Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Towards a teaching philosophy

Along with ruminating about linking and libraries, the other side of my brain is getting a workout as I try to integrate my experience of teaching library skills with the information literacy policies developed at my library into a formalized teaching philosophy. Creating an entire philosophy is a little daunting so I am going to work at it in a piecemeal fashion and write down small grains of thought and see if, in the future, I can build some sort of sand castle out of them.

Here goes.

Students should not be subjected to 'library assignments' but research assignments. These assignments should encourage a student duplicate an expert's research processes as opposed to an idealized 'research ideal'. We should try to avoid prescribing any artificial tasks that we wouldn't perform ourselves when we do research.

Some examples of tasks to avoid:
  • construct a research strategy that results in only five results
  • first consult an encyclopedia to find keywords for your search
  • analyze a research paper that no one else in your class is using

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