Exploring the Roles, Functions and Competencies of Library and Media Teachers in Managing School Resource Centers and Supporting 21st Century Learning in Malaysian Schools

Husain Hashim, Shamila Mohamed Shuhidan

Abstract


21st century skills are embedded in the Malaysian school curriculum to prepare and produce knowledgeable and responsible young citizens in coping with the challenges of the global knowledge economy. The trend has an impact on the roles of school resource centers (SRC), which are currently managed by the so-called library and media teachers (LMT). As the LMTs are appointed among school teachers who need to allocate and divide their responsibilities into academic teaching and SRC management, several issues are found from literature pertaining to their overburdened teaching tasks, lack of time and inadequate library management competencies. This has caused further shortcomings in service provision including poor implementation of information literacy and reading programs for school students. A qualitative research approach is adapted to investigate the roles, functions and competencies of LMTs in managing SRCs and supporting 21st century teaching and learning in the school setting. This study uses semi-structured interviews for data collection involving five (5) LMTs who provided insightful feedback towards understanding the aforementioned issues. The findings reveal essential information with respect to the roles, functions and competencies of LMTs and also identify relevant challenges that can disrupt the provision and delivery of SRC services, facilities and programs. This requires the attention of the government and school administration to enforce a better platform that enables the LMTs to uphold their roles and functions accordingly towards enhancing the 21st teaching and learning environment in Malaysian schools.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/ijld.v10i1.16716

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