European Conference on Information Literacy, held in Dubrovnik, Thordis T Thorarinsdottir and Augusta Palsdottir had authored Upstairs - Downstairs. The representation of information and media literacy in Icelandic educational legislation, policy documents and in the curricula of Icelandic upper secondary schools
The speaker started by outlining some information about Iceland and its educational systems, noting the impact of the economic crisis in the late 2000s. In terms of the aims of the talk, I will be lazy and copy from the programme "The main aim of this paper to study the representation of media and information literacy (MIL) in the legislation and education policy papers for upper secondary schools in Iceland, in the National Curriculum Guidelines, in the curriculum of the different secondary schools and further to consider whether MIL is included in the description of the learning outcomes in the various subject curricula. The main research question is whether there is a link between the presentation of MIL in the policy documents and in its manifestation in school curriculum."
They referred Klingenberg's IL framework which the speaker said had had an impact on teaching - search, evaluate, know, present are the main elements (I have copied the reference that they gave for this, below, I wasn't familiar with it)
The authors had undertaken a content and discourse analysis of key documents (legislation etc,) and an electronic survey was sent to intstitutions preparing students for university studies. Looking at legislation, searching and database use was mentioned (only). Examining the National Curriculum Guidelines, information literacy is mentioned twice, highlighting use of technology to work with information, and media literacy (so that students can analyse and evaluate media). By contrast, Information Technology is mentioned 3 times.
From the survey 82% of the schools surveyed have a library, and 85% of these are run by librarians. Looking at "who teaches", 41% respondents said that school librarians and teachers are responsible for IL teaching and 24% said there is no systematic IL teaching (I'm not reporting on all statistics, so these won't add up to 100%!). 74% said it is taught as part of a subject, for 17% information literacy is "stand alone". 50% follow National Curriculum Guidelines, most of the others use their school's curriculum. 39% said IL was sometimes included in learning outcomes, 50% said it seldom was, 4% said it was never included. When asked if their school put enough emphasis on IL, 48% said not at all, 33% said not quite.
The speaker identified that "MIL is not strongly represented in the legislation and Government policy documents for the secondary school". As noted above, coverage of IL was judged as inadequate by respondents to the survey. The National Curriculum Guidelines "does not seem a powerful tool for schools to set criteria for MIL". In concluding, the speaker noted that, considering the Icelandic population's high level of access to the internet, there was potential to develop MIL. They considered that developing a MIL framework (as suggested by Klingenberg) would be valuable.
Klingenberg, Andreas. (2012). Common Information Literacy Framework. A Model Draft. In C.R. Karisiddappa (Ed.), Information Control and Management in Digital Environment. A Festschrift in Honour of Prof. K.C. Panda, (pp. 447-454). New Delhi: Atlantic. This is his website (articles mainly in German) http://www.andreas-klingenberg.de/veroeffentlichungen.html
Photo by Sheila Webber: cat, harbour, Dubrovnik October 2014