In October 2015, FAIR (Freedom of Access to Information and Resources) joined with the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA), ALIA Schools, Australian School Library Association (ASLA), Queensland School Library Association, School Library Association of NSW, School Library Association of South Australia, School Library Association of Victoria and the Western Australian School Library Association to seek nominations of Great School Libraries across the nation. We were looking for libraries that help children and young people find reliable information; use the information effectively; think critically; make informed decisions; work productively with others; build knowledge and understanding of the world; safely navigate the internet; communicate and share their ideas; and find great reads to meet personal interests and abilities. Nearly 600 students, teachers, parents, principals, library staff and other members of the community nominated their school libraries and told us why they deserved the accolade of being named a Great School Library. The campaign provided us with many different answers to the question ‘what do school libraries do’.
As a result of collecting nearly 600 nominations from students, teachers, parents, principals, library staff and other members of the community across Australia, who identified their school library as being a "Great School Library", FAIR analysed data from these nominations to answer the question "What do school libraries do?"
The report identified three primary drivers for school library to help achieve the best outcomes for students. These included:
Reading Giving every child a reading start and keeping them reading through their teenage years.
Digital literacy Making sure students are confident and safe users of the latest technology, media and applications.
Critical thinking and research Ensuring students understand how to access information and critically assess its rigour, quality and relevance, and helping students improve their school performance and preparing them for further education.
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As I’ve mentioned in some other posts, I come from a background in Experiential Education (yes, it is a specific professional discipline). I’ve also discussed reflecting on the learning activities to increase the chances of extracting learning as well as transferable skills and knowledge from the activities. This is an integral part of experiential education – see my previous posts, Where is reflection in the learning process? and The Maker as a Reflective Practitioner.
Another concept common to Experiential Education, that also increases the chances that transferable skills and knowledge result, is framing or frontloading the activities as part of introducing them.
Frontloading is making clear the purpose of an activity prior to actually doing it. The idea is that if participants clearly understand the purpose or lesson upfront, that lesson will repeatedly show itself during the action component. (http://chiji.com/processing.htm)
It helps participants use the upcoming activity to build on prior knowledge and experience It helps participants set purpose and intention for the activity It distributes expertise to the participants before the activity begins, as opposed to the facilitator or instructor being the only expert (http://experience.jumpfoundation.org/what-is-frontloading/)
Some of the general themes and ideas for frontloading making activities include:"
The following letter was sent to Supt. Dr. John Ramos and the Board of Education of the South Orange – Maplewood School District. The letter was read aloud at Monday night’s BOE meeting. To: South Orange Maplewood School District, Dr. Ramos, SOMSD Superintendent of Schools Elizabeth Baker, Board President Stephanie Lawson – Muhammad, 1st Vice President …
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