Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Information Literacy, Self-Concept and Metacognitive Ability of Teacher-Librarians at the University of Zululand

Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Information Literacy, Self-Concept and Metacognitive Ability of Teacher-Librarians at the University of Zululand

Article excerpt

1.Introduction

The contemporary setting is overwhelmed by all kinds of information: relevant, irrelevant, current, dependable, authoritative, and so on. In confirming this, Ebersol (2000) acknowledged that among the 500 sites used by Colorado high school students, only 27% were from reliable sources. With the advent of the Internet and the magnitude of information available on it, access to appropriate and accurate information becomes demanding as a result of many unauthentic sources which information seekers are confronted with on a regular basis (Filson & Kwafoa, 2016:2).

To worsen the situation, the application of information technology requires special skills; therefore employers attract teachers with effective and ethical ability to use, sieve and filter relevant, dependable and accurate information from the irrelevant ones in order to increase productivity (Dadzie, 2008). Therefore, formal education is deficient if devoid of the knowledge of information literacy, especially now that information has become a product through which modern development flourishes. Durodolu and Ocholla (2016:2) affirm that, comparatively, information literacy is to teachers what compass is to sailors. Consequently, without appropriate tools, navigating information resources will be problematic. In view of this, Kurbanoglu (2003:635) suggested that the contemporary information consumer needs to demonstrate confidence, buoyancy, poise and self-assurance which unarguably form the substratum of lifelong learning and trigger the ability to appraise, discover, utilise, fabricate and share information with the aid of modern technology.

The responsibility of teachers in making useful information available to students is significant. As a result of this, teachers should be able to acquire information literacy skills to facilitate their own knowledge-formation activities that will positively influence the abilities of their future students (Purcell & Barrell, 2014:57). The authors further disclosed that many teachers lack the knowledge of information literacy because they were not exposed to the knowledge at the preservice, graduate and continuing education programmes and this has constituted an impediment to how they can assist students in the classroom. The Association of College and Research Libraries (2011) suggested five standards expected to enhance the quality of information-literate teachers: skills to know when information is needed, appropriate way to access information, information evaluation ability, suitable information use capacity, and ethical use of information. Rapchak, et al (2015: 135) also stated that information literacy is necessary because it will enable teachers to access and navigate the increasing world of information, properly choose trustworthy and dependable information they need, read critically and think independently as they generate their own ideas, and then use that refined information for the promotion of their academic career.

Self-concept symbolises the awareness, understanding and knowledge an individual has of himself or herself which form the foundation for personality development. This inner perception could be constructive or unconstructive. A teacher's ability to acquire career-transforming ability, such as information literacy, will suffer a major setback without a constructive and an optimistic view of self. However, in the observation of Sanchez and Roda (2003:98), there is correlation between this characteristic trait and academic performance, because it influences social competency, thinking patterns and value systems which are qualities that influence human behaviour, especially that of teachers whose role and responsibility is to interact with student with the goal of motivating them for better performance.

As a result of the overwhelming amount of information that a modern teacher needs to access in order to give students cutting-edge advantage in knowledge and understanding, Erfanmanesh, Abdullah and Karim (2014:48) opined that a high level of self-concept is required of educators, in order to surmount information anxiety which is a major hindrance to quick access to relevant information resources and a leading cause of frustration especially for teachers who need daily information to conduct research, curriculum development and meet the needs of learners with diverse abilities and disabilities. …

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