ETL401: Blog Task 2 – The role of the Teacher Librarian with regard to Constructivist Learning and the Australian Curriculum

The expanding role of the teacher librarian, has grown to encompass a move towards Constructivist Based Learning. This type of learning places a greater emphasis upon the student as learner rather than the teacher as instructor.

The role of the Teacher Librarian changes from the relater of knowledge and learning, including learning and lesson directions, into a facilitator and enabler of independent learning through providing access to resources and setting tasks that guide students exploration and own research.

Inquiry Learning is a form of learning that provides opportunities for students to attain deep conceptual knowledge and is becoming increasingly recommended. Although a balanced form of instruction is still required from the teacher librarian, the effects of the knowledge and skills students are gaining provides evidence for the benefits of this learning style (Collins, T., Gaved, M., Mulholland, P., Kerawalla, C., Twiner, A., Scanlon, E., Jones, A., Littleton, K., Conole, G., & Tosunoglu, C., 2008, p3).

The teacher librarian uses constructivist learning to encourage students to manage their own learning, and to become accountable for their own education, whilst teaching them valuable higher-order thinking skills which will promote information literacy skill development and provide the platform for facilitating the teaching of the guided inquiry process and the learning of independent researching skills (Kuhlthau, 2008, p. 72) such as analysing, evaluating, and synthesising.

The teacher librarian needs to work collaboratively with the teachers in order to plan constructivist based learning experiences that combine knowledge of the curriculum, knowledge of individual learners’ needs and knowledge of information sources, resources and technologies. The careful planning for these learning experiences should incorporate the incremental presentation of knowledge and skills required so that students are able to attain an in-depth knowledge. (Australian School Library Association (ASLA), 2009).

The teacher librarian, with the knowledge of the school library and the awareness of the physical and digital resources available for teaching and learning, can enrich the curriculum by introducing the students to a rich learning environment (the library) outside of their normal learning environment, and hence expand their knowledge and learning styles and create and instil a deep understanding. Teacher librarians can enhance the curriculum by constructing learning experiences in which students are engaging within learning that incorporates and utilises current and cutting edge technology and places knowledge at student fingertips.

The teacher librarian, as a leader, may also engage within the development and creation of programs to support the Australian Curriculum. With expert knowledge in the field of resourcing the curriculum, it is also the role of the teacher librarian to maintain an expert knowledge of up-to-date pedagogy and practices (ALIA/ASLA, 2004). With the implementation of the new Australian Curriculum, the teacher librarian can program and design the curriculum for increased experiences of constructivist learning that incorporates learning that enhances and supports the information literacy needs of the students and school community.



Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA)/Australian School Library Association (ASLA). (2004). Standards for professional excellence for teacher librarians. Retrieved April 28, 2013 from

Australian School Library Association (ASLA). (2009). Statement on resource based learning and the curriculum. Retrieved 28 April 2013, from

Collins, T., Gaved, M., Mulholland, P., Kerawalla, C., Twiner, A., Scanlon, E., Jones, A., Littleton, K., Conole, G., & Tosunoglu, C. (2008). Supporting location-based inquiry learning across school, field and home contexts. Proceedings of the MLearn 2008 Conference. Retrieved from

Kuhlthau, C. (2008). From Information to Meaning: Confronting Challenges of the Twenty-first Century. Retrieved 22 April, 2013 from /file/fetch/ 30835148/Kuhlthau.FromInformationToMeaning.pdf


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