Montreal - The APSDS Symposium entitled Growing, learning, understanding: imagining a continuum of information skills in elementary and secondary schools took place on November 4 at the Palais des Congrès. Intended for school staff working in libraries, this event took place within the framework of the second congress of documentary circles. Infobourg attended one of the workshops of the conference.
Thierry karsenti, of the Canada Research Chair in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in Education and Gabriel Dumouchel, doctoral student in educational psychology at the University of Montreal, shared the results of a study on information skills future teachers and the potential impact of these results on primary and secondary students.
To begin, Mr. Karsenti clarified his vision of the teaching profession and that of librarian by qualifying them as “2 solitudes”. According to him, there is a lack of interaction between these professionals who both work with students with the same objective, that of helping young people in the search and analysis of information.
Access to information was then discussed. According to Karsenti, this is no longer a problem nowadays even as some statistics have overturned the idea that students in disadvantaged areas do not have access to information.
Moreover, it is only natural to think that teachers have to be skilled with technologies in order to be able to teach their students how to use them. Mr. Dumouchel therefore presented the results of a study conducted among future teachers. This shows that teaching students perceive themselves to be very good at teaching information skills to students. This impression stems from the fact that they use the computer, the Internet and search engines every day, in a proportion of 91%. In addition, they think they are critical of the information they find on the Web. However, the majority of them are unable to name a scientific search engine such as Google Scholar and only 45% verify whether the information found on the Internet is true.
The conclusion of the study is therefore that future teachers think they are competent to teach young people information skills since they seek information on the Web every day. But in fact, the results also show that they do not master the skills necessary to adequately teach this skill to young people.
This conference demonstrated that the models of what information skills training should be do not take into account the reality of young people. Also, according to Karsenti and Dumouchel, it is essential that schools soon begin to rigorously teach information skills to young people, as is currently done in California. In fact, information skills training is mandatory for students in this state. The relationship between teachers and librarians also needs to be improved and this can be done by creating partnerships. This would allow the two professions to come out of their loneliness and finally work together to train young people in information skills.