Can we really do it all? OLA Conference 2012

Supplementary materials to accompany our session at the OLA 2012 Annual Conference, April 25, 2012. Can we really do it all? The challenges we face as librarians who teach. By Anne-Marie Deitering and Kate Gronemyer.

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  1. We started this project three years ago, with a survey sent out to a whole bunch of instruction librarians.  The survey was designed to gather practice stories -- stories about what we do.  This blog post summarizes that project.
  2. After that, we followed up with about 22 of the people who had responded to the survey -- they agreed to do in-depth interviews, on Skype, which we recorded, transcribed and analyzed.
  3. This book is an important piece of the puzzle.  When we identify as teachers, there are certain assumptions about what that means - what it means to be "a teacher."  Brookfield talks about the importance of constantly questioning those assumptions. The questions we asked about a "good day as a teacher," when we "feel like a teacher" and characteristics of "the best teacher I know" were designed to get at these assumptions.
  4. Meanwhile, while we were revisiting these texts for this presentation - so were a lot of other people.  Dozens of hits a day, coming in from different Google searches.  I asked about it on Twitter.

  5. And was surprised to wake up the next day to an answer!  Challenge those hegemonic assumptions!

  6. The other piece (other than our assumptions about being a teacher) that we looked at was the development of our practice knowledge.  We asked people to tell stories about how their practice has changed over time.

    One of our conversations led to a discussion challenging constructivism - a core theory underlying a lot of our practice assumptions.  That is what started us on this path today.

  7. Here's an overview of constructivism and the key theorists in that arena:
  8. Looking for other models led us to the training literature, to coaching (life coaching not football coaching), tutoring and finally, in an unexplored way, to therapy.  Here's some of the resources we'll reference along the way:
  9. This article in Human Resource Development Quarterly is locked up behind a paywall.  I was writing up this analysis of it at exactly the same time that Kate was reading it and emailing me about it.  So, despite it's dull title, it's really pretty spot-on.  Here's my summary.  There's a link to the DOI in the post if you have access to the journal
  10. This article from the tutoring field is focused on the life sciences, but the ideas have more applicability.  Our colleague Hannah Gascho Rempel pointed us here.

  11. This book is a good overview of the transfer process in training, which we think might have direct applicability to what we do.