Information literacy and cooking

As I start a new semester with a new group of students looking at some aspects of information literacy, I have to sit back and ask myself the question I’ve been pondering over for the past 20 years or so. What exactly is information literacy? Of course it’s not a simple question, like ‘What is the capital of Scotland?’. [Note: If you even thoughtabout saying any other city than Edinburgh, especially one beginning with G and ending in W, consider yourself barred from this blog for at least a week]. Asking what information literacy might be is similar to asking what education is or what life is. Despite this, people like me will going on trying to define what information literacy is. My very knowledgeable colleague Anne Lloyd views information literacy as ‘A way of knowing’ e.g. that knowing about your own information environment is a key factor in being or becoming information literate. Reflecting on my own recent research in schools, I’m more inclined to see information literacy as ‘A way of thinking’ in that if you can get students, in particular, to think about what they seek to find out, reflect upon and perhaps ultimately know, then these students are more likely to act as information literate individuals. Another thought that I often debate in my head and occasionally with others is that we are all perhaps on the road to being information literate but because we are always learning and our information environment changes, perhaps information literacy is a goal for us all. Tell you what – I’ll ask my students.

 I always like when I come across a new recipe and this happened at the weekend. You know how you collect recipe books as presents or you get them ‘free’ within newspapers or they come with a new cooking vessel? Well, this one came in a guide to using a creuset [Yes, this is advertising but I get no reward]. It’s simple but very tasty dish in which you basically soften an onion in olive oil, add strips of chicken, grated rind of lemon, lemon juice and fresh coriander. Once the chicken is partly cooked you add creme fraiche (or less healthily cream) and put this in your oven dish – in my case the cast iron creuset. You then top this with freshly made breadcrumbs mixed with lemon zest and chopped coriander and cook for about 20 minutes. Modesty aside, it was delicious. Now was this thinking or knowing? It was a bit of both. I knew about the recipe book, I thought I’d look through it. Serendipity found me the recipe.


2 Responses to “Information literacy and cooking”

  1. Cathy Hainstock Says:

    Since starting the DE course and the ETL401 subject I’ve been much more attentive to how the students are searching (instead of just helping) and to having them gain some awareness of their search processes too. Very enlightening for all of us (altho’ the kids are nowhere near as interested in it as I am) as results seem to improve as soon as one does start thinking about the process. I think IL is a way of thinking but also an awareness and attention to the way one is thinking — oh dear sounds very philosophical, the kids would all be asleep by now — or reading the comics. =)

    A point to ponder and a dinner suggestion! This may be the perfect blogspot.

  2. april36 Says:

    As old as the article may be I’m looking for “Cooking Information” in the area of Early Childhood and Education. The Defined term was that cooking information to be illegal? Not for nothing the meaning leaves me blank. I’ve related “cookies” with the same term yet and “Still” I’ve read the above blog of an educator implying the use of information…

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