May 6

Information Literacy and My Role at School

Reflect on what you can take from the discussion of information literacy to your IL role in school.

First and foremost, after reading through the discussions around Information Literacy (IL) in the course material, it has become clear and obvious that no clear definition of IL exists and that our own notions of the concept will ultimately affect how we plan for and teach it (Bruce, Edwards & Lupton, 2006, p. 2).

Bruce, Edwards and Lupton (2006, p. 3) outline six different frames through which IL can be viewed: content, competency, learning to learn, relational, social impact, and personal relevance. Each frame has a different view of IL, view of information, curriculum focus, view of teaching and learning, view of content, and view of assessment (Bruce, Edwards & Lupton, 2006, pp. 4-5).

I think that as I have more experience in library and information literacy teaching, my position amongst the frames will become clearer. At this stage, I think I see IL through both the competency and learning to learn frames, as my previous school adopted a series of experiences for students that focussed on learning to learn, which was important for students in our low socio-economic area. The competency frame seems simple, and perhaps the easiest to apply to the competency-based assessment and reporting that is so common in schools at which I have worked.

I can certainly see the distinction between the behaviourist and sociocultural approaches to IL, as well as the importance of placing IL into context. Kutner & Armstrong (2012, p. 25) note that a skills-based approach alone is not enough to facilitate deep IL learning. As such, as I work towards employment in a school or public library, I will need to implement a balanced mixture of both approaches.


Bruce, C., Edwards, S., & Lupton, M. (2006). Six frames for information literacy education: A conceptual framework for interpreting the relationships between theory and practice. Innovation in Teaching and Learning in Information and Computer Sciences, 5(1), 1-18. doi: 10.11120/ital.2006.05010002

Kutner, L., & Armstrong, A. (2012). Rethinking information literacy in a globalised world. Communications in Information Literacy, 6(1), 24-33. doi: 10.15760/comminfolit.2012.6.1.115

March 18

A Fiction v Non-fiction Smackdown

Is tension between fiction and non-fiction a trend you have seen in your workplace?

Over the course of my time at Willsden Primary School in 2014, 2015 and 2017, I observed, from a distance, not so much a “smackdown” between fiction and non-fiction books (Mosle, 2012, para. 8) but a never-ending directional change. The changes occurred in the context of reading assessments, in particular, whether or not students should be tested using only fiction texts, only non-fiction texts, or a balanced mixture of both.

Initially, reading assessments were conducted using only fiction texts as it was assumed that this was the type of text that students had been most exposed to and, therefore, were most likely to achieve success with. Non-fiction texts set up for assessments were available but used rarely, as a backup to fiction.

Soon, it became apparent that students weren’t building on the skills they needed to successfully read non-fiction texts, even though the school’s reading results were improving. A new policy was agreed upon – fiction texts were to be used in terms 1 and 3, non-fiction texts were to be used in terms 2 and 4.

When students read non-fiction texts they:

  • grow and build on their interest in the topic.
  • see and reflect on examples of nonfiction writing.
  • upskill in comprehension, questioning and summarising strategies.

(National Library of NZ, 2014)

When comprehension became a school focus, some staff argued that teaching comprehension through non-fiction texts would be easier and build a foundation for students’ comprehension of fiction texts.

I believe that the school has stuck to its two-term fiction / two-term non-fiction policy, although the way that reading assessments are being conducted is changing dramatically. Soon, a flexible arrangement may be implemented. In this case, the teacher may use professional judgement as to which type of book is used for an assessment at any given time with a particular student.

I worry that by placing an emphasis on either fiction or nonfiction texts, students will have gaps in their skill base. As such, achieving balance between fiction and non-fiction in the library collection is important (Giavenco, 2019).

To fulfill K-5 standards in The United States, teachers must ensure they teach a 50-50 balance between fiction and non-fiction (Common Core State Standards Initiative, 2019, para. 14). In contrast, the Australian Curriculum does not mandate an exact percentage balance, although it calls for students to experience a wide range of relevant literary texts, including “fiction for young adults and children” and “a variety of non-fiction” (ACARA, 2019, para. 12). Clearly, the library collection must have a balanced mixture of both to support the requirements of the curriculum.


ACARA. (2019). Key ideas | The Australian Curriculum. Retrieved from

Common Core State Standards Initiative. (2019). Key Shifts in English Language Arts. Retrieved from

Giavenco, G. (2019). 2.2 The Balanced Collection. In ETL503: Resourcing the Curriculum, [Learning module]. Retrieved from Charles Sturt University website:

Mosle, S. (2012, November 22). What Should Children Read? [Blog Post]. Opinionator: The New York Times. Retrieved from

National Library of New Zealand. (2014). Non-fiction. National Library of New Zealand Services to Schools. Retrieved from