Wednesday, July 27, 2005

How Do Teachers Communicate?

How Do Teachers Communicate? Or perhaps a better question for this blog, how do librarians communicate?

I would argue it is crucial for both librarians and teachers to communicate well. When teaching or helping someone at the Reference Desk, it is very important to be able to connect and communicate ideas.

This old ERIC Digest (from 1988) takes a look at some ways that teacher communication can be assessed. While that portion of the essay is a little out of date, some of the other parts are more useful such as reasons why communication skills should be assessed.

I find evaluating the skills of my librarians when they are at the Reference Desk hard. They all deal with patrons and answer questions in different ways. If they are good at the reference interview and determine what the patron really needs, is that successful communication? If so, how do I assess that?

From the site:

The last decade has seen a rise in the demand for testing teachers, brought on by a real or perceived decline in student performance, as well as concern over the quality and preparation of people entering the profession. An increased sense of urgency was sounded in recent reports calling for national standards for teachers: the Holmes' Group report, Tomorrow's Teachers (1986); the Carnegie Commission report, A Nation Prepared: Teachers for the 21st Century (1986); and the National Governors' Association report, Time for Results (1986). In response, many states have adopted formal assessment procedures for teachers, almost all of which claim to evaluate communication abilities. However, the methods of assessment vary from state to state with the result that communication is defined in different ways across the country. Furthermore, the operational definitions found in various state assessment practices often don't correspond with those developed through research.

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