So… what of the “needles in haystacks” I have unearthed during my information seeking, and the “gold nuggets” they may have led to during subsequent searches. …And which of the “needles” have turned out to be “nuggets” in disguise?
Nugget and Needle
Here follows a quick showcase of my needles and nuggets – far from an exhaustive list of sources, but a selection of the articles I have referenced in my assignment (CLN650‘s “Research Project Part A – a Literature Review on Information Literacy, Inquiry-Based Learning and Guided Inquiry”).
From the “Information Literacy” pile:
Moore, Penny. (2005). An Analysis of Information Literacy Education Worldwide. School Libraries Worldwide. 11(2). 1 – 23.
Served as a good overview of the topic. The approaches to information literacy (and explanations of the varying understandings of the term) in different countries was interesting, though I skipped the large sections on teacher education and government initiatives as this information was not pertinent to my primary school context.
From the “Inquiry Learning” pile:
Kuhlthau, Carol C., Heinstrom, Jannica, and Todd, Ross. (2008). The ‘information search process’ revisited: is the model still useful? information research. 13 (4).
I’ll admit, that much of my respect for Kuhlthau’s 20+-year-old ISP and my confidence in its currency and validity for a 21st Century environment have come from reading this article. Beginning with a comprehensive literature review, the authors examine recent research in applying the ISP model, including its application to digital environments, and its use as a diagnostic tool. This article also reports on a study of an inquiry project in a school setting and demonstrates the continuing relevance of the ISP, and its importance as a research and diagnostic tool, despite the changing information environment.
From the “Inquiry in SOSE” pile:
Government of Tasmania, School Education Division. (2004). Teaching for Learning in SOSE. “Learning Through Inquiry”
Having found this “article” via a Google search, and the fact that it is clearly a website (with no obvious ‘author’ noted), and presented as such (along with many dead links!), led me to initially doubt its authority and validity. As it turns out, this site is published by the Tasmanian Government School Education Division, and the reference list is substantial. It is an easy read, and presents a very unbiased overview of constructivist theories and their implications with concrete examples. A variety of teaching approaches is advocated, but the overarching theme is the importance of inquiry in the SOSE classroom. Common sense points about questioning and the development of critical thinking, but a useful source.
Home Page - SOSE @ TASed
Having stumbled across the TASed site, I was prompted to seek out a similar resource from our own State…
Gordon, Kathleen. (2000). Inquiry Approaches in Primary Studies of Society and Environment Key Learning Area. Occasional paper prepared for the Queensland School Curriculum Council.
This article stresses the importance of inquiry as an approach to SOSE education, outlining the roles of the teacher and learner in the inquiry process in terms of Queensland Syllabus documents. Three inquiry models are presented (Integrating Socially TELSTAR and Action Research) and along with recommended strategies and sample unit plans.
From the “Using the Internet in Inquiry” pile:
Bass, R., Rosenzweig, R., & Mason, G. (1999). Rewiring the history and social studies classroom: Needs, frameworks, dangers, and proposals. Journal of Education; 181(3), 41-62.
Despite the focus on teacher professional development in the concluding sections, this article was probably one of my most valuable nuggets. Though the explanations and historical descriptions are a little long-winded for my requirements, and the study is resoundingly American, it offers a water-tight basis for using inquiry, and more specifically technology in social studies. Recognition of the challenges involved is thorough, though recommendations for the effective use of technology are clear and positive.
Bowler, L., Large, A., and Rejskind, G. (2001). Primary school students, information literacy and the Web. Education for Information. 19. 201-223 IOS Press.
This Canadian study follows an internet research assignment in three year 6 classrooms so the relevance to my own ILA context is as high as I could have hoped for. The initial literature review describes children’s search strategies in earlier studies, and offers a background in information literacy and learning theory. The detailed report on students’ information-seeking behaviours as they proceed through each stage of their project was immensely helpful in preparing me to implement my ILA. The issues that emerge for use of the Web in the classroom were also comprehensively described.
Lassiter – suf-fer, mate! At least I get to KEEP my nuggets!