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I am thrilled that these concerns were posted. I
thought I was the only one who was not thrilled.
I am not even thrilled with the new and updated ISTE
standards -- 

it seems that everyone who wrote these new standards
think that the old ones were already done --
Heck I am still arguing with some folks about what
should be being done with the old standards --

In my personal opinion -- the new standards from AASL
and from ISTE give an easy out for not using them at

I hope since someone else brought this up it brings up
some discussion on this topic


--- Susan Polos <spolos@OPTONLINE.NET> wrote:

> Thank you, Sharon. I think you have beautifully
> articulated concerns with 
> the new AASL Standards for the  21st-Century
> Learner. I find myself not 
> wanting to share the these new standards with
> administrators and teachers 
> because they do not compellingly and clearly support
> the role of the library 
> media specialist as it has evolved in my district. I
> didn't really know why 
> I was uncomfortable, since I do hold dear the
> principled but vague picture 
> of idealized learning described and illustrated in
> the new report. Now I 
> realize that there is a disturbing disconnect
> between the role I have in my 
> building to support student achievement, which is
> valued, and the role 
> described in the report, which is both more and less
> than what I am now 
> doing. This thoughtful analysis is providing me with
> a lot of good food for 
> thought....
> Susan Polos
> Mt. Kisco Elementary School
> 47 W. Hyatt Avenue
> Mt. Kisco, NY 10549
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: "Grimes, Sharon L." <sgrimes@BCPS.ORG>
> Sent: Wednesday, January 02, 2008 3:00 PM
> Subject: Reflection on AASL's new standards
> It's been a little over two months since I returned
> from Reno and the 
> unveiling of AASL's Standards for the  21st-Century
> Learner.  In that time 
> I've mulled over the implications of the new
> standards; compared them to the 
> mandates of NCLB; tried to align them with NETS-S
> and the national 
> curriculum standards for science, reading, math and
> social studies; and 
> struggled to translate them into the behavioral
> objectives required by our 
> school system...but still I do not feel that sense
> of empowerment and 
> excitement I felt when I first read Information
> Power: Building Partnerships 
> for Learning.  Instead, I have come to wonder: "Are
> the new standards a step 
> forward to a more holistic and comprehensive view of
> learners, or a misstep 
> that will serve to marginalize our profession?"
> I did not begin with these misgivings; instead, I
> initially felt the faint 
> stirrings of excitement when I first read the
> "Common Beliefs."   For me, 
> the nine belief statements that preface the
> standards encapsulate the ideals 
> that both guide and inspire our profession: reading
> is a window to the 
> world; inquiry does provide a framework for
> learning; and school libraries 
> are essential to the development of learning skills.
>  But doubt crept in 
> when I noticed what is missing from the belief
> statements and what is not 
> translated into action in the standards. My
> misgivings solidified as I 
> considered how to teach the skills, dispositions,
> responsibilities and 
> self-assessment strategies.  And I was moved to
> write, when I realized the 
> implications not only for teaching, learning and
> collaboration, but also for 
> how school libraries and by extension school
> librarians will be perceived.
> As AASL President Sara Kelly Johns notes in another
> context, "In a time of 
> budget cuts and confusion about the role of library
> media specialists," now 
> is most emphatically not the time to fail to embed
> in national standards for 
> students' learning the critical importance of
> equitable access and school 
> libraries; nor is it the time to fail to reaffirm
> the vital role of library 
> media specialists.  Unfortunately, only the belief
> statements state the 
> critical role of school libraries and library media
> specialists to student 
> achievement and belief statements are not standards.
>  Standards drive 
> instruction and assessment, not belief statements.
> Another problem is that not all of the belief
> statements have been 
> translated into teachable and assessable standards
> and indicators.  Common 
> Belief # 2 states: "Inquiry provides a framework for
> learning.  To become 
> independent learners, students must gain not only
> the skills but also the 
> disposition to use those skills, along with an
> understanding of their own 
> responsibilities and self-assessment strategies." 
> "The disposition to use 
> those skills" is difficult and I would argue in some
> cases impossible to 
> either teach or assess.  For example, Standard 1.2.6
> states, "Display 
> emotional resilience by persisting in information
> searching despite 
> challenges."  How do you teach/assess emotional
> resilience, especially at 
> the middle and high school levels when library media
> specialists see 
> students sporadically and to complete a specific
> task?
> Unfortunately, the problems with the Dispositions in
> Action do not end with 
> the twinned problems of assess-ability and
> teach-ability.  Other problems 
> with Dispositions in Action include that it:
>         Prescribes the teaching of character traits
>         Usurps the role of parents
>         Not only usurps the role of parents, but
> also may directly 
> contradict the cultural values and mores of many of
> our minority students; 
> for example, Indicator 1.2.4 states, "Maintain a
> critical stance by 
> questioning the validity and accuracy of all
> information," which is most 
> distinctly a white American value
>         Can not easily or effectively be taught,
> measured and assessed 
> although certainly any teacher worth his/her salt
> already discusses and 
> illustrates the value of persistence, curiosity and
> teamwork to name but a 
> few of the dispositions; the difference is that the
> second occurs naturally, 
> in situ
>         Teaches dispositions that are not specific
> to success in 
> information literacy
> While possession of the dispositions is certainly
> desirable, our role is not 
> to mold character, but rather to educate minds to
> employ the higher-order 
> critical and creative thinking skills that are not
> only critical to our 
> students' successes, but also to maintaining the
> stability of our democratic 
> society.
> In addition to teaching students how to use
> higher-order critical and 
> creative thinking skills, we must also prepare our
> students to use the 
> information literacy skills that are so critical to
> their success in the 
> 21st-Century; to do that we need a clear definition
> that provides guidelines 
> for instruction.  Instead, Common Belief  #6 states:
>  "The definition of 
> information literacy has become more complex as
> resources and technologies 
> have changed."  Neither the belief statement nor the
> standards answer the 
> question, "What is the more complex definition?" 
> Based on the promise 
=== message truncated ===

Paula Yohe
Director Of Technology/Library Media Center
Dillon School District Two
405 West Washington Street
Dillon, SC 29536
Phone: 843-841-3604 Fax:843-774-1214

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