School library as a heterotopic place / Béatrice Micheau


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II Konferencja Naukowa : Nauka o informacji (informacja naukowa) w okresie zmian, Warszawa, 15-16.04.2013 r. Instytut Informacji Naukowej i Studiów Bibliologicznych, Uniwersytet Warszawski

The 2nd Scientific Conference : Information Science in an Age of Change, April 15-16, 2013. Institute of Information and Book Studies, University of Warsaw

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School library as a heterotopic place / Béatrice Micheau

  1. 1. School library as a heterotopic placeBéatrice MicheauLaboratoire GERiiCOUniversité de Lille 3
  2. 2. INTRODUCTIONPhD on information practices of teenagersin the north of FranceThree main different spaces of informationpractices : classroom, school library, homeTeenagers day lifeInformal and informal practices at the crossingof these three spaces
  3. 3. INTRODUCTIONThese three spaces influence pupil’s information practices withoutdetermining them unequivocally and mechanisticallyproduction, circulation and reception of documents and thus to thebuilding of an information culture, within an anthropological meaning(Goody 1979, Olson 2010).« Information Literacy » as « a set of knowledge and skills shared in acommunity which allow to situate, to locate, to qualify, to treat and tocommunicate relevant information”(Béguin-Verbrugge et Kovacs,2011)
  4. 4. INTRODUCTIONunderstanding the links between information practices andsocial spaces of document would make explicit the role ofthe practice places (De Certeau, 1990) in the building ofinformation literacy (Maury, 2011)− classroom, school library and home are the three mainspaces where are built pupil’s information literacy, bydifferent modes of production and circulation of documents.− school library as a practice place whose location andoperation would make him a heterotopic place as definedby Michel Foucault (Foucault, 2001)− Ethnic-semiotic approach
  5. 5. INTRODUCTIONinformation literacy as the result of interbreeding andcontradictions between three cultures / info-documentary areas:the disciplinary culture of the classroom, the libraryheterogeneous culture and the family culture at homeschool library is an in-between, a frontier
  6. 6. FRAMEWORKinformal info-documentary practices of studentsforms of document authorityethnographic method of observation and datacollectionThe notion of informal practice overlaps with that ofthe ordinary practiceReport to the rules, the standards
  7. 7. FRAMEWORKMichel de Certeauthe concept of informal practice refers to waysof doing things, to be effective, to escape/toavoid power relations (symbolic or not), relatedto a system or an order, and in particular byusing diversion practiceshow pupils try to avoid or to play with thedisciplinary and / or documentary order in theirinformation practicesDestabilization on the Internet
  8. 8. FRAMEWORKvalidate (affix a value to) documents or documentfragments on the Interneta contradictory notion: the informal practices ofvalidation, prioritization of documentsthe document as text registration and definition of textgenrethe relationship between prescription (standard) andpractices in the definition of information literacydocument is understood in a broad sense as any unitof meaning, text fragment, multimedia registration,recorded signification
  9. 9. FRAMEWORKstandardized signs of identification and separation of textsas a source of qualification or disqualification ofdocuments (semiotic)two scientific issues:− the definition of document as text registration− the links between information literacy standards andformal and informal practices.==> an anthropological notion: the notion of space.==> how a document space is transformed into a documentplace.
  10. 10. Documents as text spacesAnalyzing document spaces is questioning thenotion of document as− text crystallization,− deferred act of communicationDocument organizes the elements of cognitionor re-cognition of the textsthe researcher-reader wants to collect, identifysigns of identity, classification, validation ofencountered documents or documentfragments.
  11. 11. Documents as text spacesDocument overflows normally the text byformalizing signs of identity and authority oftextsAuthor function : Michel Foucault and RogerChartier«Author » as a text function is primarily afunction of separation which allows texts toemerge and crystallize, formalize andinstitutionalize discursive formations
  12. 12. Documents as text spacesThe document spatial arrangement of text andknowledge spaces (class, school library), are in thesame time− a mediation place of the texts,− a material inscription of texts− a formalization of signals and signs denoting orconnoting authorities of the text (author, publisher,genre of discourse).
  13. 13. Document as text spacesCollecting books in a library affixes their documentaryvalue.Organizing documents in classification schemes, it is away to build a documentary landscape.Bringing documents in the class room is a way tolegitimate their use in the academic discipline.document legitimacy by their collection haven’t thesame meaning according to different places in theschool.
  14. 14. Documents as text sapcesInformation literacy : not only good practices to useinformation systemInformation literacy : skills and knowledge necessaryto search, find, locate, classify the documents ordocumentary fragmentsanthropological construction of documentary valueWrite culture :Jack Goody and David R. OlsonAn anthropological approach requires understandingthe document’s circulation spaces as symbolic placesand co-constructing agents of info-documentaryculture
  15. 15. Information literacy betweenstandards and practicesAcquiring, manufacturing, grouping, prohibitingdocuments and document practices contributeto the building of an information culture/literacy.Staging, putting into space, making visible(mediating) and thus excluding, hiding,forbidding documents and document practicesinvolve also the acquisition of an informationliteracy/culture.Consider spaces as implicit or explicitdocument standards involve an info-documentary learning.
  16. 16. Information literacy betweenstandards and practicestext separation practice embodied by adynamic between− the document signs and forms (especially inthe physical space of the classroom andlibrary school) and− document uses,− adjustment practices,− misuses of disciplinary and / or documentaryorder.
  17. 17. Information literacy betweenstandards and practicesThe building of informal information practices isthe result of the confrontation between− the more or less explicit teacher’s orlibrarian’s discourses,− the demands of their discipline in informationquality and text authority− family information practices of the pupils
  18. 18. Method and contextEthnographic methodObservations of class rooms, courses, liibraryschoolCollecting data, texts, documents...Semi-directive interviews with teachers,librarian and pupilsEthno-semiotic approach (Le Marec, Jeanneret)Ecological approach (Bronfenbrenner, Bateson)
  19. 19. Proxemy of spaces in the secondaryschoolSpace as artefactnot only material but also symbolic, a humanbeing extension whose sense analyses hasbeen formulated in the concept of “proxemy” byStuart Hall (Hall, 1971)A “proxemic” analysis of document spaces− how school library, over-meaning space, stronglyorganized, panoptic landscape of the documentcollection (Jacob et Baratin 1996) could also beparadoxically considered as a “semi-fixed” space: aspace where distance and link rules betweenhuman beings and/or objects are less restrictive
  20. 20. Proxemy of spacesClassroom = a disciplinary and “fixed” spacewhere material features and hidden structuresare very restrictive and that organizes individualsegregation (a “sociofugal” space)− pedagogical simultaneity,− magisterial authority,− disciplinary overseeing− school supervision==> text and document production and circulationare subjects to the constraints of the curriculumand to the magisterial power
  21. 21. Proxemy of spacesthe strongly oriented and segregated space of classroom,other documents than the purely school documents havea little placeTextbooks, incarnations of the program are the maindocuments present even in the form of fragmentsrecomposed through teachers handouts.the filter of the textbook or of the teacher.Subject to the magisterial authority, the requirements ofthe programs, documents and their visible aspectsdisappear.Lost of their editorial enunciation
  22. 22. Proxemy of spacesIn conflict with this space, library school promotesconnections between students themselves, betweenstudents and the teacher-librarian, between studentsand documentary objectsFragmented into differentiated subspaces, schoollibrary presents to students− a paradoxical place− where the power of the library is unfolded− and the authority of scholarship is diluted, in thesame time
  23. 23. School library as a circulation space : aheterotopiaSchool library is a circulation space, a place ofpassages (Jeanneret 2008) where documentsand info-documentary practices,heterogeneous and heterodox learning formsare confrontedSemi-public space (Maury 2011°Open space but also over-meaning andhierarchical space− Effective and real place of a post-modern school utopia ofpupil’s empowerment and culture sharing, school librarycould be characterized as a heterotopic place as definedby Michel Foucault (Foucault, 2001a): a deviation placewished but rejected by school institution
  24. 24. School library as a circulation space : aheterotopiaFoucaulttwo types of significant spaces : utopias andheterotopiasUtopias are locations which have with society a reportof analogy, reversed or not reversedHeterotopias are the real locations, the spaces whichbecome places, places shaped by the institution butwhich have more or other symbolic significations thanthe common significations of the institution, like“utopias really effective”principles
  25. 25. School library as a circulation space : aheterotopiaprinciplesvarious heterotopiaseach society uses heterotopias in different waysthe capacity of heterotopias of juxtaposing different sub-areasheterotopias are also heterochroniasHeterotopias :places of different useHeterotopias : places of normal use
  26. 26. ConclusionSchool library is finally a place− between formal and informal practices,− between legitimated knowledge and ordinarycreativity,− between teacher’s uttering and pupil’s tactics(De Certeau 1990).School library is a place which questions theprofessional identity of the librarian-teacher