Developing locating information in books in the fifth grade of the elementary school
The aim of this research is to investigate the development of locating information in books in the fifth grade of the elementary school. The dilemma, according to the review of the literature, is that many students are not competent to locate information even in the most common source, the book, and that those who are responsible for developing these skills in schools are themselves suffering from some kind of weakness. Indeed, there is not even a program which is accepted by the whole scientific community in this area. The review of the literature also provides us with some idea about bridging the gaps of those who are responsible for the development of these skills in schools, and brings us closer to the very heart of the contents of these skills. Based on this state-of-the-art, the researcher designed a learning package program relating to the location of information in books for fifth graders of the elementary school, and he also designed a test for measuring the efficiency of this program. The learning package program was implemented and tested in Israel in two elementary schools with teacher-librarians and with well equipped libraries through collaboration between the researcher and the educational context. One of the schools was of a low socio-economic status, and the other was of a high socio-economic status. On the one hand the results strengthen the findings of the literature regarding the skill gaps of students and the lack of sufficient stimulation in schools, and on the other hand the results also reveal the possibility of improving, in many cases significantly, the location of information in books, by exposing students to the learning package program. This study reveals, moreover, that it is possible to bring teachers closer to the area of locating information in books in particular, and even to close the gaps between information skills and the educational context in general. Implications for teachers and librarians are included as well as recommendations for future research.