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Dissertation Information for David Carr

NAME:
- David Carr

DEGREE:
- Ph.D.

DISCIPLINE:
- Library and Information Science

SCHOOL:
- Rutgers University (USA) (1979)

ADVISORS:
- Ernest Deprospo

COMMITTEE MEMBERS:
- Gordon Darkenwald
- Craig Locatis
- Herbert R. Kells

MPACT Status: Fully Complete

Title: THE AGENT AND THE LEARNER: A STUDY OF CRITICAL INCIDENTS AND CONTEXTS IN ASSISTED ADULT LIBRARY LEARNING

Abstract:
A description of how adults conduct learning in libraries through the agency of librarians was sought by this inquiry. The critical incident method was used to evoke themes, insights, and implications for practice from detailed reports of library interactions. Data were elicited from a sample of thirty-nine learner's advisors from five member libraries of the Consortium for Public Library Innovation. All had been participants in a College Board project designed to implement public library advisory services for adult independent learners.
Sixty-two effective and fifty-one ineffective incidents were analyzed. Each critical incident report described a significant exchange between a learner and a librarian. A usable report had five characteristics: assistance was evident the interaction was clearly described; some potential change in the learner was present: problem, response, and significance were stated and the general aims of library assistance were supported by the interaction. Applying qualitative analysis techniques, the analyst defined the aims of assistance and interaction, identified and categorized primary themes and indicators, and summarized the data in a typology and a list of critical requirements for library practice.

Analysis
The agent and the learner create complex relationships over time, entailing far more than the provision of useful resources and appropriate referrals.
Effective assistance is designed to fit the project scope, learning style, pragmatic objectives, and previous experience of one learner.
Collaboration, reciprocity, and trust lead to empathy, confidence, and candor in effective interactions.
Dyadic bonds emerge slowly, engender unity and integrity in the learning alliance, and exist beyond the content of the learning.


The effective agent attends to the learner's needs for esteem, reassurance, and competence.

Learning alliances depend on realistic perceptions of roles, tasks, personal abilities, learning objectives, and potential results of the relationship.
Desire and commitment to learn are ultimately generated by the learner alone, who exhibits variable degree of autonomy, self-discipline, and response to difficulty.
Effective assistance leads both the agent and the learner toward conscious learning-from practice about the conduct of self-designed inquiry and the dynamics of personal change. At critical moments in learning, progress toward closure depends on the reduction to ambiguity through reconfirmed objectives, redesigned tasks, and clarifying' dialogue.
Ineffective interactions are generally characterized by an absence of mutuality, unrealistic expectations, and unclarified learning styles. And personal problems that often lie outside the scope of the advisory relationship. These interpenetrative, mutually supportive themes appear clearly in positive and negative encounters. All themes converge on two pervasive qualities: the design of assistance to fit the learner, and the facilitation of autonomy to engender self-discovery.
Implications
The critical requirements of agency include design and communication skills, mature sensitivity to ind1vianais, conscious educative style, and commitment to learn from practice, and clarity of thought and action devoted to the reduction of ambiguity. The assisting librarian should center on the individual, generate learning processes rather than products, nurture reciprocal relationships, and connect learning to the continuities and responsibilities of adult life. Reciprocity and synergy appear to be strong factors in effective library assistance. In these helping relationships, the quality of giving may be more critical to effective learning than the array of information given. The design of fitting help for a learner permits the librarian to experience a high degree of personal instrumentality, involvement with challenging tasks, and growth toward insightful practice.



MPACT Scores for David Carr

A = 1
C = 13
A+C = 14
T = 1
G = 1
W = 1
TD = 1
TA = 0
calculated 2010-02-19 12:52:06

Advisors and Advisees Graph

Directed Graph

Students under David Carr

ADVISEES:
- Lee Ratzan - Rutgers University (1998)

COMMITTEESHIPS:
- George Hawley - Rutgers University (1986)
- Elspeth Goodin - Rutgers University (1987)
- Minna McIver - Rutgers University (1989)
- Marie Radford - Rutgers University (1993)
- Steve Adubato - Rutgers University (1996)
- Jean Ellen Coleman - Rutgers University (1996)
- Hur-Li Lee - Rutgers University (1997)
- Karim Noor Harun Abdul - Rutgers University (1998)
- Irene Owens - Rutgers University (2000)
- Jennifer Weil Arns - University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (2003)
- Amy Pattee - University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (2004)
- Lila Teresa Church - University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (2008)
- Kathy Wisser - University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (2009)