SCHOOL LIBRARY: A TOOL FOR DEVELOPING THE SCHOOL’S OPERATING CULTURE, ACTA UNIVERSITATIS OULUENSIS B Humaniora 103
|Kustantaja:||Oulun yliopisto|| |
|Oppiaine:||Kasvatus, opetus|| |
|Sijainti:||Print Tietotalo|| |
|Tekijät:||KURTTILA-MATERO EEVA|| |
The aim of this study was to increase understanding of the dimensions of the school’s operatingculture in general and pedagogical practices in particular in the context of the School Library ofthe Information Society project (SLI). The purpose was to describe development in the school’soperating culture as perceived by teachers and principals.
The background for the study was the historical basis of Finnish school libraries and thestarting point and aims of the SLI project. The analysis of the complex concept of the school’soperating culture was inspired by the Activity Theoretical Model put forth by Yrjö Engeström.The operating culture consists of 1) tools, which are the school library and teaching methods, 2)rules, consisting of different statutes and the curriculum, 3) the school community, includingteachers, pupils, and parents, and 4) a division of labor, including resources for librarianship.Teachers and principals are the subjects who work together to improve pedagogical practices. Theshared metatheories of Information Studies and Educational Sciences were scrutinized from theviewpoint of learning literacies. The impact of the SLI project was evaluated through all thesefactors.
This was a qualitative case study. The follow-up time was seven years. The data are comprisedof the yearly reports of eleven elementary schools collected during the SLI project in 2002–2004and group interviews conducted in 2009. The use of methodological triangulation and the follow-up design add to the validity of the study. QSRNVivo software facilitated management andanalysis of the data. Application of the activity theoretical model gives external validity to thestudy.
All eleven elementary schools developed their library space and collection, which was given amore central role in relation to the curriculum and the pupils’ work. An information literacycurriculum was developed in some schools. Library teachers’ resources could not be increased.Collaboration increased between the teachers and the pupils, and with other schools, the publiclibrary, and the Education Department. Teaching information literacy and pedagogical use ofinformation technology were developed. The limitation of this study is the fact that the researcheracted as the project coordinator in the SLI project and knew the interviewees, who probably forthis reason wanted to give positive statements. However, the researcher’s familiarity with theresearch subject helped in recognizing significant aspects of the data.
The model of the school’s operating culture can be used and further tested in different schooland school library development projects. The activity theoretical Learning Commons Modeldeveloped in this study connects education authorities and the public library to the school’scollaborative network. This model should be examined, as it may serve as an analytical tool fordeveloping learning environments and an instrument of developmental work research.