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Recommendations - Schools: Final

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  • 1. Empowering Autonomous Learning through Information Competencies Information  Literacy  in  the  Schools  Sector     Recommendations  to  Policy  Makers   (the  COMENIUS    programme  area)    Through   EMPATIC’s   validation   workshops,   a   process   of   consultation   and   the   Final   Conference,   the  following  recommendations  to  policy  makers  in  the  schools  sector  have  been  identified:    1. Information   Literacy   and   its   specialized   fields   must   be   promoted   to   society,   decision   makers,   politicians  and  users.    2. Clearly   formulated   national   IL   policy   assumptions   are   required;   some   elements   of   IL   development   strategies  are  present  in  European  countries  but  are  “taken-­‐for-­‐granted”.  3. National   IL   development   strategies   should   be   flexible   and   built   on   an   all-­‐European   scheme   of   IL   standards,   and   those   in   turn   should   be   formulated   in   terms   of   learning   outcomes.   Consequently   there  is  a  strong  recommendation  to  prepare  IL  standards.   • Detailed  Information  Literacy  strategies  are  needed.  However,  educational  systems,  information   cultures,  and  experiences  with  IL  development  in  every  EU  country  are  different,  so  what  works   in   one   part   of   Europe   may   not   work   in   another.   As   a   result   it   would   be   better   to   formulate   European  Information  Literacy  standards  in  terms  of  learning  outcomes;  these  would  identify  a   set  of  IL  goals  to  be  achieved  in  different  appropriate  ways  and  by  various  means  within  formal,   informal   and   non-­‐formal   learning   environments.   In   other   words,   the   aims   of   IL   should   be   the   same  across  Europe  in  general,  but  IL  development  strategies  need  to  be  national  in  specifics.    4. Ministries   of   education,   departments   of   Library   and   Information   Science   at   higher   educational   institutions  and  relevant  libraries  should  cooperate  with  each  other.    5. Identification   of   roles   for   multi-­‐dimensional   cooperation   of   different   IL   stakeholders   is   crucial   (for   example,  local  authorities  and  other  local  figures,  parents,  school  authorities,  students,  teachers).   • It   is   not   simple   to   indicate   who   is   to   be   responsible   for   the   introduction   and   development   of   Information  Literacy,  but  surely  it  could  be  national,  central  units.  Generally,  central  bodies  are   appropriate   to   set   goals   but   the   cooperative   work   of   all   interested   parties   and   stakeholders   at   local  level,  in  local  communities,  is  where  real  work  is  or  can  be  achieved.    6. School   management   and   teachers   are   the   most   important   stakeholders   in   the   schools   sector,   they   must  be  aware  of  what  Information  Literacy  is,  why  it  is  so  important  and  how  to  learn/teach  IL  in   schools.   • All   the   changes   related   to   Information   Literacy   development   in   the   school   (formal   education)   learning   sector   should   start   with   the   involvement   of   teachers;   they   need   to   be   convinced   and   trained   in   the   IL   didactics.   School   teachers   are   the   basis   of   educational   systems   and   send   the   most  influential  messages  to  their  students/children  in  schools.    7. School  libraries  are  important  and  the  impact  of  the  school  library  function  must  be  shown.  8. Librarians/information   professionals,   who   are   traditionally   engaged   in   IL-­‐related   matters   everywhere,   must   cooperate   with   all   other   parties/stakeholders   involved   in   the   educational   processes,  to  include:  headmasters,  teachers,  parents,  students,  local  authorities,  and  other  people   having   important   social   functions   in   their   local   communities   (police   officers,   fire-­‐fighters,   priests,   etc.).  9. Real  work  at  the  local  level  is  the  most  important  factor  for  IL  development  in  the  school  sector  in   Europe,   and   as   a   result   it   has   to   be   strongly   supported   by   national   and   European   law   and   policy   makers.  10. The   young   generation,   so-­‐called   “digital   natives”,   do   not   necessarily   have   an   “inherent”   culture   of   information;  they  also  must  undergo  education  and  training  in  the  field  of  Information  Literacy.    11. National  education  policies  are  the  power  of  national  governments;  it  is  imperative  to  implement  IL   in  all  school  policies  that  recommend  output-­‐based  learning.         The  main  purpose  of  the  EMPATIC  recommendations  is  to  stimulate  action   www.empat-ic.eu Project funded by the European Commission under the Lifelong Learning Programme