Information literacy and cooking (reprise)

In the last post, I was talking about information literacy maybe being ‘a way of thinking’ and there was an excellent comment (Thanks Cathy) which pointed out that getting students to think about their information literacy skills is important but also that “an awareness and attention to the way one is thinking” is also crucial. But how to do this? I think that teachers and TLs often shy away from this part and assume that if we teach students about information literacy skills then the thinking will automatically come along with it. As we all know, for most students, it doesn’t. My own recommendation is to get students – no matter what grade or level they are in – to talk about this in groups and maybe recommend to each other ways of thinking – yes about thinking although I wouldn’t necessarily use that that phrase with younger students – about information needs etc.

Well, you cook something and it turns out very well so you go back to the same cookbook and try another recipe. This time it was Hungarian goulash with potatoes and onions. So I followed the recipe and it was as bland as a politician at election time and the accompaniment was basically fried potatoes and onions. So what would I tell students about this? Always evaluate your information sources and just because you find something useful and relevant and useful in that source doesn’t mean to say that everything in that resource will be useful – or tasty. I’ll still use the cookery book, however.

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2 Responses to “Information literacy and cooking (reprise)”

  1. Kathy Robison Says:

    Cooking… is it a bit like information literacy?

    When cooking, rather than following a recipe step-by-step, I adapt the recipe to suit what I like or want, leave out what I don’t want or don’t have, and then add something for extra flavour!

    When I ‘know’ I have an information need, I endeavour to locate a good source, and I read it (or rather bits of it) and evaluate whether it fits my need. I combine this new information with existing knowledge to communicate an idea, which hopefully doesn’t transcribe into something too bland.

    Sometimes if I’m working with new information I ‘paraphrase it’ (try it out first) to try and make sense of it. The next time I read it, hopefully it has a different flavour!! And if the flavour hasn’t improved, I either discard it or try to find something to improve it – a glass of wine can make all the difference when a reading makes no sense.. or when a meal hasn’t a lot of flavour! 😀

  2. Cathy Atkinson Says:

    I like the analogy…cooking and information literacy. When we pick up the cook book we have purpose and motivation to seek new cooking ventures. It worries me that the students I cajole on a daily basis appear to lack the motivation and purpose. That eagerness or anticipation that we approach the cookbook with is missing and I really hope that it is a transitory thing.

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