Year of Publication

2002

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Document Type

Dissertation

College

Education

Department

Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Joan Mazur

Abstract

Information literacy has become a priority in education. Elementary school library media specialists daily encounter the dilemma of having to teach information literacy skills without having time to do it adequately. With the proliferation of computers in schools, the possibility exists that students could use web-based information literacy tutorials or guides when teachers or librarians are not available. This study examines fifth grade students' perceptions of using on-line, web-based assistance to help them work through a research process, the Big6 . Qualitative research was conducted in 1998-1999 with ten students of diverse background and reading ability who were ten or eleven years old. Data collection instruments included questionnaires , interviews , observations , computer log files , student journals , researcher field notes , and student projects. The investigation raised new questions about the practice of inquiry with fifth grade students. Findings show that students were reluctant to use the on-line assistance, were looking for answers to factual questions, and had a "school research" mindset that did not result in disciplined inquiry . Although some students learned new research strategies, the on-line assistance did not prompt students to practice disciplined inquiry that begins with meaningful questions includes human mentoring and confrontation. Discussion revolves around the implications of the findings for information literacy standards, the Big6 approach on which the instructional intervention was designed, and classroom instruction for disciplined inquiry . Findings from this dissertation study suggest that students need to learn to use a framework or process to perform inquiry, guided by teachers and librarians who collaboratively follow students' processes with support and scaffolding through mentoring and social negotiation.

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