Digital Image created by Anna Darst, TWU, LS5443: Librarians as Instructional Partners, Spring 2013

Shared Vocabulary

Instructional Levels

K-20 - Kindergarten through graduate school

P-20 - Preschool through graduate school - More and more elementary schools and school libraries serve preschool populations.


AASL Standards for the 21st-Century Learner were published by the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) in 2007. The document includes four standards: 1. Inquire, think, and critically gain knowledge. 2. Draw conclusions and make informed decisions... 3. Share knowledge and participate ethically... 4. Pursue personal and aesthetic growth. Under each standard, there are four strands: skills, dispositions in action, responsibility, and self-assessment strategies. There are multiple indicators under each strand. P-12 school librarians are by the national association with aligning and integrating these standards with classroom curriculum.

ACRL Information Literacy Standards

College and Career Readiness Standards

SBEC Standards for School Librarians

TEKS - Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills

Common Core Standards


5 "E" Learning Cycle - Dr. Mary Ann Coe, Midwestern State University, explains the connection between the 5 "E" Learning Cycle and inquiry on her Web site. Below is a chart that aligns the 5 "E" with Kuhlthau's Guided Inquiry Design.
5 “E” Learning Cycle
Guided Inquiry Design Process
Open and Immerse
Create and Share

21st-Century Skills
Hokanson, Kristin. "The 21st Century Classroom." The Connected Classroom. 18 March 2013 http://theconnectedclassroom.wikispaces.com/Classroom
  • Information and communications skills Examples: Using communication, information processing, and research tools (such as word processing, e-mail, groupware, presentation software, and the Internet) to access, manage, integrate, evaluate, create, and communicate information). These skills include information and media literacy skills.
  • Thinking and problem-solving skills Examples: Using problem-solving tools (such as spreadsheets, decision support, and design tools) to manage complexity, solve problems, and think critically, creatively, and systematically.
  • Interpersonal and self-directional skills Examples: Using personal development and productivity tools (such as e-learning, time managers, and collaboration tools) to enhance productivity and personal development. These skills include accountability and adaptability skillsUse 21st Century tools to develop learning skills
  • Use digital technology and communication tools to access, manage, integrate and evaluate information; Construct new knowledge; Communicate with others effectively. Examples: Using 21st Century tools (such as word processing, e-mail, presentation software, the Internet, spreadsheets, decision support programs, design tools, e-learning, time management programs, and collaboration tools) combined with learning skills in core subjects equals 21st Century Skills (ICT Literacy)Teach and learn in a 21st century context.
  • Learn academic content through real-world examples; Learning must expand beyond the four classroom wallsTeach and learn 21st century content(3 emerging content areas) Global awareness Financial, economic and business literacy, and Civic literacy.Use 21st Century Assessments that measure 21st Century Skills High quality standardized tests Classroom assessments for teaching and learning

The Partnership for 21-Century Skills, or P21, also defines these skills and focuses them around the 4 Cs: Communication, Collaboration, Critical Thinking, and Creativity.

Bird Units - low level units that require little thought to complete the questions. Most answers easily found in a chart or on a Quick facts page. Example: Question sheet on birds containing questions such as What color is your bird? What does it eat? What is its habitat? Who is a predator to this bird? Who is its prey?
Examples of Bird Unit:

Information Literacy involves understanding underlying concepts for locating, evaluating, and using information.

What is inquiry learning? Inquiry learning is a student-centered approach to learning. It involves students in immersing themselves in ideas, information, and resources in order to develop personally-meaningful questions. It requires that students take ownership of their own learning. In the process, students practice habits of mind (Costa & Kallick, 2008) and dispositions (AASL, 2007)and experience a range of emotions (Kuhlthau, 1985) from excitement to frustration, from overwhelm to the exhilaration of discovery. Inquiry learning positions educators as guides on the side who encourage learners’ curiosity and facilitate their learning process. Educators provide interventions throughout the inquiry in order to help students negotiate the various stages of the process, answer their own questions or solve a problem, produce knowledge, and share their learning. The final stage of the inquiry process is reflection during which learners reflect on the process and product(s) of their learning.

Inquiry Models

Learning Commons are physical and virtual spaces that showcase a school's best teaching and learning practices. Learning commons are flexible learning spaces that encourage experimental learning that may range from action research projects, to experimentation with new technologies, to simultaneous classes for students and professional development sessions for educators. More information can be found about learning commons by visiting the School Learning Commons Knowledge Building Center created by David Loertscher and Carol Koechlin.

Traditional research as practiced in many P-12 schools can be compared to a scavenger hunt. The teacher and/or the curriculum dictate a set of questions for learners to answer. Students locate answers using multiple resources and their learning, for the most part, remains at the knowledge level on Bloom's taxonomy of cognitive tasks. Usually, there is just one right answer for every question and the task is to find it. In the Google Age, this type of activity is obsolete. 21st-century students have many resources and devices at hand that can help them locate answers. Instead of traditional research, learners need to apply critical thinking, to wrestle with complex problems and seek solutions to real problems.

Research Models
Many research models are considered more teacher-centered than inquiry models which are considered more student-centered. Of course, the effectiveness of all models depends on student engagement and educator facilitation.
  • Big6 - developed by Dr. Michael Eisenberg and Robert Berkowitz - Presented by Anna Darst and Teresa Rodriguez: Big6 Persuasive Presentation (TWU SLIS LS5443: Librarians As Instructional Partners, Spring 2013)

Spiral Alignment is the method used in all other subjects taught in which students repeat the study of a subject at different grade levels, each time at a higher level of difficulty and in greater depth.

Vertical Alignment is when a higher skill levels are built on the behavior and knowledge gained in the performance of tasks at a lower skill level.