The Show Must Go On: Using Principles of Dramatic Acting to Transform Us Into More Intentional Teachers
Assuming the role of “teaching librarian” comes with its own set of unique challenges. Unlike school teachers or college professors, who have weeks to frame an educational context and build rapport with students, librarians often see students in a “one-shot” format. As an added obstacle, we also come up against librarian perceptions and stereotypes that can “freeze us out of instruction”; the anxious feelings students express toward research have been shown to negatively influence their impressions of the library and, by extension, librarians (Pagowsky). We must create a positive environment that supports student learning every time we enter the classroom from square one–a tall order to most of us, who received little or no training in what it takes to teach while we were becoming librarians.
The good news is, teaching is not an exercise in pass/fail. It’s a performance that unfolds and evolves over time to suit the needs of our students and our own needs as teaching librarians. This workshop prepares participants for teaching from “dress-rehearsal” to “opening night.” These activities will take teaching librarians on a journey inspired by acting exercises to gain self awareness. They will develop their teaching librarian personas, plan for potential challenges, and feel overall more empowered and confident about making intentional choices in the classroom.
Break It Down: Applying Instructional Scaffolding to the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy
Numerous discussions about the new ACRL Framework emphasize that it is a meaningful starting point for conceptualizing our instructional programs, while the abstract quality of its threshold concepts points to a need for more concrete and practical teaching approaches. The Framework also presents particular challenges to the traditional model of one-shot library instruction, given that understandings of complex concepts and processes develop incrementally over a sustained period of time.
Instructional scaffolding – a teaching technique in which students develop understandings and abilities incrementally through a sequence of increasingly complex activities – is an especially effective model for integrated information literacy instruction that helps engage students in complex ideas like “Research as Inquiry” and “Scholarship Is a Conversation.”
This workshop is an opportunity for librarians to share and build their experiences with instructional scaffolding while engaging with concepts from the new ACRL Framework. Participants will first share their teaching experiences and ideas in relation to threshold concepts. This discussion will help establish a foundation for developing learning outcomes and instructional sequences that can be implemented in the participants’ particular institutional contexts.
- Articulate the relevance of instructional scaffolding to teaching a threshold concept from the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy.
- Develop 1-2 assessable and manageable learning outcomes related to a threshold concept from the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy.
- Develop an instructional sequence that corresponds to the articulated learning outcome/s and that breaks the learning process into incremental steps.