This article illustrates a way of promoting a school’s library as a hub for learning.
Author – Karuna Swaminathan, Oakridge International School
The library is the hub of the PYP, a learning environment apart from the classroom and a place where learning is enhanced. Books allow for students to visualize their fantasies, dream of unimaginable places, and put on the hat of their favourite character. Thus, a library sets the stage for imagination, creativity, connection and thought.
Library supports learning
The library is an aide to student’s learning and a resource centre for research and query. Since inquiry drives the unit forward, students use the books, encyclopedias and multimedia available to them in the library to enhance their understanding of the topic. When the students visit the library, we talk about the ongoing unit and encourage the students to find books that they think are related to their topic. They learn to scan through the shelves, find a book, look at the cover page and contents and skim through the material to understand if the information given is relevant and substantial. Working on research skills supports students to identify what they want to find out about, plan the necessary course of action, collect relevant information and make meaning while effectively communicating what they have learned.
Both the classroom and the library together foster independent thinking and promote the ability to make choices, and both these learning environments are interrelated. They support each other and the students to make informed choices. Hence, students become independent users of information and take responsibility for their own flexible and transdisciplinary learning.
Students can develop and understand the importance and relevance of the IB learner profile and attitudes in the library. When asked how they can explain these, students from grade 4 and 5 sought examples from the various people that belong to the written world.
They saw Simba, from The Lion King, as a perfect example of a risk-taker when he took it upon himself to save his clan; Rusty from the Ruskin Bond series showed integrity when he did not give up on his friends; there was Noddy – whose curiosity paved the path to his adventures. Students believed that they had a lot to learn from J.K. Rowling – whose creativity led to the birth of the infamous Harry Potter series… Continue Reading