School students, information retrieval and transfer

James Edward Herring

Abstract


This study sought to examine the views of students, teachers and teacher librarians on students' attitudes to, use of, and reflections on, information retrieval, when completing curricular assignments. A second element of the research was to investigate the views of students, teachers and teacher librarians on the extent to which students might transfer information retrieval skills across time and across subjects. The research was carried out in three rural Australian schools. A constructivist grounded theory approach was taken in the study, and data was collected in the form of student diaries and questionnaires, and interviews with students and staff. Constructivist grounded analysis was used to analyse and interpret data. Findings from the study indicated that a minority of students both valued and would transfer information retrieval skills; the majority of students valued information retrieval skills but were unlikely to transfer skills without prompting; and a very small minority of students could not understand the concepts of information retrieval and transfer. The study also found that the schools lacked a culture of transfer.

Keywords


school students; information literacy; information retrieval; transfer

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ISSN 1756-1086 (Online)