IL transfer

Transferring information literacy across time and the curriculum is an essential part of education. Building on previous knowledge and refining skills is what teachers strive to do and to a huge extent EXPECT students to do.

From my own experience as a high school humanities teacher, I regularly encountered times where I expected students to be IL competent and it became immediately clear that I would need to either teach or re-teach a skill. I could ask students to complete a simple research task, submit a correct reference list, or in-text reference, and found either they didn’t remember, didn’t think it applied in that subject or had no recollection of ever learning it in the first place.

In hindsight now I can see how this can happen. In my school there is no scope or sequence in regards to IL. Every teacher develops their own learning programs in isolation and this also applies to integrating IL skills into their units. In fact from my experience it was evident that some teachers didn’t factor IL skills into their teaching at all. This resulted in senior secondary students having to use valuable time during the year learning these skills when they should have been so ingrained by then they simply were skills and knowledge they could draw upon to complete their studies.

From the readings I can now see that a IL school policy which is adopted by all staff is essential for students to transfer their skills through grades and subjects. It is imperative that the TL become a collaborator and facilitator of IL into all areas of the curriculum and to be the driving force to ensure that skills are introduced and refined at the right stages.

Herring, J. (2011). Assumptions, Information Literacy and Transfer in High Schools. Teacher Librarian, 38(3), 32-36.


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