The Design of a Cognitive Apprenticeship to Facilitate Storytime Programming for Librarians

 

The majority of research that has been conducted on structuring mentorship programs has been on career support in terms of transferring tacit and explicit knowledge from the supervisor to the protégé. While the instructional design literature touts that cognitive apprenticeships provide a great framework for constructivist and situated learning environments, little research has been done examining how much time should be allocated to the various phases of the apprenticeship framework. The purpose of this study was to explore whether the use of a cognitive apprenticeship framework could be used to mentor new librarians. Data was collected and analyzed in three phases. Phase 1 consisted of a needs assessment to determine the skills necessary for programmers to deliver a curriculum based storytime. Phase 2 data collected during the implementation of the cognitive apprenticeship included observation and reflective journals. Data collected during Phase 3 consisted of participant interviews immediately following the implementation of the cognitive apprenticeship, and three months after the conclusion of the study. All data was coded and analyzed using a phenemonological approach. The researchers found the need for flexibility when utilizing a cognitive apprenticeship model, based on participant prior knowledge and experience, the importance of the modeling and coaching stages of the model, participant desire for working with other programmers being trained.