Friday, June 15, 2012

Informed Learning---A Relational Model

Bruce, Christine Susan. Informed Learning. Chicago: American Library Association, 2008. 197 pp. ISBN: 978-0-8389-8489-5

Christine Bruce in her book, Informed Learning, argues for a relational model in teaching information literacy. The book is based on extensive research on how people actually use information. The focus of this book "is about how we interact with and use information as we learn: learning formally through studying or doing research at universities, and learning informally in community and work contexts" (2). Bruce is an Associate Professor at Queensland University of Technology in the Faculty of Information. She has published several articles on Informed Learning and given many presentations on the topic at conferences.

Informed Learning main idea is using information to learn. It provides a different approach to teaching information literacy. The ideas presented in this book is compatible with the practices of academic disciplines. It also focuses on using information in both professional life and the community. Informed Learning will help to embed information literacy in the curriculum. Informed Learning also have a life-long learning focus: "By being creative and reflexive information users, we are able to learn and continue learning in any field or walk of life" (3).

Bruce lists the characteristics on Informed Learning in chapter one. Some of these are: drawing from the experiences of teaching and learning, drawing from our experience of using information to learn, and drawing from diverse forms of information. In chapter two Bruce describes the "Six Frames for Informed Learning" : knowledge about the world of information, competencies or skills, learning through engagement with information,"  (34) and others. The "Seven Faces of Learning" is described in chapter three. These seven faces was based on "research participants" experience in using information. These seven faces are "information awareness, sources, process, control, knowledge construction, extension, and wisdom." These first three chapters are the theoretical foundation for the rest of the chapters. The remaining chapters looks at the experiences of Informed Learning in different groups: students, the disciplines and professions, the workplace and community, research community, and graduate students. The chapter on graduate students focuses on doing a literature review. I found this chapter quite enlightening.

This book is an excellent addition to the field of Information Literacy. It focuses on a relational model which seems to be different than the skills focus. It also stresses knowledge creation which has not been a focus in information literacy. It is research-based and shows how students, professors, and professionals actually use information. It also distinguishes between information, knowledge, and wisdom which will fit in with a more Christian model of teaching information literacy.

No comments:

Post a Comment