Judy M. Pitts was an assistant professor in school media at Emporia State University, an editor of  the School Library Media Quarterly, and a former school media specialist. Before her death at age 47 on September 26, 1994, Judy completed her doctoral dissertation and presented her research findings to the AASL Research Forum at the ALA Annual Conference on June 26, 1994.

There are many process-based models of information inquiry and instruction. In Britain, the work of Ann Irving and Michael Marland is influential. In the United States, the models have been influenced by research writings of Carol Kuhlthau, Barbara Stripling, and Judy Pitts. Their influence is reflected in the models of library instruction developed in Australia and Alberta, Canada.

Judy M. Pitts’ extensive research on the cognitive aspects of student research concludes that media specialists need to base instruction on the ways students learn, integrating research with the curriculum. An important feature of the model is that the authors believe instruction should be based on how students learn best and have concluded that more new learning occurs when connected to previous learning, a precept of constructivist learning theory.

Winner of the AASL / Highsmith Reseach Grant for:
Intuitive Understanding and Mental Models of Information: A Qualitative Study of Factors Associated with the Information Seeking and Use Behavior of Adolescents, 1993.

Selected Book:
Stripling, Barbara & Pitts, Judy. Brainstorms and Blueprints: Teaching Research as a Thinking Process. Englewood, CO: Libraries Unlimited, 1998.

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