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Information practices in elementary school
University of Borås, Swedish School of Library and Information Science. (LinCS)
2008 (English)In: Information research, ISSN 1368-1613, E-ISSN 1368-1613, Vol. 13, no 4, 10- p.Article in journal (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In this summary I present the theoretical and methodological starting points of a study that will be conducted during 2008. The study is a part of my doctoral thesis which in general deals with information practices in an elementary school. The thesis is related to the research field within librarianship and information science called information needs, seeking and use (see Case 2007), as well as to the field of information literacy, which has emerged somewhat independently of the information seeking field (Limberg and Sundin 2006). The thesis also borders the field of educational science. A basic assumption for the whole thesis is that the ways in which adults understand children and childhood is a prerequisite for how institutions for children, such as an elementary school, are designed (Mayall 2000: 120). Therefore it can be argued that a deeper understanding of children's lives in the contemporary society is always relevant. Two conditions, that is, the development of new ICT-tools and new teaching methods, have influenced both educators and schoolchildren during the last decades. These changes can be seen as intertwined and they highlight questions regarding information seeking and use. The new ICT tools have increased the possibilities to store and retrieve information and can also be said to have implications for the definition of literacy (Andersen 2006; Säljö 2005: chap. VII). The new teaching methods are characterized by a high degree of student activity, including students' own information seeking and use, as opposed to traditional ways of 'teaching the class' (comp. Macbeth 2000: 21ff). In Sweden, even the youngest school children are expected to work to some extent independently with problem-centred assignments. However, it has been shown that the implementation of ICT-tools in the lower grades is a complex process. For example, not all ways of seeking and using information are welcomed by educators (Davidsson et al. 2007). It has also been shown that problem-centred ways of working are not unproblematic, since they may collide with the traditional discursive practices of school (Alexandersson and Limberg 2003; Lundh and Limberg 2008). The present study is based on the assumption that school is a new social and discursive practice for young school children, who are expected to become competent members of that practice (Macbeth 2000). To become a successful pupil you need to understand the discursive practices of school (Säljö 2000: 204f), which includes certain ways of seeking and using information. The aim of the present study is to create an understanding of the kinds of information activities that are regarded as appropriate or less appropriate in the social and discursive practices of elementary school, from the perspective of the children.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
University of Sheffield , 2008. Vol. 13, no 4, 10- p.
National Category
Information Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-2488Local ID: 2320/4299OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hb-2488DiVA: diva2:870582
Note
Presentation at ISIC doctoral workshopAvailable from: 2015-11-13 Created: 2015-11-13

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