Flexible Scheduling Jennifer Canavan Diane Gornell Aimee Janusz EDIT 6900 Dr. Mary Ann Fitzgerald December 8, 2007
Problems with Flexible Scheduling • Based on SLMS interviews: • Lesson planning happens informally, rather than true collaboration. • Classroom teachers lack time to plan collaboratively. • Some classes come often for information literacy lessons while others don’t come at all. • Doug Johnson (2001, ¶ 3) asserts, “You can’t teach kids you don’t see.” In a flexible scheduling system, we give some students great skills and other students no skills. • Christine Hurley (2004) suggests that it may be practices, not schedule type, that determines the effectiveness of library programs.
Our Research Question What strategies regarding flexible scheduling in elementary SLMCs have effectively contributed to student learning?
Summary of Our Research • Flexible scheduling allows students to meet in the media center based on instructional and curricular need, rather than on a set calendar with fixed scheduling. • Most well-known studies on benefits of flexible scheduling were done by Jean Donham van Deusen and Julie Tallman. • Flexible scheduling is considered best practice by the AASL since 1991. • Numerous articles offer strategies and advice on how to best implement a flexible schedule in an elementary SLMC. • Major themes from the articles for implementing a flexible schedule: collaboration, communication & public relations, support, schedule, and process.
Strategies for Action Plan:Collaboration • Initiate and promote collaborative efforts with teachers to incorporate information literacy skills into the curriculum, fostering student learning. (Immroth & Lukenbill, 2007) • Outline for teachers the information literacy skills that each grade level will be mastering in the library media curriculum. (Browne & Burton, 1989; Ohlrich, 1992) • Track collaborative efforts that meet information literacy needs for each class, as they are taught. (Monck, 1999) • Participate in grade level meetings. (Monck, 1999; van Deusen & Tallman, 1994) • Adapt standard library media lessons already in use to fit classroom curricular needs and subject content. (Ohlrich, 1992)
Strategies for Action Plan:Communication & Public Relations • Challenge is to overcome attitudes of administrators and teachers. Use ongoing reinforcement, reassurance, and reminders that the goal is for students to become successful users of information and knowledge. (Lankford, 1994) • Educate all involved about the positive impact of collaboration on student learning and encourage them to take advantage of the possibilities provided by flexible scheduling. (Graziano, 2002; Needham, 2003) • Communicate media center news and events to keep everyone updated since they may not be coming to the media center regularly. (Browne & Burton, 1989) • Highlight successful collaborative efforts. (Ohlrich, 1992)
Strategies for Action Plan:Support • Need support from the principal. Principal’s expectation for collaboration is the key to successful flexible scheduling and collaboration with teachers. (McGregor, 2006; Needham, 2003; van Deusen & Tallman, 1994) • Personal characteristics of the SLMS and teachers promote success, such as flexibility and comfort with less structure. (McGregor, 2006) • Need sufficient support staff to run administrative tasks in the media center while SLMS is teaching and assisting students. (Browne & Burton, 1989; McGregor, 2006) • The size and available space in the SLMC will need to be able to service small groups and large classes simultaneously. (Browne & Burton, 1989)
Strategies for Action Plan:Schedule • Develop a schedule that will best meet the needs and issues of the school. (Graziano, 2002) • Schedule may involve a mix of fixed and flexible elements in order to continue seeing all students. (Fox, 2001) • K-1st grade teachers may request that students be exposed to the library through regular visits, so they may come at a fixed schedule. (McGregor, 2006) • Implement a calendar for planning and to communicate the schedule. (Monck, 1999) • Work on administrative duties when there is nothing scheduled, especially during testing or conferences. (Browne & Burton, 1989; Monck, 1999)
Strategies for Action Plan:Process • Changing from a fixed to a flexible schedule is a slow process that may take many years to fully implement. (Needham, 2003) • May want to make gradual changes when initially moving from fixed to flexible scheduling. (Graziano, 2002; Needham, 2003) • Implementation can follow different paths and the approach depends on the particular situation and needs of the school. (McGregor, 2006) • Acceptance typically comes slowly and cannot be taken for granted. (McGregor, 2006)
Bibliography Browne, K.S. & Burton, L. (1989, December). Timing is everything: Adapting to the flexible schedule [Electronic version]. School Library Journal, 35 (16), 20-23. Doug Johnson’s Website. (2001). Real flexibility (School Library Journal articles related to the debate on flexible vs. fixed scheduling). Retrieved September 20, 2007, from: http://www.doug-johnson.com/dougwri/real-flexibility.html Fox, Carol J. (2001). Designing a flexible schedule for an elementary school library media center [Electronic version]. Library Talk, 14 (1), 10-13. Graziano, A. (2002, November). Moving to flexible scheduling. Media Forum. Retrieved November 2, 2007, from: http://www.mslma.org/MediaForum/Nov2002/flexsched.html Hurley, C.A. (2004, November/December). Fixed vs. flexible scheduling in school library media centers: A continuing debate [Electronic version]. Library Media Connection, 23, 36-41.
Immroth, B. & Lukenbill, W.B. (2007, March). Teacher-school library media specialists collaboration through social marketing strategies. School Library MediaResearch, 10. Retrieved October 17, 2007, from: http://www.ala.org/ala/aasl/aaslpubsandjournals/slmrb/slmrcontents/volume10/socialmarketing.cfm Lankford, M. (1994). Flexible access [Electronic version]. School Library Journal, 40(8). McGregor, J. H. (2006, April). Flexible scheduling: Implementing an innovation. School Library Media Research, 9. Retrieved October 10, 2007, from: http://www.ala.org/ala/aasl/aaslpubsandjournals/slmrb/slmrcontents/volume9/flexible.cfm Monck, D. (1999). Schedules and planning and forms, oh my! [Electronic version]. Library Talk, 12(4), 11. Needham, Joyce. (2003). From fixed to flexible: making the journey [Electronic Version]. Teacher Librarian, 30, 8-13. Ohlrich, K. (1992). Flexible scheduling: The dream vs. reality [Electronic version]. School Library Journal, 38(5), 35-38.
Van Deusen, J. & Tallman, J. (1994). The impact of scheduling on curriculum consultation and information skills instruction: Part one, the 1993-94 AASL/Highsmith Research Award Study. School Library Media Quarterly, 23(1). Retrieved October 28, 2007, from: http://www.ala.org/ala/aasl/aaslpubsandjournals/slmrb/editorschoiceb/infopower/selectvandeusen21.cfm For Further Reading Hughes-Hassell, Sandra & Wheelock, Anne. (2001). Flexible Access: Essential to Active Learning. In Sandra Hughes-Hassell & Anne Wheelock, (Eds.), The Information-Powered School. (pp. 83-93). Chicago: American Library Association. Ohlrich, Karen Browne. (2001). Making Flexible Access and Flexible Scheduling Work Today. Englewood, CO: Libraries Unlimited.