Senior Independent Projects

On the 28 August,  teacher-librarians, public librarians and university librarians participated in the ‘Libraries for Learning Partnership – Northern Adelaide’. The forum was called ‘Looking to the future: A Forum for Secondary Teacher Librarians’.


In this forum, we heard about the future South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE), reviewed online Information Literacy (Guided Inquiry) Resources and examined the important role teacher-librarians have for students and teachers in the Personal Learning Plan and the Extended Learning Initiative.


The Personal Learning Plan (PLP)


This is a subject that is designed to assist students to make informed decisions regarding their education, personal development and training. It is a program, which provides students with time to work with their classroom teachers and other experts. Students will need to access the library and the teacher-librarian for resources and information literacy (guided inquiry) expertise when doing individual research and accessing current, relevant specific resources and information. Teacher-librarians can also guide students in the right direction to resources and information outside the school. Advice to students can also be provided by the teacher-librarian on ‘Guidelines on Conducting Ethical Research for the SACE’ and to assist in the development of literacy and numeracy. The aim is for students to develop their skills and knowledge in planning for their SACE and to also prepare for further education and training, community life and for work.


The PLP provides support for students to develop skills and knowledge that will enable them to:


  • Chose suitable subjects and courses for their SACE
  • Identify suitable future options
  • Review their strengths as well as areas that can be developed, including numeracy, literacy and ICT
  • Identify plans for improvement and goals
  • Monitor their actions, review and modify plans as needed in order to achieve their goals


These skills and this knowledge form the basis of the performance standards for the PLP.


The Extended Learning Initiative (ELI)


Student undertake in the ELI, research which is a detailed study, in an area of personal interest. This is an opportunity for students to extend their knowledge or build on it, for example in a course or subject they are already studying.


The teacher-librarian will be essential to students and teachers to assist the research process and to actively teach information literacy skills (guided inquiry skills). Through engagement with the ELI, students learn how to use research processes, demonstrate insight and new ideas and learn how to use research processes and develop as well as apply their skills and knowledge.


The term ‘research’ in the ELI is used broadly and can take a variety of forms, from practical trials and investigations, to the formal academic research, or exploratory inquiries.


The 10 credit ELI is compulsory and students need to achieve a ‘C’ or better in order to complete SACE.




Year 12 students from our school have free membership to the University of SA library as part of the UNAP (University of SA Northern Adelaide Partnerships). Students must show their student ID.

Further information is available on ‘Guided Inquiry’ is available here.


reprinted with some alterations and permission of the author, Ruth, 17 Sept. 2008

One response

30 03 2010
Sue Spence

Recommend replacing this very localised and now out of date piece (ELI now called the Research Project) with a comparative look at senior secondary curriculum as it involves TLs, across all states & territories.

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