Integrating information literacy into the curriculum a journey #2


A recap – around 3 years ago we set off on our journey to make information literacy a integrated part of learning in our school and part of teacher pedagogy. Although the journey probably started more like 6 years ago it was really in the last 3 that in roads were made.
After a successful meeting with SLT and my proposal for placing independent learning (info lit) at the heart of research, or any work set I met with our assistant head who was in charge of teaching and learning.
He was just about to undertake a review of homework in the school to make it more successful. Non compliance of homework counted for around 75% of our detentions. The quality of homework received was poor as was the setting of it and there was no or very little impact from it, in general.
I decided to put my case across that part of any information search required preparation before it could be undertaken. An analysis of what was being asked needed to be undertaken, prior knowledge needed to be accessed and therefore gaps in the knowledge could be highlighted to direct searches. Homework also needed to have a direct impact on learning. If a student was being sent away to find 10 facts about the Romans how do they know what 10 facts are going to be of any use whatever. Therefore there also needs to be a thought process happening around what is being set and why.
Being a fan of the flipped learning idea, but wanting to make it more sustainable with a lot more substance to it we started to work on the idea of students doing research that was going to directly impact on their next lesson. The more we thought about it the more the finer points seemed to slip into place. If students were going to come to the lesson prepared it meant teachers had to think about the work they were setting, how it was going to lead into lesson. It also meant that they needed to help guide students: explain better what they wanted, teach searching skills, key wording, skimming, scanning etc etc. It also meant that if students were coming to the lesson with prior knowledge and a grounding in the area that was being covered the teacher could then spend the rest of the lesson compounding the knowledge. Thus in reality giving the teacher an extra 40 minutes of teaching in each lesson.
It was perfect. It relied on both the teaching and learning element and the information literacy element working hand in hand, complimenting each other. Without info lit and the explicit teaching of its skills it was worthless and without the teaching element it was just research.
What we in fact found was the Mecca of information literacy in an education establishment.
The next step though was to role it out and get everyone on board…


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