When the new doctoral program in Dance Education welcomed its first cohort of students in the 2018-2019 academic year, the library was presented with an exceptional opportunity: to
collaborate with faculty and students (through our document delivery service and other mechanisms) in building the collection in support of their research needs, to identify and make accessible the best resources in the field already available through Gottesman and the Columbia University Libraries, and to begin
a conversation with program participants on how best to facilitate and promote their scholarly endeavors, in order to assure their access to resources and services for the enrichment of their academic lives on Morningside Heights and of course elsewhere in the city.
I was fortunate to make contact in Fall 2018 with members of the incoming cohort to answer questions about past dance education dissertations done at Teachers College and
other resources, and in January of this year I began a correspondence with Professor Barbara Bashaw about access to various e-resources through our library and Columbia University Libraries, and about our compiling an online research guide to address the research needs of the Dance Education program in general and more specifically those of the course she was teaching this semester, Historical Foundations of Dance Education
. We also discussed her bringing her students to the library for a class session, and because providing presentations of this kind, and building research guides to accompany them, are key component of my work, I was happy to schedule a library information session to take place during her regular class meeting time.
I find that preparing to meet with a class (gleaning as much as I can about the principal
foci of the course, topics or resources that the instructor would like me to be sure to cover, and the research interests of the students, whether discipline- or subject-specific) in conjunction with compiling a research guide (an annotated bibliography listing, within key categories, a selection of salient printed and electronic resources germane to the course and to students' research concerns, and also detailing library services crucial to student success both in the course and in general) comprise a significant part of the satisfaction I take from my work.
My research guide for the Historical Foundations
course includes resources, primarily electronic, for research in the field, within categories that include online catalogs,
periodical indexes, encyclopedias and dictionaries, e-collections, handbooks of research, reviews of research, and digital archives. The process of identifying resources available through our library and Columbia's libraries, is in itself a process akin to detective work, and I find it immensely satisfying to uncover unexpected and (to me) entirely unfamiliar treasures among the holdings of Gottesman and CU Libraries. My guide
, which resides on our library's blog Learning at the Libraries
, will remain permanently in place, and it will be updated over time as new resources emerge or are brought to my attention.
The most exhilarating part of the overall process, the real payoff, is of course actually meeting with the students and the instructor, both as a group in the classroom setting and
(often) individually through one-on-one research consultations. The 10 students in the Historical Foundations course, along with Professor Bashaw, are amazingly accomplished, to which their biographies
on the Dance Education program website eloquently attest. I can't make any claim for my own "performance" in the role of library "instructor," but without question the students expressed in class their enthusiasm about the e-resources (which are genuinely rich and ultimately integral to their research) and their appreciation of my efforts. They were kind enough to send me a thank you remembrance that I consider unparalleled among acknowledgements from class members (see below). I am most grateful for having had the privilege of working with this first Dance Education doctoral cohort, and I wish them and the program great success in the future.
Apart from library information sessions with various classes, senior services librarians in the course of the Spring 2019 semester consulted with students on a variety of research topics and fields of inquiry; what follows is a sampling of queries with which we provided assistance.
- Client motivation in therapy.
- Psychometric information (reliability and validity) of the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project's reading assessments.
Career and technical education.
- The effectiveness or impact on learning outcomes of self-paced learning on adult learners.
- Impact of mindfulness studies in female collegiate athletes.
- The role of universities in stopping the dyslexia to prison pipeline.
- A historical timeline of events that can be used to in classroom to help teach and student better visualize history; looking at innovative pedagogy and technology integration in social studies, as well as inadequacies within our social studies curriculum.
- The working relationship between faculty and student affairs professionals; thecollege professioriate and how it is effected by technology and millennials.
- Cultural appropriation in utilizing drama in the English classroom.
Art education in concentration camps (Holocaust).
- Seeking to validate the importance of debate/organized arguing between two people as important for expression, conflict resolution and therapy.
- Supreme Court case "Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District" from the perspective of critical race theory; in particular, exploration of what if anything was lost to education when the Court ruled that K-12 school assignment policies that take the race of individual students into account are unconstitutional.
- Comic books and art education.
- Seeking research on e-coaching/digital coaching.
- Seeking background information about media literacy, K-12 and adults: the meaning of media literacy, how it's taught in K-12, how those skills translate into adulthood; how well adults can detect misinformation, their critical thinking skills; why media literacy is important; statistics about adult readers who consume news/media.
- Holograms vs. computer voicing research: holography and teaching employment skills; teaching history through holography; holography in medical field teaching; teaching engineering using holography.
- Searching specific journals for articles on flipped classrooms or language acquisitions outcomes.
- Embodied and multi-sensory experience of printmaking.
- Facilitating peer-assisted learning in 2nd grade math, and specifically the methods and possible effects of facilitating that kind of learning.
- Looking to find out what organizations are doing to create an inclusive environment for remote or virtual teams.
- Children's museums and Froebel's ideas on play-based education.
- Pedagogy of Love in physical education.
History of racial segregation in New York City schools.
- Social-emotional learning in early childhood physical education.
- Seeking literature on men's relationships to their bodies/other male bodies, sports culture in the classroom, and how the media shapes concepts of masculinity (as these relate to adolescent boys' studying art history).
- Seeking primary or secondary source material about a London art show carried out by G.A. Stevens in 1929 in London by art students at Achimota School in Gold Coast Ghana.
- High turnover rate and the reasons for it among young professionals in educational technology.
- Museum education programs for students with autism spectrum disorders.
- In support of the development of a curriculum, based in an aesthetic education framework, to educate people at the end of their lives, and their families, about death, dying, and bereavement, seeking books, dissertations, and other materials relating to palliative care, existing aesthetic education frameworks within healthcare, curricula to support grieving families, interfaith bereavement strategies, curricula for hospice care, the practice of palliative care at home, and palliative care for low income and marginalized individuals.
- Engagement and retention of veterans in organizations/companies.
- Seeking access to any materials and curricula for the Reading Rescue Intervention Program.
During the Spring 2019 semester, Services librarians delivered research and information assistance and support in the following areas:
- Senior Librarians and Services Associates addressed a total of 1,599 in-person and phone queries.
- Senior Librarians responded to 506 queries (reference questions, requests for research consultations, inquiries about library operations, circulation issues) submitted through the library's ticket system.
- Senior Librarians provided 66 research consultations to individuals or small groups.
- Librarians and Services Associates presented eight course-specific library information sessions, either in the regular classroom or a library space, for a total of 133 attendees.
Images courtesy of the Teachers College Dance Education
program (Jaqlin Medlock, Jennie Miller, photographers) and from the Allen Foresta collection.