Can we share philosophies of teaching research?

Well…this blog post was due yesterday, which was Back to School Night around here. So, I’m running a tad behind.

For Back to School Night I was asked to create a tri-fold board summarizing our seven year research skills curriculum. It was quite a challenge (hence the late post). I’m sharing a picture of my poster below, but it really made me want to hear from our group:

Please share your philosophy behind how you develop your information literacy curriculum. It can be one sentence, or just bullet points. If it would help, maybe share a short bit of personal history about how you got there. Please share in the comments below.

Through this blog, our conferences, and our list we have so many discussions about teaching information literacy, and I think it would be amazing if we could see a wealth of different ways of approaching the endeavor of teaching research skills.

7 thoughts on “Can we share philosophies of teaching research?

  1. Our 7-12th grade research program was planned by working backward from what college librarians have told us are the skills and habits of mind necessary for success in college research. Our Sophomore Project (Sep-March collaboration among English, history, and library classes) incorporates all of those skills. Our 6-9th grade program scaffolds those skills, building competencies to help our 10th graders be successful.

    I suppose this is more of a structural philosophy—we believe that giving time and space to build skills and habits is the best way to see student success.

    Tasha, I’d love to see more about your strategies for reading scholarly articles. I worked with my 6th graders this week on some strategies to gather research from an article written above their comfortable reading level. But I think revisiting this idea when they’ll read scholarly articles in a few years would be a great addition to our curriculum.

    • Jo — thank you for sharing! “we believe that giving time and space to build skills and habits is the best way to see student success” – that is living the dream, for sure!

      Jo, I will send along the scholarly articles (someone actually gave me a whole class period to teach that *today*, and I’d love to hear about the work you did with 6th graders!

  2. Something I’ve built into the philosophy of my 5-8th classes is explaining the “why” of information systems by giving the context of the way things were done in the past. Our students today have very little frame of reference for “periodicals” and “reference sources,” so we talk about how things were done pre-internet. Our current systems were created by people trying to mimic these previous formats, and understanding that really helps students grasp how a database works, for example. Periodicals come out periodically. Google is a giant index. The save button looks like a floppy disc. We then build skills on these ideas and scaffold as we move up the grades.

    • Oh my goodness, so true! I only get to hit on that occasionally – talking about citations and in tenth grade we often have to pull out a hard-copy newspaper when talking about things like wire services and what an “opinion piece” is. Really interesting framing! Thanks for sharin!

  3. I teach research to Grades 8-12. We always start with effective search techniques, either as a reminder or a first step for new students. I’m interested to hear how others incorporate new students into the scope and sequence at different grade levels. And I love these original ideas of how to present to high schoolers a topic which can be a bit dry! Thank you!

    • Rayna, I have a lot of trouble with the same thing. Most of our students start in 6th grade, but we tend to have about 1/6 new students in 9th grade. Since I teach across the grades, I am finding that onboarding is always a challenge!

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