Just a School Librarian

Thoughts of a Middle School Librarian

The Research Process: It’s Not as Linear as You Think

Posted by CGibson on July 2, 2010

Imagine your anticipation as you prepare to eat a scrumptious home-made turkey burger: First you grill it on the barbeque,  and then you dress it up with all your favorite toppings.

After you devour it, you realize that maybe the best part was NOT the burger, but rather something as minor as the dollop of spicy brown mustard.

Now apply the above scenario to RESEARCH.

You see, I’ve been reading about reading. Okay, I’ve been reading about reading motivation strategies.

Then the other day I came across a book that was off-topic but it looked too good to pass up: Literacy in the digital age, by R. W Burniske.

So I read the book, thinking  I was actually going to enlighten myself with the mysteries of digital literacy (the concept still eludes me, but that’s okay).

After I digested the book (like the turkey burger), I walked away with an unexpected pearl of wisdom that will push me along with my research, and that is the notion of pedagogical literacy. Burniske discusses pedagogical literacy in the context of digital literacy, and he defines it: “Pedagogical literacy is a fluency with the methods that one can employ for teaching and learning as well as the critical judgement necessary to determine which activities and media are most appropriate for a particular group, time, and purpose.”

For the purpose of my own inquiry, this is a pearl of great beauty. You see, pedagogical literacy can be applied when constructing a  professional development module.  As I shuffle along with figuring how to teach teachers effective reading motivation strategies, I see  it’s so important to consider not just the desired skills and strategies, but  the needs and strengths of those teachers, as well. After considering the needs and strengths of my teachers, I can determine which activities and media would be appropriate with each and every teacher.

My point here is that the process of research and inquiry is not clean and linear. Rather, it’s messy and convoluted. It’s okay to read something a bit off-topic. You’re adding to your background knowledge (and you can’t have enough of that), and you just might find a pearl of wisdom.  After all, I’m just a school librarian. 😉

Thank you for visiting my blog.


One Response to “The Research Process: It’s Not as Linear as You Think”

  1. I found this very interesting. Please enlighten me in September.
    Hi Joan, thanks for stopping by my blog. See you in September, or this summer on Face Book 🙂

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