Libraries R The Place To B

ETL501 – Assessment 2 – Part B: Critical Reflection

This pathfinder / website has been created for Stage 3, Year 5/6 Students based on the New South Wales Board of Studies Australian Curriculum, NSW Syllabuses for the Australian Curriculum content descriptor ‘Earth and Space’. 

In this critical reflection, it will be considered how pathfinders enrich and develop Students information literacy skills together with the important role a Teacher Librarian (TL) plays in the creation of pathfinders to meet Student needs and anticipated learning outcomes.

Stage 3 Outcomes

A student will:

  • describe how discoveries by people from different cultures and times have contributed to advancing scientific understanding of the solar system; and,
  • explain rapid change at the Earth’s surface caused by natural events, using evidence provided by advances in technology and scientific understanding (Board of Studies NSW, 2012).

Stage 3 Content incorporates knowledge that the Earth is part of a system of planets orbiting around the sun as it requires students to research the planets of the solar system and compare how long each planet takes to orbit the sun as well as build a model of the Earths rotational orbit around the Sun and the Moon’s orbit around the Earth (Board of Studies NSW, 2012).  In addition, the Australian Curriculum Earth and Space Sciences incorporates knowledge about how the Earth’s rotation and orbit occurs and how this causes regular and predictable changes to take place on our planet (Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority, 2013).

General Capabilities: (ACARA, 2011)

  • Literacy

In accordance with the Australian Curriculum, Students will gradually become literate as they develop the skills, knowledge and characteristics in order to use, interpret and articulate language with certainty in their learning and communication both inside and out of school which will enable them to effectively participate in their own community and wider society (ACARA, 2013).  Students develop such competencies by building upon knowledge and skill and by interacting with others through students listening to, reading, viewing, speaking, writing and creating oral, print, visual and digital texts for a range of purposes.

  • Information and Communication Technologies (ICT)

In accordance with the Australian Curriculum, Students will develop ICT capabilities as they learn to use ICTs effectively and appropriately to access, create, communicate information and their ideas, solve problems and work collaboratively in all key learning areas (KLAs) at school and in their lives beyond their lives beyond school.  As Students will have opportunities to access, create and communicate through a variety of digital technologies, working collaboratively and thereby becoming responsible digital citizens.

  • Critical and Creative Thinking Capability

In accordance with the Australian Curriculum, Students will develop capabilities in critical and creative thinking as they learn to generate and evaluate knowledge, clarify concepts or ideas, pursue challenges and possibilities, contemplate alternatives and problem solve (ACARA, 2013).  Students clarify and consolidate their knowledge through deep thinking, creativity, imagination and innovation. Students also develop understandings through planning and selecting appropriate information and forming conclusions based on the evidence and knowledge they obtain.

Critical Analyses of Search Strategies

When I was investigating websites for this pathfinder, Shrock’s (2009) 5W’s of website evaluation and the Cyberguide ratings (McLachlan, 2002) for content and web design, were utilised to ascertain as to whether or not the websites chosen matched the criteria from a Student’s perspective.   As such, this was a time consuming activity and so I used the Cyberguide ratings and my prior knowledge and understanding of Year 5/6 Students when selecting websites. 

By creating this pathfinder, I was forced to give considerable thought as to how Students would experience the information overload and haphazard structured of the web and soon realised that I needed to be critically selective in what was chosen and presented to Students as options for their research (Ferguson, 2005).  It was critical in building this pathfinder to ensure that I catered for:

  • visual, audible and kinaesthetic, physically impaired learners;
  • a range of reading abilities and levels; and,
  • technical capabilities across this grade (Combes, 2013).

As recommended by Combes (2013), it was also critical to ensure that I catered for and met the needs of all students by differentiating between the various sites.

Out of habit, I confess to being an avid GOOGLE user, however since commencing this course and making this pathfinder, I have discovered that there is a huge range of other search engines out there!  As I started to use websites suited to Students, I soon found far more appropriate websites catering for Students, which spoke their ‘lingo’ and this was a wonderful surprise for me.  Although I regularly look at websites for information, I realised that there are a lot more websites than I initially thought that do target and cater for Students. 

Critical Analysis of Pathfinder’s Information Literacy Skills

Through my readings and creation of this pathfinder, I would definitely agree with Wall & Ryan’s (2010) suggestion that in education today, it is no longer adequate or acceptable to provide Students with information and set a task for them to simply represent it in a nominated format which, purportedly demonstrates their understanding.  In order to prepare our Students for the 21st Century and beyond school, it is essential that we provide opportunities for Students to:

  • discuss and collaborate;
  • engage with critical and creative thinking;
  • ensure they utilise Information literacy (IL) skills to enhance their learning; and,
  • enable them to be active participants in their own learning (Herring, 2011).

It would appear that by creating a well thought out pathfinder /website for Students to use which guides them through the enormous maze of websites is definitely conducive and supportive of this notion however as Kuntz (2004) reveals, this is not the case and does not work because the pathfinder is simply the start of Students beginning to use and develop their own skills, knowledge and understanding of how to effectively find information.  Upon reflection, when students use print material, dictionaries, online encyclopaedias, websites, pathfinders and search engines, this is merely facilitating them on an inquiry process where they eventually and independently investigate a range of resources through various multimodal tools.   

What did I Learn From Constructing a Pathfinder?

I have come to realise that what Educators once considered ‘library research skills’ have now become essential skills for functioning and performing in the modern world (Godfree, 2012).  With this in mind, it has become apparent that as a Teacher Librarian (TL), I have a massive responsibility, even a duty of care, to ensure that Students have the opportunity to develop these real-world-skills through meaningful and linked authentic learning (Todd, 2003).

For me, creating this pathfinder / website has broadened my horizons because I have always enjoyed developing and finding new innovative ways to support, enhance and engage Students more wholly in their learning.  In the 21st Century, children are simply born into this ICT World and I feel that by using web 2.0 and 3.0 tools as a TL and in providing resources for classroom teachers, I have genuinely improved on integrating my ICT skills and knowledge into teaching and learning and enhanced my own productive pedagogy.  It is also imperative that students conduct website evaluations and that they are taught and have ample knowledge of evaluation, so they are able to make informed decisions about information, it’s value and relevance to their own growth, development and learning.


Throughout my Bachelor of Education studies, this course and assignment, I have been consciously aware that I find myself continually agreeing with constructivist views that a person’s knowledge is not formed from a series of isolated experiences but rather, an ongoing sequence of construction and connection of information (Herring, 2007).  As a TL, I firmly believe that Information literacy is a prime example of these constructivist views. 

Upon reflection, I think that the pathfinder / website I created for Year 5/6 Students in this assignment, was a fairly good effort for a first attempt.  I am actually surprised that with my previous ICT skills and knowledge, that I had not discovered this prior to now!  I guess I could put it down to being very busy the last few years!  In any event, I trust that over time and with consistent practice, I will perfect and become more proficient at developing pathfinders and websites to enhance teaching and learning.  I am very excited about my prospects for a bright future as a TL and look forward to putting these new technological skills and enhanced pedagogical views to good use.


ACARA (2011). General Capabilities: Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority: Education services Australia Retrieved from

ACARA (2013). The Australian Curriculum: Science, Year 3 Earth and Space Sciences. Foundation to Year 10 curriculum. Retrieved from

Board of Studies NSW (#). NSW Syllabuses for the Australian curriculum. Science K-10 – Stage 3 – Knowledge and Understanding – Natural Environment. Earth and Space.  Retrieved from

Combes, B. (2013) personal communication: Online meeting. Retrieved from

Ferguson, J. (2005). Evaluating web information. Why evaluate information found on the web? University of North Carolina. Retrieved from

Godfree, H. (2012,September 4).  Teacher librarians crucial in info age. The Canberra Times Retrieved from

Herring, J. (2007) Teacher librarians and the school library. In S. Ferguson (Ed.) Libraries in the twenty-first century: charting new directions (pp.27-42). Wagga Wagga, NSW: Centre for Information Studies, Charles Sturt University

Herring, J. (2011). Assumptions, Information Literacy and Transfer in High Schools. Teacher Librarian, 38(3), 32-36.

Herring, J. E., & Bush S. J. (2011). Information literacy and transfer in schools: implications for teacher librarians. Australian Library Journal, 60(2), 123-132.

Kuntz, K. (2004). Pathfinders: Helping students find paths to information. The Online educator. Retrieved July 30, 2013.

McLachlan, K. (2002). Cyberguide Ratings. East Know High School. Retrieved from

Schrock, C. (2009). 5W’s of website evaluate. Retrieved from

Todd, R. (2003).  WASLA Conference: Authentic research and authentic learning through school libraries. Retrieved from  PowerPoint.

Wall & Ryan (2010) Resourcing for curriculum innovation: Learning in a changing world.

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ETL504 – Assessment 2 – Part B: Critical Reflection

ETL504 – Assessment 2 – Part B: Critical Reflection

Provide a critical reflection as a final post on your blog on what you have learnt as you examined leadership in depth during this subject.  How has this subject extended your knowledge and understanding of the role of the teacher librarian as leader?  Refer to your blog post in assessment task one. Compare your ideas to what you wrote in your assessment one blog post, your ongoing reflective journal posts and your participation in the ETL504 forums.

Wow!  Upon reflecting on my Blog for ETL504, I am amazed at how my concepts, knowledge and understandings about a Teacher Librarian (TL) as a Leader have dramatically changed, not just since completing this subject but from the start the year when I commenced this retraining at CSU for a Graduate Certificate in Teacher Librarianship.

Reflecting on my initial Blog post where I contemplated what the meaning of leadership was within the school library, it became evident that at this point in time, I thought I had a fairly good idea but now I can see that I was only just starting to touch the bigger picture.  I could understand why it would be a good idea to have a Vision for the Library, I thought I had a good perspective on a TL’s responsibilities and even commented on some good personal attributes a TL might need.  In order to achieve a Library Vision, I pointed out that a TL would adjust to change and transformation.  It was extremely obvious that it was essential for a TL to work collaboratively with other teachers and manage the Library collection.  I definitely felt that I had a solid grasp and could identify with how Information and Communication Technology (ICT) was the driving force behind the current pedagogical change and I felt that TL’s would be instrumental in fostering professional growth and development.  I could not really see what all the fuss was about I just assumed this was part of a TL’s everyday job!

In hindsight, I was naive of the extent to which a TL role was in fact a leadership one and how important it is to have TLs in schools being the driving force behind Digital Literacy’s, curriculum planning and productive pedagogy.   As I continued on through the modules reading and listening to video clips and reading forums, my concepts about the TL as a leader started to dramatically change, I was now seeing the bigger picture!  By having the opportunity to undertake this TL retraining, I was exposed to the Standards of Professional Excellence for Teacher Librarians (Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) and Australian School Library Association (ASLA, 2004) (the document).  This was the turning point for me and a revelation as the document highlighted crucial roles, responsibilities and professional standards expected of TLs as leaders within a school context, together with aspects pivotal to the literacy curriculum and productive pedagogy.  As stated by the ALIA and ASLA (2004, p. 4) excellent TLs … “promote and nurture a ‘whole-school focus’ on information literacy policy and implementation”.  I am also acutely aware that the TLs role as a leader even goes beyond literacy to include knowledge and expertise in technology and new ways of thinking in current and progressive cutting-edge pedagogies.

Through this subject, my research and reading as a TL with training wheels on, I have become even more acutely aware of just how fast changes to how we access information, multi-media and technology have changed the concept of literacy to integrate and include critical and digital literacy (Houlton, 2013b).  In retrospect, this has placed a huge responsibility and challenge on TLs who have the expert knowledge and understanding to lead their schools on a direct path of how to understand the digital, information and critical literacy skills presented in the General Capabilities of the Australian Curriculum.   It is imperative that TLs meet this challenge head on in consideration of the new Australian Curriculum and staying up-to-date with current trends in ICT, resourcing our schools adequately and make sure students have ample opportunities to develop their skills, methods and attitudes which will allow them to effectively engage with and utilise information to construct new knowledge and learning (MCEEYA, 2008; Townsend, 2011; Beetham and Sharpe, 2013).

As I spent time with my very experienced mentor and another TL with whom has encouraged my professional development, I felt affirmed by their comments that they too have been amazed with rapid changes in ICTs and how has impacted upon their roles as they have become more of a ‘facilitator’ guiding their students as they constructed new knowledge and understandings.  I am in my fourth year of teaching and I recall in my first year out, when I mentioned theories of constructivism many teachers would look at me blankly but this is all starting to change which is very exciting for me because I feel that everything I’ve been learning about for the past 8 years is and my own concepts are finally significant.  Now when I talk about constructivism, I don’t get blank and sometimes bizarre looks!  Furthermore, as I reflect upon ETL504, I now more than ever before understand the responsibility I have ahead of me as a leader in instigating change within and beyond my school.  I now see that it is my responsibility as a TL to instigate a whole school focus on information literacy whereby I will need to effectively apply my knowledge of literacy, ICTs and pedagogy to the new Australian Curriculum and lead fellow colleges through this time of change.

When reflecting upon Leadership for Learning (Module 3) words such as collaboration, reflection, and discussion resonate even more as I become acutely aware of how important it is for TLs to embrace a collegial role and with the challenges ahead, I am certain about becoming pro-active in this role.  TLs must demonstrate their collegiality and collaboration through engaging with the new curriculum and staff as a vehicle to share visions, establish positive relationships and nurture important changes within the school (O’Donoghue and Clarke, 2009).

As I reflect I am reminded Hay and Foley’s (2009) views that students of the last decade, have been immersed in a rapidly changing world and TLs are in a unique position as the schools information specialists to provide support and guidance.   Subsequently, transformational and collaborative leadership practices will enable the TL to demonstrate their capacity to lead schools forward in 21st-Century teaching and learning.  In addition, for TLs to demonstrate their commitment to innovative problem solving, learning and decision making capacities, it will be imperative for them to engage in collegial discussion.  Without these aforementioned practices and commitments a TL is not heading change and the schools change will be limited.

ETL504 has also emphasises the fact that in order to remain a visible leader and not fade away in the Library which can sometimes be isolating, it is important for me as a TL stay informed of and up to date with changes and be vocal about this as the media and information specialist.  To maintain this high standard of professionalism within the school and its community, I will have to continue in my own quest for professional development and learning by developing new and maintain old networks, encouraging collaboration, mentoring and connecting with other TLs in both school and public libraries. 

In conclusion, I would agree with Hay and Foley’s (2009) view that future libraries will change to become flexible learning centres assisting in the development of ICTs and digital literacy competencies by collaborating with other teachers to support and cater for their diverse student learning needs.  In being a TL as a Leader, I will demonstrate my continued commitment to professional development whilst drawing out all the qualities of a collaborative leader who promotes and actively fosters collegiality by guiding other teachers within my school through many of the changes that face students and educators in the 21st-Century.  I know I will always enjoy this aspect of being a TL and look forward to an exciting time of change and leadership ahead.


Australian Library and Information Association & Australian School Library Association. (2004) Standards of professional excellence for teacher librarians.  In Teacher-librarians standards. Retrieved from

Beetham, H. and Sharpe, R. (2013). Rethinking Pedagogy for a Digital Age: Designing for 21st Century Learning. Retrieved from

Hay, L and Foley, C. (2009) School libraries building capacity for student learning in the 21C. Scan, 28(2), 17-26.

Ministerial Council on Education, Employment and Youth Affairs(MCEEYA) (2008). Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians. Retrieved from

O’Donoghue, T. A. and Clarke, S. (2010). Teachers learning and teachers leading. Leading learning: process, themes and issues in international contexts(pp. 87-99). London: Routledge. Retrieved from

Townsend, T. (2011). School leadership in the twenty-first century: different approaches to common problems? School Leadership and Management, 31(2), 93-103. Retrieved from


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ETL504 MODULE 4: Communication – Negotiation

ETL504 MODULE 4: Communication – Negotiation

 What is your approach to managing conflict?

Does this match how you think of yourself?

What areas do you think you need to develop?

It was very interesting to take the online Conflict Resolution Questionnaire  to find out what sort of communicator I am.  When completed, I was not surprised to receive a response of ‘compromise’ and would agree that I do like to find a compromise in all situations that everyone can be satisfied with.

Although in some situations depending on dynamics, unfortunately confrontation or conflict arises and when it does, I find myself just listening to the person, trying to diffuse the matter, make sure I understand the details and then try and encourage all parties concerned to reach an amicable agreement.  In saying this, I also try to respectfully present my beliefs but I won’t argue with people as I find this doesn’t help anyone!

Perhaps something I need to improve on in my role as a TL is being more assertive but this must be done in a positive and respectful manner.  Also, sometimes in my enthusiasm and willingness to participate in school events, I take on too much and don’t say no to people however recently, I have had to do this and I’ve observed that some people don’t like the word “no” being said to them.  So I’ve been opting not to come right out with a “no” and try to explain my situation in the hope the other person’s understanding nature will kick in.  If not, then I have no other alternative other than to simply just say that little word, “no”!  As a TL it has become clear that I will need to be assertive in managing the library services and collection if I want to send a message that the Library is to be utalised in a positive way and be the hub of the school.

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ETL504 MODULE 3: Leadership for Learning – Professional Learning

ETL504 MODULE 3: Leadership for Learning – Professional Learning

The school is implementing the Australian Curriculum in 2014 and you have developed a digital learning continuum for use by teachers within their classrooms.

How will you train the teachers in both the understanding of the continuum and how this can be embedded within their programs?  You may like to check out the AITSL Professional Learning Charter.

The new Australian Curriculum is providing teachers and teacher librarians with many new challenges – none the least being the need to continue to improve personal knowledge and understanding of digital tools and digital environments.  A personal learning strategy is possibly more important now than at any other time.  We have an opportunity on the one hand and a challenge on the other.

How will you manage your own professional learning strategy?   How will you influence and / or guide the professional learning needs of others?

Being a Teacher Librarian as a small school and part of a Small Schools Group of teachers for a particular Stage, I had already been attending meetings in relation the new Australian Curriculum and continuums.  With this in mind and after some in-depth contemplation, I decided that I would endeavor to undertake the following steps in order to expose the teachers at my small but delightful school, to the Australian Literacy Continuum (the continuum) and encourage them to embed it within their programs:

1.        Co-ordinate a time for a staff meeting with all Stage teachers, support staff and Executives;

2.        At this meeting, present the continuum to all staff and encourage them to reflect upon each step, their components and how they would progress students between each of the Stages;

3.        Present some engaging information about theories and practices on constructivism and the concept of pedagogies that foster scaffolding and self-constructed knowledge and learning;

4.        Allow ample time for open collegial discussion on knowledge and understandings of constructivism;

5.        Demonstrate how to link up the framework to the Information Skills Process (NSW Department of Education and Training, 2007) and how this applies to constructivism and metacognition;

6.        Model, demonstrate and inform (perhaps via recorded video clips of lessons) how the framework has been utilized during library sessions;

7.        Display and provide student work samples evidencing their achievements;

8.        Offer a timetable where I would be available to discuss matters further and model lessons for staff;

9.        Respectfully request that each Stage teacher plan a series of linked continuum lessons for any chosen Key Learning Area (KLA) relevant to their Stage, which will be implemented and later evaluated at a further staff meeting;

10.    At the staff meetings, I would instigate and encourage reflection and discussion among all Stage teachers about their series of lessons whilst highlighting and recording ideas on what worked and what could be improved prior to planning a unit of work other KLAs.

11.    At the staff meetings, I would also instigate collegial discussion about assessment and how this would be applied to units of work.

 When managing my own professional learning, I envisage that I will continue to:

  •       collaborate and share information and ideas with colleagues both in my school and Small Schools Group;
  •      seek out and participate in professional development opportunities;
  •      seek mentoring from other experienced teachers; and,
  •      personally reflect and evaluate my own teaching and learning.

 In addition, I think it is also important to continue to actively promote and inform other teachers about professional development opportunities, to share my learning experiences at staff meetings and online media (perhaps his Blog would be a good vehicle to do this J) and finally, promote collaboration and mentoring among all staff especially for new teachers.


 NSW Department of Education and Training. (2007). Information skills in the school: engaging learners in constructing knowledge. Retrieved from

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ETL504 MODULE 3: Leadership for Learning – Digital Learning

ETL504 MODULE 3: Leadership for Learning – Digital Learning

 What is your understanding of digital literacy now? There are elements of digital literacy in the General Capabilities of the Australian Curriculum.  Map your current understanding of digital literacy to the General Capabilities.

 How would you develop a digital literacy framework for your school in the context of the Australian Curriculum?  Use the General Capabilities and share your suggestions as to the starting point of a digital learning / digital literacy continuum.

 Due to fast changes in technology and the ease at which we are now able to access information, the concept of literacy has also had to change to encompass such information flow into Digital and Critical Literacy.  Students must have the opportunity to be able to develop their skills in using a range of media effectively if they are to be successful in establishing a sound basis for future learning and be successful in their career pursuits after school.   In this regard, a Teacher Librarian’s (TL) role is to support their students in becoming multi-literate via productive pedagogies that foster critical and innovative thinking when using Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs).

 At the core of the Australian Curriculum’s General Capabilities is the notion that each student will become a … “successful learner, confident and creative individual, and active and informed citizen” (Australian Curriculum, n.d.).  Wall and Ryan (2010) referred to the concept of Digital Literacy as a set of skills, processes and attitudes that assist learners to utilize and manipulate information for the construction of new knowledge.  In addition, according to Glister (as cited in Butttrey, 2010, p. 10), Digital Literacy is defined as a person having the … “ability to understand and use information in multiple formats from a wide range of sources when it is present via computers”. 

 With this in mind, when applied to the ICTs Capability of the Australian Curriculum, there are five connected elements that become highlighted as students will need and are expected to:

  •        Apply social and ethical protocols and practices when using ICTs;
  •        Investigate and conduct research with ICTs;
  •        Create and with ICTs;
  •        Communicate with ICTS; and,
  •        Manage and operate with ICT (Australian Curriculum, assessment and Reporting Authority, 2013, p.60).

 Just as the concept of Digital Literacy encompasses critical and innovative thinking, the Critical and Creative Thinking Capabilities of the Australian Curriculum link up to the following features: 

  •        Inquiring: identifying, exploring and organising information and ideas;
  •        Generating ideas, possibilities and actions;
  •        Reflecting on thinking an process; and,
  •        Analysing, synthesizing and evaluating reasoning and procedures.

 In developing a digital literacy framework for my school in the context of the Australian Curriculum, the K-6 Literacy Continuum would be drawn upon whilst incorporating both the ICT and Critical and Creative Thinking Capabilities of the Australian Curriculum.  In consultation and collaboration with the other 2 teachers at my school as well as with other teachers from the Small Schools Professional Learning Group in my district, aspects of the abovementioned documents would be drawn upon in creating Stage appropriate tasks for students in a meaningful and valid context.


 Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority. (2013). General Capabilities in the Australian Curriculum. Retrieved from

 Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority. (n.d.) Retrieved from

 Buttery, S. (2010). Teacher librarians: leading by example and sharing the journey. Scan, 29(1), 10-12.

 Wall, J. and Ryan, S. (2010). Digital literacy: a resource for learning. Camberwell, Vic.: ACER Press.

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ETL504 MODULE 1: Organisation Theory – Diigo for Bookmarking

Just a quick note … I created a Diigo Account and am educating myself on the different applications and uses.  I would have to agree that this is a wonderful tool especially for use in this retraining program with the volume of readings, research and notes made. 

Diigo will also be brilliant to use as a Teacher Librarian and Leader.  Being able to share and organise information so easily has overcome a major problem I have had for years with “Favourites”.  I have also used Diigo on my iPhone and iPad and it is great to be able to access everything on these devices as well … and so conveniently!  I am looking forward to sharing Diigo with other teachers at school and introducing it to the children for use as an information literacy tool. 

I could not resist showing my  son (in Year 6) and he has been using it for a school assignment.  He has shown his classroom teacher as well as a few friends and now the Diigo bug is catching on at his school!

If you want to check this amazing Diigo Toolbar Application out – go to this link and join up …

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ETL504 – Assessment 1 – Part B: Reflection

 ETL505 – Assessment 1 – Part B: Reflective Journal Blog

In this post for ETL504 , I am required to reflect on emerging thoughts on the leadership role and practices of the Teacher Librarian (TL) in the context of recent modules on organisational theory and school leadership.

To do this I have decided to link the Teacher Librarian (TL) role to some of the concepts and ideas raised on my concept map.  With regard to moral purpose and vision, I think a TL’s moral purpose would be similar to every other classroom teacher’s insofar as wanting to make a difference to learning outcomes in the lives of the students that pass through the library doors each day (Winzenried, 2010).  Just as the school leader would develop a school vision, so go does a TL but the vision would be for the Library and would perhaps be written and communicated in the school’s library policy.  By having this clear vision, purpose and perhaps goals written into library policy the TL could use this to negotiate funding or renew some enthusiasm and commitment (Sergiovanni, 1984).

I have also been contemplating the TL as a leader and knowing that many of the day to day requests come from the Principal, other executive staff, teachers, parents and students.  With the TL experiencing a lot of ‘foot traffic’ through the library and dealing with so many different people on a daily basis, they would very much need to be an approachable, willing and generous natured person who has excellent relationship, communication and interpersonal skills.  It would also be a good skill for the TL to be able to gauge the attitudes, strengths and weaknesses of others and support, encourage and engage with them accordingly.  With so many different types of Leadership identified in the research, at this stage I am undecided as to what type of leadership the TL identifies.  At this stage, I could be swaying towards the Servant or Transformational and is probably because I feel like I’m undergoing such a learning transformation myself (Avolio, 2009)!

Sometimes it could be difficult for the TL to find the time to informally interact with other collleagues with makes communication difficult and with this in mind, it is would be important for the TL to make sure they develop ways and means of communicating to colleagues and the rest of the school about what is coming up, changing, or occurring in the library and how the library can help and what services are on offer (Marzano, Waters, and McNulty, 2005).

School libraries will no doubt undergo many changes in the future especially with regard to technology.  As a leader, the TL will need to be flexible, open and willing to embrace change in future school or educational directives in order to effectively manage them.  Effective leadership usually involves some form of change to allow visions to become a reality and as stated earlier, I think the TL who is already familiar with experiencing and coping with change will not have any difficulty with future library changes or transformations (Marzano et al., 2005).

Digital technology is one such driving force of change which brings more need for collaborative professional development and curriculum planning (Winzenried, 2010).  TL’s seem to set high standards for themselves and need to collaborate with other colleagues to plan and deliver relevant and quality learning opportunities and experiences for students.  With this in mind, I firmly believe that TLs align themselves with the view that students are successful when they have outstanding teachers who are well-versed in instructional strategies and can meet a variety of needs (Townsend, 2011).

Sergionanni (2005) claims that a wise leader relies on others and builds upon their leadership capacity and I believe that TL’s continually do by through collaborating with other colleagues and continually engaging in life-long learning opportunities for professional growth and leadership.


Avolio, B., Walumbwa, F., & Weber, T. J. (2009, September 14). Leadership: Current Theories, Research, and Future Directions. DigitalCommons@University of Nebraska – Lincoln. Retrieved from

Marzano, R. J., Waters, T., & McNulty, B. A. (2005). Some theories and theorists on leadership. School leadership that works: from research to results (pp. 13-27). Alexandria, Va.: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development ;.Retrieved from

Sergiovanni, T. (1984). Leadership and Excellence in Schooling. Educational Leadership, February, 4-13. Retrieved from

Townsend, T. (2011). School leadership in the twenty-first century: different approaches to common problems? School Leadership and Management, 31(2), 93-103. Retrieved from

Winzenried, A. (2010). Towards an organisation theory for information professionals. In Visionary leaders for information.  Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, NSW: Centre for Information Studies.





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ETL504 MODULE 1: Organisation Theory – What is Leadership? How do you show it in school?

What is your understanding of leadership? How do you show leadership in your school? Introduce yourself and respond to these questions.

I have just started as a TL in a small rural school but have been teaching in various schools as a casual teacher. I have a background in law and retail business. Over the years I have encountered some wonderful leaders and some not so good. One things I know to be sure about leadership is that the team of people need to believe in what they are doing, have a common goal, purpose or clear sense of a vision for the future and trust in their leader to manage and lead them along their way to success.

I would have to say that since becoming a teacher, I have observed that it is vey important for schools to have effective leaders that are passionate about their schools future vision, direction and objectives. They also have to be extremely good at fostering and managing positive interpersonal relationships, utilising people’s strengths within their team and developing a clear path of action to be taken in order to reach shared visions and common goals.

I can also see that being a leader in an educational context has its challenges and complexities. I definately have more to explore and learn about a TL as a leader.

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ETL401 – Blog Task #3

ETL401- Teacher Librarianship – BC – Blog Task #3

Information literacy is more than a set of skills.

Information literacy (IL) consists of a set of skills which students learn at school that enable them to perform research tasks successfully.  Over time many models have been created for use by TL’s as a framework to implement and explain the IL learning process.  Many notions that support the idea that IL is more than just a set of skills such as life-long learning skills, collaboration, digital literacy and technology and guided inquiry.

A quick search of the internet will provide you with many IL models such as the Eisenberg &  Berkowitz’s (2000) Big 6; McKenzie’s (2000) Research Cycle and Kuhlthau & Todd’s Guided Inquiry which all consist of a set of six stages the leaner follows to complete the research task (Unknown).

With this 20th century digital age upon us, students and Teachers are being propelled into an evolving educational scene where we have to update or acquire Information Communication and Technology (ICT) skills to keep pace with change.  Students today demand fast, accurate and immediate information when they undertake information seeking tasks, so it is essential to provide them with skills they need to be able to read, analyse, evaluate, organise and decipher relevant and credible sources of information (Thomas, 2011).

Teachers can not undertake this task alone so TL take responsibility for teaching of these skills and in order to do this, collaboration with other Teachers is essential to be able to successfully plan, implement and assess IL learning (Kuhlthau, 2010).  Another reason that demonstrates IL is not just a set of skills the constant monitoring by two teachers who jointly scaffold the whole process for students through rich and meaningful IL inquiry tasks.

Once such model that offers a holistic view of the information seeking process is Kuhlthau’s Information Search Process (ISP) model.  It is the only model found that connects and presents the students experiences from the cognitive (thoughts) and the physical (actions) together with the affective (feelings) that students might experience during each stage of the process (Kuhlthau, 2013).  The ISP is based on many academic research findings and the feelings that students experience through the progression of each stage also supports the argument that IL skills are more than just a set of skills.

To have IL skills requires students to know how to use skills effectively and self-awareness of this process is a positive outcome as it will assist students in preparing for future learning activities in and outside of school.   If the student has the knowledge the skills developed for each stage of the process will equip to become life-long learners then surely IL is not just a set of skills?

With this in mind, it is fair to assume that by developing IL knowledge and skills this shapes the minds of today producing educated and informed citizens who contribute and participate intellectually to society on a whole.  If you want students to develop into decisive independent thinkers, they need to have opportunities to practice higher order and critical thinking skills at school.  This is also consistent with Kuhlthau’s (2010, p. 21) Third Space explanation that blends the First Space of the students world with the Second Space of the curriculum to create the Third Space where real meaningful long lasting learning occurs.  When teachers aim to create this Third Space often, by providing students with the skills to live their lives in society, this resonates with the evidence that IL is more than just a set of skills.

In conclusion, we consider that many aspects need to be taken into consideration when teaching IL to students.  As outlined above, the collaborative responsibility for providing assistance to students to enable them to complete each stage of the learning process lays with classroom Teacher and TL. In addition, the consistent monitoring of the process making sure students achieve the inquiry or research goal is also a dual responsibility for both the classroom Teacher and TL (Kuhlthau, 2010).  Any feelings felt by students and emotional responses made during the progression of the information seeking process, demonstrates that link between IL skills and feelings. The students’ understanding of the IL skills creates potential life-long learners who should succeed as intellectually informed individuals.  Finally, based on these arguments and evidence it is reasonable to say that IL is more than just a set of skills!


Author Unknown, (Unknown). Information Literacy and Inquiry Learning Models. Retrieved from

Thomas, N. P., Crow, S. R., & Franklin, L. L. (2011). Chapter 3: The Information Search Process: Kuhlthau’s legacy. In Information literacy and information skills instruction: Applying research to practice in the 21st century school library (3rd ed., pp. 33-58). Santa Barbara: Libraries Unlimited. Retrieved from

Kuhlthau, C. C. (2013). Information Search Process. Retrieve from

Kuhlthau, C. C. (2010). Guided Inquiry: School Libraries in the 21st Century. School Libraries World Wide, 16(1), 17-28. Retrieved from

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ETL401 – Blog Task #2

ETL401- Teacher Librarianship – BC – Blog Task #2

The Role of the TL in practice with regard evidenced based practice.

Evidence based practice (EBL) provides proof or justifies the presence of libraries and Teacher Librarians (TL) in the school context and is supported by the Australian School Libraries Associations (ASLA) set of Standards for professional excellence that TL need to achieve.

EBP can be viewed in many forms and some examples are that the TL:

  • collects information about matters that concern or inform professional development;
  • —is able to show that achieving information literacy standards has an impact beyond the school library for students who develop these skills;
  • works collaboratively with other staff to developing suitable programs for specific curricula focus or whole school needs; and,
  • evaluates, manages and maintains a rich and useful resource collection for the library users and community (Todd, 2007).

Once EBP is established the TL also devises ways of obtaining the necessary funds to purchase much needed and current resources to maintain the collection and this is one example of the continual cycle that supports the need for TL roles in schools.  In order for the role of the TL not to be transparent, it is important that the TL makes visible documentary evidence of their expertise to the whole school community so they are informed of why they should value having a TL and a school library.  Putting this EBP forward to school community to make them aware of important duties performed by the TL is an essential part of the role of the TL.

In addition, by the TL putting documentary EBP out there for all and sundry to see, other Teachers will gain a clear picture of what the TL does and perhaps view the TL as an equal peer when they realise that school libraries and TL do improve student outcomes (Oberg, 2002).  If a TL’s position can be substantiated to other Teachers by providing evidence, perhaps this will change the engrained negative views about the role TLs have in schools.  Surely providing evidence of productive pedagogy, quality standards or best practice will combat negativity and result in a change for the better.

When a TL offers evidence of best practice they prove that they are meeting challenges of the ASLS standards of professional excellence for TL (ASLA, 2004).  By offering this evidence the TL’s position will definitely be substantiated and provide themselves with absolute credibility.  An example of evidence could be a program that the TL has developed which includes pertinent references for the school such as integration of ICT; differentiation to cater to the needs of students; consideration of Indigenous perspectives or the elements of the Quality Teaching Model.

By achieving this credibility and recognition from other Teachers, it will then allow the TL reasonable grounds and evidence to meet with the Principal and enter into negotiations for library funding and support.  Understandably, if a Principal acknowledges and can identify this research or EBP by the TL, they will be reasonable and more inclined to deliver a healthy budget for the library.  If this occurs, the TL will then be able to select and acquire valuable resources that meet the learning and teaching needs of the Teachers and students.  If this occurs, it will create the opportunity for the TL to evaluate, maintain and manage a rich and useful collection that benefits the whole school community.

The process outlined above demonstrates the continual cycle and nature of EBP conducted by quality TLs.  Once a TL has evaluated and recorded EBP or best practice and proven their worth in supporting the school’s mission, they can look toward the school community and beyond with a positive vision to make others aware of the need for effective TL and school libraries.  This would only prove to substantiate their TL position even more and providing further justification for funding from the Principal.  Once this occurs the TL can then provide evidence for the selection and acquisition of new and meaningful resources that maintain the collection that is based upon evidence of educational need.  It would be fair to conclude that a TL’s role is also to promote EBP that substantiates how they perform and what services they provide to schools.


Todd, R. J. (2007). Evidenced-based practice and school libraries : from advocacy to action.In S. Hughes-Hassell & V. H. Harada School reform and the school library media specialist (pp. 57-78). Westport, CY : Libraries Unlimited. Retrieved from Charles Sturt University website:

Oberg, Dianne, (2002). Looking for the evidence: Do school libraries improve student achievement? School Libraries in Canada; 22(2): ProQuest Central pg. 10. Retrieved from Charles Sturt University website:

Australian Library and Information Association. (ALIA). /Australian School Library Association. (ASLA). (2004). Standards for professional excellence for teacher librarians. Retrieved from

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