International Association
of School Librarianship

IASL Research Abstracts

IASL Research Abstracts: 214

214. Mardis, M.A., & Hoffman, E.S. (2007). Getting past “shsssh”: Online focus groups as empowering professional development for teacher librarians. United States of America.

This methodological review reports how online focus groups not only benefit the qualitative researcher but also provide professional growth among participants. The authors suggest that for school librarians, who often have limited opportunities for tailored professional development, focus groups can rapidly build a community of practice that transcends the original purpose of the researcher, enhancing knowledge and empowering new actions within schools following the model of Denzin (1997). By providing interaction, self-reflection, and professional sharing, the online focus group is a potentially powerful tool to include educators who share a professional culture but would not easily be reached by in-person techniques, as well as a method through which researchers can foster meaningful beneficial opportunities for professional learning and empowerment.

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

Subject categories: 6, 19

Abstract submitted by Rachel Pultusker, University of Michigan.

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