Framework Spotlight on Scholarship: Corrall’s “Crossing the threshold”

Corrall, S. (2017). Crossing the threshold: reflective practice in information literacy development. Journal of Information Literacy, 11(1), 23.

Welcome back to the ACRL Framework Spotlight on Scholarship! This week’s featured article comes to us from Sheila Corrall, Professor, Department of Information Culture & Data Stewardship at the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Computing & Information, and previously Professor & Chair in Librarianship and Information Management at the iSchool, University of Sheffield, UK.

In this article, Corrall explores the idea of reflective practice in relation to threshold concepts, of which Meyer and Land’s theory was central to the development of the Framework. She cites the emphasis on critical self-reflection in the Framework as an impetus (among others) for her exploration of the subject.

Corrall explores the challenges presented by the myriad approaches to reflection, both as pedagogical practice and as practitioner self-reflection. She provides an in-depth look into different theories, definitions, practices, meanings, and outcomes of reflection and reflective practice through an exploration of several models. Tracing from Dewey to the present, Corrall works through educational theory up through recent literature related to information literacy and critical information literacy.

Corrall offers an interesting discussion of the difference between threshold concepts and competencies as discussed by Meyer and Land. She draws a parallel between threshold competencies and professional competencies of librarians, suggesting that reflective practice is a threshold competency for teaching librarian practitioners. She proposes more research in ways to explore this notion and further development of reflection as a professional competence.

Prof. Corrall can be reached at

A side note from Sara: This anniversary issue of the Journal of Information Literacy is worth reading in its entirety, especially for those who may not be as familiar with the history and development of European and Australian models of information literacy and their impact on American thought, including the Framework.

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.