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Examining secondary school teacher understanding of information literacy Open Access


Other title
information literacy
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Smith, Jorden
Supervisor and department
Given, Lisa (School of Library and Information Studies)
Examining committee member and department
Barker, Susan (Secondary Education)
Julien, Heidi (School of Library and Information Studies)
School of Library and Information Studies

Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Library and Information Studies
Degree level
With many current initiatives to promote information literacy, it is necessary to assess the state of information literacy instruction in secondary school and the factors influencing information literacy. Teachers have the opportunity to instruct information literacy (IL) yet students enter post-secondary without adequate IL skills for success. This suggests that students are not acquiring these skills in secondary school either because they are not being receiving IL instruction or they are not being taught in such a way that they become a part of the students’ skill set. This phenomenological study used semi-structured interviews with a purposeful sample of 8 participants who had experience teaching secondary (grades 7-12) language arts and/or social studies in Alberta. This study examines teacher understanding of information literacy and subsequent ILI in their classrooms. In explicating the collective data, a series of dominant themes emerged including a lack of familiarity with the term ‘information literacy,’ assumptions regarding student IL skill acquisition, and a series of influences on the teachers’ ability to provide adequate ILI. The results suggest that there needs to be greater awareness of: information literacy (IL) as a concept, IL as a learning process; how IL can benefit teachers as well as students; and how IL can be implemented and supported within a classroom. This study has implications for library and information studies scholarship, as well as education scholarship, as it examines how information literacy is understood by those with the opportunity to instruct these valuable skill and processes within the established government-mandated curriculum.
License granted by Jorden Smith ( on 2011-07-12T17:18:53Z (GMT): Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of the above terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis, and except as herein provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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File title: Examining Secondary School Teacher Understanding of Information Literacy
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