It's all about the process and inquiry. To teach information literacy, you must teach process and you must teach (as funny as it sounds) curiosity. 21st century kids want to jump to the answer. They are accustomed to Siri pulling an answer from mysterious parts and handing it to them on a silver platter. It doesn't necessarily matter if it is the right answer; It is an answer. People often think that's all they need. One thing we are lacking as a society (in general and happening only recently) is a natural sense of curiosity.
We have forgotten how to ask questions, allowing our search engines and news feeds to do the work of finding answers for us without question. Instead we should:
- use questions to help us think critically
- question and seek multiple points of view
- not only question ideas of others, but also question our own ideas
- allow questioning to propel us toward a sound answer, not just any answer
- Write a sentence explaining your topic. Underline the keywords. e.g. I am researching Life in Shakespeare’s London, which includes the occupations and treatment of workers in Elizabethan England.
- Write synonyms for your underlined words and phrases. e.g. "16th century," Renaissance, sixteenth century, jobs, work
- Write some questions you have about the topic. Be sure to broaden and narrow your focus. e.g.
- What kinds of jobs did people have in Elizabethan England?
- How much were they paid?
- Were they treated well?
- How many hours did they work and how much were they paid?
The process of inquiry is the key to success. In my next post. I will talk about the tools we use to propel research and how this early inquiry or planning piece sets the stage for finding solid answers.