Information literacy and the secondary school

Webb, Carol (2013) Information literacy and the secondary school. Ed.D. thesis, Canterbury Christ Church University.


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Maximising student attainment is a key issue for every secondary school. Student attainment can be improved by raising their information literacy levels. It is part of a school librarian’s role to promote these skills. This is complicated by the absence of information literacy in secondary school curricula, teachers’ low awareness of the concept and the lack of teacher training in the professional education of librarians. There are a range of definitions and different approaches to teaching information literacy published leading to conflict over choices. Overall there is a lack
of empirically tested pedagogy, particularly for synthesis and assessment. This research explores what it means to be information literate and addresses the fundamental question of ‘How can we raise information literacy levels in a secondary school?

The research strategy explored the teachers’ perspectives to ascertain their perceptions of information literacy, how it is currently taught by them and their understanding of the librarian’s role. The research was conducted in a secondary school where semi-structured interviews were
used with a sample of twelve teachers selected by age, experience and subject. The analysis examined three diverse teacher voices and compared these with insights from the remaining nine teachers’ perspectives.

The research findings show that teachers view information literacy differently. This is shaped by the role of information in their subject’s approach to learning. Student progress to higher information literacy levels requires a pedagogy that is situated in subject teaching, rather than generic sessions, with clarity of how skills are deployed in different subject contexts to support learning transfer and work that is differentiated to meet different learning needs.

Conceptually it was found that information literacy is contingent upon the context in which it is being used. A new instrument has been designed depicting progress in information literacy to stimulate thinking about possible pedagogy and assessment.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1603 Secondary Education. High schools
Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > Z0719 Libraries (General)
Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > ZA Information resources
Divisions: pre Nov-2014 > Faculty of Education
Depositing User: Roz Bass
Date Deposited: 27 Feb 2015 16:57
Last Modified: 21 Sep 2016 11:55

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00