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Media release - 15 April 2013
Report shows teacher librarians transform student learning
The Australian School Library Association (ASLA) is calling upon Australian educational decision makers to employ teacher librarians as part of the solution to improve national student learning and literacy.
ASLA Chief Executive Officer, Karen Bonanno said the industry’s final report, Future learning and school libraries, released today, highlighted the positive role of teacher librarians in supporting future learning within the school.
Teacher librarians’ knowledge and use of current and emerging digital technologies, together with a deep appreciation of literature, can transform teaching and learning within the school, Ms Bonanno said.
“With the avalanche of new and emerging digital technologies, the dynamics of how information is accessed and utilised for learning has changed.”
“As schools pursue world class 21st century education, then state and territory governments, and other education authorities, need to address the role and function of knowledge transfer at the school level. School libraries and teacher librarians are well placed to be the e-hub of the school and as the report outlines they should be empowered to support students to learn through a variety of technology.”
A summary of key points in the report include:
· a review of the global environment in which modern learners and educators are immersed,the educational implications of trends affecting contemporary schooling,the means of evaluating education outcomes, andkey alerts on the critical role of the teacher librarian.
The report, which was backed by a review of the research literature and extensive community consultation with principals and education agencies, also includes global and national education trends.
Contributing author, June Wall said the paper presents the case that a future focussed teacher librarian contributes to student learning through school library services and programs.
“To enable teacher librarians and school libraries to fulfil their potential in advancing modern learning, there is an urgent need for funding to support future planning and provision of teaching specialists in school libraries”.
There is also a need for enhanced professional education and employment opportunities to ensure that all Australian students benefit from the professional knowledge, practice and commitment of a teacher librarian at their school.
Ms Bonanno said that it is time to invest in the employment of specialists, such as teacher librarians, and encouraged decision makers to review the report that adds to the ever growing list of reports that indicate the power of teacher librarians in student learning and achievement.