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Communication Dans Un Congrès Année : 2013

School librarians, library education and information science in France


How do education programs for school librarians influence perceptions of the role of the teacher-librarian today? What influence does the perceived role of the teacher-librarian have upon information literacy curricular development for secondary school students? As part of a research program (“Teacher-librarians,, from the identity of educational programs, to professional identity”, coordinated by Nassira Hedjerassi, University Institute for Teacher Training, Reims) which proposes a sociological study the construction of the professional identity of school librarians in France, we are studying the ways in which the discipline of Information Science is presented in library school education programs at the Master’s level. Recent educational reforms in France, including the transition from an undergraduate to a Master’s level program for school librarianship in 2010, have accentuated the longstanding problem of defining school librarians’ educational role which has traditionally fluctuated between a technical and administrative role, on the one hand, and a more academic, professorial role, on the other. This ambivalence has important consequences for the definition of “information literacy” in schools and for the creation of meaningful exchange between the teacher librarian and colleagues of other school disciplines, at the junior high school and high school levels. It is through such interdisciplinary partnerships that students can be exposed to the foundations of information culture and media studies. As previous studies have shown, however, the school librarian is seldom perceived as enjoying the same socio-professional legitimacy given to teachers of the older, more widely known school disciplines, such as history or biology. Indeed, the question of whether or not “information science,” a recently created academic discipline in France, can be considered a school discipline remains unresolved. Our analysis of the content of school librarianship degree programs will follow four lines of enquiry. Firstly, given that program content is to a large degree based upon the requirements of the French school librarianship national examination (CAPES) we will examine the relationship between the exam itself (theoretical and practical questions) and the degree programs developed since 2010. What theoretical foundations of Information science are offered to students and which approaches, authors and points of view are favored? Secondly, we will examine, through comparison between Masters’ programs in four different regions in France, what local specificities and curricular adaptations have been made since 2010 as a function of local priorities. Thirdly, a diachronic analysis of the education programs, before and after the educational reforms of 2010, will allow us to evaluate the ways in which the reform has reconfigured the link between the discipline of Information Science and the professional competencies, and the critical stance required of the teacher-librarian. Fourthly, a comparison will be made between the French educational programs and NCATE (National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education)/AASL (American Association of School Librarians) school librarianship education programs in the US. Our primary methodological tool will be content analysis of the degree programs and qualifying examinations; the larger methodological context of our study is a sociological inquiry into the professional identity of school librarians.
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hal-01292906 , version 1 (23-03-2016)


  • HAL Id : hal-01292906 , version 1


Susan Kovacs, Yolande Maury. School librarians, library education and information science in France. International Conference of International Association for Media and Communications Research (IAMCR) 2013, Dublin city university, Jun 2013, Dublin, Ireland. ⟨hal-01292906⟩
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