No.2 “Potential of Library Support Activities for Coursework: Three Case Studies of Learning Social Studies in Elementary and Junior High Schools” (August 30, 2012)


This working paper reports the results of the research program "Learning Support Project in Collaboration with School Libraries," conducted by the International Library of Children’s Literature (ILCL) from FY2010 to FY2011.

The purpose of the project is to encourage collaboration between public libraries and school libraries by showing effective ways of providing support for the coursework in schools. The research was carried out by the supervisor, Kazuhiro Kamata, Associate Professor of Department of Education, Faculty of Arts, Teikyo University / Associate Professor, Department of Education, Graduate School of Education of Teikyo University and staff members of the Children’s Services Division, ILCL.

This report examines the practice of library’s coursework support for the "investigative learning" of social studies, in which children try to find out for themselves several topics given in the class, in three public schools; Takehaya Junior High School Attached to Tokyo Gakugei University, Ota City Omori Higashi Junior High School, and Arakawa City Third Haketa Elementary School. To deeply analyze the practice, we conducted interviews with those with years of experience in a school library and have extensive practical knowledge of support activities for the coursework.

This report consists of the following six chapters:

  • Chapter 1 describes the purpose and overview of this project, referring to the value and the current situation of library services for investigative learning at school.
  • Chapters 2, 3 and 4 introduce three case studies: "Various Districts in Japan" in Takehaya Junior High School Attached to Tokyo Gakugei University (Chapter 2), "Craftsmanship in the Medieval Period" in Ota City Omori Higashi Junior High School (Chapter 3) and .Culture of the Edo period and Advancement of Learning" in Arakawa City Third Haketa Elementary School (Chapter 4).
  • Chapter 5 presents the main points of the interviews with those who work on school library activities. The interview is intended to improve the skill of teachers, teacher librarians and school librarians to support the coursework by using library materials in order to deeply analyze the practice.
  • Chapter 6 organizes the knowledge and information delivered in Chapter 2 to Chapter 5 and considers how to improve library services for the coursework and collaboration between school libraries and public libraries. A summary of the findings, "A Guide for Services to Support Investigative Learning" and "Notes for the Interview with Teachers" are also included.
  • In chapter 7, the research supervisor Kazuhiro Kamata points out the potentiality of the library support activities for the coursework.