Maria Sclafani

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Maria Sclafani is the Coordinator of Library Instructional Services and Assistant Professor. She holds a Master's of Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Master's in English Literature from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She joined the Wichita State University Libraries in August 2019.

Her research interests include critical information literacy, feminist and critical pedagogies, and the information needs of incarcerated populations.


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 3 of 3
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    Adaptive scaffolding toward transdisciplinary collaboration: Reflective polyvocal self-study
    (Springer International Publishing, 2022-12-16) Alagic, Mara; Sclafani, Maria; Filbert, Nathan; Rimmington, Glyn M.; Demissie, Zelalem S.; Dutta, Atri; Bowen, Aaron; Lindsay, Ethan; Kuhlmann, Meghann; Rattani, Ajita; Rai, Atul
    Contemporary global challenges require experts from various disciplines to work together. Since every field of knowledge has its unique language and discipline-based culture, collaborative inquiry presents an additional challenge during such collaboration. Ideally, collaborators from each discipline can transcend their respective linguistic and cultural boundaries to achieve transdisciplinarity, where this includes sharing and taking perspectives, active listening; and adaptive, relational metacognitive scaffolding. Within such a framework, the merging of ideas, theories, research design, and methodologies can allow technological applications from each discipline to be achieved through active collaborative, sense-making, and sustained constructivist relations. Within the context of the Disaster Resilience Analytics Center (DRAC) research team, we developed a model of adaptive scaffolding via self-consistent, iterative refinement. This convergence project focused on socio-economic aspects, outreach, and STEAM education, along with postgraduate education. The research team comprised researchers from STEAM disciplines in physical sciences, mathematics, computer sciences, social sciences, humanities, education, and library science. It proved essential to occasionally step away from the research topic and to critically co-reflect on the initial and ongoing challenges in the convergence path. This resulted in more constructive integration and transcendence of disciplines, leading to the development of an adaptive scaffolding framework. We present this framework and additional reflective insights and limitations related to its potential application in different contexts.
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    Perfection isn't the goal, right? Reflections from early-career librarians on adapting the one-shot to an online environment
    (2021-05-13) Sclafani, Maria; O’Grady, Chrissy; Freemon, Leah
    This presentation is a reflection of three early-career librarians from different universities on the pivot from in-person to online one-shot instruction due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Presenters will discuss how adapting their instruction to online environments developed and expanded their pedagogical toolkits. This presentation will discuss the importance of reflective teaching practices, active learning in instructional design, and a pedagogy of care. Participants will be encouraged to reflect on their own experiences throughout the presentation and how their pedagogy has developed and expanded due to remote education.
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    So you think you can teach? Finding my teacher identity in the classroom, the writing center, and the library
    (Innovative Libraries Press, 2021-01) Sclafani, Maria
    Do you remember the first time you taught? I do, even though it was over a decade ago. I was so flustered afterwards I rushed to the bathroom to calm down, and inadvertently walked into the men’s bathroom, which only made things worse. You might be wondering, "what happened in this class that was so terrible you rushed out afterwards?" Absolutely nothing. It was completely ordinary. I took attendance and reviewed the syllabus, but as I did so, it dawned on me that I had no idea how to actually teach. All my years as a student had not prepared me for the reality of teaching. What I discovered in the weeks and months that followed that first class was despite my desire to teach, I was not good at it. I could have walked away at that point, and pursued a different career, but teaching had gotten under my skin. So I took pedagogy classes and worked harder on my teaching than I had ever worked on anything in my academic career. Part of the reason teaching is so challenging is that no matter how much you may want to emulate your favorite teacher or professor, what worked in their classrooms may not work in yours, for myriad reasons. You cannot repeat the same motions and get the same results, so you have to learn, through trial and error, what works for you. This chapter traces my journey to figure out what type of teacher I wanted to be, and what type of classroom environment I wanted to foster. My pedagogy has been heavily influenced by feminist and critical pedagogies, along with theories from developmental psychology. It has also been influenced by the nature of my work as a teaching assistant in an English department, a writing tutor, an adjunct professor of writing and rhetoric, and an instruction librarian.