Archived Information

Understanding Information Literacy - September 1999

Implications for Schools

In order to produce learners who are information literate, schools will need to integrate information literacy skills across the curriculum in all subject areas beginning in the earliest grades. Educational institutions that wish to produce lifelong learners should be engaged in some fairly basic rethinking of how teaching faculty and information specialists such as librarians and media specialists can work together toward this end (Brittingham 1994). For example, the principal, as instructional leader, fosters resource-based learning by providing adequate planning time and budget support. As instructional partners, the classroom teacher and library media specialist are actively involved in identifying the learning needs of the students, developing teaching units that facilitate activities which offer meaningful practice in using a variety of information resources, and guiding student progress. (Wisconsin Educational Media Association 1993).

Based on a recent study, the following factors seemed to result in successful integration of information skills into the academic curriculum:

  • the institution has a strong commitment to excellent educational outcomes for the students in the areas of critical thinking, problem solving, and information skills;
  • library administrators have long-term commitments to integrate library instruction into the curriculum; and
  • faculty and librarians work together in curriculum development (Rader 1995).
Replacing discrete curricular areas with problem-based learning inevitably involves reordering instructional roles and relationships as well as restructuring assessment strategies (Bleakley and Carrigan 1994).

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