Information Literacy and Strategic Learning: The Devil [Is] in the Detail—Knowing, Wanting and Enabling

By Olimpia Silvestre.

Published by The International Journal of Pedagogy and Curriculum

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Assuming that Information Literacy (IL) in the twenty-first century is an issue of worldwide interest and that the variables with the greatest impact on students’ lives are teaching and assessing, this paper presents a report on a set of tasks targeted to foster agency habits on students looked as self-determined individuals who process information and construct knowledge. The pedagogical theory underlying the teacher’s choices was Strategic Learning (SL). The purpose was to teach IL as a work-in-progress literacy as part of the curriculum in the literature class and in so doing prepare students for a better transition either to academic or to professional life. The classroom activities for IL skills’ training were integrated in the subject area curriculum; the examples presented are scrutinized and conceptually framed to allow further adaptations and regulation. Students’ evaluations addressed both the product and the process and included attitudinal behavior. The process was carried out with two groups of students: the first with an obligatory national exam giving access to higher studies and the second, in professional courses, with no final exam but the same curriculum. The first group of students scored well in the final exam; the second group improved his attitudinal behavior and became more confident and self regulated. In general, IL skills teaching and training combined with SL foster good habits both for academic and professional life, providing tools to lifelong learning. As a result, we recommend an IL Strategic Planning Agenda for institutional or teacher use to a wider application in a more collaborative and reflective manner.

Keywords: Information Literacy, Strategic Learning, Sustainable Knowledge

International Journal of Pedagogy and Curriculum, Volume 19, Issue 4, pp.91-109. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 478.438KB).

MEd Olimpia Silvestre

Teacher, Literature Department, ESCOLA SECUNDARIA DE ALCOCHETE, ALCOCHETE, Portugal

I have a Master’s in Education from Universidade Catolica Portuguesa. My thesis was against the Portuguese practice of retaining students. I have also participated in numerous national and international conferences on teaching, learning, special needs education, and education policies. Presently, I teach Portuguese literature at a secondary school in Alcochete, Portugal.