International Association
of School Librarianship

IASL Research Abstracts

IASL Research Abstracts: 212

Henri, J., & Chu, W.H.B. (2007).Teacher librarians a tour de force for information literacy in Hong Kong schools: Reality or rhetoric? Hong Kong.

The process of curriculum reform in Hong Kong schools has been an ongoing process since 1998. This reform has been largely driven by the catch phrase ‘learning to learn’ and has demanded a more student centered curriculum and pedagogy. Essential ingredients in this reform have been the demand for better qualified teachers, for IT savvy teachers, and for teachers and students who are able to effectively use information to solve problems.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the teacher librarian and information services to schools were identified as key ingredients in the change process. Indeed, whereas a decade ago very few schools were equipped with a central library, today almost all schools have one. Likewise a decade ago few schools employed a teacher librarian where as today the post of teacher librarian is one of only two mandated positions in schools; the other being the principal. In addition, all newly appointed teacher librarians are required to complete a two year part time Diploma in Teacher Librarianship that is paid for by the employing authority (although participating teacher librarians face a modest course fee). Participating teachers are allocated time release to support their participation in the program.

The appointment since 2002 of a Primary School Master/Mistress Curriculum Development (PSMCD) has strengthened the possibility of implementation of curriculum reform at the school level. These positions are filled by respected teachers who serve on a five year contract basis. It is expected that the PSMCD would work closely with the teacher librarian. Since 2006 the PSMCD has been established as a permanent post with their authority and leadership clearly articulated by the EMB. The school must enable the PSMCD to dedicate a substantial proportion of time to the position and the number of timetabled lessons that the PSMCD can teach must be strictly controlled. A concurrent component of school reform in Hong Kong has been the provision of a larger measure of school based management and accountability with principals taking on greater responsibilities than in the past. Anecdotal evidence suggests that many principals have found creative ways to make use of the teacher librarian beyond those important functions outlined in the policy documents. Indeed it is suggested that many teacher librarians are actually full time subject teachers with an added responsibility of supervision of the library.

Cyberspace, D-world, E-learning: Giving libraries and schools the cutting edge – IASL 2007 Conference Proceedings

Subject categories: 16, 17, 18, 20, 22

Abstract submitted by Rachel Pultusker, University of Michigan.

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