Practices of ambiguity: Becoming “information literate” in two Norwegian schools

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Margrethe B. Søvik


The purpose of this study is to examine the establishment of information literacy (IL) practices among secondary school pupils aged 14 to16 (grades 9-10) in two Norwegian schools. In Norway, a new curriculum introduced in 2006 emphasised digital skills, aiming to develop IL relating to digital texts in particular. Despite the fact that an ambitious national curriculum has been in place for quite some time, not much is known about how this works in practice in the subject group of this study. The main purpose of this article is to identify the kind of IL practices that have been established and how the pupils experience and reproduce these practices.

It seems that the pupils become information literate but not to the extent the curriculum anticipates. The study used mixed methods in order to reveal general trends and to explore certain issues in more depth. The material consists of data from a questionnaire and interviews. The study has a sociocultural perspective as its theoretical point of departure, resting on an understanding of how IL practices in school are formed through interaction and/or the lack of interaction between pupils and their teachers. Without interaction guiding the pupils, their IL practices are at the risk of becoming practices of ambiguity. The implications of this study is that one must go beyond national curricula and examine the way IL or digital literacy is actually performed in schools in order to understand how these practices are shaped.

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How to Cite
SØVIK, Margrethe B.. Practices of ambiguity: Becoming “information literate” in two Norwegian schools. Journal of Information Literacy, [S.l.], v. 8, n. 2, p. 101–117, nov. 2014. ISSN 1750-5968. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 31 mar. 2023. doi:
Special Section: Information Literacy in Schools