Radical Pedagogy

Radical Pedagogy (2015)

Volume 12 Issue 2

ISSN: 1524-6345

Preparing the Principal and Librarian for an Invaluable Partnership

Gerry Sokol

Educational Leadership Program

Longwood University, USA

E-mail: sokolgr@longwood.edu

Frances Reeve

School Librarianship Program

Longwood University, USA

E-mail: reevefm@longwood.edu

Shannon Mann Flater

School Librarian and Media Specialist

The Carmel School, USA

E-mail:  shannonfalter@gmail.com


     One of the most compelling issues confronting school personnel is the continuing effort to improve student achievement. No single entity in the school can handle this alone; therefore, all educators have a responsibility to work toward this goal. In the majority of schools this shared responsibility is not practiced until school personnel are employed and working at a school. Prior to employment, formal professional preparation programs do not usually provide opportunities, experiences, and training on collaboration with professionals in other school disciplines. The importance of the library should not be left to the learning opportunities once the principal is employed but should be incorporated into the professional training courses provided. With a collaborative case study between pre-service principals and librarians enrolled in graduate programs at a university, data were collected in six semesters between 2006 and 2013 in an eight-year longitudinal review to give the students an opportunity to learn more about each other’s roles in schools and how these roles affect student achievement. Findings indicated that students approach school-related issues initially from their own professional training lens. The initial approaches to address the issue were quite different from the school librarians’ perspective as compared to the school principals’ perspective. Analysis of the data showed that communication, collaboration, and multidisciplinary decision-making between professionals have positive impacts on resolving and potentially preventing problems and supported the need for multidisciplinary projects during training of school professionals.

     Keywords: collaboration, school librarians, school principals, pre-service

                     librarians, pre-service principals, student achievement,

                     graduate education programs