Friday, November 18, 2005


Lauren, I was really somewhat surprised by the ACRL standards. I had been thinking that there might be a gap - in other words that the AASL standards might fail to adequately prepare students for the ACRL standards. But instead my first impression is that the ACRL standards fail to pick up a significant strand of the AASL standards. And what I find fascinating is that the strand is one that maps onto your interest in the social generation of knowledge. Note the particular language in standard 6 (AASL)... "strives for excellence in information seeking and knowledge generation."

And where ACRL suggests an either/or: "The information literate student, individually or as a member of a group...", the AASL standards promote membership not in just any group but a "learning community," and further one of the standards is effective participation "in groups to pursue and generate information."

This is the language in the AASL standards that is currently of real interest to me as a professional educator because I believe it's at the heart of the movement in teacher education and professional development that posits that teachers have particular knowledge about their work and are capable of collaboratively creating new knowledge. Continuing teacher education should not look like the traditional workshop with an outside consultant relaying new information to teachers but of teachers working together to examine data about their students and having conversations that generate new theories about that data and then testing those theories in practice followed by further conversation to generate knowledge from those theories.

Let me give you an example. There's current interest in something called lesson study which comes from math and science teaching in Japan. A team of teachers get together and plan a lesson. One of the teachers teaches the lesson and the other members of the team observe. Observations are of the student learning not so much of the teaching -- what are they saying, doing, or producing that is evidence that they are or are not learning the concepts? Following the lesson the team gets together and talks about the observations and looks at any student work. Then they have a conversation about what worked or didn't work in the lesson. Then the lesson is re-worked or tweaked. Another teacher on the team teaches the revised lesson with observers again and the process is repeated.

As I am writing this I think it's really fascinating that you and I have interests that seem to weave in and out of each other's yet because we are coming from different contexts we have to stop to explain to each other. And in that process we have to make our own thinking much more explicit.

Should be an interesting independent study. Let's keep an eye on the dates for summer registration and get this together.


Blogger harvey3 said...

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All very facinating stuff food for the mind I suppose .. Anyway thanks for putting up your blog it all makes for a better world

10:28 AM  

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