Auditing information literacy skills of secondary school students in Singapore

Shaheen Majid, Yun-Ke Chang, Shubert Foo
2016, Vol. 10, No. 1, pp. 44-66

Abstract


The aim of this study was to assess the information literacy (IL) and cyber-wellness skills of secondary 3 (grade 9) students, who are aged 14-15, in Singapore. The Ministry of Education in Singapore has introduced aspects of IL in schools through incorporating components into the syllabi of various subjects. A pilot-tested online survey, validated by IL experts from Canada, Hong Kong, Kuwait and Thailand, was used for data collection. The survey was taken by 2,458 students from 11 secondary schools in different geographical zones of Singapore. It was found that the use of school libraries and their resources was at a very low level. The majority of the students approached classmates and friends for help in solving their information-related problems. Only a small fraction consulted their school librarian. The overall IL assessment score showed that the students possessed a ‘middle’ level of IL skills which is better than previous (pre-curriculum integration) IL assessment studies in Singapore. As curriculum-embedded IL skills are taught by subject teachers, their level of preparedness could be a matter of concern. Similarly, fragmentation of IL concepts in different subject textbooks may cause co-ordination problems among teachers. This paper highlights the need for developing a roadmap for providing IL skills at different grade levels and in different subject areas. It is expected that the findings of this study will be useful to curriculum planners, teachers, schools librarians and others involved in IL education.    


Keywords


information literacy; skills assessment; school libraries; secondary education; curriculum integration; Singapore; cyber-wellness

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.11645/10.1.2068

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