Kawartha Pine Ridge DSB

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Kawartha Pine Ridge DSB 2015-16


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Website:   http://www.kprdsb.ca

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Supporting Students with Research Skills

Inquiry Question:

What strategies will have an impact on students’ KPRDSB Photoability to think critically and develop research skills to become effective digital literate learners?

Project Description:

Today’s literate learners need to integrate knowledge from multiple sources, including video, online databases and other media. They need to think critically about information that can be found nearly instantaneously throughout the world.” Capacity Building K-12 #41, Literacy for a Connected World. 

In Alan November’s book Who Owns the Learning, he states; “With most students (and many professionals) relying almost exclusively on the Internet for research, and with facts fighting for space among the misinformation that floods the web, these skills [research skills] are critical.” Page 51

This Learning Connections project will provide the opportunity for teacher librarians to collaboratively investigate a variety of strategies and tools that will support the development of effective research skills in students. Teacher librarians will: 

  • Collect and analyze data based on their students’ needs through observations. (What do students struggle with when researching online?)
  • Create criteria for selecting research strategies and tools based on data analysis.
  • Collaboratively investigate and critically evaluate strategies and tools to help students navigate and critically think about information on the web.
  • Select a focus group of students and a curriculum area to use the selected research techniques and tools.
  • With support, try the new strategy with focus group.
  • Administer pre and post task to determine effectiveness.
  • Be responsible to documenting evidence of student learning through video, photos and student work.
  • Share findings with Learning Connections group.
  • Meet together as a team twice through the year and once with a consultant at their home school.

Research techniques could be integrated into a variety of curriculum expectations, as teacher librarians support many different curriculum subjects and strands. Digital literacy is most clearly supported by teacher librarians because they teach through inquiry. Also many TLs facilitate reading, writing, media and oral communication through many content areas such as Social Studies, Science, Health, etc. We understand the importance for developing critical literacy learners in today’s world and we are committed to ensuring all students in Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board are effective researchers.

Alignment with Board Improvement Plan for Student Achievement and Well-Being

Student Achievement Literacy Vision:

“We are developing literate learners who critically and creatively reflect and interact with others, their environment and themselves.”

Innovations Vision:

“KPR students are digital learners who critically question the world around them to collaboratively solve real life problems in a local and global context.”

Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board’s literacy and innovation goals clearly state the importance of students being able to critically question, reflect and interact with the world around them. Many students today are vulnerable to an abundance of misinformation, which can prevent learning. Teacher Librarians will have an opportunity to develop student research as well as critical learning skills to support students in a digital world. In the monograph Literacy for a Connected World, it states that today’s literate learners “must be able to organize, analyze and synthesize multiple streams of information so that they can find and critically evaluate information for accuracy and bias.” This Learning Connections project will allow several teacher librarians to learn how different strategies can support students in becoming literate learners.


Creating a positive school climate where all students feel safe physical, socially and emotionally results in increased academic engagement and learning. Keeping students safe physically as well as virtually is important to KPR. Students today are saturated with information, which can lead to anxiety, stress and making poor choices. Giving students tools can help them eliminate much of this overwhelming feeling is part of our Learning Connections project. The digital world has the ability to empower students if they are taught how to organize, analyze and synthesize information.