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A study of Ghanaian teacher trainees' conceptions of information literacy.

Essel, J, E. (2016) A study of Ghanaian teacher trainees' conceptions of information literacy. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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This research aimed to explore the variation in how teacher trainees from a non-Western educational context (Ghana) experience and conceptualize information literacy (IL) through a phenomenographic approach. The concept of IL, which originates in the West could be seen and understood differently by different information users in developing countries, including Ghana. A number of studies have begun to focus on the understandings of IL from a phenomenographic perspective, forming a new way of looking at IL from subjects’ conceptualizations of it in different contexts. This particular focus on IL in different information landscapes is seen as a way of broadening the viewpoint and creating a sound theoretical base for the concept. The present study, which is contextualized in this body of research, proposes that ideas about teaching and learning of information literacy and the way trainee teachers are educated in information literacy need to be reorganized to reflect how teacher trainees themselves conceptualize IL. There is limited research focusing on how student teachers experience, understand, and conceptualize information literacy. The study presented here investigated the experiences of 25 teacher trainees who were in their second year at the University of Education, Winneba in Ghana. Data were collected in 2012/13 through semi structured, open-ended, face-to-face-interviews. The analysis which yielded five categories of conceptions showed that, although participants understood IL, it made more sense to them in terms of the information literate teacher (ILT). The five categories describing the ILT were: having linguistic, mainly English language competence; knowing about ICTs for communication and information retrieval purposes; having critical awareness; knowledge-building and, finally, exhibiting professional growth and development. This formed an inclusive hierarchy. While none of the experiences in this study is regarded as inherently better than another, the inclusive nature of the relationships between the categories indicates that each succeeding step in the hierarchy represents a more complex and inclusive awareness of various aspects of IL. Apart from contributing to a comprehensive understanding of information literacy in general, the outcome space in particular can provide a framework for designing an information literacy curriculum to educate teachers as information literates at UEW. The contributions of this research are revealing experiences of IL in a non-Western context and illuminating the conceptions of teacher trainees.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: information literacy; teacher trainees' phenomenography; Ghana; University of education; Winneba; conceptions; awareness
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield)
The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > Information School (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.694487
Depositing User: Mr J, E. Essel
Date Deposited: 04 Oct 2016 15:30
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2018 09:27
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/14360

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