It should be noted that, at present, standardized testing has become one of the ways to control the knowledge and skills exhibited by students at various stages of the learning process. The results of education also depend on the way tests are organized and conducted. Current educational standards impose certain requirements for the verification of learning outcomes and the application of various forms of control that will allow establishing the level of knowledge formation and the possibility of further advancement in education. Testing is a form of control that allows educators to check quickly and effectively the results of learning, however, the application of it presupposes the existence of a formed knowledge base and a high level of professional training from the side of teachers about the possession of test technology. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the potential of teachers’ collaboration with libraries and librarians in improving the results of standardized testing.
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The community of the school includes such crucial stakeholders as students and their families, the staff, the teachers and school administration, community organizations, and the faculty in general. At present, the school has diverse students with varied religious, national, cultural, and social backgrounds. Importantly, the institution’s faculty is diverse as well to ensure that the educators and all the parties engaged in contacts with students can address the learners’ needs in the best way. Besides, this approach has allowed establishing and encouraging a culture of inclusion within the school context.
During the past several years, the school has exhibited rather good results in terms of standardized testing. To be more precise, last year 33% of students were at or above proficient in Mathematics in the 8th grade and 25% in the 12th grade. In other subjects, the results were quite similar because teachers have placed great emphasis on the preparation of students for standardized tests. Nonetheless, a certain percentage of students have shown the results below expected, which has influenced significantly their further educational path. It should be noted that students with learning peculiarities such as attention deficit disorder and other peculiar features did not benefit from the existing approach towards student test preparation. Therefore, a new approach and teacher instruction are essential to address the needs of diverse students in an effective way.
To concentrate on the efficient and feasible test score improvement during the upcoming school year, it has been decided to engage school libraries and librarians in educating learners, which implies the collaboration and support of teachers in planning and instruction. Five particular objectives have been outlined to ensure the provision of this aim. The first objective encompasses the cooperation between the institution’s librarians and the classroom educators in furnishing instructions. The second objective is the procuring of the development capabilities to educators by the librarians. Another goal is to encourage library media specialists to comprehend and employ the practices of efficient teaching to boost learning. Apart from that, the fourth objective suggests that library staff should perform as instructional partners of teachers. The fifth objective implies establishing a dynamic and positive learning environment through the use of technology.
Methods and Activities
To ensure the input on the need, the collaboration with accomplished library media specialists will be helpful as stated by Standards IV and V of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards for Library Media. The specialists will assist in developing strategic plans that encompass the school’s goals related to standardized testing. It will include the joint effort from the side of students, teachers, and library media specialists that will concentrate on the students’ exposure to the diversified materials and teacher instruction. Specialists will perform as teacher’s partners and address the diverse student needs. Apart from that, the media center advisory group will assist in instructing students on the essential parts of testing to ensure each student is knowledgeable of the crucial aspects and knows where he or she can obtain the requested information.
To achieve the five objectives, it is necessary to determine the current setting and evaluate the needs of students that can be addressed effectively using the existing library tools and the assistance from the side of the library staff. Further, it is necessary to prioritize the learner-oriented aims and outline the actions by the worthwhile goals related to mastering the skills necessary for the successful completion of standardized tests. At this point, the librarians might perform as mediators between students and teachers while the educator will be able to diversify the instruction and the library worker will assist students in developing their knowledge and skills and support those students that require particular attention. After implementing the instruction, the collaborators will evaluate students’ learning and define the gaps in their skills that have to be refined.
It should be noted that the existing resources would be utilized to accomplish the set objectives. Therefore, the school will not need to allocate any extra resources to implement the proposed initiative. In particular, the school’s information technologies and digital content available from the library will be utilized, which will ensure equal access for all the students. Besides, media specialists will incorporate the latest instructional technologies that are at the institution’s disposal to emphasize content areas effectively. Notably, these resources (both online and internal) can be shared with other schools to promote a cross-institutional learning environment that will be beneficial for all the stakeholders.
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Measuring Progress and Communicating Results
The progress will be tracked and measured by both the teacher and the media specialist. To be more precise, the specialist will furnish focused explanations and demonstrations. Together with the teacher, he or she will assess student performance. The teacher will evaluate the use of digital resources in terms of the content area. At the same time, the specialist will track the procedure and the use of technology. Thus, both sides of the progress will be appraised. The principal will be informed every month in the form of two-way feedback, which will include the educators’ perspectives and students’ perceptions. Notably, to summarize and communicate the results of the initiative to the school community, the outcome measures will review three basic categories. They will include changes in the educational program that have been implemented, the goals that were set, and the results of the change in practices reflected in the percentage of students that have received greater scores in the format of standardized testing.
Thus, it can be concluded that the potential of libraries and the staff in achieving better learning outcomes should not be underestimated. The collaboration of educators with librarians will provide a new perspective in establishing a dynamic and positive learning environment that is inclusive of all students and supports their needs more functionally and comprehensively. The use of libraries to improve test scores will allow enhancing student motivation and support students with difficulties through the use of technology.