Framework Spotlight on Scholarship: “Teaching Students, Not Standards” by Burgess

Happy New Year! This week’s Spotlight on Scholarship features Colleen Burgess’s article “Teaching Students, Not Standards: The New ACRL Information Literacy Framework and Threshold Crossings for Instructors”, published in Partnership: The Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research in Volume 10, Number 1, June 2015.

This article considers what the Framework might have to say about the knowledge practices and dispositions of information literacy instructors in their approach to teaching information literacy. Burgess challenges instructors to develop and evolve their teaching (i.e., pedagogy) in response to the Framework by taking on a “beginner’s frame of mind,” with the goal of developing empathy and inviting students to construct their own information literacy learning in dialogue with the instructor. Through this approach the instructor paradoxically brings to the classroom an expertise in the iterative process of learning how to learn, modeling for students what the Framework’s knowledge practices and dispositions look and feel like as one moves farther along the spectrum from novice to expert in relation to research, information, and lifelong learning. Burgess also considers what dispositions and knowledge practices will best enable instructors to teach information literacy to students in all its “non-linear, messy” authenticity, and calls us to embrace this authenticity in both instruction to students and conversations with faculty and administrators.

Colleen Burgess is Research and Instructional Services Librarian at Western Libraries, Western University.

The “Framework Spotlight on Scholarship” column is a weekly post series highlighting scholarship that uses, builds on, critiques, or responds to the Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education.