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Three Theoretical Perspectives on Information Literacy

Limberg, Louise; Sundin, Olof LU and Talja, Sanna (2012) In Human IT 11(2). p.91-128
Abstract
The concept of information literacy refers to purposeful information practices in a society characterized by almost limitless access to information and where information practices in digital environments shape and constitute important elements in most people’s lives in our part of the world. The meaning of the term information literacy varies according to the theoretical lens from which it is approached. Theoretical starting points are not always clearly stated in, for instance, information literacy definitions, standards, research or educational practices. Regardless of whether the underlying theory is made explicit or not, it will nevertheless have a profound impact on the ways in which we teach or research information literacy. This... (More)
The concept of information literacy refers to purposeful information practices in a society characterized by almost limitless access to information and where information practices in digital environments shape and constitute important elements in most people’s lives in our part of the world. The meaning of the term information literacy varies according to the theoretical lens from which it is approached. Theoretical starting points are not always clearly stated in, for instance, information literacy definitions, standards, research or educational practices. Regardless of whether the underlying theory is made explicit or not, it will nevertheless have a profound impact on the ways in which we teach or research information literacy. This article discusses alternative theoretical understandings of information literacy and their consequences for educational practices. Three theoretical perspectives are presented that represent different understandings of information literacy; phenomenography, sociocultural theory and Foucauldian discourse analysis. According to all three theoretical lenses, information literacy is embedded in and shaped by as well as shaping the context in which it is embedded. In consequence, we propose the notion of information literacies in the plural. The three perspectives offer different insights on information literacies, on both empirical and theoretical levels. However, a sociocultural perspective also involves particular theoretical assumptions about the ways in which digital environments and tools reshape conditions for learning. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Information literacy, Phenomenography, Sociocultural theory, Discourse analysis
in
Human IT
volume
11
issue
2
pages
91 - 128
publisher
Högskolan i Borås
ISSN
1402-1501
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
c842dc00-4de2-4492-8675-c1a1b0d5ec58 (old id 2798062)
alternative location
http://etjanst.hb.se/bhs/ith/2-11/llosst.pdf
date added to LUP
2012-06-15 16:13:58
date last changed
2016-04-15 14:21:36
@article{c842dc00-4de2-4492-8675-c1a1b0d5ec58,
  abstract     = {The concept of information literacy refers to purposeful information practices in a society characterized by almost limitless access to information and where information practices in digital environments shape and constitute important elements in most people’s lives in our part of the world. The meaning of the term information literacy varies according to the theoretical lens from which it is approached. Theoretical starting points are not always clearly stated in, for instance, information literacy definitions, standards, research or educational practices. Regardless of whether the underlying theory is made explicit or not, it will nevertheless have a profound impact on the ways in which we teach or research information literacy. This article discusses alternative theoretical understandings of information literacy and their consequences for educational practices. Three theoretical perspectives are presented that represent different understandings of information literacy; phenomenography, sociocultural theory and Foucauldian discourse analysis. According to all three theoretical lenses, information literacy is embedded in and shaped by as well as shaping the context in which it is embedded. In consequence, we propose the notion of information literacies in the plural. The three perspectives offer different insights on information literacies, on both empirical and theoretical levels. However, a sociocultural perspective also involves particular theoretical assumptions about the ways in which digital environments and tools reshape conditions for learning.},
  author       = {Limberg, Louise and Sundin, Olof and Talja, Sanna},
  issn         = {1402-1501},
  keyword      = {Information literacy,Phenomenography,Sociocultural theory,Discourse analysis},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {91--128},
  publisher    = {Högskolan i Borås},
  series       = {Human IT},
  title        = {Three Theoretical Perspectives on Information Literacy},
  volume       = {11},
  year         = {2012},
}