Thursday, December 12, 2013

Students' educational preferences; US librarians' teaching orientation

A couple of interesting articles in a recent issue of open-access title College and Research Libraries.

- Latham, D. and Gross, M. (2013) Instructional Preferences of First-Year College Students with Below-Proficient Information Literacy Skills: A Focus Group Study. College and research libraries. 74 (5), 430-449.
They used focus groups, asking participants to describe their strategies with searches they were doing for their own interests, and searches they were doing for academic work, and also asked about teaching strategies that motivated and demotivated the participants and ways the library could encourage participation in IL education. I think the recommendations are applicable to all types of students, not just the "below proficient" ones.

- Gilstrap, D. (2013) Why Do We Teach? Adult Learning Theory in Professional Standards as a Basis for Curriculum Development. College and research libraries. 74 (5), 501-518.
Rather disturbingly, the finding of the North American study was that there was a negative correlation between knowledge of the ACRL information literacy standards and adult learning orientation. A stronger adult learning orientation correlated with more years of experience of teaching information literacy. The survey instrument, one that was developed several decades ago and has been used in numerous pieces of research, is designed to distinguish between an orientation (in educators) towards andragogy (adult learning approaches, what might be termed nowadays as a more constructivist approach to teaching at any level) and pedagogy, with "pedagogy" here meaning transmissive and directive approaches to teaching.
Photo by Sheila Webber: golden beetroots, Farmers' market, November 2013

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