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Library Research

Teachers often take or send their students to the school library to "do research.” What these teachers may not always realize, however, is that library research requires a specific set of Library Literacy skills that some percentage of their students have not yet developed. Students who “waste time” in the library during a research assignment often quite literally “don’t know what to do” when a teacher assigns them to “research.”

American students have a natural tendency to take the easy way out when teachers let them get away with it. When an entire class is in the school library, there are always some students who merely pretend to research while accomplishing nothing. One way for the teacher and the librarian to quickly identify students who may be off task is to look for writing materials. Research is the process of finding the answers to your questions and recording them. Students who are simply paging through a book, but who are not taking any notes, are not doing research.

These students need intervention as often as it takes to get them back on task. A brief discussion with the student can help identify where the student is in the Research Process. At this point the student may simply need to be encouraged to get out some paper and a pencil, or the teacher may need to review and clarify (once again) the assignment for the student.

At this point, a student who is merely being lazy will often get to work, if only to avoid this intense attention from the teacher. Sometimes, however, this type of on-on-one discussion will reveal the need for additional skills teaching. Perhaps the student needs to be shown how to use the library catalog or how to use the index of an encyclopedia. Perhaps the student needs help in identifying or narrowing his or her research topic.

When a student is stuck on a problem and can't move forward without the teacher's help, a valuable teaching opportunity is present.


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Created by: admin. Last Modification: Friday 09 of March, 2007 00:21:38 MST by admin.

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