titleinquiry logo


student workingAlthough many classroom teachers focus on their specific content-area standards, everyone is responsible for helping all students succeed across subject areas.

This is particularly true for library media specialists. Although teacher librarians have a primary interest in information, communication and technology standards, they're always seeking ways to reach classroom teachers and collaborate to meet their student standards. Many of the standards are shared across curriculum areas. For example, students need to be able to evaluate the quality of information in every content area whether students are investigating issues related to global warming or causes of the American Civil War.

Historical Perspectives

Educators through history have tried to identify the basic competencies of a "well-rounded" student. Although much of this knowledge, skills, and attitudes can be associated with particular content areas such as math, science, social studies, or language arts, other competencies seem to flow through all areas. For example, all students need to be able to access, process, and communicate information and ideas. Critical and creative thinking are important in all traditional curriculum areas.

Standards and guidelines for information literacy have evolved over the past century. As early as the 1920's the National Education Association and American Library Association were developing School Library Standards. During the 1970s and 1980s, a growing number of school library media specialists began to draw these skills together under an information literacy curriculum.

With the introduction of the computer in schools, a new wave of competencies emerged under the umbrella of computer literacy. However in recent years, educators have discovered that the core skills associated with the computer relate to information, communication, thinking, and learning rather than the hardware itself. Over the past decade, a new strand of competencies can be found in schools and organizations around the world. Although they have a range of names, they all relate to information, technology, and communication literacy in some way.

In the 1980s committees of American Association of School Librarians and the Association (AASL) for Educational Communications and Technology came together to develop national standards for information literacy that are now in their second edition. Published in a document called Information Power, the revised edition (1998) includes Information Literacy Standards for Student Learning as well as principles for school libraries and library media specialists.

In the 2000s, the No Child Left Behind legislation dramatically changed the direction of public schools. Placing emphasis on accountability and testing, the mandates lay out an action plan and timeline for school improvement particularly in the areas of reading, writing, and mathematics.

Frustrated by the lack of attention to subject area content, creative thinking skills, and "next generation" technology and social skills, the AASL published Standards for the 21st-Century Learner (high resolution PDF or low resolution PDF).

eye means readRead Chapter 6: Standards, Scope and Sequence, and Best Practices in THE BLUE BOOK by Callison and Preddy, p. 85-117.

OPTIONAL: Read Chapter 2: Empowered Learning: Fostering Thinking Across the Curriculum by Violet H. Harada in Curriculum Connections through the Library edited by Barbara K. Stripling & Sandra Hughes-Hassell.

OPTIONAL: Read Preface to Information Power (1998, p. v-vii) for a short history of information literacy standards and Information Power.

eye means readRead Can School Media Programs Raise Standardized Test Score? by Doug Johnson in Knowledge Quest 28(3).

LambLamb's Latitudes
Let's explore alternative views on the No Child Left Behind mandates. One of my personal favorites is called No Child Left. It focuses on the many reasons why the No Child Left Behind mandates are ineffective. By placing an emphasis on questioning, thinking, and problem solving rather than "the test," students will excel in any kind of environment. What do you think of the current legislation regarding standards and testing? How does information literacy fit into the large scope of education? While we're required to address government mandates, we also need to consider what will best address the need of all children.

Key Words

Learn More

Content Standards from INTIME: Integrating New Technologies into Methods of Education.

Johnson, Doug (Dec 2000). Building Standards that Are Useful. Teacher Librarian (reprint).

Johnson, Doug (2000). Can School Media Programs Raise Standardized Test Score? Knowledge Quest 28(3).

Johnson, Doug (April/May 2004) Schools Are More than the Sum of their Scores.

| SLIS-IUPUI | eduScapes | About | Contact Us | ©2005-2012