Thursday, May 27, 2004

Information Literacy - Implications for Early Childhood Teaching This article is by Donna Berthelsen, Gail Halliwell, Judith Peacock, Jess Burke, and Irene Ryan. (Did it really take 5 people to write this?) They are with the School of Early Childhood (Division of Information and Academic Services) at the Queensland University of Technology. I have read a lot of good Aussie articles on information literacy lately. They sure know information literacy in Australia.


Information literacy encompasses both technological skills and skills to locate, evaluate, and use information from a range of sources. Early childhood teachers require knowledge, skill and confidence in such skills to inform their teaching practice and to facilitate their ongoing professional development. Increasingly, within early childhood programs, there is a focus on the development of information literacy skills of children from the time they enter formal school programs and this continues across their schooling years. Cohorts of students in a Bachelor of Education course, completed surveys in which skills levels and knowledge of information literacy were explored. Students were found to have a range of skills and confidence levels and they indicated commitment to such skill development. The importance of a focus on early childhood students' skills in information literacy are discussed in terms of the need for systematic planning and integration of a range of information literacy tasks across students' undergraduate programs. The implications that such experiences have for teachers' professional practice, as educational contexts change and increasing importance is given to children's information literacy skill development, is explored.

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