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Smith - Towards a model of critical information literacy instruction for the development of political engagement and knowledge


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Smith - Towards a model of critical information literacy instruction for the development of political engagement and knowledge

  1. 1. Introduction0 Context0 Critical pedagogy0 Information literacy0 Critical information literacy0 Methodology and methods0 Challenges0 Conclusions0 Anticipated outcomes 2
  2. 2. Research ProblemInformation literacy is presented as“unproblematic, atheoretical and apolitical”(Kapitzke, 2003). It is hypothesised that gaps exist inthe structure of information literacy tuition in UKsecondary schools which means that informationliteracy focuses on skills-based technical aspects ofinformation seeking and does not adequately addresscritical thinking skills which enable students tocritically assess the information they encounter andthe structures in which the information andknowledge is held. 3
  3. 3. Political Attitudes of Young People 4
  4. 4. “While young people are interested in socialand political issues they do not focus theirconcerns on engagement with formal politicalsystems. Many hold negative views aboutpolitics, such as feeling that they have littlecontrol over what the government does.”(Grundy and Jamieson 2004, p.237) 5
  5. 5. “It is not possible to assess whetheryoung people are more disenchantedwith politics than their predecessorgenerations.”(White et al. 2000, p.44) 6
  6. 6. Critical Pedagogy 7
  7. 7. Critical pedagogy “help[s] students todevelop a consciousness offreedom, recognise authoritariantendencies, empower theimagination, connect knowledge andtruth to power, and learn how to readboth the word and the world as part of abroader struggle for agency, justice anddemocracy.”(Giroux 2012, p.116) 8
  8. 8. “Giroux suggests that adults have writtentheir own dystopian values of selfishindividuality, fear, greed, and cynicismonto the lives of youth and childrenwithout providing them voice or forum toimagine alternative perspectives andways of being external to the dictates of arapacious and homogenizingconsumerism.”(Gage 2004, p.68) 9
  9. 9. Critical Literacy 10
  10. 10. “The act of decoding texts, analysing theunderlying power structures, and usingthe analysis to drive equitable change.”(Morrell 2004) 11
  11. 11. 12
  12. 12. “The meaning of information literacy hasnever been fixed, despite its being thetopic of numerous conferences and aconsiderable body of scholarly work.”(Kapitzke 2003, p.40) 13
  13. 13. “an effort to deny the ancillary status oflibrarianship by inventing a socialmalady with which librarians as‘information professionals’ are uniquelyqualified to deal.”(Foster 1993, p.346) 14
  14. 14. “LIS cast as a science has flattenedlibraries and information systems/products into objective and neutralentities studied without reference tocontext or power.”(Buschman 2007, p.1492) 15
  15. 15. Libraries contributeto democratic ideals:0 Information provision0 Equity of access0 Education0 Independent learners0 Intellectual freedom0 Public spaces0 Privacy 16
  16. 16. “Information literacy practices areclosely related to and complementarywith those of liberatory educationpractices.”(Keer 2010, p.157) 17
  17. 17. Critical Information Literacy 18
  18. 18. Information Literacy Critical Literacy 0 Information 0 Critical thinking seeking skills 0 Decision-making 0 Analysis and 0 Cognitive elements critiquing skills 0 Identifying 0 Identifying information need underlying power 0 Locating, structures evaluating, using 0 Acquisition of information agency 19
  19. 19. “A critical approach to informationliteracy development means changing theview of education as the transfer ofinformation or “getting the rightknowledge into students’ heads” to anawareness of each person’s agency andability to make meaning within thelibrary setting.”(Elmborg 2006, p.194) 20
  20. 20. Critical information literacy would aim to“reverse trends of exclusion frompolitical participation and enable peopleto participate in the decisions and eventsthat affect their lives.”(Whitworth 2009, p.118) 21
  21. 21. Towards a Methodology 22
  22. 22. Methodological Approach0 Mixed methods0 Qualitative analysis0 Narrow focus0 In-depth0 Critical theory will inform the collection and interpretation of data 23
  23. 23. Questionnaire 24
  24. 24. 0 General sense of levels of political knowledge0 Range of questions about local, national and EU politics0 Multiple choice answers0 Short – 20 questions0 Identify possible trends 25
  25. 25. Repertory Grid Interviews 26
  26. 26. 0 Elements identified0 Constructs developed0 Elements and constructs related to each other0 Minimises researcher bias0 Better idea of participants’ political constructs0 Quantitative analysis 27
  27. 27. Diaries 28
  28. 28. 0 Two weeks0 Guidelines provided0 Able to ask questions0 Conceptual content0 Variety of formats0 Led by participants 29
  29. 29. Participants will have theoption to contribute to thediary by submitting posts toprivate tumblr accounts.0 Text0 Audio0 Video0 Quotes0 URLsIf they have questions theycan submit these and I canrespond to them. 30
  30. 30. Focus Groups / Interviews 31
  31. 31. 0 Discussion topics based on the constructs extrapolated from repertory grid interviews and diaries0 In-depth view of attitudes and behaviour0 How participants communicate with each other and share information 32
  32. 32. Research Risks 33
  33. 33. 0 Co-operation of school and staff0 Getting students to participate and continue to contribute to all stages0 Participant understanding of research0 Relatively novel methods and unfamiliar topic 34
  34. 34. Challenges0 Limited school resources 0 Teachers, librarians, learning resources, libraries0 Education and qualification of library staff 0 LIS qualifications, pedagogical theory, politics0 Challenging the status quo 0 Power, stereotypes, resistance to change 35
  35. 35. Anticipated Outcomes0 Application of critical theory to information literacy – firmer academic footing and engagement in social and critical theory;0 Development of information literacy theory and understanding of the field, adding weight to the argument about value of libraries;0 Suggestions for developments to be made to information literacy practice. 36
  36. 36. Conclusions0 Libraries are ideal providers of critical information literacy instruction, and must engage with the political issues surrounding pedagogy to effectively apply critical theories;0 Critical information literacy is an approach that could be taken to further develop information literacy theory and practice;0 Engagement with substantive professional issues is of benefit to LIS, learners and wider society. 37
  37. 37. References0 Buschman, J. 2007. Democratic theory in library and information science: toward an emendation. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology 58(10), pp. 1483-1496.0 Elmborg, J. 2006. Critical Information Literacy: Implications for Instructional Practice. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 32(2), pp. 192-199.0 Foster, S. 1993. Information literacy: some misgivings. American Libraries 24(4), pp. 344-346.0 Gage, R.A. 2004. Henry Giroux’s “Abandoned Generation” & Critical Librarianship. Progressive Librarian, 23(Spring 2004). pp. 64–74.0 Giroux, H. 2012. Education and the Crisis of Public Values. New York: Peter Lang.0 Grundy, S. and Jamieson, L. 2004. Action, Reaction, Inaction? Young Adults’ Citizenship in Britain. Sociológia 36, pp. 237-245.0 Kapitzke, C. 2003. (In)formation literacy: A positivist epistemology and a politics of (out)formation. Educational Theory 53(1), pp.37-53.0 Keer, G. 2010. Critical Pedagogy and Information Literacy in Community Colleges. In Accardi, M.T. et al. eds. Critical Library Instruction: Theories and Methods. Duluth, MN: Library Juice Press. pp. 149-59.0 Morrell, E. 2004. Becoming critical researchers: Literacy and empowerment for urban youth. New York: Peter Lang.0 White, C., Bruce, S. and Ritchie, J. 2000. Young Peoples’ Politics. Political Interest and Engagement amongst 14- 24 Year Olds. York: Joseph Rowntree Foundation.0 Whitworth, A., 2009. Teaching in the relational frame: the Media and Information Literacy course at Manchester. Journal of Information Literacy [Online] 3(2), pp. 25–38. Available at: [Accessed 28 February 2013]. 39
  38. 38. Image Attribution0 Slide 4: CC lorri 37on flickr0 Slide 7: CC on flickr0 Slide 10: CC gwenboul on flickr0 Slide 13: CC gadgetgirl on flickr0 Slide 16: CC pete fletch on flickr0 Slide 18: CC great beyond on flickr0 Slide 22: CC albertogp123 on flickr0 Slide 24: CC moff on flickr0 Slide 28: CC ed___209 on flickr0 Slide 30: CC albyantoniazzi on flickr0 Slide 31: CC rodcasro cc on flickr0 Slide 33: CC scott hamlin on flickr 40