IT education has become a key skill for higher education students, but the teaching of this subject is often ineffective. Office‐related, “button‐pushing” skills are…
IT education has become a key skill for higher education students, but the teaching of this subject is often ineffective. Office‐related, “button‐pushing” skills are passed onto students via standardised packages with little regard for context and individual needs. Attempts to use IT to foster more critical and foundational faculties are lacking. The potential impacts of this approach are investigated with the aid of the critical theory of Jürgen Habermas, and his concept of colonisation. As they are amongst the agents for the transmission and reproduction of society, educators in any subject have a responsibility to structure and deliver their teaching in a critical, bottom‐up fashion. This especially applies to IT education.
The purpose of this paper is to advocate and contribute to a more nuanced and discerning argument when ascribing a democratic role to libraries and activities related to…
The purpose of this paper is to advocate and contribute to a more nuanced and discerning argument when ascribing a democratic role to libraries and activities related to information literacy.
The connections between democracy and libraries as well as between citizenship and information literacy are analysed by using Mouffe’s agonistic pluralism. One example is provided by a recent legislative change (the new Swedish Library Act) and the documents preceding it. A second, more detailed example concerns how information literacy may be conceptualised when related to young women’s sexual and reproductive health. Crucial in both examples are the suggestions of routes to travel that support equality and inclusion for all.
Within an agonistic approach, democracy concerns equality and interest in making efforts to include the less privileged. The inclusion of a democratic aim, directed towards everyone, for libraries in the new Library Act can be argued to emphasise the political role of libraries. A liberal and a radical understanding of information literacy is elaborated, the latter is advocated. Information literacy is also analysed in a non-essentialist manner, as a description of a learning activity, therefore always value-laden.
The agonistic reading of two central concepts in library and information studies, namely, libraries and information literacy is fruitful and shows how the discipline may contribute to strengthen democracy in society both within institutions as libraries and in other settings.
Purpose – This chapter contributes to the development of informed learning pedagogy by examining its innately political character. Through examining issues of power that arise in a particular educational setting, the aim is to illuminate how power (and resistance to it) needs to be carefully considered by practitioners who engage with informed learning pedagogy.
Theoretical Approach – Foucault’s view of power, defining it as something that can be both generative and repressive, and which works only in combination with resistance to this power, is specifically drawn on to illuminate how dialogues between students give rise to changed information practices.
Design – Twenty groups of learners, each of five to seven students, engaged in a series of three complex informed learning activities, and generated extensive datasets as they recorded their dialogues to online discussion boards within the Blackboard course management system used on a postgraduate course in educational technology. These data were supplemented by interviews with a number of students and the course tutor.
Findings – The information practices of the groups developed in different ways depending on a number of factors consistent with informed learning. Students were motivated by achieving high grades, and data reveal that students respond to surveillance from teaching staff and each other by communicating outside of the official discussion board space. This is illuminating because by resisting power in this way students develop new practices that are specifically relevant to their group, and shows how dominant power and resistance to it help develop facets of informed learning.
Decision making processes within environmental social movement organizations are analysed with reference to principles derived from the communicative rationality of Jürgen…
Decision making processes within environmental social movement organizations are analysed with reference to principles derived from the communicative rationality of Jürgen Habermas. Habermas can provide normative grounds for consensual decision making, and analytical tools by which one can judge existing practices. The radical environmental organization chosen as an example of such analysis is Earth First!. But insight is also given into the operations of more hierarchical organizations such as Friends of the Earth. Organization theory can be used to show how these two different types of organization legitimate themselves in order to acquire resources from their environments, and thereby effectively engage in their chosen activities. These differing needs and structures impact upon their respective decision making processes in certain ways. Overall, while FOE is less able to put communicative rationality into practice than radical groups, the difficulties it faces here can potentially be overcome. Both organizational forms can therefore be constructively analysed using the principles of communicative rationality.
This chapter reports on a project undertaken during the author's two-term tenure as President of The World Council of Comparative Education Societies (WCCES) to document…
This chapter reports on a project undertaken during the author's two-term tenure as President of The World Council of Comparative Education Societies (WCCES) to document the history of this organization. The WCCES was founded at the First World Congress of Comparative Education, held in Ottawa, Canada in 1970. The author attended that First World Congress as a young academic and has subsequently attended five of the eleven World Congresses held to date. The two-volume Proceedings of the First World Congress of Comparative Education Societies was helpful in commencing this project.
It is now forty years since there appeared H. R. Plomer's first volume Dictionary of the booksellers and printers who were at work in England, Scotland and Ireland from…
It is now forty years since there appeared H. R. Plomer's first volume Dictionary of the booksellers and printers who were at work in England, Scotland and Ireland from 1641 to 1667. This has been followed by additional Bibliographical Society publications covering similarly the years up to 1775. From the short sketches given in this series, indicating changes of imprint and type of work undertaken, scholars working with English books issued before the closing years of the eighteenth century have had great assistance in dating the undated and in determining the colour and calibre of any work before it is consulted.