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2002 Gwen Gawith: Re-defining research

2002 Opoho School: "The Opoho Possum Hunt"

2001 Gwen Gawith: "Infobliteracy" - Part 2.

2001 Gwen Gawith: Responding to "Into a Further World" by Elwyn Richardson.

2001 Carolyn Coil: Teachers make the world of information become knowledge.

2001 Gwen Gawith: Why Read?

2001 Gwen Gawith: "Infobliteracy" - Part 1.

2001 Linda Selby and Maureen Trebilcock: A call for teacher-librarians

2000 Gwen Gawith: Information Literacy: theory into practice - Part 2

2000 Gwen Gawith: Information literacy: problems and solutions.

2000 Alan Cooper: Information literacy; the past is not enough.

1999 Gwen Gawith: The origins of information literacy.

1998 Graham Prentice: Knowledge architects.

1998 Gwen Gawith: Getting a handle on information literacy.

1997 Gwen Gawith: NEMPing through information literacy.

1992 Gwen Gawith: learning for the future.

1987 Gwen Gawith: Information skills for an information age.

1986 Gwen Gawith Information skills for an information literate future.

1984 Gwen Gawith: Getting a handle on information skills.


information literacy:
definitions & discussion

Defining information literacy

This is a section of one chapter in my unpublished PhD thesis (1999). In it I was beginning to explore the acknowledged limitations of the ‘library’ model of information literacy, and beginning to look at some of the theoretical and pedagogical features of some of the better examples of technology-enhanced learning in what Jonassen calls ‘knowledge construction environments.’

Gwen Gawith

Information literacy - the ability to locate, evaluate, synthesize, organize, and apply information...

Information literacy is emerging as one of the most critical literacies for an educated person who will be living and working in the twenty-first century... the graduation of students who are information literate and experienced in resource-based learning should, therefore be one of the most obvious and easily agreed on goals for higher education... .

Information literacy is frequently described as a state of being information literate, focusing on aptitudes, competencies or capabilities. For example, Doyle’s Delphi Technique study, lists characteristics of an information literate person:

    • recognizes the need for information;
    • recognizes that accurate and complete information is the basis for intelligent decision making;
    • identifies potential sources of information;
    • develops successful search strategies;
    • accesses sources of information, including computer-based and other technologies;
    • evaluates information;
    • organizes information for practical application;
    • integrates new information into an existing body of knowledge, and
    • uses information in critical thinking and problem solving.

A much-quoted description of an information literate person adds the dimension of learning how to learn:

To be information literate an individual must recognise when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate and use effectively the information needed... Ultimately information literate people are those who have learned how to learn. They know how to learn because they know how information is organised, how to find information, and how to use information in such a way that others can learn from them .

This definition anchors information literacy in learning and echoes Dordick's emphasis on information literate people as a resource. Boyer says:

People who are information literate, who know how to acquire knowledge and use it, are America's most valuable resource .

Doyle's definition sets information literacy in the context of the information society:

Information Literacy is the ability to access, evaluate and use information from a variety of sources. As students prepare for the 21st Century, traditional instruction in reading, writing and mathematics needs to be coupled with practice in communication, critical thinking and problem-solving skills...

No references are included because the referencing was done at the end for the whole thesis. Please email if you’d like details.