Teaching Source Evaluation

“Teaching and Un-Teaching Source Evaluation” discusses experimenting with a different method of teaching students how to analysis authority in sources within a library instruction setting. The article advocated placing an emphasis on information literacy, rather than only instructing students about more traditional academic sources and library resources. I really like the way the researchers required students to analysis their own assumptions about a variety of sources, including Wikipedia, and to discuss this as a small group and then a class. To me this seems like an effective method of achieving the researchers’ goals of improving information literacy and encouraging the development of the students’ own authority. This allows students to take control of their own learning while learning to question the power structures that define traditional scholarship and sources that they have always been taught to view as authoritative and trustworthy. This is immensely important and powerful as it aims to inspire a critical thinking and evaluation of any source a student might come into contact with during their education, and their life. The researcher’s emphasis on lived experience as a source of authority for the student as serves to create a more balanced classroom where students feel more comfortable making such evolutions and critiques. The quote from Maria Accardi the authors included in their conclusion really says it all: “we can ‘in our own ways, however small, clear out space for creative disruption, for thoughtful experimentation, and for subtle but satisfying interruptions of the structures that govern us, and, ultimately, contribute to student learning in a positive and long-lasting way’” (Angell & Tewell, 2017, p. 115).

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