Vol. 17 No. 2 (2019)

Ten school benchmarks to build student information strategies

November 28, 2019


This is a referred article

This article discusses implications from the author’s PhD research about ways that information literacy education (ILE) can become an explicit practice in secondary schools and in so doing overcome the historic gap between its theory and practice. In addition to its significance for classroom practice, the findings of the study have implications for ways to address the lack of ILE visibility in the current Australian and Victorian Curriculum Frameworks, with an emergent model of a set of benchmarks to guide whole school information practice which enables students to develop their own ‘repertoires’ of information strategies. The qualitative study was conducted at a Victorian secondary school and showed that teachers can change their practices to incorporate ILE into their subject curriculum design and classroom teaching. It involved Participatory Action Research (PAR) by case groups of teachers at three different year levels. Over a year they used cycles of reflective action to explore ways that Informed Learning ideas might enhance subject learning by bringing explicit attention to expert information strategies. The findings show that this professional development process successfully transformed teachers’ understandings about ILE such that they came to see it as their responsibility. They identified the need for students to develop expert skills to operate successfully in the rapidly changing information environment and the need for teachers themselves to learn new pedagogies to help their students develop such repertoires of information strategies. They also recommended that a whole school approach was required to ensure such teaching presented consistent understandings and practices to students, and that time and support was provided for teachers to develop the capabilities required. From these findings, the author developed a set Benchmarks for Repertoires of Information Strategies to provide a framework for whole school information practice within which such strategies and practices might be developed. The author contends that without meeting the ten criteria in the Benchmarks, a school would have difficulty enabling its students to be properly equipped for their information futures.

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