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At the end of Week 6

August 22, 2010

Thoughts on Topic 3 – The Teacher Librarian and the Curriculum

 

From the readings in this topic and my own experience, I am an admirer of Resource-Based Learning, where the learner drives the process, rather than having it imposed upon them by a teacher.  Like many ‘quality teaching’ concepts, it’s a great idea, but how to do it in the classroom?

Being quite a practical person by nature, I was curious to see what some of the theories looked like in action.  So, I was interested to discover many valuable resources via. the module readings.

I was previously vaguely aware of the Curriculum Corporation, but will now be a regular visitor to its website:  http://www.curriculum.edu.au/ccsite/

 I’m also a fan of the fabulous Saskatchewan Ministry of Education’s Teacher-Librarians … Supporting Student Learning site at:   http://www.saskschools.ca/curr_content/teachlib/index.htm

I found the rubrics particularly helpful and not just for RBL.  (There are also rubrics for Information Literacy, Collaboration, Reading Literacy, Management and Technology).

RBL is said to be part of the move towards school-based curriculum development.  However, I’ve barely ever seen this happening in schools.  In a world increasingly results driven (NAPLAN, MySchool and the like), it seems many schools are more likely to be teaching to the syllabus than ever.  At one school I’ve taught at, virtually the whole of February-April and a small part of May is devoted to improving NAPLAN results.  At the direction of the principal, it’s English and Mathematics all the way, with only a tiny sprinkling of other key learning areas to stave off boredom.

I’m left with the lingering question:  Doesn’t a school need good resources in order to bring RBL to life?  There’s only so much a TL can do here as many resources are not free or easily affordable.  Once again, much  of the success of this philosophy is dependent on  funding.  If you don’t have the best resources, or even just adequate ones, this is a hard one to ‘pull off’.  (Always in the back of my mind is my experience as a parent, where the public school attended by my children is forced to charge a ‘paper levy’, due to tight budgets, and as a teacher, where other schools never have any art supplies, because the budget has been exhausted for that year).

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