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Title: Exploring information literacy (IL) practices in primary schools : a case of Pakistan
Author: Shahid, Syeda Hina
ISNI:       0000 0004 5990 4231
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2016
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Information literacy (IL) is an opportunity for those who want to be independent learners. This study explored the IL practices in primary schools of Lahore, Pakistan. The literature review process identified that there is dearth of research based studies on IL in Pakistan. In Pakistan IL practices can be grouped into two categories: formal and informal. Unfortunately, these efforts have not been reported in the literature. The researcher based on her personal knowledge can confirm that most of the IL efforts in Pakistan are informal and at higher education level. Therefore, the study aimed to illuminate IL practices of teachers and pupils in primary schools in Lahore through an exploratory multiple case study approach. This study adopted a social constructivist stance (which is often combined with an interpretive approach) to investigate IL practices. Lahore is one of the big cities of Pakistan and capital city of the province Punjab (Pakistan). The ontological and epistemological stance of the present study takes a qualitative approach to understand the phenomenon in depth. After considering four possible qualitative methods (Phenomenography, Phenomenology, Grounded Theory and case study) case study approach was identified as having the best fit with the study’s objectives. The data was gathered through interviews, focus groups, task based activities, documents analysis and observation, in order to see the situation from different lenses. Additionally, the national Pakistani context for primary school education was outlined, and key elements of the Pakistani National Curriculum were analysed for evidence of IL. Situational analysis was adopted as a second approach to analysing the data, to explore the research aim in a wider context. The six primary schools’ (Public, Private trust, Private un-registered and Private elite class) cases were identified and selected after seeking data collection permission. The study participants were grade one and two teachers (class teachers and English language teachers), school children (5-7 years of age) and librarians. In total 11 teachers’ interviews, two librarians’ interviews and 12 focus groups with pupils were conducted from selected primary schools. The findings revealed that there was no IL practice in public, private trust and private un-registered schools. In addition, findings highlighted that teachers were teaching through traditional methods and the content of activity based and inquiry based teaching was missing. However, in the elite class private school, teachers were motivated and conducting classroom activities including creative writing and practice of thinking skills in order to organize information. It emerged that the school librarian and library teacher in public and elite class private schools had no role in IL instruction and they were not aware of this concept. Additionally, the results of six activity based tasks which were conducted after focus groups to assess children’s IL skills revealed that children had limited exposure to a variety of information sources. They ranked their elder brother/sisters and sources (books) used by them as very high. On the other hand, elite class private school children ranked internet (Google) and books high as their information sources. Analysis of related documents (English language, Mathematics and General Knowledge national curriculum and teacher guides) showed that English language curriculum and teacher guides have many provisions to integrate IL instruction, however the curriculum was not in practice in the selected schools. The researcher is the first person who investigated the information literacy situation at primary school level in Pakistan using a novel combination of thematic and situational analysis. The national implementation IL model based which emerged from the findings can be used by practitioners who wish to foster greater engagement with IL at the primary school level, and as a guide for future researchers. An Information literacy process- based framework for primary school children in Pakistan is proposed, based on case study findings. Finally, the situational analysis has revealed key factors which are implicated in the Pakistani context for IL in primary school education.
Supervisor: Webber, Sheila ; Sen, Barbara Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available