areas that need attention, hopefully get it from the start.

There are two methods that would work well in primary school libraries in particular. One is a collection centered measure of examining the collection directly. For example, if the school was about to have a class studying a term long unit on Forces Control Movement. An examination of the library collection of books relating to this field conducted by the teacher-librarian working in conjunction with the teachers who were going to be teaching this unit found deficiencies in this area, old books and the view was taken that new books catering for lower primary students were needed as an urgent priority.

The second measure that would work well in school libraries particularly in non-fiction is collection mapping. Collection mapping or mini-mapping if you are only focusing on one area of the collection is when you gather information on the number of books in a collection; the number of books per capita (per head of population for pupils) and the average age of the books. It would work well as a first step in conjunction with examining the collection to determine whether the library has enough books in one particular area of the curriculum. It couldn’t be used as a standalone procedure, but could work well in conjunction with other procedures to ensure that the library collection meets the needs of its users.

Having a clear collections development policy containing concise selections criteria would hopefully mean that objectionable material does not make it to the library shelves. However, this is not always the case and having an active and vocal parent body means that staff may have to deal with complaints. Also having a variety of cultures means that there are any number of reasons a piece of material may be found objectionable. A good resource here would be Barbara Braxton’s Sample Collection Policy (Braxton, 2014).

This document recommends that we have the right to provide opportunities and resources which reflect a wide variety of perspectives. Some of these items may contain information that is offensive to a member of the school community. Objections to these materials are a democratic right and should be treated as legitimate concerns, but they must understand that a parent cannot determine suitability for other students. In this case, a parent may write a letter/email voicing their concern and the reason, a review of the item will be carried out by the Teacher Librarian and another member of staff. An independent person may be asked to give their opinion. The three members will consult and decide the appropriate course of action and the complainant will be informed of the decision. The complainant may see the selection criteria if they are not satisfied and have the right to refer to the school board if still not satisfied.

The Future of the Collection

School libraries are changing with the introduction many new features. Libraries are no longer places where students read books quietly. Students must not only be able to read and write, but also to research information and work independently. (Wade, 2005) Even in early primary education there is a need to include digital resources in the curriculum. In an ever expanding digital universe (in 2010 the quantity of information transmitted globally exceeded one zettabyte (Ojala, 2013)), information literacy skills and competence with digital tools is a must. People who lack these skills will face barriers to inclusion in a growing range of areas. (Ojala, 2013) Digital resources can include internet sites, databases, Web 2.0 technologies, interactive learning technologies and eBooks.

With continual changes in curriculum and technology, an astute teacher librarian should be able to maintain and organise a quality library collection that will constantly be modified to suit the current teaching and learning needs of the school’s community. There needs to be a central place in a school that digital and print resources can call home. While there is an assumption by many, that libraries will become obsolete as students can research anytime, anyplace on their computers, there still needs to be someone (the teacher librarian) who is responsible for guiding their digital research abilities and teaching students information literacy skills.

The purpose of the library is to provide resources, be it digital or print to support the student learning. However, the nature of the collection will need to change in order to cater for a 21st century education. The innovations that have caused the current changes should be no more complex for us than learning how to move from an index card system, to microfiche, to computers. Libraries revolve around technology because information resourcing is our job. Today, information involves technology and this requires teacher librarians to be a combination of reference librarian, web specialist and technician within the school (Lawton, & Scott, 2005, p. 30).

The digital collection is becoming a major player in the collection, but as there is so much information available, it is important to have the teacher librarian manage these resource and to make it easier for both teachers and students to access 24/7. The creation of library pathfinders which classroom teachers simply do not have the time to manage, that support a curriculum-based unit of work will increasingly become one role of the teacher librarian.

References

3P Learning. (2014) Mathletics. Retrieved from http://www.mathletics.com.au/

Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority, (ACARA). (2013). The Australian Curriculum v4.2. Retrieved from http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au

Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) (2010). Submission from the Australian Library and Information Association  to the ACARA consultation on the draft K-10 Australian Curriculum: English, mathematics, science and history. http://www.alia.org.au/advocacy/submissions/ALIA.submission.on.the.Australian.curriculum.draft.K-10.pdf

Australian School Library Association (ASLA). (2009) Statement on school library resource provision. http://www.asla.org.au/policy/school-library-resource-provision.aspx

Braxton, B. (2013). Sample collection policy: Collection development. Retrieved from http://500hats.edublogs.org/?s=sample+collection+policy

Education Services Australia. (2013) Schools catalogue information service. Retrieved from http://www2.curriculum.edu.au/scis/home.html

Goodreads Inc. (2014) Goodreads. Retrieved from https://www.goodreads.com/

Hughes-Hassell, S. and Mancall, J. (2005).Collection management for youth: responding to the needs of learners, ALA, pp. 3-10. http://ezproxy.csu.edu.au/login?url=http://www.CSUAU.eblib.com/EBLWeb/patron/?target=patron&extendedid=P_289075_0

Kennedy, John. (2006). Collection management: a concise introduction. Centre for Information Studies. Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga.

Lawton, F. D. & Scott, C. (2005). Integration: the glue that holds the digital library together. In A. Huthwaite (Ed.), Managing information in the digital age: The Australian technology network libraries respond (pp. 29-51). Adelaide: University of South Australia Library for Librarians of the Australian Technology Network.

Magpies Magazine. (2014) The journals. Retrieved from http://www.magpies.net.au/magpies/public/?MIval=m_pages&pagename=MCI

Miller, D. (2008) Teaching with intention.USA: Stenhouse Publishers

National Copyright Unit. (n.d.). Smartcopying: The official guide to copyright issues for Australian Schools and TAFE. Retrieved from http://www.smartcopying.edu.au/scw/go

Ojala, M. (2013) Riding the waves or caught in the tide. Information Today, Oct, 2013, Vol.30(9), p.1(2)

Quizlet. (2014) Quizlet. Retrieved from http://quizlet.com/subject/garran/

School of Information Studies, Charles Sturt University. (2012). Australian teacher librarian network. Retrieved from http://oztlnet.com/

State Library of Victoria. (2014) Inside a dog. Retrieved from http://www.insideadog.com.au/

Wade, C. (2005) The school library : phoenix or dodo bird? Educational Horizons, 8(5), 12-14

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