Alinda Sheerman

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Australia, New
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Alinda was initially trained as a primary teacher and taught in both State and Independent schools and then part time in country schools in New South Wales across many subject areas K-10. Since additional training she has taught in school libraries for 23 years.

Alinda has worked at Broughton Anglican College (Menangle Park, NSW) as Head of Information Services and Teacher Librarian since 2004. This is a Prep – Year 12 school with around 950 students. The school library (IRC) supports all students and teachers and can accommodate up to six classes at any one time.

Her real enthusiasm for pedagogical change initiated through the school library began during her studies for MAPPSci (TeachLib) with Charles Sturt University. On its completion in 2007 she became interested in Action Research and joined a community of Action Researchers in School Libraries (CAR-TL).

At this point she learned about Guided Inquiry at a Syba Signs conference where Ross Todd inspired her to conduct Action Research into the effectiveness of Guided Inquiry as a new pedagogy at Broughton Anglican College. The results of the initial round of Action Research on a Year 7 class were so positive that a second round on all four Year 7 classes was completed the following year and this was shared within the school and then with other Teacher Librarians.

Guided Inquiry is now used by both Primary and Secondary classes at Broughton across a number of subject areas and every year Alinda collaboratively teaches and conducts Action Research on a number of Guided Inquiry projects, collecting data, pictures and video to demonstrate evidence based practice, making improvements and changes to scaffolds and procedures each time. The results are regularly published on the library blog

Alinda has been using the results of Action research to share at conferences in order to teach other Teacher Librarians about using Guided Inquiry in their schools. Together with Lee Fitzgerald, Alinda attended the Third International Research Symposium 2013 held by the Center for International Scholarship in School Libraries (CISSL) in New Brunswick. It was entitled Digital Youth, Inquiry and the Future School Library and Lee and Alinda were asked to share the Action Research they had been doing on Guided Inquiry in their Australian schools. Lee and Alinda also created and manage a wiki called Guided Inquiry Community where Teacher Librarians can obtain assistance and scaffolds for their own schools. http://guided

In 2011, Alinda was awarded a NSW Quality Teaching Award from the NSW Minister for Education and the Australian College of Educators NSW.

In 2012, Alinda was selected to be the 2012 SLANSW Teacher Librarian of the Year and subsequently the 2012 ASLA Australian Teacher Librarian of the Year.

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