The dimensions of quality teaching relate strongly to the inquiry learning and project-based approaches as they are all striving to make learning more meaningful and to involve students in taking ownership of their own learning through their participation in the process.
Inquiry learning and project based approaches aim to help students develop questions and ideas about the topic and then seek to broaden their knowledge in a significant and relevant way to answer those questions. Quality teaching also focuses on the students thinking and working their way to deep knowledge and understanding through high levels of engagement and having some say in the direction of their pursuit.
TL role in curriculum development:
From the readings it is clear that the TL ideally would have a strong role in curriculum development. A ‘good’ TL has a wealth of knowledge in the area of both teaching and resourcing and should be utilised to ensure the students have the best possible learning experiences. The role of a TL, as we are coming to understand it, is not necessarily in sync with the perception of the general school population and so TL’s will have to actively pursue this sort of involvement if they want if be meaningfully involved, particularly at the planning and curriculum development level.
Benefits from the active involvement of the TL in curriculum development:
TL’s bring a range of skills in utilising information to the table and staff and students can really benefit from this resourcefulness if they choose to take advantage of it. They have a broad awareness of resources and information seeking skills that can benefit their school community. If they are working in curriculum development they will also have the benefit of being able to see the ‘big picture’ rather than just a stage or year level and will be able to plan a Scope and Sequence that helps to build on skills and strategies consecutively over time.
A principal should expect that the TL will work in collaboration with staff to plan units and courses. This is a culture that can be developed through the explicit communication of that expectation to staff as well as allowing some flexibility so the TL’s and staff have time to pursue this together.
When TL’s are excluded from curriculum development, staff and students are denied the chance to benefit from their expertise in terms of valuable search skills and access to information/resources that they are not aware of.
As a first time librarian, and someone who would obviously not be an expert in finding information, I am still surprised by how many times staff ask you to help find information for them. It is important that we demonstrate our value in being a rich resource for staff and students alike.