Framework Spotlight on Scholarship: Pagowsky’s “A Pedagogy of Inquiry’” [CIL 9.2]

Today’s Spotlight on Scholarship features the article “A Pedagogy of Inquiry” by Nicole Pagowsky, published in a special issue of Communications in Information Literacy focusing on the Framework: Volume 9, Issue 2, 2015, pp. 136-144.

This article develops the Framework’s potential as a “jumping off point” for holistic teaching and learning to counter the “skills agenda” in which we do our work as information literacy librarians. Pagowsky argues that the instructional design approach of essential questions leading to deeper understandings of big ideas, developed by Wiggins and McTighe, results in a pedagogy rooted in critical inquiry, and further that the Framework is highly adaptable to this approach. The article offers an accessible critique of the “skills agenda,” wherein the purpose of education is to create effective workers after graduation, and explains the connection between this agenda and information literacy instruction. Building on Deleuze’s idea of “fabulation,” Pagowsky makes a case for the importance of transcending this “skills agenda” by changing faculty perceptions and expectations of what we do (and the complex pedagogies we use to do it). The article’s proposed method of this transcendence is to use the Framework to center in our instruction inquiry into complex concepts, which will in turn provide meaning to the discrete, concrete skills that remain important, though no longer centered to the exclusion of a wider critical inquiry that takes time to facilitate, in our information literacy teaching and learning practice.

Nicole Pagowsky is Research & Learning Librarian and Instruction Coordinator at the University of Arizona Libraries.

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