This is my third professional journal reaction: : LUSENET : MEd Cohort III : One Thread

Deb Berntson - June 16, 1999

The third professional journal article I read was A Curriculum Built Not To Last by Doug Johnson from the April 1999 issue of School Library Journal, p. 26-29. The information-literacy skills information conveyed in this article could not have been printed at a more opportune time since I am currently planning a technology curriculum for implementation this fall.

The author, Doug Johnson, is director of media and technology at Mankato Area Public Schools in Minnesota. The article reviewed the process Mankato Public Schools followed to create an information-literacy curriculum. This process involved nine steps with learning outcomes or goals. These nine steps are listed below: 1. Identify Current Skills - Each skill includes one observable learning outcome. 2. Select an Information-Processing Model - the Big Six approach model was chosen. 3. Group Skills Within the Model - gaps were found and filled as skills were categorized within the Big Six framework. 4. Identify Areas in the Curriculum for Integration - these skills were developed into study units currently being taught. 5. Brainstorm Projects - as opposed to written reports. 6. Identify Necessary Resources - This would clarify which projects were feasible. Staff training was also evaluated at this point. 7. Develop Assessment Tools - Checklists and rating scales were developed to access demonstrated skills. 8. Develop a Record-Keeping and Reporting System - a section for reporting media/technology skills was added to the elementary school progress reports. 9. Review and Revise - currently the teaching units and projects are being reviewed for correlation with the states new graduation standards.

There were statements by the author which indicated to me that this information had more credence. 1. In developing a successful curriculum all individuals concerned need to be involved in the planning process. 2. Skills are best taught within classroom content areas. The more I teach media skills by integrating them with classroom content, the more on task students are. 3. Information-literacy skills are to be taught by both media teachers and classroom teachers. We have used this methodology at Lowell School and it has resulted in less stress, more student assistance, and increased learning for both students and teachers. 4. Teach information-literacy curriculum. The focus should be on information-literacy as opposed to technology in isolation. It is imperative that students learn to locate, evaluate, and use information.

The author not only provided useful information regarding their curriculum development, but also included web site addresses for further information (i.e., Big Six Information-Processing Model). The article also provided a grade level breakdown of learning outcomes for technology skills. I found the article contained ideas that other schools could utilize within their curriculum.

-- Anonymous, June 16, 1999

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