1. Brief Background
Korea is a small country geographically but its population is large. The educational system is 6-3-3-4 and there are 5,732 elementary schools, 2,705 middleschools and 1,856 highschools in Korea. The Ministry of Education is a central coordinating body for school education, it sets the goals of schooling for the nation, and establishes curriculum guidelines and requirements. Elementary and secondary schools are under the supervision of the provincial area's superintendent of education. In Korea, public secondary schools are not fully funded by the national or provincial government and students have to pay their tuition. Teachers can belong to the teachers' associations (eg., Secondary School Teacher's Association) of their own choice, while the teachers' union has not been permitted yet because teachers are not accepted as laborers in Korean society. This organizational structure for public education results in a non-autonomy educational system.
According to the statistics of the 1996 Korean Education Yearbook, 62.4% of elementary schools, 84.9% of middle schools, and 98.3% of highschools have libraries. The employment of a teacher-librarian is recommended by the Law of Education, but not obligatory. Elementary school libraries do not have teacher-librarians with a few exceptions. Only 1.3% of middle school libraries, 6.2% of high school libraries and 1.5% of all schools in Korea have teacher-librarians and these are mainly in Seoul.
Compared with this low employment rate of teacher-librarian or the nation's geographical size, the programs for education in librarianship are not small. Programs for librarianship education began in Korean universities in 1957 and now 32 universities offer the undergraduate courses for library and information science. Among of these universities, 13 have master's and also 6 offer doctoral courses.
While the education programs are
rich, the number of professors in faculties of education, with the expertise
and credentials necessary for supervising graduate work in teacher-librarianship,
is also very small. All this means that there is not a large amount of
research in teacher-librarianship carried out in Korea, and that much of
the research that is carried out is conducted by students in their Master's
or Doctoral programs, and that much of it is not disseminated to the profession.
2. Research Sample
A study is currently being conducted across the highschool districts of Seoul. Seoul is the capital city of Korea and it is the largest city in this country. There is 1 superintendent and 11 school districts. Selection of the research participants could not be done by random sampling because all highschools in Seoul do not have teacher-librarians. A population approach (selection of all the schools in one district, for example) could not be used either because no district in Seoul is large enough to get 100-150 schools with teacher-librarians. 252 teacher-librarians are in Korea and 175 teacher-librarians are in highschool. Only 141 highschools have teacher-librarians in Seoul and so all of them were selected as the research participants. The sample --the schools with a teacher-librarian --was identified using the 1996 Korean Education Yearbook and the 1997 Statistics on Libraries in Korea.
3. Survey Administration
In Korea, using an online survey format could not be expected because almost all participants, particularly principals, were inexperienced Internet users even though most schools had computers. Because of the participants' lack of familiarity with web-based forms, paper copies of the surveys were requested.
Three instruments of the principal and teacher-librarian were translated into Korean by September 1997. Also information about this research project and how to participate were written in the covering letter under my name. I also asked the Seoul Secondary School Library Association's cooperation to increase response rate in October, and decided to attach an official letter of the Association to ask the principals and teacher-librarians' cooperation. Prepared instruments were mailed to the 141 schools and only 17 principal/teacher-librarian pairs were collected by early January 1998. At this time, the Association's workshop of the teacher-librarian was held and 18 instruments of the teacher-librarian were completed by them here. 124 paper copies of the surveys were mailed a second time while 18 instruments of the principal were also delivered by the teacher-librarians to their principals. Early February the third paper copies of the surveys were maild once more and I phoned some of them to ask cooperation. Finally, by late February 43 principal/ teacher-librarian pairs were collected and the response rate was 30.5%. The data was loaded by the researcher and an assistant on the South Korea Web-site during a period of three weeks from late February.
Even though there was no such thing
as the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act of the Province
of Alberta in Korea, there were a number of factors that influenced low
response rates. First of all, the survey instrument was too lengthy and
too complicated to complete, especially for the open-ended questions (
instrument 3). Second, some of the questions in the instruments were not
relevant to the present educational situation of Korea.
4. Survey Results
4.1. Characteristics of survey sample
of the schools
All of the responding principals' schools are located in urban areas and more than half (54.8%) of them are public schools, and have large enrollment. Most of the schools (97.6%) have 1,000+ students and 71.4% have between 60-100+ teaching staff. However all of the participant schools have one full time teacher-librarian which is not connected with the school size. 60% of the principals responded that internet connection is possible in their schools and the number of internet connections vary from 1 to 100. However the principal's internet knowledge is not accurate because 48.3% of schools have no internet points in their school while 40% of the principals responded that their school has no internet connections. This means that 8.3% of the schools can access internet without internet points.
of principal and teacher-librarian
All principals graduated from university and 42.9% also attended graduate school. 85.7% of the principals are male and 77.3% of the teacher-librarians are female. Teacher-librarians and principals differed significantly on the number of years they have spent teaching prior to appointment to their current position, number of years in executive positions, and age. 88% of the principals have spent between 10-20+ years teaching prior to appointment and 45.2% of the teacher-librarians have not had teaching experience. Whilst all teacher-librarians had spent no time in executive positions, principals were likely to have spent between 15-19 years in such positions. 100% of teacher-librarians have never been in an executive position. In Korea, due to the teacher-librarians have no way to promote in an executive position by Education Law. 100% of the principals are from 50 years of age upward and 71.4% of them are over 60 years of age. The teaching profession's retirement age is 65 in Korea. According to the principals' responses, only 2.4% the principals have been in their current position for 20+ years. This means that a teacher can only be a principal after 50 years of age with few exceptions. 76.8% of the principals who responded have worked with 1-2 taecher-librarians and 2.4% of the principals have worked with 5-6. The later case is possible in the public school because the public school teachers have to be transferred every 4 years.
The demographics of a teacher-librarian
are different from the principal's. The largest distribution are between
the ages of 30-49. The number of years in current position is very diverse
from between 0-4 years to over 20 years. All of the teacher-librarians
graduated from university and 23.3% of them attended graduate school. 94.1%
of the teacher-librarians subscribe to 1-3 journals and 89.3% of the teacher-librarians
are members of 1-3 Professional Associations. But only 38.6% of the teacher-librarians
subscribe to a listserv for librarians. This means that professional activity
through computer has not been popular yet in Korea. 86.4% of teacher-librarians
are appointed to unadvertised positions because employment of teacher-librarian
is not required in Korea, so most employment is carried out by a personal
recommendation. 92.7% of schools have no internet point in the school library.
Through this we can guess the information literacy position or situation
of the school library in Korea.
Means for the perception factors were computed for present-future of teacher librarian-principal groups. In order to determine if a difference existed between the means in each group, t-tests were computed for the means of each perception factor. For the belief factors, means were computed for teacher librarian-principal groups. T-tests were also computed to know that significant differences exist between two groups. The software program QSR Nudist was used to handle the data from the open-ended questions, instrument 3.
analysis for the perception factors
According to teacher-librarians their principals give the most attention to encouraging the professional development of teaching staff or enhancing the use of information technology at present and in the future(Q3, 11). The next concern of principals is allocating flexible time for the teacher-librarian to administer the school library(Q 8). However the significant difference between time currently spent and time perceived to be required in the future are presented at p=/<.001 only in question 11 at the result of t-test for these cases(Appendix 3). The teacher-librarians believe that the least attention among principals is seeking outside school funding possibilities that can be used to supplement the school library budget at present and in the future. There is significant difference between present and future at p=/<.000 for this case at t-test's result (Appendix 3).
<Table 1> Ranking of importance/non
importance from statistics frequency analysis for perception factors
|Qu No.||Mean||Qu No.||Mean||Qu No.||Mean||Qu No.||Mean|
According to the principals (Table 1) they pay very sufficient attention to allocating adequate time for the teacher-librarian to administer the school library at present (Q 8), and facilitating the development of an information literate school community in the future (Q 1). The significant differences between present and future are presented at p=/.001, p=/.000 for them at the result of t-test (Appendix 3-1). The principals perceive that advocating that the teacher-librarian be a member of key school committees to tap into his expertise and schoolwide perspective requires the least attention among themselves(Q 27)at present and in the future(Table 1). The significant difference between present and future are also presented at p=/<.000 for this case(Appendix 3-1).
Appendix 4 shows us that there are significant differences between teacher-librarians and principals at p=/<.005 for many perception factors. It indicates that principals and teacher-librarians differ on how much time they think the principal spends on various tasks (eg., facilitating the development of an information literate school community(Q1)).
Overall principals view themselves as spending more time on tasks than the teacher-librarians perceive them to be spending. Principals also perceive themselves as generally being able to spend more time on tasks in the future than the teacher-librarian thinks they should have to.
analysis for the belief factors
<Table 2> Ranking of TL/PR's belief factors
|Teacher-librarian||Agree||Question No.||33, 34, 35, 48, 42|
|Mean||3.50, 3.48, 3.43, 3.39, 3.18|
|Disagree||Question No.||52, 40, 43, 50, 36, 49|
|Mean||1.82, 2.45, 2.48, 2.48, 2.55, 2.55|
|Principal||Agree||Question No.||34, 33, 37, 44, 35|
|Mean||3.42, 3.26, 3.16, 3.14, 3.12|
|Disagree||Question No.||39, 40, 48, 41, 32|
|Mean||2.4, 2.49, 2.49, 2.51, 2.6|
The principals are also interested in the teacher-librarian's ability and qualification, but they do not have concern about their promotion. It is noticed that the principal's and teacher-librarian's interests clash abut the status of Advanced Skills Teacher. Meanwhile there is no significant differences between teacher-librarian and principals at p=/<.005 for the belief factors. On the one hand the principals pay attention to the staff development plans and provide appropriate inservicing to teaching staff, while the principal's reaction is very negative(Q 32, 39, 41)about school library or teacher-librarian's key role in the information literacy programs.
from Instrument 3
The responses to the open-ended questions on Instrument 3 were analyzed and interpreted as follows:
(1)The strengths of the school library were accepted as promoting reading and providing books or information for teaching-learning by both principals and teacher-librarians. However the principals put the strongest emphasis on the reading while the teacher-librarians put the strongest emphasis on providing information or helping teachers teach and students learn.
(2)The challenges that face the school library are budget and information literacy. Also mentioned by teacher-librarians, but with less frequency, were the library's simple role as a study room.
(3)The teacher-librarian's critical functions are providing information and reading guidance. The function of providing information was seen as circulation of books.
(4)If the library were closed or a teacher-librarian were absent for more than two weeks, teaching-learning would be affected in using information materials. Thus student aids have to be trained well in order to ensure access to the school library when the librarian is absent.
(5)Both teacher-librarians and principals see information literacy mostly as ability to get information through computer network. Mentioned by teacher-librarians, but with less frequency, was the providing of teaching-learning materials.
(6)Software and budget are the major barriers to the integration of information skills across the curriculum.
(7)Principals respond that their
role is to provide a supporting budget or to emphasize the role of the
school library for the development of an information literate school community.
Principals and teacher-librarians significantly differed on the amount of time they perceived the principal should spend on tasks for an information literate school community at present and in the future. The principals believed they spend some time and should spend more time on tasks for an information literate school community in the future than in the teacher-librarians' view. However the teacher-librarians respond that their principals have no concern for the role of the teacher-librarian in the instructional program, and their principals do not have interest in seeking collaboration of the teacher-librarian with respect to issues of whole school information management.
Already the facts have been revealed
that the principle's understanding and advocating of the school library
is very important for the development of an information literate school
community. The Korean principals perceived that the attainment of information
literacy is part of the school plan, however, their basic understanding
of the school library is not sufficient.
Oberg, Dianne (1997) "Principal support ; Research from Canada" The 63rd IFLA Conference paper of the division School Libraries and Resource Centers - Workshop on the Principals and school librarians working within an information literate school community. Available: http://www.nlc-bnc.ca/ifla/IV/ifla63/63obed.htm
Henri, James and Hay, Lyn (1995) "Leadership for collaboration : making vision work". The 61st IFLA Conference paper of the division School Libraries and Resource Centers. Available: http://www.nlc-bnc.ca/ifla/IV/ifla61/61-hayl.htm
1996 Korean Education Yearbook
1997 Statistics on Libraries in Korea
Descriptive statistics from frequency analysis for Teacher-librarians
perception of time spent on tasks/ or in support of tasks by the Principal
Descriptive Statistics from frequency analysis for Principals perception
of the time spent on tasks/ or in support of tasks by themselves
<Appendix 2>Descriptive Statistics from frequency
analysis for Teacher-librarians Beliefs
<Appendix 2-1> Descriptive Statistics from
frequency analysis for Principals Beliefs
<Appendix 3> T-Tests- Present vs Future Analysis : Teacher-librarians
<Appendix 4> Teacher-librarian vs Principal
|Question||Levenes F-value||Levenes p-value||T-value||df||p-value|
Present and Future Questions and Beliefs
|Question||TL Mean||TL SD||PR Mean||PR SD|
<Appendix 5> Other Variables
|Age||No. Executive||Teach Prior|
|Levenes F- value||10.913||2.67||22.205|
|Levenes p- value||0.001||0.109||0|
<Appendix 6> Present and Future Overall
|Levenes F- value||3.463||0.58||0.48|
|Levenes p- value||0.066||0.448||0.49|