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Secondary Teachers’ Perception of Information Literacy Skills and Their Instruction in the Classroom


This qualitative study investigated secondary teachers’ definitions of information literacy and how they teach information literacy in the classroom. The sample consisted of 15 secondary teachers in a large, urban public high school. I used qualitative interviews to determine teachers’ understanding of information literacy and analyzed documents to determine how they teach information literacy in the classroom. My findings from the teacher interviews and document analysis reflected the conclusions of past literature: Teachers believed information literacy is important but do not have a common definition. My findings also suggested that teachers teach information literacy in a variety of ways, from thoughtful questioning of the text to determine credibility and to evaluate sources, to choosing relevant content that relates to students’ lives and extending their knowledge, to web search through Google and research databases such as Google Scholar and EBSCO Host. Through document analysis, I determined that teachers create assignments that ask students to show information literacy in a variety of ways, such as searching for information, accessing information through different sources, and constructing and extending knowledge based on the information they found. My findings suggest a call for teachers to agree on a common definition of information literacy and to collaboratively build a plan to incorporate information literacy into each part of the curriculum, not just into one isolated unit. Furthermore, I also recommend that the district hire a teacher librarian that can not only help students strengthen information literacy skills, but also collaborate with teachers to ensure a rigorous and relevant curriculum.

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