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School Library Research


Reflective School Library Practitioners: Use of Journaling to Strengthen Practice


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Description

Reflection is a skill educators of school librarians hope to foster in their students. Widely used in teacher preparation (Hodgins 2014), reflective journaling is a pedagogical strategy that aligns with the text-based nature of library and information studies coursework, especially as more library schools move online (Kymes and Ray 2012). This study explores use of structured dialogic journaling as a pedagogical approach to inform and shape the reflective practice of pre-service school librarians. Journals were introduced in an early school library methods course and structured using Schon’s Reflective Practitioner model (1987). Additional opportunities to engage with dialogic journals continued through the intern experience, with final entries included in the study made after one year of practice. Findings suggest journaling pedagogy impacts participants’ perceptions of reflection in action, reflection on action, and reflection on reflection in action when developed as a structured exercise. Participants in this study benefitted from the use of journaling as a teaching tool in their library and information studies program when used to promote more-reflective practice. Implications suggest that journaling enables and encourages participants to critically reflect on practice when provided with a scaffolded experience in coursework.

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