Education for the Future

By Hayes, L. Susan | Information Outlook, January 1999 | Go to article overview

Education for the Future


Hayes, L. Susan, Information Outlook


In this era of continuous learning, we will see many changes in academic institutions in general as well as in the departments that deal specifically with library information studies. Some of the trends that are coming into focus include implications for a learning centered environment (rather than an a focus on the traditional "access to information, campus-based" one), meaning that information goes to the people rather than the other way around. Another trend is moving toward more consumer oriented courses and programs that are self paced, with different methods for different students. This will provide equitable access in a more active learning (not lecture-based) environment, resulting in a need for different kinds of student assessments.

For educational reform, faculty will need improved knowledge of integrative skills and different classroom structures (we see this now with distance education). Administrators will need different performance measures for the faculty. Other changes may include such things as creating a master databank of courses so each institution doesn't have to re-create the same basic courses or a master databank of student learning as each person adds to a lifetime of skill development. There will certainly be more collaborations among institutions, businesses, and foundations for new funding models (who can count on alumni when they may have taken courses from twenty different places?!).

Members of the American Library Association are concerned about the changing scope of library information science departments and the accrediting process. They have called a meeting on this subject in partnership with other interested organizations to be held April 30-May 1, 1999, in the Washington, DC area.

I am on the steering committee to plan this "Congress on Profession Education." Attendance at the congress will be limited to approximately one-hundred invited participants from a wide range of library and information organizations, especially those involved in the accreditation process and in recruitment and education for the profession, for example ASIS, MLA, AALL, CanadianLA, BlackLA, Hispanic (REFORMA)LA, SchoolLA, NCATE, etc.

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