Libraries are for everyone.
“As libraries serve diverse interests and communities, they function as learning, cultural, and information centres. In addressing cultural and linguistic diversity, library services are driven by their commitment to the principles of fundamental freedoms and equity of access to information and knowledge for all, in the respect of cultural identity and values.”
Resources to get you thinking about culturally relevant and responsive school library learning commons.
Inspiration for TMC5 Sub-Themes
This site engages educators in studying four new pedagogies for deep learning – learning partnerships, learning environments, pedagogical practices, leveraging digital – ascertained through the “New Pedagogies for Deep Learning Global Partnership” (NPDL) of 1000 schools in 10 countries. Leaders of NPDL include Director and noted Canadian educator Michael Fullan.
Canadian Ministries of Education Resources
Culturally Responsive Pedagogy: Towards Equity and Inclusivity in Ontario’s Schools. Ontario Ministry of Education (2013)
The Ontario Ministry of Education defines culture as “a way of knowing” and “a resource for learning”. Six mindsets of culturally responsive educators are extensively outlined along with inquiry questions for school leaders and points of reference and resources for effective instruction.
This website relates important beliefs about “diversity and equity in education” supported with a wealth of references for the classroom and library, as well as examples of projects from a variety of schools, teacher blogs, networks, grant applications, and links to the Manitoba Education sites for aboriginal education, ESL, International Languages, and Student Services.
This website provides the curricular documents and recommended learning resources relating to Aboriginal Perspectives and Native Studies in Manitoba. Included is the document From Apology to Reconciliation: Residential School Survivors: A Guide for Grades 9 and 11 Social Studies Teachers in Manitoba “developed in response to the Government of Canada’s formal apology to Aboriginal people who attended residential schools”. This information and more including languages and cultures in the educational process provide an outstanding resource for educators everywhere.
Truth and Reconciliation
One of the first committees formed by the new Canadian Federation of Library Associations – Fédération canadienne des associations de bibliothèques’s (CFLA-FCAB) with representatives from across Canada (member associations and the library community) produced this report on promoting “ initiatives in all types of libraries to advance reconciliation by supporting the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action…and to promote collaboration in these issues across the Canadian library communities”. Teams looked at research and best practices in libraries educating on Indigenous issues, supporting reconciliation, and meeting community needs. Actions and activities are detailed. An extensive “living” bibliography is provided.
Formed through the vision of those affected by Indian residential schools, the NCTR is an incredible permanent home for powerful statements, documents, and materials that will work to ensure the history and legacy are never forgotten. Extensive resources in many formats are available for educators and students ages 4 through 15 plus – news, events, research, reports, exhibitions and archives are all here for study, contemplation, understanding and reflection.
Métis Nationmember anddirector of the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation at the University of Manitoba, Ry Moran,posts a gently told yet imperative plea for adopting “the balanced world view of Indigenous people” to assure a healthy future for our country and planet. Moran poses the “big question“ – How do we achieve true reconciliation?” – and answers it by emphasizing the critical need to establish and maintain “mutually respectful relationships”, not only with each other but all nature and environment. Teachers and teacher-librarians could pose Moran’s big question to students pre-research then engage them in research and response to the author’s premise.
Articles & Resources – General Education
Edutopia (George Lucas Educational Foundation) presents blogs, discussions, articles, references and strategies for educators to access and engage in regarding culturally responsive teaching. Some current topics for discussion and reference on the site include culturally responsive teaching and the brain, building an anti-racist classroom, tolerance ensuring all students belong and much more.
Former PM Paul Martin’s “Martin’s Family Initiative” was created in response to inequities in funding aboriginal education as observed by the former PM. The article describes successful pilot projects that the initiative has been able to fund such as an Aboriginal Youth Entrepreneurship Program (AYEP) offered in 48 high schools in eight provinces and one territory, and an early literacy initiative in two Ontario Ojibwa community schools. The article includes a video “conversation between former PM Paul Martin and CEA President/CEO Ron Canuel about the crucial steps that must be taken to provide Indigenous children the future they deserve”.
Referencing OISE Doctoral Candidate Zine’s co-authored book, Removing the Margins: The Challenges and Possibilities of Inclusive Schooling and Inclusive Schooling : A Teacher’s Companion to Removing the Margins, the article illustrates how Euro-centric focus in public education can be an alienating and marginalizing experience for many students. Instead, educators must adopt a multi-centric framework for teaching and learning, proposed here as “four primary learning objectives: integrating multiple centres of knowledge; affecting social and education change: equity, access and social justice recognition and respect of difference; and teaching for youth and community empowerment”.
In this blog post Lynch defines culturally responsive pedagogy and its three functional dimensions: the institutional dimension, the personal dimension, and the instructional dimension. “Given that a majority of teachers hail from a middle class European-American background” teachers are challenged to face their own cultural histories and biases to move towards teaching in a culturally responsive fashion.
Noted educator/author Bellanca, P21 Senior Fellow, founder of the International Renewal Institute and Executive Director of the Illinois Consortium for 21st Century Skills, blogs in this post on a teacher’s use of problem-based learning (PBL) to engage Latino students in learning about their cultural heritage. Bellanca observes “seven interconnected components of a culturally responsive classroom” forming the teacher’s change in pedagogy using PBL leading to a definition of culturally responsive teaching. It was noted in the post that in the teacher’s school of 1500 students, 95% Latino, apparently “there was not a single book about Mexico or its people in the school’s library”.
Infusing Indigenous Perspectives in K-12 Teaching is an online guide from the University of Toronto/ OISE (Ontario Institute for Studies in Education) Library, prepared for helping teacher education students infuse indigenous content into practice. All teachers and teacher-librarians will find the guide exceptional for aboriginal content and perspective for practice with resources, best practice and terminology to use. Books – and how to search for indigenous resources – kits, games, media, lesion plans, and more are actively updated on this site.
This outstanding website supports the teacher resource ebook Shattering the Silence: The Hidden History of Indian Residential Schools in Saskatchewan developed to prepare teachers to learn about and teach about the legacy of residential schools and reconciliation. It contains a wealth of resources for adults, youth, children and students, links to professional development, curricular connections and inquiry starters. Although focused on Saskatchewan, resources and understandings presented are universal.
Articles & Resources – School Library Practice
In this article Summers, assistant professor and coordinator of the online school library graduate program in the Information and Learning Technologies program at the University of Colorado, postulates that teacher-librarians are in the ideal position to model multicultural practice in their schools. She explains the four levels of multicultural curricular reform from author James Banks which are “the contribution stage, the additive stage, the transformational stage, and the social action stage”. Four proactive actions for teacher-librarians to effectively foster student achievement through culturally responsive leadership are then presented – to “build trust, value cultural awareness, foster motivation, and establish inclusion”.
Jennifer Brown, teacher-librarian, Castle Oaks Public School, Peel District School Board, Ontario, posts about the potential of the library learning commons design and practice to empower the addressment of equity and social justice. Brown provides a link to reflective questions and resources for teacher-librarians to help build capacity in addressing equity and social justice in three practical areas: the book collection, the library learning commons environment decor and language, and in scheduling and routines.
See also Jennifer’s Reflective Questions and Equity Resources
Articles & Resources – Librarianship
The International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) has published a booklet in 14 languages with supporting two-page handout and toolkit to help librarians support “access to information, Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), culture and universal literacy, all of which have been included in the UN 2030 Agenda (for Sustainable Development)”. The booklet and website includes stories from all types of libraries worldwide.
The Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL), the largest division of the American Library Association, presents a post in their “Keeping Up” series from Instructional Services Librarian Gina Calia-Lotz and Instruction Librarian Cindy Conley of Harford Community College on how academic libraries can have “significant impact on supporting diversity and student success at our institutions” in five key areas.
David Lankes, renowned professor and the director of the University of South Carolina’s School of Library and Information Science. responds to recent Charlottesville events by urging librarians to take action against racism and ignorance in three key ways in serving the community.
Data, Data, Data
“Statistics Canada produces statistics that help Canadians better understand their country—its population, resources, economy, society and culture.” Statistics Canada web pages support researchers with data to use, interpret, and discuss. Teachers and teacher-librarians can guide students in the use of research data by teaching them to access and use Statistics Canada.