In Search of Synergy for Science: A Collaborative Lesson Plan Assignment for Preservice Elementary School Teachers and Preservice School Librarians Public Deposited

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Last Modified
  • March 19, 2019
Creator
  • Rawson, Casey
    • Affiliation: School of Information and Library Science
Abstract
  • Although professional standards for both school librarians and classroom teachers heavily emphasize collaboration, research suggests that such collaboration remains rare in practice. This is especially true in science, where despite numerous calls in the LIS literature for more frequent and substantive collaboration between school librarians and science teachers, both parties struggle to see connections between their respective curricula. While a number of research studies have investigated the facilitators, process, and outcomes of teacher-librarian collaboration (TLC), including science-focused collaboration, in the context of K-12 schools, comparatively little attention has been paid to how classroom teachers and school librarians are taught about collaboration in their preservice education programs. The mixed methods, iterative, design-based study that is the focus of this dissertation addressed this gap by exploring the impact of a novel collaborative lesson plan project undertaken by students enrolled in an elementary science methods course and students enrolled in a graduate-level school library course. Findings indicate that preservice librarians deepened their understanding of TLC and the instructional role of the school librarian, the purpose and role of resources in the school library program, and the potential for school librarians to collaborate with science teachers. Preservice teacher participants reported high levels of motivation to participate in future TLC partnerships at the end of this project, despite the fact that there was little evidence to suggest deep shifts in these participants’ understanding of TLC and the instructional role of the school librarian over the course of the project. Activity theory provided a framework for identifying and discussing five tensions experienced by participants as their learning was mediated by the classroom and community context, tools, and each other. Project outcomes include a set of design guidelines that can help teacher and school librarian educators implement similar assignments in their own contexts, a synthesized model of the TLC process as experienced by project participants, and a new proposed model of TLC that reflects participants’ understandings of the various forms that TLC might take in practice and the factors that contribute to the overall intensity of collaborative partnerships.
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  • In Copyright
Advisor
  • Anderson, Janice
  • Mardis, Marcia
  • Hughes-Hassell, Sandra
  • Sturm, Brian
  • Gollop, Claudia
Degree
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2016
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