Thursday, April 25, 2019

Information literacy: Necessary but not sufficient for 21st century learning #lilac19

Pam McKinney here again live-blogging from the LILAC conference at the university of Nottingham. this afternoon I’m watching Daryl Toerien, head of libraries and archives, and David Harrow from Oakham School, a boarding school in the county of Rutland, UK.

Changes in school leaders can have a big impact school libraries, from the amount of library funding, whether or not libraries have a professional librarian post, or even whether or not a school has a library at all. Seymour Papert was a researcher who has had a huge impact on children’s learning, and the intersections between learning and technology. He invented the LOGO robot and programming language. Seymour said “You can’t teach people everything they need to know. The best you can do is position them where they can find what they need to know when they need to know it.” The prevailing educational paradigm is teacher centred, but really an inquiry-based learner-centred educational process is more suitable for the future.  Darryl introduced the FOSIL model of inquiry, based on the work of Barbara Stripling. The starting point for inquiry should be the “connect” stage which involves looking at what is already known.

The international baccalaureate was developed out of a progressive approach to education that is based on constructivism, and as part of this students are required to write a 4000 words essay based on their original self-directed research, which is difficult to approach for students who have just finished the current GCSE curriculum. It is important to have a dedicated timetable to support for students undertaking the extended essay. It is very important that students reference their information correctly, and this academic skill is not adequately prepared for in pre-16 education.

The New York City schools department has a really useful document that looks at the skills student need to develop to be effective inquirers. Darryl has used this to develop a framework for development of students across the years in the Oakham school, and to define when and where students should be taught the skills they need to develop their information literacy, and be prepared for the international baccalaureate. The challenge we face is that current A-level and GCSE curriculums in the UK do not focus on building inquiry competencies.

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