University of Tasmania
whole_LinhartRodneyJames2008_thesis.pdf (13.75 MB)

Information literacy : a neglected essential learning

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posted on 2023-05-26, 18:16 authored by Linhart, RJ
This thesis investigates the assertions that: information literacy is the nexus between accessing information and the creative acquisition of knowledge; and that the teaching of a structured information literacy program is an educational imperative. Oberg, Hay & Henri (2000) claim that there appears to be a lack of a genuine expectation by teachers that students will engage in all aspects of the research cycle. How students use information and engage in the information-knowledge process is determined by their expectations of the research process. These expectations are largely determined by the teacher's perception of information literacy (Coulter, November 2001). The thesis examines teacher beliefs that information literacy serves as a pedagogical strategy, one aim of which is the creative, personalised acquisition of knowledge. The study is of significance when viewed in the current climate of curriculum reform and transition on the national Australian and Tasmanian levels. Interviews were conducted with 18 teachers and five principals in seven schools associated with the Catholic Education Office, Hobart Diocese. Interviews focused on teacher's perception of the term 'information literacy'; what teachers discuss when engaged in curriculum reform; and how, when and why teachers currently acquire information literacy skills. The study was effectively structured using Englebart's Augmentation Conceptual Framework (Friedewald, 1997) and qualified by means of postmodern and poststructuralist approaches to investigation. Findings from this study concur with Bruce (2000) in that teachers tend to categorise 'information literacy' as being associated with information technology, information sources, information process and information control. This finding has significant implications for Tasmanian schools in that the new Tasmanian Curriculum model integrates ICT as an all-encompassing key learning area. ICT needs to be framed in this context; as a tool of enlightenment, and an instrument that assists investigations. Curriculum reform was recognised as being a significant, constant and continuing aspect of a teacher's life, regardless of school location and size. A concern regarding the lack of uniformity, influence and/or direction of the curriculum was expressed by all teachers. Teachers interviewed generally expressed positive feelings about the philosophy and structure of curriculum reform and that carefully constructed information literacy programs can reflect current Tasmanian Curriculum philosophical frameworks and marry well with the various statements of learnings produced by the Curriculum Corporation. The implications for any professional development and teacher-conversation in information literacy are clear: ‚ÄöEnsure all staff receive the same professional development in information literacy. ‚ÄöConfirm that school curriculum documents inform teaching and learning programs and professional development opportunities explicitly link to these. ‚ÄöReinforce student involvement in information literacy activities by highlighting and enhancing their resilience in information seeking behaviour. Teachers from all schools strongly expressed a sense of confusion regarding the term 'information literacy'. There were few opportunities for professional dialogue and adequate professional development with regard to information literacy. The study showed that if information literacy is to be embraced by primary school teachers regularly and across the disciplines as an essential element in their inquiry-based teaching and learning programs, then school systems need to inform them about existing models and standards that give the term a tangible, 'teachable' structure.


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Copyright 2008 the author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s). Thesis (PhD)--University of Tasmania, 2008. Includes bibliographical references

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