As we looked at our steps to research, our URM group pondered whether thinking about a final product should begin earlier or later in the process. Occasionally, teachers who do research in the library feel students worry too much about getting a product finished to the detriment of immersing themselves in the literature of the topic. I think this occurs most frequently at the sixth grade level. After discussions, the group decided that products should be talked about early in the steps because they can influence the type of resources students look for like primary documents, etc. depending on the final presentation. As we encourage students to make decisions about how best to demonstrate their knowledge, deciding what resources will be used, is a critical piece.
Buiding a Community of Researchers August 8, 2007
One of the powerful images that came out of our discussions on research last year was the pervasive nature of research. We want students to see that we are constantly doing research in our everyday lives (buying a shirt at the mall, etc.). But we also want them to see how people in jobs, also use research. We hope to invite communtiy members in to talk about how research plays a role in their careers. We are also going to approach Family and Consumer Science teachers to see if students will ask the people they job shadow how they use research in their work day. We will also model how research is conducted in the various disciplines.
Updating Research Model August 7, 2007
The focus of this blog will be primarily on the discussions members of our faculty are having about research, as we look to update our model. We have been looking at research as a topic for a year now and will continue through 2007-2008. Whenever we update the model, it is important to reflect with the people who will help implement the changes. They have to believe in them as well. We’ve been having some meaningful discussions with some interesting questions that we still need to explore.
Background Info: Our Research Model has been in place for over 20 years. It is unified in that all students receive the same basic information literacy skills instruction that is in the model. It is up to the teacher and librarian to incorporate the skills into the inquiry process being conducted at the time of need. Since we are a middle school with a team structure, the librarian consults with the team to provide instruction throughout the year.
So come along on the journey with us.