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National Goal 1 Reflective Summary 2011

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By Mary Rivers

The following is a summary of National Goal 1 for 2011 for the Mantar Cluster (Milestone 4).

Cluster: Year 2 of Cluster Programme - Primary Cluster Years 0-8

Cluster Type: ICT PD

Context: The Cluster has developed five key areas of development that fit within the National Goal 1. It is the Cluster's intention to enhance student learning through the integration of ICTs into the Inquiry  process through developing their information literacy skills. Clearly, ICTs will also become widely used across other areas of the curriculum as students become more confident and competent in their skills and knowledge. However, the Cluster has chosen Inquiry and Information Literacy as the vessel in which to use ICTs to develop digital citizenship amongst the students.

Aims/Purpose: The Cluster has had a two-pronged approach to this goal, the first of which has been covered by our TeKids programme. However, the broader Cluster wide goals have also involved the integration of information literacy skills as part of the Inquiry process in each school and the use of ICTs to support this. All five schools have undergone considerable internal and Cluster wide PD around Inquiry including workshops by Jan Watts and Kath Murdoch. This has lead to each school's development of their own Inquiry model and process. In relation to the students, this has meant the up-skilling of teachers in this area has allowed the introduction of information literacy into the Inquiry process in the classroom. This programmes outcomes were aligned to National Goal 1 and consequently to our Cluster goals concerning:

* Developing high levels of information literacy skills as a foundation for learning

* Students are able to apply the Inquiry process to their learning

Interventions: As stated above, each school was required to attend the Kath Murdoch workshop offered and reported on in Milestone 3 this year. Further,  a workshop was offered by Jan Watts (National Library Advisor) on integrating information literacy into the Inquiry programme for which some school opted to attend. A reflection on this workshop may be found here: /pg/blog/owner/group:61402/   (National Library Workshop blog).  This up-skilling of teachers allowed them to develop Inquiry units that integrated information literacy and ICTs to support students learning. The focus was on the ability of students to also understand this process themselves so that they may apply it to their own learning.

Summary of Key Results: Each school was required to conduct at least three Inquiry units with the intention that these would allow the students the opportunity to engage in learning activities that helped them to develop information literacy skills including critical thinking and reflection. Although this has taken on a different vision based on each school's individual needs for its specific students and community, there has been a shift in the use of information literacy skills, and particularly such tools as graphic organisers and thinking tools, across the board for students. Examples of this can be found here:

/pg/blog/read/178191 (see blogs: 'Following a Passion Inquiry Unit', 'Practising the Skills Needed for a New Experience', 'Consistency, Scaffolding...', 'Students Sharing Leadership'.)

/pg/blog/owner/group:61402?offset=10 (see blogs: 'Students Applying the Inquiry Process', 'Developing Information Literacy Skills', 'Students Using E-learning to Enhance...".

Next Steps: The Cluster Management has acknowledged that further staff training and student learning needs to be developed around information literacy and this will be a key focus for next year. There has already been confirmed bookings across the Cluster with another opportunity for staff to work with both Kath Murdoch and Jan Watts. Clearly this is a focus for teachers but the trickle down effect will mean more targeted learning opportunities for students in this area ensuring that Inquiry Units involve rich tasks that incorporate the use of ICTs with graphic organisers and thinking tools