“The ‘new pedagogies’ are not just instructional strategies. They are powerful models of teaching and learning, enabled and accelerated by increasingly pervasive digital tools and resources, taking hold within learning environments that measure and support deep learning at all levels of the education system”
When I went to school, I used to sit on my table and listen to the teachers, write down notes and read my textbooks. There were teachers and teachers, some enthusiasts about their subject, and others not. We do have group activities but I can’t remember more collaborative activities in class. Something that I can still remember is where I was seated, the front row. Even my height 1.70 mt. on Highschool. Why? Because I was always talking. And, why I was talking? Because I was bored. It was hard for me to engage in a class in which I only have to learn from my teacher, my textbooks and do my homework.
I attended school during the late 70’s and mid 80’s, it was the system. My life changed 180 degrees at the university when in my first assessment during a History class, Dr. Iwasaki told us that he didn’t want our description of the events, he wanted our opinion. I was introduced to critical thinking 101!
When I was going through How new pedagogies find deep learning, I was not surprised by the results of an MIT research about brain activity. How the brain of students is more active when they are sleeping than during a teacher-directed class.
- Boredom and frustration among students.
- Career disillusionment among teachers.
How can we change it? How new pedagogies can help teachers and students? What challenges are we facing? As Fullan says, students’ assessment, teacher evaluations, and school accountability regimes are the challenges. It’s the educational system that it’s not only limited to schools, and indeed universities and colleges.
Thinking about how I learned at the school and how we can learn now, students have access to unlimited resources. The Internet has changed our lives, our ways to communicate, learn, teach and socialize. Teachers are not knowledge-keepers anymore (vertical relationship). Teachers and students walk the inquiry path together, learning together (horizontal relationship), and from each other.
“The real transformation of technology and the Web is that it creates a freedom to learn and a freedom to contribute and participate on a global scale that didn’t exist even a decade ago.”Michael Fullan
This graphic summarized it:
At the school libraries, this transformation has also happened when the automation of the systems started. Before librarians use to be the knowledge-keepers, library catalogs were done manually, library sessions were conceived as orientation and general facts. Nowadays, you can access 24/7 the library online catalog from your mobile, read ebooks, access to online resources, use online databases, etc. Librarians are collaborating with their teachers and students, guiding students on their inquiries and following different standards for information literacy. Technology has emerged as an ally of the library. It has given freedom to patrons and changed the role of the librarian = a mentor. Students and teachers are becoming responsible for their learning and teachers are also learning with them.
But, freedom doesn’t mean a lack of guidance because students have been empowered by their teachers to master the process of learning. In the new pedagogies, practices like feedback, learning-to-learn, and peer-tutoring enhance deep learning on students.
Judi Moreillon summarized in her blog how librarians are adapting to deep learning:
- Working in collaboration with teachers and students.
- Adapting frameworks to improve their understanding of the inquiry process and improve their understanding of how we learn.
- Promote inquiry-based learning and technology integration.
- Develop a PLN
It’s also important to mention the contribution of Carol Kuhlthau with her ‘Guided Inquiry Design’. It promotes inquiry learning and collaboration. This framework was adopted by many school librarians and opened a conversation between pedagogy in the class and the library.
If I shall reflect on how my library environment is embracing new models of education, I can say that it’s a journey without ending because we are constantly learning, improving, adapting, and relearning. We are one of the key areas of innovation at the school; focus on collaboration, mentorship, and learning. Our challenges are :
- collaboration because not always everybody is willing to.
- mentorship as well, it requires a lot of collaboration.
Learning partnerships can lead to successful experiences for students and promotes agency. If you review my Course1 final work, you will find an example.
Two other elements are important alongside collaboration: the support of the administration and the continuous learning growth of the librarian. Without these 3 components, it’s not possible to fulfill the needs and expectations of the community and the paths between teacher, librarians, students, and technology won’t cross.
What do you think?