Personalizing the Information Search Process: A Case Study of Journal Writing with Elementary-Age Students. This paper is by Violet H. Harada. It was published in School Library Media Research, Vol. 5, 2002.
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Current teaching and learning paradigms emphasize a constructivist approach to building knowledge. At the core of this approach lies a fundamental question: How do we help children move from merely going through the motions of learning to actually making personal meaning of their world? In the case study reported here, a team comprised of school-level and university faculty focused on journal writing as a means of deepening students' cognitive and affective awareness of the information-search process. The subjects were students in an upper elementary grade classroom in Honolulu, Hawaii. The study also explored the impact of journal writing on the school library media specialist's reflective practices. This article describes the context for this field-based research, the questions investigated, methods employed, and findings gleaned from two cycles of research assignments. A 1999 AASL/Highsmith Research Award supported the study.