titleinquiry logo

Role as Learning Leader

Media specialists, classroom teachers, and educational administrators must all be instructional leaders. However, media specialists hold a unique role in the school. They work with all of the teachers and can have a tremendous impact on the teaching and learning environment.

As an instructional leader, media specialists must take the initiative and seek out opportunities to work with the entire staff to meet the teaching and learning goals of the school.

Effective leadership for change is difficult and involves a complex process of interdependent components (Fullan, Bertani, & Quinn, 2004). In her article Professional Development and Closing the Achievement Gap, Stephanie Hirsh examined four approaches to professional development and found that deep understanding of content, quality teacher conversations, and a detailed plan were the cornerstones of this process.

eye means readRead Grade 4 Students' Development of Research Skills Through Inquiry-Based Learning Projects (PDF) by Sam Chu in School Libraries Worldwide (January 2008), Volume 14, Number 1. Notice how general studies teachers collaborate with information technology teachers and the school librarian for a successful program.

Barbara Stripling in Curriculum Connections through the Library (2003, p. 33-36) identified four roles librarians assume to support in-depth inquiry learning:

  1. Catalyst. Librarians act as change agents provoking and supporting school change. They design and co-teach throughout the curriculum. The librarian can provide a whole-school perspective through activities such as curriculum mapping. Offering opportunities for professional development is another way the librarian can impact the thinking of teachers.
  2. Connector. The librarian connects with individual teachers and groups of teachers through collaboration. Inquiry is enhanced through conversation and sharing.
  3. Coach. Librarians facilitate the development of independent and responsible learners through activities such as "think-alouds" and modeling. When teachers assess student progress continuously, steps can be taken to address individual needs.
  4. Caregiver. A personalized approach can reach individual teachers and students. The librarian is responsible for creating a safe, nurturing and supportive atmosphere for inquiry.

OPTIONAL: Read Chapter 11: Collaboration and Leadership by Joy McGregor in Curriculum Connections through the Library edited by Barbara K. Stripling & Sandra Hughes-Hassell.

Learn More

Darling-Hammond, Linda (1997). The Right to Learn: A Blueprint for Creating Schools that Work. Jossey-Bass.

Fullan, Michael, Bertani, Al, & Quinn, Joanne (April 2004). New Lessons for Districtwide Reform. Educational Leadership. 61(7), 42-46.

| SLIS-IUPUI | eduScapes | About | Contact Us | ©2005-2012