TTW Mailbox: Pre-service Teacher Preparation

Hi Michael:

Please share this informal research inquiry with your readers:

What pre-service teacher preparation or supervisor preparation programs at the undergrad or masters level exist that include a component that at least introduces these educators to what school librarians can do for them? A more eloquent way of stating this is, “…[that] include a component that introduces the role of how school librarians support the school’s mission to produce literate and informed learners and how school librarians can help students graduate from high school college- and career ready.” [Thanks to Mary Moyer, Cumberland County Library Commission Member, Congressional Contact Chair, Gloucester County Education Association and Past President, New Jersey Association of School Librarians]  

I asked a few of the respected researchers in the field of school librarianship to offer some insight into current teacher/supervisor pre-service programs. What I’ve found so far is:

  • I have heard of several programs that have technology integration programs or required technology classes but not libraries. … I have concluded that the best time to teacher librarians to make a difference is if and when they grab student teachers who are working in their buildings. If they are collaborating on learning experiences regularly with supervising teachers, then the teacher librarian could slip right into that “normal” practice and make great headway. (David Loertscher)
  • About 15 years ago we wrote an implementation plan for Information Power and included a goal to pilot some projects. … Sadly… It seems to be based on relationships rather than formal partnerships. (Ken Haycock)
  • The New Jersey State Library did some searching for me, and they found a few articles on the topic; the most recent was from 2009.

If these types of pre-service programs or requirements for teacher and supervisor preparation exist, this is what I’d like to know:

  1. How extensive are they?
  2. Who spearheaded their inclusion?
  3. Under whose jurisdiction is their implementation?
  4. What librarianship information is (or isn’t) being disseminated?
  5. Are the efforts being assessed and how?
  6. Who provides the instruction?
  7. At what point in the preparation program is the instruction given? 

I’m not required to have a ‘platform,’ but as the newly elected Vice President of the New Jersey Association of School Librarians, this is my topic of passion. Thanks for allowing your readers to chime in.

Arlen Kimmelman, Ed. M., M. A., NBCT
School Librarian, NJ
Twitter: @pseudandry

Note from MS: Please respond to Arlen at