Tuesday, August 20, 2013

One librarian says "Sign me up! Oh wait, this is what made me want to teach and be a librarian."

Chapter one gives such amazing clarity to what has been a hazy sense of purpose for me. I did cheat a bit and devour chapter 3, the observe and investigate chapter... and I wanted more examples because that is exactly what I want to be doing with students.
I went to Mount Holyoke college, which had a dorm where english was not spoken much. I took classes at Hampshire, Amherst and UMass, with classes such as ASL(American Sign) for January, 8 hours a day for a month, Math and the Other Arts, Romance Language novels seminars, and so much more were part of my education. At the time, you had to go looking for those classes, but they were there.
My high school, the opposite, a truly benighted institution with narrow ideas of what qualified as 'literature', gave me the sense that only Europe and certain parts of the US counted as 'world literature and world history'.
Needless to say, within the first month of college I felt like I'd moved from a tiny dome to a galaxy.
I would like students to never have that domed in experience. The book makes such a brilliant case for why building schools that give a global education, it's so persuasive and specific, that I think the arguments it makes can have real impact.

So I am glad the school has chosen this book. I printed a copy to keep on my desk.

I did not feel nearly so strongly about the article. Also, I noticed none of the references were more recent than 2007, so I wondered what newer articles are available. The use of the word 'competence' I am not sure I agree with. Testing for competency in investigating seems to me less desirable than looking at projects students create. But I'll have to think about that more.

I also enjoyed the 'ponder'. That was a great way to close each chapter. I found I welcomed, and looked forward to the questions, and actually went for a cup of tea, to think them over before continuing. (And I did used to loathe those... chapter review bits in so many textbook type course books).  I did read the book in one very enjoyable morning.

The conclusion, and the chapter discussing policy even held my attention. I hope our school can work not only with some far off ones, but maybe with some local public ones.

Heather Lee
LS librarian and Information Science teacher

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