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Rhode Island School Library Curriculum Guide: Introduction

Introduction 2

This guide is based on the value of inquiry learning and endorses Stripling's Cycle of Inquiry and Learning Process Model.

Inquiry is a fundamental building block of teaching and learning that empowers students to follow their sense of wonder into new discoveries and insights about the way the world works.

Intro 2

The empowered learner calls upon information/inquiry skills to connect with what they know, ask intriguing questions about what is not known, investigate the answers, construct new understandings, and communicate to share those understandings with others. 

Students need to use the skills of inquiry to learn. Developing these skills must follow a coherent spiral of instruction and practice throughout the years of schooling, Pre-Kindergarten through grade 12, to enable all our children to become independent life-long learners. 

The School Librarians of Rhode Island has adopted the Empire State Information Fluency Continuum (ESIFC) to use as their statewide curriculum guide. It was developed by the New York City School Library System and published in 2009 to provide a substantive guide for educators and librarians seeking to develop those essential information and inquiry skills for students in kindergarten through grade 12.

The curriculum guide has recently been redesigned to respond to changes in the information and learning environment and to the increasing diversity in our students. It has also been updated to align with the AASL National School Library Standards. This guide will enable librarians and classroom teachers to integrate the teaching of information literacy and inquiry skills across the curriculum and across all grade levels as they empower students to develop confidence and agency to pursue their own paths to personal and academic success.

The Curriculum Guide at a Glance

The RI School Library Curriculum Guide (RISLCG) is guided by the following parameters: 

  • The focus is to provide standards for the Information-Fluent Learner and a clear continuum of skills and strategies that may be taught by the school librarian, whether in collaboration with classroom teachers or in independent lessons as dictated by school environments. A collaborative approach by the librarian and the classroom teacher is by far the most effective way to teach information fluency/inquiry skills and strategies. This continuum is designed to facilitate that collaboration. 
  • The inquiry standard is framed by an inquiry cycle that engenders active learning and the formation of new understandings.
  • The RISLCG includes resources for:
    • Multiple literacies, including visual and media literacy
    • Use of technology for learning, including digital literacy skills
    • Pre-kindergarten
    • Personalization of learning
    • Evaluation of multiple perspectives
    • Digital citizenship and civic responsibility
    • Design thinking, including innovation and creation
    • Student voice and agency
  • The guide also includes graphic organizers that may be adopted or adapted for assessment of student learning. 
  • The RISLCG is informed by and aligned with the new AASL Standards Framework for Learners, the ISTE Standards for Students, and The College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for State Standards in Social Studies (National Council for the Social Studies). 

The documents are written and organized to enable educators to start with a broad framework (the Anchor Standards and Indicators) and then move progressively to more specific and detailed views.