Examining secondary school teacher understanding of information literacy

  • Author / Creator
    Smith, Jorden
  • 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.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2011
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Library and Information Studies
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.