From school to work and from work to school: information environments and transferring information literacy practices
James E. Herring
School of Information Studies, Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, Australia
Vol 16 Nº 2 Information Research
Introduction. This study, based in a Scottish secondary school, aimed to examine the views of students who were completing work experience, on their information literacy practices, and the differences they found between the school and workplace information environments while on work experience. The views of guidance teachers were also explored.
Method. The study used a constructivist grounded theory approach to identify areas of exploration. Data were gathered via interviews with students and guidance teachers before and after the work experience period. All interviews were coded.
Analysis. Constructivist grounded analysis was used to analyse and interpret the data gathered, and to form categories for discussion.
Results The findings showed that students' information literacy practices were typical of that found in the literature. Students' observation of the workplace information environment identified key differences between school and the workplace, in terms of the use of technology, sources of information, and the value of information. Students identified areas of transfer from the workplace to school. Teachers were found to lack knowledge of these workplace information environments.
Conclusion Focusing on the workplace information environment was a valuable learning experience for students, and could potentially improve their information literacy practices. Teachers could benefit from having a greater focus on workplace information environments.