Information literacy is crucial for success in schools, and for effective functioning as informed citizens. With increasing availabilities of web 2.0 technologies in the classroom, students need to be able to critically evaluate information to learn effectively. This competency is particularly important in science education since conflicting scientific claims are common in digital spaces. However, there are no clear guidelines for science teachers regarding how information literacy should be taught and integrated into day-to-day science instruction.
With the support from the Spencer Foundation, Drs. Vongkulluksn and Xie are undertaking a project to uncover how high school science teachers in technology-integrated classrooms scaffold students’ information literacy development. The study features in-depth observations and audio recordings of 20 teachers and approximately 400 of their students, as well as survey data collection. Using mixed methods of interpretive content analysis and hierarchical growth modeling, Vongkulluksn and Xie are examining the ways in which high school science teachers scaffold information literacy skills as part of science instruction, and how these scaffolding practices are linked to students’ growth in information literacy skills. The findings will constitute the first step towards helping science teachers purposefully integrate this crucial competency as part of their curricular objectives. The project is set to begin Summer 2018.