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Secondary school students and the information seeking process Rowe, Marion Elizabeth Anne Mosley 1993

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UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIAAugust, 1993SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS AND THE INFORMATION SEEKINGPROCESSbyMarion Elizabeth Anne Mosley RoweB. A., Mount Allison University, 1958B. L. S., University of Toronto, 1959A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OFTHE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OFMASTER OF ARTSinTHE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES(Department of Language Education)We accept this thesis as conformingto the required standard© Marion Elizabeth Anne Mosley Rowe, 1993In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanceddegree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make itfreely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensivecopying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of mydepartment or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying orpublication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my writtenpermission.(SignatureDepartment ofThe University of British ColumbiaVancouver, CanadaDateDE-6 (2/88)ABSTRACTThe purpose of this study was to discover what perceptionssecondary school students held of the information seeking process andwhat behaviours the students used to initiate and carry out aninformation search.The study was conducted in a secondary school in North CentralBritish Columbia, with students from Two Grade 8 and two Grade 10Humanities classes. Data was collected by means of student journalwritings, recorded interviews with randomly selected students and byparticipant observation.The study revealed that students held five principal perceptionsabout information seeking: that it provided active involvement for them intheir own education; that it was a positive experience; that it made themaware of the importance of practising self discipline; that it taught themskills they needed to locate and select information as well as analyze,record and classify information; and that an information search involvedvarying degrees of student frustration. The study further revealed thatstudent behaviours during a search for information were grouped intothree areas: initiating behaviours; recording, analyzing and classifyingbehaviours; and organizational behaviours.Two further findings were stated: the importance of previous studentpractice with cooperatively planned projects; as well as the significance oflocating computer facilities visibly adjacent to the School Library ResourceCentre in elementary and secondary schools.•t ITABLE OF CONTENTSAbstract^ iiAcknowledgementsChapter 1Introduction^ 1Purpose of the Study^ 1Rationale for the Study 2Background to the Study^ 3Research Questions 5Definition of Terms^ 6Chapter 2Literature Review^ 9Information Seeking Skills^ 9Student Perceptions and Behaviours and the InformationSeeking Process 11Critical Thinking and Use of Evaluating and MonitoringStrategies During Information Seeking 15Chapter 3Methodology^ 23Conduct of the Study^ 23Limitations of the Study 28Data Collection^ 28Data Analysis 32i i iChapter 4Results of the Study^ 35Perceptions of the Information Seeking Process^37Student Behaviours During the Information SeekingProcess^ 51Differences in Perceptions and Behaviours of Grade 8and Grade 10 Students^ 59Discussion^ 62Chapter 5Summary, Conclusions and Implications^ 71Summary^ 71Conclusions and Implications^ 71Reference List^ 76AppendicesAppendix A. Sample Journal Prompts^84Appendix B. Sample Interview Questions 85Appendix C. Elementary and Secondary SchoolProfiles^ 87Appendix D. Letters. 102ivACKNOWLEDGEMENTSDuring the course of this study, I received help from many to whomthanks are due.Thank you to the staff and students who helped me by participatingin the study; also to my two Principals, Mr. D. Hallman and Mrs. B. Rosslerand my colleague, Mrs. M. Giffin, for their support.Thank you to Dr. R. Jobe who steered me through the process andalso for his good advice and hours of editing.Thanks to Koukla, Orphan Annie, Kora, Bamsa, Eromeni, Tesseraand Epti (not a dog, but a cat) for their perpetual cheerfulness and theirentertaining, eclectic behaviour.Thank you Blaine for your complete support, your editing andproofreading skills and your good English grammar.vCHAPTER 1.INTRODUCTIONThis study addresses the perceptions and behaviours of studentsseeking information in a world now full of information. A single quotationillustrates the extent to which computers have changed the status andavailability of information. "If the automobile had undergone the sameevolution over the past 20 years as the computer, your car would travel at500,000 miles an hour, would go a million miles on one gallon of gasolineand would cost less than $1000.00!" (L'Actualitè, 1993.) A betterunderstanding of the ways in which students perceive information seekingand their behaviours during information seeking would enable educatorsto devise information seeking strategies which will assist students incoping with this new and challenging world.PURPOSE OF THE STUDYThe purpose of this study is to gather, examine and analyzeinformation about the perceptions and behaviours of secondary schoolstudents during the information seeking process.RATIONALE FOR THE STUDYInformation seeking perceptions of adults have been investigatedand theories concerning the way they proceed through information seekinghave been formulated, yet there appears to be little research on theinformation seeking perceptions of adolescents. ( Ingwersen, 1982;Jakobovits & Nahl-Jakobovits, 1987; Taylor, 1968; Wilson, 1981.)Similarly, little is known about children and adolescents as informationusers. (Hiland, 1988; Leisener, 1985; Moore & St. George, 1991.) Data inthese areas, looking at the user rather than the system, would helpteacher librarians and other librarians who work with adolescents designbetter information skills curricula, more suited to the needs of this agegroup. (Derwin, 1992; Hiland, 1988; Kuhlthau, 1988a; Kuhlthau, Turock,George & Belvin, 1990.)A look at adolescent perceptions of the information seeking processand adolescent behaviours during this process should yield insight intothe application of planning and monitoring strategies to the informationseeking process by adolescents. (Allen, 1991.) Planning and monitoringstrategies are collected under the term "metacognitive strategies" andinclude such mental operations as connecting new knowledge to presentknowledge. (Flavell, 1979.) Some consideration of this area would againyield information which would assist teacher librarians and others indesigning appropriate lessons for different grade levels. (Bertland, 1986)Adolescents are partners in their own education and a look at their2perceptions and behaviours as they engage in information seeking couldalso help teacher librarians and teachers in understanding wheredifficulties may arise during information seeking and where assistancethrough the process is most needed but often not sought. (Durrance, 1989;Keefer, 1993; Swope & Katzer, 1972.)The data gathered from this study will add to the existing body ofknowledge about the information seeking perceptions and behaviours ofadolescents and will be available for use in examining the manner inwhich the information seeking process contributes to the education ofsecondary school students.BACKGROUND TO THE STUDYDuring the last few years computers have become almost a necessityin homes, schools and businesses. The 1980's changed society from anindustrial one to an information one in which the volume of informationavailable, the speed with which it can be transmitted and the theoreticallyunlimited access we have to this information are exceptional. We read ofexecutives who "are discovering that the only thing as difficult anddangerous as managing a large enterprise with too little information ismanaging one with too much" (Meyer, 1987, cited in Eisenberg & Brown,p.100.)A Legacy for Learners, the foundation document which set thecourse for education in British Columbia for at least the next few decades,3states that "Being knowledgeable will become less important than beingcapable of quickly and efficiently processing and assessing informationeffectively to solve problems and make sound decisions." (1988, p. 34.)The realization that there will be almost unlimited access topractically unlimited information and that students need to learn how toprocess, as well as access, information to deal with their world of thefuture brings the information seeking process to the forefront in students'education. Consequently, with increased knowledge of the processes ofinformation seeking, teacher librarians and teachers can be of greaterassistance to students who will be dealing with ever increasing amounts ofinformation. An examination of student perceptions of the informationseeking process would also provide a better understanding of how studentsprocess information and whether they recognize the importance of learninghow to find and use it.4RESEARCH QUESTIONSThe two major research questions examined in this study are asfollows:1. What are the perceptions of Grade 8 and Grade 10 students about theinformation seeking process and do their perceptions differ?This research question involves eliciting the students' feelings aboutthe information seeking process, thereby gaining an insight into whatthey think about the information seeking process.2. What are the information seeking behaviours of Grade 8 and Grade 10students when engaged in the information seeking process?This research question is analyzed by looking at what the studentsdo first, how they proceed after their first step and how they know ordecide when they have completed their information seeking. Innerbehaviours will also be considered by examining any use of strategies formonitoring and evaluating their progress as they engage in informationseeking.5DEFINITION OF TERMSAttitudes - Personally held principles or beliefs that govern much of one'sbehaviour. (Marzano, Brandt, Hughes, Jones, Presseisen, Rankin &Suhov, 1988, p.143.)Cognition - An umbrella term for the processes of perception, discovery,recognition, imagining, judging, memorizing, learning and thinkingthrough which the individual obtains knowledge and conceptualunderstanding or explanation. Cognition is distinct from emotionalprocesses. (Page, 1977, p. 70.)Critical Thinking -The use of specific dispositions and skills such asanalyzing arguments, carefully seeking other points of view and reachingsound conclusions.( Marzano et al., p.143.)Elementary Feeder School - Any elementary school which sends itsstudents on to a specific secondary school is commonly known as a 'feeder'school.Information Seeking Behaviours- Behaviours engaged in by people whenseeking for information.Journal - A notebook in which students record comments pertaining towork in progress.Journal Prompts - Comments provided by the teacher to encouragereflective journal writing.Library Anxiety - A term used to describe a grounded theory which states6that when confronted with the need to gather information in the libraryfor a research paper many students become so anxious that they areunable to approach the problem logically or effectively. (Mellon, 1986.)Metacognition - Metacognition has three basic components: 1) newinformation is connected to present knowledge; 2) thinking strategies arecarefully selected ; 3) thinking processes are planned, monitored andevaluated. ( Blakey & Spence, 1990, p.11.)Observation - A data gathering tool which is planned and systematicallyrecorded.Research Paper, Project or Assignment - in a secondary school settingrefers to a type of assignment which involves the gathering of informationand the organizing of the information gathered in some orderly form by thestudent.Schema Theory - An informal, private, unarticulated theory about thenature of the events, objects, or situations. (Kulleseid, 1986, p. 41.)School Library Resource Centre - Refers to the area in a school where afull range of information sources, associated equipment and services fromlibrary staff are accessible to students, school personnel and the schoolcommunity. Media centre, Learning Materials Centre, Learning ResourceCentre and other such terms will only be used in a direct quote or in atitle.Semi-structured Interview - An interview guided by a set of questions andissues to be explored but neither the exact wording nor the order of thequestions is predetermined. (Meriam, 1990, p.86.)7Teacher Librarian - A person who holds a professional teaching certificate,who has also had training in school librarianship and who is in charge ofthe library in a school. Teacher librarian will be used instead of termssuch as Media Specialist, Media Centre Director and Resource CentreTeacher, except when these terms are used in a direct quotation or in atitle.Thinking Skills - Relatively complex and time consumingcognitive operations, such as concept formation, problem solving andcomposing, that commonly employ one or more core thinking skills(Marzano et al.)8CHAPTER 2.LITERATURE REVIEWThis literature review, after an introduction to the teaching ofinformation seeking skills within the context of cooperative planningbetween teacher librarians and classroom teachers, examines literaturedealing with students perceptions of and behaviours during theinformation seeking process, as well as literature on the critical thinkingprocesses of adolescents. The planning and evaluation techniques used byadolescents to monitor their thinking will also receive attention.INFORMATION SEEKING SKILLSThere was general agreement in the literature that informationseeking skills should be taught to students through the use of curriculumbased, cooperatively planned, school library resource centre projects.(British Columbia Teacher Librarians' Association, 1986; Haycock, 1981;Lundin, 1983.) Practitioners have long articulated that unless theseskills were integrated with classroom instruction, there was littlepossibility that they would be retained by the students until such time asthey were needed. (Haycock, 1985; Haycock, 1989.)There was also general agreement in the literature that information9seeking skills, taught by means of cooperatively planned, curricularprojects should be taught in a sequential order, moving beyond theteaching of location skills to encompass the whole range of informationskills which students needed to make informed decisions and to lay thegroundwork for lifelong learning. (Alberta Education, 1985; Ontario.Ministry of Education, 1982; Saskatchewan Association of EducationalMedia Specialists, 1986.)Numerous sequential skill programs have been designed, outliningin detail the information skills to be taught and placing them in a logicalteaching order, building the skills one upon another and enabling them tobe incorporated into curriculum based, cooperatively planned, informationseeking projects. These sequential skill programs were used by teacherlibrarians and classroom teachers as guides when planning projects and asassessment tools when reflecting upon school library resource centre andclassroom progress in teaching information seeking skills. (CoquitlamSchool District No. 43, 1988; Prince George School District 57, 1987.)Extending beyond scope and sequence charts or sequential skillprograms were research models developed by practitioners in the schoollibrary field. These models outlined the steps undertaken by studentsengaged in information seeking projects and presented a plan or a cyclewhich collected the steps of a research project into groups or clusters ofactivities by which an information seeking project was successfullycompleted. A number of research models existed in the literature such asthe one developed by Espeter & Gray, 1989, which divided the "Information10Cycle" into five steps: Pre-Research; Information Retrieval; InformationProcessing; Information Organizing and Creating; and InformationSharing. Similar models have been developed by Eisenberg & Berkowitz,1990 and Stripling & Pitts, 1988.The literature in this area has established the importance ofteaching information seeking skills within the context of cooperativelyplanned curriculum based projects usually, but not always, within theschool library resource centre.STUDENT PERCEPTIONS AND BEHAVIOURS AND THE INFORMATIONSEEKING PROCESSExamination of the literature indicated that the perceptions ofstudents about the process of seeking for information in a library settinghad a profound effect on their behaviours during the process.Some students had described their feelings toward an informationsearch as consisting mostly of feelings of fear and confusion and ofextreme trepidation at the beginning of a search. (Mellon, 1986) The fearand confusion were intensified because the students felt that there weregreat gaps in their knowledge of libraries and how they worked. Itappeared also that the students had no concept of transferability and didnot understand that information seeking skills learned in one librarysetting could be used in another.1 1These perceptions had influenced the behaviours of some studentsto such a degree that they were unable to approach an information searchin any logical manner and led to the coining of the phrase "libraryanxiety" to describe the condition as a whole. (Collins, Mellon & Young,1987; Mellon, 1986; Mellon, 1988; Mellon & Peagles, 1987.)Students had different motives for seeking information. In somecases the information search arose from personal interest and a need tosatisfy that interest and, at other times, the information search wasassignment or course related. In either case, the information search wasdirected by these needs. (Stripling and Pitts, 1988.)Psychological needs also influenced how a student approached aninformation search and had an influence on the sources a student used tosatisfy the information need. Students who needed the approval of otherstended to use family and friends as sources and students who neededintellectual stimulation used libraries and experts as sources ininformation seeking. (Dunn, 1986.)Different levels of information needs and questions had beenidentified. Beginning with a "visceral need" unexpressed in words, theinformation seeker moved through stages until the "compromised need"stage was reached, where the information seeker was able to express thequestion which he/she expected that the library resources could answer.(Taylor, 1978.) Or, as the ASK theory postulated, the library user beganwith a need for information to resolve a problem and, after deciding thatpresent knowledge was inadequate, interacted with an information system12to obtain the needed information. (Belkin, Oddy & Brooks, 1982.) Thetheory of "personal constructs" (Kelly, 1963) proposed that our actions andfeelings were directed by our ideas and thoughts. These three theories hadbeen linked to information seeking in an effort to understand theperceptions and behaviours of student library users. (Kuhlthau, 1983)Students' experiences with the information search process weredocumented and were found to follow a pattern. Confusion existed at thebeginning of an information search and increasing uncertainty developedas the search continued. When the students were able to find a focus fortheir project, they had reached a significant stage in their search and fromthere on, developed a sense of direction which lasted until the informationsearch was completed. Following this study, (Kuhlthau, 1983) a processmodel of the students' information search was developed. "The processapproach offers a new paradigm for bibliographic instruction and libraryskills programs centering on users' experiences in the search process andtheir changing information problems " (Kuhlthau, 1988a, p.241.)A longitudinal study of students with extensive library experiencewho were familiar with the original process model, a study of streamedhigh school students and a study which used academic, public and schoollibrary resource centre users all verified Kuhlthau's model of theinformation search process and showed a change in students' thoughtsduring the search process from general to more focussed. (Kuhlthau,1988b; Kuhlthau, 1989; Kuhlthau, Turock, George & Belvin, 1990.)Some younger students appeared to have difficulty with the13information seeking process because their knowledge of the Dewey Decimalsystem was not sufficient for the task of information retrieval and alsobecause their perceptions of how books were shelved in the school libraryresource centre hindered their search for information. These difficultiesindicated that "educators and librarians need to take account of students'perceptions of the task, the books, library system, and the informationretrieval process." (Moore & St. George, 1991, p.168)Again, students' facility in generating research questions, selectingsearch areas in a book and evaluating the information found for accuracyand suitability seemed to be age related. Similarly, the ability to useevaluative criteria with regard to information found during a search alsoseemed to vary with age and, in addition, younger students were less awarethat information needed to complete the information search was missing.(Kobasigawa, 1983) Kobasigawa sums up his study in this way "...duringthe upper-level elementary school years, children become increasingly moreskillful at such aspects of the retrieval process as generatng and definingsearch areas and evaluating gathered information and its sources." (p.270.)Student behaviours indicated that most students have basicpatterns of information use. The typical student used two or threedifferent libraries, the principal ones being the school library resourcecentre, the public library and a home library. The use of the public librarywas limited by the availability of transportation. Most students usedbooks more than they used other resources and resources other than14books and journals were not well used. (Mancall & Drott, 1979, 1983.)This examination of the literature concerning students' perceptionsand behaviours during an information seeking project has shown that thestudents' perceptions of the process affected their behaviour. Related tothis, students frequently had difficulties at the beginning of a search,before they had found a focus for their search. Other difficulties with theinformation seeking process appeared to be age related, with youngerstudents having more problems than older ones.CRITICAL THINKING AND PLANNING AND MONITORING STRATEGIESCritical thinking skills are the skills used in the information searchwhen analyzing, evaluating and assessing information found forauthenticity and accuracy. Critical thinking is not a single mentaloperation, nor is it a process similar to problem solving. Rather, it is aseries of discrete operations including: the determination of the reliabilityof a source and the factual accuracy of a statement; the separation ofrelevant from irrelevant information; the detection of bias; and theidentification of ambiguous claims. (Beyer, 1985.)Teaching students to think critically has been identified in theliterature with the teacher librarian in a school, who has been encouragedto assume responsibility for incorporating critical thinking skills acrossthe curriculum with the goal of making the students "information15literate". (Eisenberg & Spitzer, 1991; Hughes, 1986; Jay, 1986; Mancall,Aaron & Walker, 1986.)An examination of the critical thinking of adolescents and theirplanning and monitoring strategies also involves a consideration of thedevelopmental stages of adolescent thinking. Extensive research on thedevelopmental stages in children's and adolescents' thinking has shownthat young children do not think about the thought process and thatschooling advanced their thought processes to a new, reflective level wherethey became aware of both the process and the product. By adolescencestudents were able to analyze their own thinking. (Bruner, 1966, 1973;Inhelder & Piaget, 1958; Lefebvre-Pinard & Pinard, 1985; Vygotsky, 1962.)Four kinds of thinking during the progression from childhood toearly adolescence were identified by Peel, whose research was based uponthat of Inhelder & Piaget. Thematic thinking, exploratory thinking,productive thinking and coordinating and integrative thinking were thestages through which children advanced and "productive and integrativethinking begin to emerge in adolescence..." (Peel, 1960, p.36) These are thethinking strategies used to integrate thinking and form concepts. (Peel,1960, 1971.)Similarly, developmental thinking allowed students to adoptdifferent mental positions as they matured. The first position wasDualism, where knowledge is quantitative and answers exist for everyproblem; the next position was Multiplicity where diversity of opinion waslegitimate when right answers were not yet known; this was followed by16the Relativism stage where knowledge was qualitative and depended oncontext; Commitment was the last step, where decisions were made in theawareness of relativism. Implicit in this model was a development fromdependence on authority for knowledge to independent thinking. (Perry,1970, 1981.) It hs been stated that models such as Perry's also havecontributions towards the development of students' critical thinkingabilities. (Ford, 1984.)Several models of "library learning" have been developed, one ofwhich was designed specifically to assist in the development of levels ofindependent thinking in terms of library use, the theory being that asstudents mature in their thinking, they change in the ways they use thelibrary. (Ford, 1979b.) "When students radically revise their notions ofknowledge, would they not be likely to change their ways of going aboutit?" (Perry, 1981, p.102) The model (Ford, 1979b) links the librarycollection and how it is organized to facilitate access by different usersengaged in resource based learning and information seeking which allowstudents more control over their own learning. The model also takes intoaccount different learning styles and levels of development and, inaddition, what students learn. (Ford, 1979a, 1979b)In this model, (Ford, 1979b) the three levels of library learning areclassified as dependent, independent and interdependent and all embracecommon elements such as learning materials structured in different ways;self-assessment of information by students; and access to and a choicefrom a wide range of information. "All categories operate within the17context of three other categories: 1) the nature of the learner's mentalactivities; 2) individual differences on the part of the learners; and 3)learning outcomes." (Ford, 1979b, p.253-54) Ford also points out "thatthe distinctive contributions of libraries to learning is represented not byindividual elements, but rather by complex combinations of them."(p.254.)A related model proposed a scheme of library learning from the pointof user behaviour which would "allow librarians to understand better whatpatrons feel, think and do when they use the library's resources andservices." (Jakobovits and Nahl-Jakobovits, 1987, p.203.) User behaviourwas classified into the cognitive, affective and the psychomotor domainsdeveloped by educational psychologists. Each domain was then dividedinto three levels:1) Orientation, where the user had few cognitive resources,did not understand the library as a system, did not consult guides andgenerally felt frustrated; 2) At the Interaction level the user had a basicunderstanding of the library and also desired to improve his/her searchtactics; 3) When the Internalization level had been reached the user had a"feeling of congruence with library values such as conservation, serviceand lifelong learning." (p. 206.) Using the three domains of user behaviourfrom educational psychology and the three levels of each domain asoutlined above, a table of nine zones into which library users could becategorized was developed:18Levels Affective Cognitive PsychomotorL3 Internalizing Support for Library Acquiring Knowledge and Performingthe Library Perspective Subjective Intuition Cumulative SearchesL2 Interacting with Positive Library Acquiring knowledge of Negotiating Search Queriesthe Library Attitudes Search Sequences and Performing a SearchLl Orienting to Willing to Practice Comprehending Library- Library Explorationthe Library Library Tasks relevant distinctions and Efficiency"Taxonomy of Library Skills and Errors" Jakobovits & Nahl-Jakobovits, 1987. Adapted from p.207.This scheme can be related to Ford's (1979b) model of librarylearning in that his three levels of library learning (dependence,independence and interdependence) fit the Jakobovits model's ascendingthree levels of the psychological domains• orientation; interaction; andinternalization. This theoretical matrix could be used to planbibliographic instruction, allowing librarians to develop appropriateobjectives in the different domains at the different levels. (Jakobovits andNahl-Jakobovits, 1987, 1990.)Planning and evaluating strategies used by students must also beexamined. These strategies involved in analyzing thinking aremetacognitive in nature and, unlike cognitive processes which take placesubconsciously, require conscious monitoring and control. (Bondy, 1984;Flavell, 1979.) Metacognitive strategies have been described as thosestrategies used to connect new information to present knowledge and toplan, monitor and evaluate thinking processes. (Blakey & Spence, 1990;Brown, Bransford, Ferrara, Campione, 1983.)A link has also been made between the cognitive development levelsof students and the presentation of effective library instruction programs.19(Harris & Ross, 1984; Kuhlthau, 1987.) "To be most effective, the designof information-skills instruction programs must consider the levels ofcognitive development of the students for whom the instruction isintended. Increased emphasis should be paid to instructing students inthe thinking skills that are necessary to plan and evaluate the informationthey retrieve." (Bertland, 1986, p.99.)Further to this, schemata theory and metacognition with respect todesigning instructional strategies for teaching reading have been linkedand extended to the school library resource centre and the teaching ofinformation seeking skills. (Kulleseid, 1986.) Schemata theory, originatingin Gestalt psychology, is an analysis of the thought processes involved inincorporating new knowledge into the existing memory bank, a kind of aprivate view of reality. It is used in reading comprehension research todiagram and explain the mental processes that are involved in interactionwith text. (Kulleseid, 1986.) Recent research in this area has shown that"The information-processing orientation of these models makes themreadily adaptable to the information-skills learning models proposed andemployed in many school library media programs." (p.44.)A model of student learning involving "three main approaches tolearning: deep, surface and achieving" was developed by Biggs,1985.Subsequently, a comparison of Grade 8, Grade 10 and Grade 12 studentsin Singapore schools paired the dominant approach used by the studentsin learning different academic subjects with motive/strategy congruence inlearning academic subjects. The three approaches and the associated20strategies used by students were isolated: a) A Surface Approach wherelearning was perceived as a means to an end and the linked strategy wasto get the basic essentials; b) A Deep Approach in which motivation camefrom an interest in the subject matter. The linked strategy used by thestudents was to understand concepts and the relationship between them;c) The Achieving Approach was characterized by the motivation ofachievement/competitivness and time management was the strategy whichallowed the students to cover the subject matter as efficiently as possible.Younger students tended to favour either the Achieving Approach orthe Surface Approach, either of which was accompanied by the surfacemotive of rote memorization to get the basics as quickly as possible. Olderstudents favoured the Deep Approach and its linked strategy ofunderstanding concepts and the relationships between them. (Chang,1989; 1990.)A related study investigated students' use of metacognitive strategiesin solving mathematical problems. The findings indicated that very littledifference existed in the frequency of use of metacognitive strategies bystudents from Grades 8, 10 or 12 but that as the grade levels progressed tothe higher grades, a decline in the use of surface strategies and anincrease in the use of deep strategies emerged. (Wong, 1989.)In summation, the literature on student critical thinking pointedout the importance of extending students' ability to analyze and evaluateinformation by teaching critical thinking skills. Also, the literature onadolescent developmental states and metacognition pointed out that an21awareness of students' cognitive and developmental levels and also anawareness of the differing task approaches used by students would assistteacher librarians in the design of appropriate information seeking projectswhich took these factors into account.22Chapter 3:METHODOLOGYThis study examined the perceptions of secondary school studentsabout the information seeking process and their behaviours while engagedin information seeking. Within these areas the study addresseddifferences in student perceptions and behaviours by age group and byfeeder school.1. CONDUCT OF THE STUDYThe study was undertaken in North Central British Columbia, in alarge school district comprised of 56 elementary schools and 11 secondaryschools. The study was conducted in one Junior Secondary schoolsituated in a semi-rural area.Permission to conduct the study was received from theSuperintendent of the school district through the Curriculum andInstruction Department Assessment Supervisor. Permission for the studywas also obtained from the Ethical Review Committee of the University ofBritish Columbia.Criteria for the selection of the school and the classes which were toparticipate in the study were developed:1. The study would be conducted in a secondary schoolwith two Grade 8 and two Grade 10 Humanities classesready to undertake an information seeking project.232. The classes would be composed of students with arange of academic abilitites.3. The students had attended different elementaryfeeder schools.Contact had been renewed during the school year of 1991-1992 witha Social Studies teacher in a Junior Secondary school involved in a Year2000 Site Development Project during that school year, funded by theBritish Columbia Ministry of Education. Part of the Site DevelopmentProject was the integration of Social Studies and English in two Grade 9classrooms, one of which was hers. The integrated classes had completedtwo fairly extensive information seeking projects which were termedsuccesses by the teachers and the students in those classes.It was decided not to continue the integration of Social Studies andEnglish at the Grade 10 level for the school year of 1992-1993. Bothteachers wished to have time to assess the past year's activities and planfor the future. Because of her positive experiences with the informationseeking process, the teacher previously mentioned was extremely interestedin this study and anxious to have her Grade 10 class participate.The Assessment Supervisor in the Curriculum and InstructionDepartment was consulted about the choice of this school and permissionwas granted by the Principal to conduct the study in his school.Subsequently, three other classes in the school, two Grade 8 and a secondGrade 10, were selected, based upon the fact that they were alsoHumanities classes and all were at a point in the curriculum where an24information seeking project would be an appropriate activity. Theinformation seeking projects were cooperatively planned by the teacherlibrarian and the classroom teachers.All of the classes were composed of students of varying academicabilities, enabling the investigator to work with a range of students andeach class contained students from different feeder schools.The study was conducted during May and June of 1993. Permissionwas received from the parents or guardians of the students in the fourclasses. The parents were assured that the anonymity of the studentswould be protected and the data destroyed upon completion of the study.From a possible 78, 53 letters of parental permission were received back bythe researcher. This was a return rate of 65%. Of these 53 students, 24were in Grade 8 and 29 were in Grade 10. The total number of femaleswas 36 and of males, 17. The gender imbalance was created by theimbalance in the makeup of the classes, 52 females and 26 males, and itwas maintained by an almost equal ratio in the return of the permissionforms.Of the 53 students in the study, 16 were from Feeder Schooll, 20from Feeder School 2, 6 from Feeder School 3, with 3 from Feeder School4, 2 from Feeder School 5 and there was a single student from FeederSchool 6. There were 5 students whose feeder school was not known.These were students who had moved to the area from another part of townor from another city, province or country.The researcher met with each of the selected classes during a25regular class period and introduced and explained the research study. Itwas stressed to the students by the researcher and each classroom teacherthat the purpose of the research study was not to examine their finishedprojects but to gather information about their perceptions as they carriedout the information seeking process and completed their projects. It wasalso stressed that the information gathering project was a part of theirregular curriculum work which would be graded by the teacher and thatevery student would complete the curriculum project whether or not he orshe took part in the research study.Students who had parental permission to participate in the studywere given a blank journal in which to record their thoughts, feelings andactivities as they engaged in the information seeking process. Thestudents were asked to sign the cover of the journals to indicate that theywere willing to participate in the study and also to identify the journals forreturn to the correct students. The journals were coded by each class forease of return. After the journals had been collected for the final time,they were also coded by elemenary feeder school.The classes were observed during May and the early part of June asthe students engaged in the information seeking process. The informationseeking projects took place in the School Library Resource Centre andeach class session was 65 minutes in length. The researcher made 16visits to the school to observe the students for the duration of theinformation seeking process.The journals were collected during each class session and returned26to the students at the beginning of the next session. In the interveningtime, detailed observation notes were compiled and the researcheranalyzed the journal entries, extracted data and placed it on cards incategories developed from the students' responses. Each comment madeby a student was placed in the most appropriate category; as well,comments which contained two or more different thoughts were dividedand the parts placed in the appropriate categories.Validation of the categorization of the data was obtained in severalways: the categories were subsequently clarified and verified by theparticipating secondary teacher librarian and one of the participatingteachers; appropriate categorization was clarified through informalinteractions with participating students; and later observations alsoverified the categories.When the information seeking process was nearing its conclusion,interviews were conducted with four or five randomly selected studentsfrom each class, depending on the size of the class. The interviews wereheld at the convenience of the students and when this was during classtime, it was with the permission of the teacher. The interviews wererecorded on cassette tape by a portable radio-cassette player. A total of 18interviews were recorded and completely transcribed. Six of the interviewswere with males, and 12 with females, in keeping with the ratio of thestudents participating in the study and they varied in length from 15 to 20minutes.During the interviews with the elementary school teacher librarians,27information was obtained about the type of School Library ResourceCentre programme in place in their schools, principal occupations andrecreational pursuits of the adults in the school community and thecomposition of the community and school population. Interviews werealso held with the principal and the teacher librarian of the secondaryschool where the study took place and similar information was obtained.2. LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDYThe study was conducted in one junior secondary school withstudents from four classes and cannot be generalized beyond that. Thestudy may also be limited by the fact that the school in which the studywas conducted is located in a semi-rural area. The gender imbalance mayhave also limited the study.A further limitation may be that the students knew that theresearcher was a teacher librarian from the senior secondary school whichthey would attend in the future and perhaps were more polite andcircumspect in their journal writing and interviews because of this fact.3. DATA COLLECTIONData for the study were collected using the following methods:a) Journal writing.28The students taking part in the study were asked to write journalentries describing their perceptions and search strategies during theirresearch project.This journal writing was facilitated by providing students withprompts typical of reflective journal writing and designed for this study.The decision was made to use prompts rather than free journal writingbecause many of the students were used to this style of journal writing.Prompts (Appendix A) such as the following were used:I like working in the library because...Today I did a lot of work on my project. I...The first thing I do when I start a new information seekingproject is...After that I...In their final journal entry, the students were encouraged to reflecton the information seeking process by prompts such as:When I think about looking for information in the SchoolLibrary Resource Centre at first I feel...Some things I do well when looking for information are...Some things I'd like to improve about my informationseeking are...Prompts were provided by the researcher either by writing in theindividual student journals or by interacting with the students during theinformation seeking process. The handling of the journals during thestudy has been previously described.29b) Observation. Observation is a useful research tool when it is planned, focussedand recorded systematically. It allows the observer to collect at first-handdata that relates directly to a typical behavioural situation and to recordthis behaviour as it is happening. (Kidder, 1981; B.C. Primary Teachers'Assosication, 1992.)The researcher selected the role of observer participant, thuscreating a more natural environment where the observer could interactwith the students during their information seeking.Student behaviours appropriate to the information seeking processwere looked for including: students planning information seekingstrategies; students finding appropriate information; students appearingconfident about using the School Library Resource Centre and studentsinteracting with their classmates, their teacher or the teacher librarian.The evidence that the students were engaged in appropriatebehaviours during the information seeking process was found by focussingon some of the activities taking place: students who were developing awritten plan for their information seeking; students who were taking notesfrom information sources; students who knew how to use the cardcatalogue and students who were familiar with the shelving arrangementin the library. Students' entry behaviour and their beginning searchstrategies were also observed. In addition, the observer looked for use ofthe CD ROM index and whether or not students interacted with the30teacher librarian, their teacher or their fellow students. The notes madewere subsequently enlarged to more detailed observations.c) Informal interactions. The observer interacted with students at appropriate times duringthe information seeking process with the purposes of gathering additionaldata on their perceptions about seeking information in a School LibraryResource Centre setting and of observing more closely what they werereading or writing.Through these interactions it was ascertained whether or not thestudents felt they were successful at information seeking and whether ornot they perceived information seeking as a useful process. The studentsalso discussed their search strategies, where they had learned thosestrategies, how they kept track of their progress through an informationseeking project and how they evaluated the information they located.Notes were made of these interactions as close in time to the actualconversation as possible.d). Interviews.Randomly selected students in the study were interviewed. Theinterview format used was a semi-structured one during which theinterviewer was guided by a list of questions but the order of the questionswas not fixed. This format allowed the interviewer to respondappropriately to answers and to react to new ideas. (Merriam, 1990.) The31purpose of the interviews was to gather in-depth verbal data on thestudents' perceptions about the information seeking process, their searchstrategies and how they monitored their progress. Typical questionsincluded the following: What do you do first when you begin researching anew topic? Is it helpful to talk to others about your topic? Do you ask forhelp in locating materials? Do research assignments add to what youlearn in a course? Are you successful at finding information in the SchoolLibrary Resouce Centre? (Appendix B) Questions were also asked aboutlibrary programmes they had experienced in their elementary school and inthe secondary school and the students provided information about theirnote taking patterns. Theme development and growing interest in thetopic they were researching were discussed, as well as how the studentsdecided to stop looking for information. The interviews were recorded toprovide accuracy in data extraction and in any remarks quoted.DATA ANALYSISThe data gathered from the students' journal entries, the focussedobservation of the students as they engaged in an information seekingproject, the informal interactions and the recorded interviews withstudents were subsequently analyzed by the researcher. The data werefirst grouped by categories developed from the responses of the students.Guidelines for grouping the categories took into account the frequency of32responses as well as unique thoughts and perceptions which revealedinsights not previously considered. Verification of the categories has beenpreviously discussed. The categories developed grouped together dataunder such broad headings as beginning the information search process,frustration, confidence, like working on School Library Resource Centreprojects, do not like working on School Library Resource Centre projects,topic selection and stopping an information search.Data were organized in three different ways: firstly, the data werecoded by the elementary feeder school the students had attended and thenorganized by category under each feeder school; secondly, the data wereorganized by the same categories for each of the two grade levels andthirdly, the data were organized by the categories for each class.Further examination of the data and the categories led to thegrouping of the categories into five major perceptions about informationseeking held by the students and into three areas which representedsuccessive stages of the students' information seeking behaviour.SUMMARYData gathered by means of student journal entries, interactionsbetween the researcher and the students in the study, recorded interviewswith randomly selected students and participant observation were placedin categories reflecting the students' responses. The categories weresubsequently grouped into five perceptions the students held about33information seeking and three areas representing the three progressivestages of the students' information seeking behaviour.34Chapter 4.RESULTS OF THE STUDYThe study examined perceptions of the information seeking processheld by secondary school students. Behaviours were also examined as thestudents undertook and completed the information seeking process.Participants in the study were students from two Grade Eight Humanitiesclasses and two Grade Ten Humanities classes from the same JuniorSecondary school.The findings of the study rested principally in two areas:1. The perceptions held by secondary school studentsregarding the information seeking process.2. The information seeking behaviours of secondary schoolstudents during the information seeking process.Within these two areas, the findings address any differences inperceptions either by the different age groups or by the students from thedifferent feeder schools and inner behaviours such as use of strategiesused by students to monitor and evaluate their progress through theinformation seeking process.Five perceptions held by the students in the study about theinformation seeking process emerged from the students' responses. Theperceptions are described in order of descending importance, beginningwith the one most important to the students. The hierarchial order of the35perceptions was formulated by the investigator based on the frequency ofjournal entries and interview quotations concerning the perceptions.Observations were also made regarding the interest level of the studentsand their engagment with various aspects of the information seekingprocess.Student behaviours during the information seeking process can bestbe described by grouping the behaviours into the three major successivestages of the information seeking process and describing at the same timethe inner behaviours which take place during the different stages.The information seeking process was investigated from theperspective of the students involved in the study and the perceptionsdeveloped arose directly from the students' responses. Therefore, thefindings of the study are illustrated by quotations from the students. Thestudents' words and journal entries have been coded to indicate whetherthey are journal entries, (j), whether they were spoken during an interview,(i), and whether they were uttered or written by a male or a female (M) or(F). The students' quotations have also been coded to indicate grade level(8 or 10). Phrases inserted by the investigator for clarification of thestudents' spoken and written words are enclosed in square brackets andobservations made by the investigator are clearly indicated.361. PERCEPTIONS ABOUT THE INFORMATION SEEKING PROCESSa)^The information seeking process provides for activeinvolvement by the students in their own education.This perception was held by between eighty-five and ninety percentof the students in this study. Different facets of this global perceptionwere revealed by the students through their interviews and journal entriesand were also observed throughout the information seeking process.The students in the study recognized new information found duringthe information seeking process and realized that their knowledge basewas extended through the exploration of their topics. "I didn't knowanything about the country I'm doing. It's amazing what you find out." (F,i, 10). "When I first started this project I didn't know how to spell LouisRiel and I didn't know anything about him. I know now how interestinghe was. I am reading a book called The Man Who Had to Hang but I didn'ttake any notes [today] because the book was so interesting." (M, j, 10)The students in this study were able to internalize information as theylinked it to the topic they were exploring. "I just found out that HongKong is going to be given back to China in 1997. I never knew any of thatbefore! I thought it was a lot like China but I was reading through andlike their vegetation is much different." (F, i, 10) Throughout theinformation seeking process, students were exposed to points of viewwhich they had not previously considered and they learned to assimilate37these different points of view and used them to further their own thinking."We did a thing about a united Canada a while ago and the more you readthe more it [your mind] changes. You have different opinions." (M, i, 10)Many students saw the information seeking process as anopportunity and a challenge to explore topics which were new orunfamiliar to them, thus allowing for the creation of fresh knowledge inthe students' minds. "I try to pick something I don't know too muchabout but I'd like to learn about." (F, i, 8) " I chose my topic by picking aninteresting person." (M, j, 8) One student, having stated that she did notlike information seeking projects, was nevertheless interested in the newinformation. "I don't like looking for information. I only do it because Ihave to. [But] it's interesting to find out stuff that I don't know." (F, j, 10)When the students were asked, more than seventy-five percent ofthem stated that they much preferred choosing their own topics forresearch projects, as opposed to having teacher assigned topics. Itappeared that there were several reasons for this preference. Choosing atopic themselves indicated that they had some control over their learning."[I'd rather] choose my own. Then you get to decide what you want to do.It's more interesting to yourself." (F, i, 10) Also, students found it easierto find a theme, or a focus, for their information seeking when they tookownership of the topic. " I would rather choose my own. I find it easierthat way. I'll have an idea of what I want to do and I'll know where myinformation is." (F, i, 10) Those students who stated that they preferredteacher assigned topics gave essentially the same reason: "I want the38teacher to pick it for us because I can never think of anything." (F, i, 8) "Sometimes it's hard to pick my own, so, [given] by the teacher, they'rebetter." (M, i, 10)It appeared that personally acquired information had more validityfor the students than information read in their textbook. "Today I found abook to take notes from. Magellan is interesting. I can't believe what hewent through." (M, j, 8) During the process of these student researchprojects, the students displayed a sense of pride in searching forinformation and took ownership of the information they found. "You getto work on your own and find your own information." (F, j, 10)The students in this study saw the information seeking process as aseparate entity, clearly differentiated in their minds from work in theregular classroom. It appeared that it was the active involvement in aproject by which they contributed to their education that provided thedifference for the students. "You get to research everything on the topic,not like out of the textbook where you just have to read it." (F, i, 10)Classroom work was perceived by the students as something done to themby someone else rather than something accomplished by them. "I enjoyresearch so much more than getting lectured." (M, j, 10) "This is betterthan having to work out of a textbook." (F, j, 8)The factor which united all these facets of finding informationthrough the information seeking process seemed to be the informationitself. The students in this study were very interested in what they werefinding out about their topic. Because of this factor, the information39seeking process was perceived by nearly all of the students as a worthwhileactivity which assisted their learning and provided avenues to activeinvolvement in their own education.b)^The information seeking process represents a positiveexperience when it takes place in the School Library ResourceCentre.The Library Resource Centre was different from the regularclassrooms in this school and provided a different atmosphere and anattractive alternative workplace for the students. "You get more air fromthe windows open and the plants help." (M, j, 10) "I like working in thelibrary because there is [sic. ] lots of reference books and it is nice andquiet." (F, j, 8) These students perceived that the School Library ResourceCentre provided them with more options than the classroom in that theywere able to move around more freely and choose their own chair. "Youcan walk around and not just sitting [sic.] in one desk and you can talk."(M, j, 10) These seemingly simple things held great importance for thestudents in the study by contributing to the feeling that they were more incontrol of their learning in the library than in the classroom. Thestudents perceived that they were directing the course of their educationwhile they were engaged in the information seeking process. "I really likeworking in the library. I feel I learn more than in the classroom because Iam able to find things out for myself and in my way." (F, j, 10)40This perception of directing their learning while working in thelibrary extended to include the way in which the students interacted withthe teacher librarian. She was viewed as the person who knew the librarycollection thoroughly and who helped the students locate the informationthey had chosen when they were unable to find it themselves. "If I reallycan't find something, I go and ask the librarian." (F, i, 8) The teacherlibrarian was also looked upon in a favourable way because she assistedthe students in the direction of their information seeking. "Findinginformation in the library is very easy when the librarian knows what topicyou will be researching ahead of time. The first few minutes where thelibrarian tells us where to find information is [sic.] very useful and helpful.I enjoy working in the library." (M, j, 10)However positively the students in this study perceived the teacherlibrarian, it appeared that most asked for help reluctantly. "Yeah, [I'll askfor help] if I need to but I don't usually. I like to do as much by myself as Ican." (M, i, 10) The students had a sense of pride at being able to findwhat they wanted by themselves and a feeling of accomplishment whenthey did locate the needed information. Some students hesitated to askfor help because they felt that they were bothering the teacher librarian. "Iusually try to do it by myself without bothering many people. I canusually manage." (M, i, 10) Still other students expressed the fear thatstudents who asked for help were thought to be inferior to other students."Well, I don't ask for help very much. I feel like I'd be called an idiot orstupid or something." (F, j, 8) "I try not to because I sound like an idiot."41(F, i, 10) However, asking a friend or a fellow student was not a negativebehaviour. 'Yes, (I ask my friends]. It gives me a better understanding ofwhat I should look for. Like, how to go about finding my information." (F,i, 10)The students interacted freely and often with their teacher and theteacher librarian during the information seeking process when the adultinitiated the interaction and offered help. When the teacher librarian ortheir teacher approached students to offer assistance, the students alwaysreacted positively even though they had not requested help. Thisbehaviour was observed throughout the course of the study.c)^The information seeking process requires student awareness of theimportance of using self-discipline strategies.The information seeking projects used in this study all had a timelimit expressed in terms of a completion date when the final product of theinformation search was to be collected by the teacher or the teacherlibrarian. The students who were aware that self-discipline was neededduring the process of information seeking frequently planned theirinformation search as soon as this date was known. "Today I have starteddeciding what I should accomplish each day. It's a lot easier knowing thatyou will get something done then you know you will be finished on timeand not late." (F, j, 8)42Clearly expressed teacher and teacher librarian expectationsregarding the completed product were regarded by the students in thestudy as aids to self-discipline. Detailed instructions describing thecomponents of the product also assisted students in practising self-discipline. "Today's was a cool experience. I feel it was a good way to startthe project knowing what we were doing and what we have to do." (F, j, 8)The students realized that consistent and continuing self-disciplinewhile working on an information seeking project was difficult. Theyrecognized that keeping themselves on task while working alone, with apartner or in a group was often a hard thing to do, particularly when thelibrary was busy. " Today the library was too full and too noisy and toohard to research although I did find a few books on my topic." (F, j, 10) Itappeared that when the School Library Resource Centre was fully occupiedby students from several classes the students exhibited more off-taskbehaviours and the noise level rose. When there were some vacant chairsand tables in the room the students concentrated better on their work.During the information seeking process, the teacher librarian andthe classroom teacher continuously interacted with different students on aone-to-one basis. Thus, while the interaction ratio was higher when theteacher librarian and the teacher worked together, the students notinvolved in these interactions perceived that they did not receive the samelevel of supervision as is the practice in the classroom. These studentswere aware that they needed to practice self-discipline in order toaccomplish their task. "I like working on a library project because it is a43change and fun, but you have less supervision and it's easier to fallbehind." (F, j, 10) Students in the study who expressed negative feelingstowards the information seeking process were nevertheless aware of theneed for self-discipline. "Not really [do I like looking for information] butif I want to get a good mark, I guess I have to." (M, j, 10)More than ninety percent of the students in the study displayed on-task behaviours. This was evident in the non-verbal behaviour of thesestudents as they entered the School Library Resource Centre. During theirstay they used the card catalogue and they directed themselves to theappropriate section of shelves in the School Library Resource Centre. Thestudents read information sources, recorded notes and kept track of theirinformation sources. They understood and used new technology such asthe CD ROM index to locate journal articles and the modem to locateaudio visual resources from the District Resource Centre. Interacting withthe teacher librarian and their teacher, they also set up equipment andpreviewed audio visual resources for useability. All of these observedbehaviours indicated that the students were using self-discipline strategiesin accomplishing their task of information seeking.d)^The information seeking process uses the skills of locating andselecting resources, acquiring and analyzing information as wellas recording and classifying this informationThe students in this study perceived that certain skills were needed44for successful information seeking. Before appropriate information couldbe located the students recognized that the searcher must know exactlywhat information was being sought. "When you look for information youmust know what you are looking for. When you narrow down the topic itwill make the research easier." (M, j, 10) After the topic had beennarrowed and the information seeking process was commencing, thestudents realized that an overview of the information available was useful."The first thing I do is see how much information there is on the project."(M, i, 10)About twenty percent of the students used the card catalogue toascertain the information available on their topic. These studentsunderstood the manner in which subject headings were used in the cardcatalogue to locate headings which applied to their particular informationsearch. In addition, they had mastered the skill of interpreting theinformation contained on the catalogue card and had comprehended therelationship between the numbers on the catalogue cards and the bookson the library shelves. Students in the study who had not acquired theseskills had difficulty using the card catalogue to assist in the informationseeking process. "I didn't know what to do. Someone would say, go andlook in the card catalogue, so I'd look and it would have all these numbersand I'd go - oh, this doesn't tell me anything." (F, i, 10) Students whounderstood the use of the card catalogue were aware that its use wouldlead them to discover the information available in the School LibraryResource Centre. "I find my information best in the card catalogue45because it is all alphabetical, and easier to find [the books] with thenumbers." (F, j, 10) A few of the students in the study had learned theskills necessary to use an automated catalogue properly and understoodthe difference between the card catalogue and the automated system inplace in the Public Library. "Sometimes, going through it by hand you findthings that you didn't expect to, that could help you. But on thecomputer, if you type a certain thing that's all you're going to get. It'sgood for looking up specific things. It's good [knowing how to do it] thetwo different ways." (F, i, 8)The students recognized that knowing how to use indexes was also askill necessary during the information seeking process. Many instances ofstudents perusing indexes in books and encyclopedias and numerousinteractions between students and either their teacher or the teacherlibrarian during which the use of an index was being explained for thebenefit of the student were observed.For the past three years, the School Library Resource Centre haspossessed a CD ROM index to journal articles, heavily used by studentswho have acquired this information seeking skill. "For current events, Iuse the TOM [the CD ROM index]. (F, i, 8) "I would like to look on theTOM but there is always someone on it." (F, j, 8) Students who were notfamiliar with this electronic index perceived this skill as one lacking fromtheir repertoire of information seeking skills. "I would like to improve onthe TOM because I don't know how to run that very well." (F, j, 10) "Iwould like to improve on looking for [information] in places like46magazines. Most of my information comes from books." (M, j, 10)Microfiche copies of heavily used journals have been purchased toassist the students with information seeking, requiring an additional skill."Today I worked on the TOM and the microfiche." (M, j, 8)Students perceived that the ability to take concise andunderstandable notes from information sources was an important skilland a major component of a successful information search. "I'm terribleat the notes. Sometimes I can't read my own writing, I go so fast." (F,10) The students in the study mentioned note taking in many interviewsand journal entries either as a skill they felt they had mastered or as anaspect of information seeking that should be improved upon and frequentinstances of recording of notes by students from the resources they hadlocated and selected were observed. "I always do such a good job with mynotes. My notes take the longest, for sure." (M, i, 10) "[I'd like to] takebetter notes. I don't take notes very well. A lot of times they're too longand I don't know how to shorten them so I shorten them too much andthen I don't understand what I wrote down." (F, i, 8)The generation of the final product of an information search wasdependent upon what product had been decided upon by the class, theteacher and the teacher librarian. These students were all expected togenerate a written report which involved organizing the informationlocated throughout the information seeking process in some logicalmanner. The students in the study made use of organization methodswhich they had learned and which had proven successful for them. "I47organize by what's most important and then go for that. I take all thenotes and then reorganize them and rewrite them so that they're indifferent sections. It's easier that way." (F, i, 10) "When I first begin Iusually make out questions so I know what I'm trying to find so I cananswer my questions. Then I look for books that will answer myquestions. I basically answer my questions first and then if I find moreinformation than my questions I'll change my topic a bit." (F, i, 10) Someof the students used the technique of organizing their information bymajor topic and subtopic. "I usually go and get a few books and then seewhat there is to say about it [the topic]. I write a subtopic on the side andtake a bunch of notes and then write another subtopic and take somemore notes." (M, i, 10)Many of the students were confident and organized throughout theentire information seeking process. It was apparent that these studentsattributed their facility with the information seeking process to the factthat they had been taught how to look for information in elementaryschool and had been provided with frequent opportunities to practise theskills in both elementary and secondary school. "Most of us know whereto look because we have been taught where to look for our informationwhen we were seven and onwards. In Grade Two, Grade Three and so on... lots of practice. (F, j, 10) "Last year [Grade 9] we found that researchand like that was pretty easy. How it [the skills] always worked and wealways worked together." (M, i, 10) "We did a lot in the library usually."(F, i, 8)48In addition to using these skills to carry out successful projectsinvolving the information seeking process, students in the study saw theskills used in the information seeking process as skills that would assistthem in achieving career goals. "It [library projects] interests me a lot. Mycareer goal is to become a journalist, so these skills are required." (F, j, 10)e)^The information seeking process evokes varying degrees ofstudent frustration.The students in the study perceived that different levels offrustration may be encountered throughout the information seekingprocess. This frustration might sometimes be linked to a certain aspect ofinformation seeking or to a particular stage in the information seekingprocess and even, in some cases, to the entire process. About five percentof the students perceived the information seeking process as a difficulttask to complete and this view evoked frustration. "Working in the libraryon research is something I find difficult. Looking for information issomething I always seem to do wrong." (F, j, 10) "I have a real problemwith research assignments. I don't know. Its something that I ... just like... I'll look and then I get frustrated if I can't find anything and I usuallytend to give up." (F, i, 10) General unease and frustration was sometimesexpressed by the use of the word 'boring'. "Library research can be very49boring." (M, j, 10) "It [research] isn't hard, just boring." (M, j, 8)The commencement of the information seeking process wasfrustrating for some of the students. Usually their difficulty at thebeginning was attributed to the fact that they were not organized. "Nextday it will be easier when I'm organized." (F, j, 8) Some students weremore precise about their problem. "I think when I get a base of my projectit will go much faster." (F, j, 8) Although more than seventy-five percentof the students had stated that they would rather choose their own topic,many appeared to experience frustration when permitted to do either thisor to choose a topic from a list generated by their teacher. "I can't makeup my mind. I want to do something that's going to be really good and funto do but I don't want it to sound dumb, you know." (F, i, 10)Some of the students were frustrated by the amount of time givento complete the information seeking process. "I would like to have moretime in the library." (F, j. 8) Sometines students felt such frustration withthe time given that it impeded their progress. "I have not got anythingdone because I have not got enough time." (F, j, 8) A different sort of timepressure was created if components were added to an assignment after ithad been presented to the students and they had assumed that it wascomplete and had planned their time. "There's too much work. I am givenmore work today. A lot more work and I have to do other subjects forhomework. Not enough hours in the day to do all this." (M, j, 10)Incomplete and insufficient instructions about the informationseeking project were also a source of frustration to the students. "I think50there should have been a little more about what we were supposed to do.I know now, but that's not the way it should have been done." (M, j, 10)Even students who had acquired the skill of using the cardcatalogue were frustrated by it at times. "Sometimes it [the cardcatalogue] doesn't have any information. They have books on it [the topic]but it's not in there. You sometimes have to look under author, but if youdon't know [the author's name], then you can't." (F, i, 10)A number of the students in the study experienced varying levels offrustration at different times throughout the information seeking process,freuqently at the commencement of the process. When the students hadlocated some information and had begun to work, the frustration level wasobserved to drop. However, a few students appeared to experience somefrustration throughout the information seeking process and approximatelyeight percent of the students exhibited off-task behaviours, which mighthave indicated frustration.2. STUDENT BEHAVIOURS DURING THE INFORMATION SEEKINGPROCESSAnalysis of the data gathered on student behaviours throughout theinformation seeking process allowed the grouping of this data into threeareas. These three broad areas represent the students' progressionthrough the information seeking process.51a)^Students commenced the information seeking process andclarified research strategies.All of the information seeking projects observed began with anintroduction for the students by the teacher or the teacher librarianduring which appropriate resources for the project were described.No more than six or seven students from each class began theinformation seeking process by going to the card catalogue to look for theirtopic. Other students began by proceeding directly to the appropriatesection of shelves and looking for books and the CD ROM index was busyat the beginning of each project. Some students from every class wentfirst to the reference shelves where the encyclopedias are kept and a few ofthe students adopted a more passive approach by remaining in the seatsthey had chosen until they were offered material by the teacher librarianor by beginning to read from their texts.In one case the teacher librarian had previously selected materialpertaining to the topic from the shelves and had arranged it on abookshelf at the side of the library. In this instance close to one hundredpercent of the students used those selected resources and did not exploreeither the card catalogue or the shelves, but did make use of the CD ROMto access journal articles. A few students from every class observed begantheir information seeking process by using the CD ROM although its usewas only appropriate for the two information seeking projects which dealtwith current events.52Many of the students who had started with the card catalogue nextwent to the library shelves to locate the resources they had found by usingthe card catalogue. Although not mentioned in any of their journals orinterviews, a few students were observed experiencing frustration inlocating the particular book they were looking for. This frustrationappeared to be related to their inability to understand the Dewey Decimalsystem.Several of the students who had gone directly to the shelvesproceeded to the card catalogue while others located the encyclopedias inthe reference section. However, when asked what they did first when theybegan a new information seeking project in the School Library ResourceCentre, more than seventy-five percent of the students replied that theyused the card catalogue or the CD ROM first. "I look in the card cataloguefor information and if I can't find any books then I look in theencyclopedias and then, if I still can't find any, I look in the TOM." (F, i,10) "I usually go and look it up in the card catalogue." (F, i, 8) "Dependson whether it's recent or old. If it's recent, I go to the TOM. If it's older,you go into the card catalogue." (M, i, 10) One student in the study beganhis information seeking process in a slightly different manner. "I checkthe encyclopedias usually and then I'll go to the card catalogue." (M, i, 10)As the students in the study acquired material they returned to theirpreviously selected seats and began looking through the resources, makinguse of their assignment sheets for direction. Some students had gatheredthree or four pieces of material while others returned to their seats as53soon as they had located the first resource. The teacher librarian and theteacher circulated among the students, interacting with individualstudents and offering assistance in using the resources or in findingadditional material. Many of the students had already begun to read andrecord notes while some were observed writing out a plan for their project.Students who planned at this stage or even earlier in theinformation seeking process were asked about their planning strategies. "Iusually think about what I'll do before [I start] and what I'm going to belooking for and stuff like that," (M, i, 10) " I taught myself to be a carefulplanner and be organized because if I don't I don't get finished on time andI lose things. I learned that a few years ago when I was doing a projectand nothing was going right." (F, j, 8) "When I first begin I usually makeout questions so I know what I'm trying to find so I can answer myquestions." (F, i, 10)At the end of this first session in the information seeking process,many students signed out books pertaining to their topics. It appearedthat this first session was used by the students in the study to ascertainwhat material was available in the School Library Resource Centre andthen to begin the clarification of their research strategies.b)^Students recorded, analyzed and classified information fromresources previously located and selected.As students entered this stage of the information seeking process54their behaviours shifted from those used to locate and select resources tothose behaviours which revealed that the students in the study were nowprincipally engaged in recording, analyzing and classifying informationfrom the resources they had previously selected. The students exhibitedvarious information recording, analyzing and classifying behaviours. "Iusually check a whole bunch of sources and find one that has the mostinformation and copy those notes down and then I'll check the other ones[sources] to see if I missed anything." (M, i, 10) "Sometimes I take notesas I go along if I find it really interesting and I know I'm going to be able touse them, but otherwise I'll just take them after I've read and choose fromwhat I've read." (F, i, 8) The recording of information was sometimesbegun by using the text as a reference source. "The books I'm using [now]are my school texts. After I'm done with them I will find more books." (F,j, 10)Students were asked to describe inner behaviours which could notbe observed. A number of students in the study described this phase ofthe information seeking process as the period during which they developeda theme for their information seeking project and decided on theirapproach to the topic. "I usually take notes and it falls into place." (M, i,10) "It depends on how much I know to begin with, I guess. Usually itdevelops as you're researching." (M, i, 10)Many students reported that they often changed their minds about atopic as they learned about it. "A lot of times my opinion changes whileI'm doing an essay." (F, i, 10) "Usually I have an idea of what I want to55say but a lot of times it changes according to the information I get." (F,8) It was also during this information recording and classifying processthat the students developed a growing interest in their topics as they readand learned more. "Right now I'm doing Saskatchewan and I keep gettingmore and more interested because my Dad comes from there and I keepgetting more interested and into it." (F, i, 10) This growing interest intheir topic was strengthened when the students found that there was aconnection between what they already know and what they were finding."I find it very interesting to look up different countries and find thingsthat are different about them compared to Canada." (F, j, 10)This recording, analyzing and classifying of information occupied thegreater portion of the time that the students in the study spent on theinformation seeking process. As students perused resources and gatheredinformation they were approaching the third part of an informationseeking project.c)^Students applied organizational skills to conclude theinformation seeking process and to prepare for the production ofthe final product.As the completion date for the information seeking projectapproached, the students in the study were observed to cease analyzing,recording and classifying imformation and to begin to apply theorganization skills they needed to produce their final product. Many56students used their assignment to verify their information seeking. "Imake sure that I've answered the questions where and why." (F, i, 10) "Igo back over it and find if I've missed anything." (F, i, 10) "I ask myteacher to look at it and that's my rough draft and then I'll go do my finaldraft." (M, i, 10) "I make a checklist and check off everything when I'vedone it." (F, i, 8)Students were asked to describe how they decided to stopinformation seeking. Several of the students used as their guide theamount of information they had been able to locate. "That's a hardquestion. As soon as I've gone through all the books I can find, Isuppose." (M, i, 10) Others stopped when they ceased finding newinformation. "I usually look up information until it starts to repeat itself,until I start to find things that are the same as what I've already read." (F,i, 10) "Either when I can't find any more information or when I haveenough." (M, 1, 8) Some of the students used a mental assessment of theirinformation seeking process. "[I stop] when I feel satisfied." (F, i, 8) " Iguess you just kind of know." (F, j, 10)A number of the students in the study were guided by the form ofthe final product. "I usually decide by how much I've got. If I have enoughto do the paragraph or whatever. If the teacher wants a long report youhave to look at everything but if it's just a short paragraph, you don't haveto go through everything. You can stop when you've got what you need."(F, i, 8) "That's a hard question. When I have enough to write an essay.When an essay is full, got a lot of content." (F, i, 10)57The amount of information acquired indicated to some of thestudents that they could stop seeking for information. " Probably when Ihave five or six pages of notes on each book." (M, i,10) "When I stoplooking for information is when I have more than enough and then I knowI'm on the safe side." (F, j, 10) " When you have enough information tocomplete a well-informed paper." (F, j, 10) For certain of the students inthe study, interest was the deciding factor. "That's a hard one. Sometimesif it's a topic I'm not very interested in I'll just get what I need and thenstop, but if it's something I'm really interested in or if I find somethingreally interesting I'll just keep on." (F, i, 10) Time dictated to others whenthey stopped this phase of the information seeking process. "Usually whenthe teachers tell us we don't get any more research time." (F, i, 8)The computer laboratory in this school was visible in its entiretyfrom the School Library Resource Centre as it was located in a classroomadjacent to the School Library Resource Centre and separated by a wallwhich was glass from ceiling to waist level, while a door provided easyaccess. During the final stages of the information gathering project manyof the students were observed taking their organized notes to a computerto compose their final product. Several students were engaged inproducing a hand written draft before proceeding to a computer. As thestudents worked on the computers, a number were observed interactingwith their teacher or the teacher librarian and discussing an informationpoint or a grammatical construction in the final draft.A few of the students had decided to present the results of their58information seeking in the form of a poster with accompanying writtendetails and remained in the School Library Resource Centre to preparetheir posters. It was apparent that more than ninety percent of thestudents were satisfied that the information seeking process had enabledthem to be successful with their School Library Resource Centre researchproject.3. DIFFERENCES IN PERCEPTIONS AND BEHAVIOURS DURING THEINFORMATION SEEKING PROCESS OF GRADE 8 AND GRADE 10STUDENTS.There were several differences which became evident during theexamination of the data concerning the perceptions and behaviours of thestudents.Firstly, when the data was grouped by feeder school and examined,an important difference was seen. It appeared that students from FeederSchool 1 and Feeder School 2 in general had fewer problems with theinformation seeking process and suffered fewer frustrations throughoutthe information seeking process than did some of the students from theother feeder schools. Both of these feeder schools have had cooperativeprogram planning strategies in place for a number of years. These werethe students in the study who exhibited confidence throughout theinformation seeking process, and saw themselves as successful at findinginformation for a project. "Usually successful." (M, i, 10) "Usually I'm59pretty good at finding it [information]." (F, i, 10) At times, these studentshad some problems finding information, but they still saw themselves assuccessful with the process and not frustrated by it. It was apparent thatthe practice that these students had with the information seeking processenabled them to undertake it with fewer problems. 'Yeah. The more[projects] you do, the better you get." (F, i, 8) The students have also hadpractice at information seeking at the secondary level and this wasreflected by the confident behaviours displayed by several students fromthe other feeder schools. "No, not usually. The odd time [I have problems]but, no." (F, i, 10)Secondly, grouping the data by age groups indicated that the fiveperceptions found during the study were held by a majority of the studentsin the study. The differences uncovered resided in the depth of theperceptions held by the students. It appeared that the Grade 10 studentshad internalized the perceptions found, had accepted them as a part oftheir belief system and consequently were more articulate in explainingthem. The younger students held the perceptions but it seemed that theywere less able to explain them. "I like working in the library." (M, j, 8)with no accompanying reason, appeared in a number of the journalswritten by the Grade 8 students.It also seemed that the information seeking process was recognizedby the Grade l0 students for its intrinsic value. For the Grade 8 students,the particular topic they were dealing with had more value than theinformation seeking process. "It depends on the topic." (F, j, 8)60The data revealed that the younger students viewed the informationseeking process as a series of small concrete steps, separated one fromanother and not necessarily arranged in any logical manner. "I did mytitle page." (F, j, 8) "Today I drew a map." (M, j, 8) "I looked in the cardcatalogue." (F, j, 8) The older students viewed the process, wrote andspoke about it globally. "My research is going well." (F, j, 10) "I likelooking for information. I am interested in finding information on mycountry." (M, j, 10) It appeared that the older students carried out theirinformation seeking in a more disciplined and logical manner. Thesestudents carried out planning activities more often and referred more oftento their assignments for guidance in their information seeking process."My teacher gives us a sheet of what she wants and I usually refer to thatlots." (M, i, 10)It appeared that the students perceived the information they werefinding in different ways. The Grade 10 students had a stronger intrinsicinterest in gaining knowledge and in the knowledge gained than did manyof the Grade 8 students. The Grade 10 students were also more consistentin practising self-discipline and exhibited fewer off-task behaviours thanthe Grade 8 students.In summary, differences in student perceptions of the informationseeking process centered around the greater opportunities some of thestudents had received to practise information seeking and the greaterdepth of the perceptions and global view of the information seekingprocess held by the Grade 10 students. The older students saw the value of61the information seeking process as an entity and had a more intrinsicinterest in the knowledge gained through the information seeking processthan did the younger students. The information seeking process was amore disciplined process for the more mature students, both in itsexecution and in their behaviour.DISCUSSIONThe findings of this study demonstrated that adolescents in onesecondary school perceived the information seeking process in a positivelight because they saw it as a process which allowed them to be activeparticipants in their own learning and, by implication, enhanced andindividualized their education. In the past, theorists and practitioners ineducation have expressed concern and pressed for change in schoolsystems which did not address individual needs. (Dewey, 1933; Eisner,1971; Fullan, 1982; Goodlad, 1984.) The practice of paying attention tothe needs of the individual learner has grown in recent years and theofficial documents which define practices and guidelines in manyprovinces advocate an individual approach. (Alberta, Ministry ofEducation, 1985; British Columbia Ministry of Education, 1990a, 1990b,1992; Ontario, Ministry of Education, 1982; Saskatchewan, 1986.)This study also showed that students recognized the value of theinformation seeking process as a process as it is the key which teaches thestudents how to find the information they want and opens the door to62lifelong learning. Students who wish to attend university were alreadyaware of this and perceived the information seeking process as necessaryto their educational goals.Society is becoming less economically dependent upon primaryindustries and more dependent upon the creation and consumption ofinformation as a source of employment. Learning the skills associatedwith the information seeking process is therefore perceived by a fewstudents as useful vocational education.The students approached the information seeking process indifferent ways. Their strategies for completing the task can be directlylinked to the research on metacognition and metalearning by people suchas Biggs, 1985; Chang, 1989, 1990; and Wong, 1989. These researchersdiscovered that secondary school students used different approaches whenthey undertook a problem solving assignment. What these researchersnamed a "Deep Approach" was characterized by an intrinsic interest inlearning; the "Surface Approach" was used by students who just wanted toget the task finished and the "Achieving Approach" was based on taskcompletion for competition and high marks. Each of the approaches wasaccompanied by a matching strategy used to complete the task. Theirfindings indicated that, although different approaches were used by thesame students at different times, in general, students in the higher gradestended to use the "Deep Approach" more than students in the lower gradesof secondary school, who favoured either of the other approaches. Itappears that this study supports this theory.63The consistent practice of self-discipline displayed by the olderstudents can be in part attributed to developmental changes inadolescents and also in part to the "Deep Approach" to the informationseeking process adopted by more of these students. Their intrinsic interestin the subject matter and the knowledge they were acquiring promoted self-discipline practices.Certain of the students, particularly the older students, displayeduses of strategies to plan and monitor their search for information. Theuse of these strategies was not consistent, they were not used by all of theolder students and by only a few of the younger students. This patternwas consistent with the extensive research on child and adolescentdevelopmental stages carried out by Bruner, 1966, 1973; Inhelder &Piaget, 1958; Peel, 1960, 1971; and Vygotsky, 1962.The perception of the students that the information seeking processinvolved various degrees of frustration is worth noting. Other studies haveshown that the anxiety level of students was intense and that the majorityof students underwent anxiety during the information seeking process.(Collins, Mellon & Young, 1987; Mellon, 1986; Mellon, 1988; Mellon andPagles, 1987.) The findings of this study, albeit with its small sample,indicate that practice in the information seeking process has a great dealto do with reducing student frustration with the process.The two larger feeder schools which sent students to the secondaryschool where the study was conducted, had teacher librarians whopractised cooperative program planning with the teachers in their schools.64It is important to note that the students from these schools hadpreviously received curriculum based instruction in the informationseeking process during their years in elementary school and these studentscomprised the bulk of the sample for this study. In addition, classroomteachers and the teacher librarian at the secondary school where the studywas conducted have developed and used curricular projects which involvedinformation seeking in the School Library Resource Centre. The lowfrustration levels experienced by the students in this study can be linkedto the students' familiarity with the information seeking process and theamount of practice they have had with it. Studies have shown thatSchool Library Resource Centres with teacher librarians who usecooperative program planning do make a difference in the students' facilitywith information seeking skills. (Didier, 1984, 1985; Goodin, 1988;Hodges, Gray & Reeves, 1985; McConnaha, 1972; Mancall, 1986.)It is also worth noting that the few students who did experiencesomewhat higher levels of frustration had attended elementary schools inwhich the library programme consisted principally of 'library lessons'which were presented at set times and were unrelated to the regularclassroom work or elementary schools in which there was no libraryprogramme.There is a distinct difference between what the students in the studydid when they began a new information seeking project in the SchoolLibrary Resource Centre and what they said they did. More than seventy-five percent of the students said they used the card catalogue first when65they began a new information seeking project. However, observationrevealed that only a few of the students actually did this.What the students in the study thought they did and what they didcan be attributed to several different reasons. In the situation where theteacher librarian had previously selected resources and the students usedthese almost exclusively, the positive perception of the helpfulness of theteacher librarian was verified. This behaviour might also indicate that itis easier to let someone else do the work. The students who went directlyto the appropriate section of the shelves indicated that they were familiarwith the School Library Resource Centre. This behaviour might also haveindicated that they have previously experienced frustration using the cardcatalogue and have learned to avoid this frustration. Another possiblereason for the difference in what they said they did and what they actuallydid might be that the students had been taught to go to the card cataloguefirst, but that some of them had found that this was not always the bestplace to begin an information search. An observation might also be madethat the students said they went to the card catalogue first becauseperhaps that was what they thought the researcher wanted to hear.More than three-quarters of the students stated that they preferredto choose their own topic for an information seeking project. However, itappeared that some students experienced doubt and frustration whenpermitted to do this. Perhaps one solution to reduce this frustration forthe students would be to do what several students suggested. "I like itwhen she has some [topics] you can do but you can also choose your own.66So that if you get stuck and can't think of anything you can always havesome ideas, but if you have one you'd really like to do you can do thatone." (F, i, 8)A number of the students said they asked for assistance with theirproject only when they "got stuck" by which they meant they had used allthe information seeking strategies they knew and had not found what theyneeded. This possibly indicated a frustration not expressed by thestudents in so many words and might also have supported the theory thatour culture encourages a tradition of "rugged, do-it-yourself individualism[and] asking for help can be for some tantamount to admitting failure."(Keefer, 1993 p.337.)A number of the students went to the adjacent computer facility assoon as they had enough notes or rough copy, to begin assembling thefinal draft of their written assignment. It appeared that the location ofthe computers provided direct support for the School Library ResourceCentre and for students engaged in the information seeking process. Italso allowed the students to interact with their teacher and the teacherlibrarian while they were preparing their final draft and seemed to givethem more confidence in the composition of their final draft.Placing the computer facility next to the School Library ResourceCentre, separated only it by a glass wall with easy access provided by adoor, makes this facility almost an extension of the School LibraryResource Centre. This placement did inevitably add to the duties of theteacher librarian but it seemed that this was more than balanced by the67support it provided for the students.It appears that this limited and preliminary study has shown that apositive perception on the information seeking process is almostuniversally held by secondary school students. This should encourageteacher librarians in their efforts to plan curricular based informationseeking projects with classroom teachers.Teacher librarians have infrequent opportunities to observestudents engaged in an information search, yet assisting students withthat process is a major component of the role of a teacher librarian. Thisstudy has allowed a practising teacher librarian time to step back fromactive participation in information searches, to observe what the studentsdo and to converse with them about their perceptions of the process. Ithas proven to be a valuable learning experience.SUMMARYThe secondary school students in Grade 8 and Grade 10 whoparticipated in this study held five major perceptions about theinformation seeking process. Firstly, nearly all of the students perceivedthe information seeking process as providing for their active involvementin their own education. This perception reflected the students' feelingsthat the information seeking process allowed them to have some controlover their own learning.Secondly, the information seeking process represented a positive68experience for the students when it took place in the School LibraryResource Centre. The students perceived that the School Library ResourceCentre was an attractive alternative working space for them where theyhad access to the resources they needed for information seeking and wherethey received support from their interactions with their teacher and theteacher librarian.Thirdly, the students perceived that successful information seekingrequired the application of self-discipline strategies. The students wereaware that practising consistent self-discipline was difficult and were alsoaware of the skills needed to carry out self-discipline. This wasparticularly true of the Grade 10 students.Fourthly, the students perceived that the information seekingprocess used the skills of locating and selecting resources, acquiring andanalyzing information as well as recording and classifying thisinformation. These skills were seen as necessary skills which will alsoassist the students with their future education and employment.Lastly, the students perceived that the information seeking processinvolved varying degrees of frustration. This frustration was more evidentat the beginning of the information search and seemed to lessen asappropriate resources were found.The findings of this study also indicated that student behavioursduring the information seeking process fell into these three areas: thestudents commenced the information seeking process and clarifiedresearch strategies; the students recorded, analyzed and classified69information from previously located resources; the students appliedorganizational skills to conclude the information seeking process andprepared for the production of their final product. Within these threeareas there were individual variations in behaviours but nearly all of thestudents followed a similar behaviour pattern.Differences found in the study between the perceptions of the Grade10 and Grade 8 students resided chiefly in the greater depth of theperceptions held by the older students.The study supports other studies which have shown that studentswho have attended elementary and secondary schools where the teacherlibrarian and the classroom teachers practise cooperative programplanning have more facility with the information seeking process and alsoexperience fewer frustrations with the process than those students whohave not had this same experience.70Chapter 5:SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONSSUMMARYThis study has dealt with the perceptions and behaviours ofsecondary school students during the information seeking process. Thestudy was conducted with students from four classes in one juniorsecondary school in a large school district in North Central BritishColumbia. Data was collected by means of student journal writings,recorded interviews with randomly selected students and by participantobservation.CONCLUSIONSThe findings of the study give insight into the manner in whichsecondary school students perceive the information seeking process andinto the behaviours they use to search for information. From this insight,the following conclusions and implications about secondary schoolstudents and the information seeking process can be stated.1. Firstly, the information seeking process empowers the studentsto be active participants in setting directions for their own learning.In addition, it is regarded as a positive experience by which the71students learn skills they will need in their future informationsearches.Implication: Teacher librarians should place greater emphasison their role as teachers, thus facilitating activeparticipation by the students and the classroom teachers inthe information seeking process and ensuring that students learnthe skills needed to locate, synthesize and evaluate information.2. Secondly, the frustrations experienced by students during theinformation seeking process appear to be fewer for those who havehad practice with curriculum based, cooperatively plannedprojects. In addition, students who have hadopportunities to practise information seeking skills have moreconfidence in their ability to search for information and tofind it successfully.Implication: Teacher librarians must be persistent in their efforts touse cooperative program planning with classroom teachers inpreparing relevant information seeking projects for their classes todemonstrate to the students that successful information seeking isenhanced by practice and will result in greater confidence.723. Thirdly, students who are aware of the importance ofself-discipline are more consistent in practising these behavioursduring the process of information seeking.Implication: Teacher librarians need to be aware that, while theolder students tended to view the information seeking processglobally, the younger students saw information seeking as a seriesof small, concrete steps, each step requiring some action on theirpart. Information seeking projects should be designed to providemore structure for inexperienced students at this developmentalstage and greater emphasis should be placed on integrating the stepsin the process.4. Fourthly, secondary school students appear to ask eitherthe teacher librarian or their teacher for assistance with aninformation seeking project only when they have exhausted theirown information seeking competencies or when these competenciesare lacking.Implication: Teacher librarians must realize that requests forassistance are likely to be accompanied by feelings of frustration.Strategies must be initiated to increase interactions with studentsand to offer assistance before it is requested.735. Fifthly, students, fascinated by technology, will use electronicreferences such as a CD ROM index, even when this use isinappropriate.Implication: Teacher librarians should make every effort to provideelectronic access to references in the School LibraryResource Centre, as well as access to databases located elsewhere.Students need frequent opportunities, as a part of on-goingassignments, to use this equipment and to determine itsappropriateness to a particular information seeking project.6. Finally, the location of a computer facility visibly adjacent to andeasily accessible from the School Library Resource Centre appearsto encourage the students to make use of available technology tocomplete their information seeking projects and, at the same time,allows for increased interaction with the teacher librarian and theirteacher.Implication: Teacher librarians must make every effort toprovide easy, open access to a computer facility in elementaryand secondary schools. A greater integration of the school74curriculum is likely when the computer facility is adjacent to, or apart of, the School Library Resource Centre. Administrators need tobe aware of the need for increased staffing to cope with the increasedwork load associated with the management of such a facility.Research and this current study indicate that teacher librarians whoplan cooperatively with the classroom teachers in the school and whointegrate information seeking skills with curriculum based studentprojects do make a difference in improving the students' facility with theinformation seeking process.Teacher librarians should be encouraged to step out of their dailyrole and observe the realities of students engaged in the informationseeking process. This study has allowed a practising teacher librariantime to observe the behaviours of secondary school students working in aschool library resource centre and to talk to them about their perceptionsof information seeking. 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High school studentsattitudes toward the media program- what makes thedifference? School Library Media Quarterly, 13 (3), 183-190.Hughes, C. S. (1986). Teaching strategies for developing studentthinking. School Library Media Quarterly, 15 (1), 33-36.79Ingwersen, P. (1982). Search procedures in the library - analyzed from thecognitive point of view. Journal of Documentation, 38 (3), 165-191.Inhelder, B., & Piaget, J. (1958). The growth of logical thinking fromchildhood to adolescence: An essay on the construction of formaloperational structures. New York, NY: Basic Books.Jakobovits, L. A., & Nahl-Jakobovits, D. (1987). Learning the library:Taxonomy of skills and errors. College and Research Libraries,48 (3), 203-214.Jakobovits, L. A., & Nahl-Jakobovits, D. (1990). Measuring informationsearching competence. College and Research Libraries, 51 (5), 448-463.Jay, M. E. (1986). The elementary school library media teacher's role ineducating students to think. School Library Media Quarterly, 15 (1),28-32.Keefer, J. (1993). The hungry rats syndrome: Library anxiety, informationliteracy, and the academic reference process, RQ, 32 (3), 333-339.Kelly, G. A. (1963). A theory of personality: The psychology of personalconstructs. New York, NY: Norton.Kidder, L. H. (Ed.). (1981). Selltiz, Wrightsman & Cook's research methods in social relations. (4th ed.). New York, NY: Holt,Rinehart & Winston.Kobasigawa, A. (1983). Children's retrieval skills for school learning.The Alberta Journal of Educational Research, 29 (4), 259-271.Kuhlthau, C. C. (1983). The library research pocess: Case studies andinterventions with high school seniors in advanced placementEnglish classes using Kelly's theory of constructs. (DoctoralDissertation, Rutgers University, 1983.) Dissertations Abstracts International, v.44-07A.Kuhlthau, C. C. (1987). Stages in child and adolescent development andimplications for library instructional programs. In J. Varlejs (Ed.),Information seeking: Basing services on users' behaviours (pp.40-51). Jefferson, NC: McFarland.Kuhlthau, C. C. (1988a). Developing a model of the library searchprocess: Cognitive and affective aspects. RQ, 28 (2), 232-242.80Kuhlthau, C. C. (1988b). Perceptions of the information search processin libraries: A study of the changes from high school throughcollege. Information Processing and Management, 24 (4), 419-427.Kuhlthau, C. C. (1989). The information search process of high-, middle-and low-achieving high school seniors. School Library Media Quarterly, 18 (4), 224-226.Kuhlthau, C. C., Turock, B. J., George, M. W., & Belvin, R. J. (1990).Validating a model of the search process: A comparison ofacademic, public and school library users. Library and Information Science Research, 12 (1), 5-31.Kulleseid, E. R. (1986). Extending the research base: Schema theory,cognitive styles, and types of intelligence. 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Library Research 1, 223-236.Mancall, J. C., & Drott, M. C. (1983). Measuring student information use: A guide for school library media specialists. Littleton, CO:Libraries Unlimited.81Marzano, R. J., Brandt, R. S., Hughes, C. S., Jones, B. F., Presseisen, B.Z., Rankin, S. C., & Suhov, C. (Eds.). (1988). Dimensions of thinking: A  framework for curriculum and instruction. Alexandria,VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.(ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 294 222.Mellon, C. A. (1986). Library anxiety: A grounded theory and itsdevelopment. College and Research Libraries, 47 (2), 160-165.Mellon, C. A. (September 1,1988). Attitudes: The forgotten dimension inlibrary instruction. Library Journal, 114, 137-39.Mellon, C. A., & Peagles, K. E. (1987). Bibliographic instruction andlearning theory. In C. A. Mellon (Ed.), Bibliographic instruction: The second generation (pp.134-142). Littleton, CO: LibrariesUnlimited.Merriam, S.B. (1988). Case study research in education: a qualitativeapproach. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.Moore, P.A. & St. George, A. (1991). Children as information seekers:The cognitive demands of books and library systems. School Library Media Quarterly, 19 (3), 161-168.Ontario, Ministry of Education. (1982). Partners in action: The library resource centre in the school curriculum. Toronto, ON: Author.Page, F. T. (1977). International dictionary of education. London, Eng.:Kogan Page.Pare, J. & Beauregrand-Champagne, P. (1993). En commencant par lafin. L'Actualitê, 18 (12), 90.Peel, E. A. (1960). The pupil's thinking. London, Eng.: Oldbourne.Peel, E. A. (1971). The nature of adolescent judgement. London, Eng.:Staples Press.Perry, W. G. (1970). Forms of intellectual and ethical development in the college years: A scheme. New York, NY: Rinehart.Perry, W.G. (1981). Cognitive and ethical growth: The making ofmeaning. In A. Chickering (Ed.), The modern American college (pp.76-116). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.Prince George School District No. 57. (1987). Scope and sequence of library and research skills Prince George, B. C.: Author.82Saskatchewan Association of Educational Media Specialists. (1986). Thefourth r: Resource based learning in the school curriculum. Saskatoon, SA: AuthorStripling, B. K. & Pitts, J. M. (1988). Brainstorms and blueprints: Teaching library research as a thinking process. Englewood, CO:Libraries Unlimited.Swope, M. J. & Katzer, J. (1972). "Why don't they ask questions?" RC), 12(2), 161-166.Taylor, R. S. (1968). Question-negotiation and information seeking inlibraries. College and Research Libraries, 29 (3), 178-194.Vygotsky, L. S. (1962). Thought and language. ( E. Hanfmann & G. Vakar,Ed. & Trans.). Cambridge, MA: Massachusetts Institute ofTechnology.Wilson, T. D. (1981). On user studies and information needs. TheJournal of Documentation, 17 (1), 3-15.Wong, P. S. (1989, November). The effects of academic settings on students' metacognition in mathematical problem solving. Paperpresented at the Annual Meeting, Australian Association forResearch in Education, Adelaide, Australia. (ERIC DocumentReproduction Service No. 340 581).83APPENDIX A SAMPLE JOURNAL PROMPTSThe following sample prompts have been designed for this study toassist reflective journal writing:I am interested in my topic because...I like working in the library because...I like looking for information for a project because...I found out that...When my class comes to the library tomorrow I will...Today I felt frustrated because...My next task is to...Today I did a lot of work on my topic. I...I asked the librarian or my teacher for help with...What I notice about looking for information in a library ...In a final journal entry, students were asked to reflecton the information seeking process by prompts such as:When I think about looking for information in a library atfirst I feel...Later I feel...When I look for information in a library I used to...Now I...Some things I do well when looking for information...Some things I'd like to improve are...84APPENDIX B SAMPLE INTERVIEW QUESTIONS1. What do you do first when you begin researching a newinformation seeking topic?2. Do you ask someone for help before you begin looking forinformation on your topic?3. Is it helpful for you to talk to others about your topic?4. Do you prefer a research topic assigned by your teacher?5. Do you prefer to choose your own research topic?6. Do you have difficulty selecting a research topic?7. Do you ask for help in locating materials?8. Do you look for materials other than books?9. Does the card catalogue list all the sources of information youneed?10. Do you take notes from each source of information asyou read each one?11. Do you like to find everything first and then take notes?12. Do you become more interested in your topic as yougather information?13. Do you have a central theme for your topic before youbegin looking for information?14. Does a central theme emerge as you gather informationabout your topic?15. Do you have difficulty finding information on a topic?16. Do you find as much information on your topic as you canbefore you stop looking for information?17. Do you ask for help after you have begun looking forinformation on your topic?18. Do your thoughts on your topic change as you gatherinformation?8519. Do you have difficulty finding information in a library?20. Do you find one or two sources of information on yourtopic and then stop looking for more information?21. When is your information search complete?22. Does researching a topic take less time than youthought?23. Do research assignments add to what you learn in acourse?24. Does the library have all the information you need?25. Does researching a topic take more time than youthought?26. Are you successful in finding information in theSchool Library Resource Centre?27. How do you evaluate your progress through theinformation seeking process?28. Do you stop and think about what you have done and whatyou still have to do?29. What are some of the things you do well when you lookfor information?30. Are there any information seeking skills you would like toimprove?86APPENDIX C SCHOOL PROFILESPROFILE: FEEDER SCHOOL 1The School CommunityThe first feeder school is located at the eastern edge of the expandedcity limits, about 15 km. from the centre of Prince George. The schoolcommunity is classed as semi-rural with many homes clustered along thetwo main highways which roughly define the boundaries of the school'spopulation.The area, one of the first to grow outside the city limits, is a fairlystable economically lower middle class one with most children comingfrom two-parent families where the main wage earner is the father and ahigh percentage of mothers manage the home life. The education level ofthe parents is varied, ranging from non-completion of high school to ascattering of university educated professionals. The blue collar workersare mainly associated with the logging and trucking industries and someare self-employed as truckers and small logging contractors. Someprofessional people live in the area because it offers a semblance ofcountry living while being reasonably close to the amenities offered by thecity. This segment of the population is increasing and the school isconsequently one of the faster growing ones in the district. The ethnicand recent immigrant population is almost non-existent. The parents aregenerally very supportive of the school and keenly interested in itsactivities. There is no lack of parental supervision and assistance withschool events.87The community interests are dominated by sports and other outdooractivities such as fishing and snowmobiling. There is a separate, heavilyused community centre and ball diamond next to the school grounds.Most families have reliable car access to the city and a number of childrenare taken to the pool or the arena for swimming and skating or hockeylessons.The SchoolThe school presently has a population of 396 students ranging fromPrimary 1 (Kindergarten) to Intermediate 1 (Grade 7). More than half thestudents are bus students. The curriculum is standard but the classroompresentation ranges from traditional to a multi-aged integratedcurriculum. Some teachers are using many Year 2000 teaching strategieswhile others are moving more slowly in this direction. Generally, theschool has a whole language/ library focus.The philosophy of the school is child centered with theresponsibility for education shared by the school and the home. The childis expected to be an active participant in his/her own education.The Students The 396 students have a wide range of abilities and learning styles.Many students are fairly mature and take on helping duties at school.They are accustomed to daily chores at home and are responsible forgetting themselves and their siblings on the school bus twice a day. Theiraspirations reflect their parents' occupations and lifestyles.88The LibraryThe school library is located in the centre of the school and is largeenough to accommodate two classes at the same time, although it is morecomfortable with one class and a small group. The teacher librarian has a.8 FTE contract and a part-time clerical is assigned to the library. Thelibrary is accessible to teachers and students during school hours.At the beginning of the school year orientation visits to the schoollibrary are held for every class. There are no formal 'library lessons' andthe teacher librarian follows a reasonably agressive policy of promotingcooperatively planned library projects, using the district developed Scope and Sequence of Library Skills as a guide to ensure that students aretaught an appropriate range of information seeking skills. WhenEnrichment time is assigned to the school it is usually spent on projectsin the library. The Administration is very supportive of this approach. Thecollection consists of approximately 7200 titles,* mainly print, and there isa teachers' professional collection. The library circulation system is fullyautomated. The district has no formal interlibrary loan system but aninformal one exists among teacher librarians.*Note: The District Resource Centre has a large audio-visual collectionwhich is accessible to all the teachers in the district on a very fair andequitable booking schedule. District long range plans include theautomation of all the school libraries but cut-backs in funding have so farlimited the fully automated libraries to one elementary and onesecondary89PROFILE: FEEDER SCHOOL 2The School CommunityLocated on the main north-south highway, the second feeder schoolis just outside the south eastern edge of the city limits about 20 km. fromthe city centre. Unlike the stable, long established school community ofthe previous feeder school, this community is not a unified one. Its maincomponents are a large Canadian Croatian population, a core of long timeresidents, a number of younger families and a segment of economicallydisadvantaged, principally single parent families. In addition, there are anumber of well established hobby farms primarily owned and run byuniversity educated professionals and their families who have chosen towork in the city and live in a rural setting. Many of the non-professionalsown small businesses, are self-employed at some occupation associatedwith logging or work at one of the pulp mills. This is an economically andsocially mixed community, ranging from low to upper middle class. Mostof the parents view education as critical to their children's futures and arevery supportive of the school and its activities while some view educationand school attendance as unimportant.Many families take advantage of the cultural and recreationalofferings in the city. Music, dance and hockey are probably the main towninterests while softball, horseback riding and 4 H activities are importantcommunity pursuits.90The School Presently the school population is 225 and the grade levels arePrimary 1 - Intermediate 1 (K - 7). The majority of the students are busstudents. The school population has declined in recent years as familieshave grown up and the area population has stablized. Teachers have madeefforts to bring in new teaching styles. There is a trend away fromstructured classrooms and a swing toward cooperative teaching strategiesin order to cope more effectively with the range of learning styles presentin every classroom. Every effort is made to meet the individual needs ofthe students. The staff is very collegial with many choosing to remain atthe school year after year.The Students The 225 students have a wide range of abilities and learning styles.There are few ethnic students other than the Canadian Crotian populationwhich provides a few ESL students each year. The maturity level of thestudents varies, but many have grown up in a very protective homeenvironment where their horizons are limited to caring for their horsesand their 4 H projects. Others, from single parent families, have had toaccept responsibility for younger siblings while the parent works away fromhome.The LibraryThe library is located at the centre of the school and has a seatingcapacity of about 35. The collection consists of 7000 mainly print itemsand includes a small Professional collection for teachers. The teacher91librarian is .8 FTE and has some clerical time assigned to the library. Thelibrary is fully accessible to teachers and students.Orientation sessions are held for every class in September. Withonly one exception, the teacher librarian plans cooperatively with all theteachers on staff. Most library projects involve group work whichincorporates curriculum with information seeking skills. Occasionally,whole class lessons to teach new information skills or to reinforce skills asnecessary are given prior to practising the skills in a library project. WhenEnrichment time is available to the school it is usually spent on extendedlibrary projects. The teacher librarian has been at the school for some timeand feels very comfortable with the administrative support received fromvarious principals.92PROFILE: FEEDER SCHOOL 3The School CommunityThe third feeder school is located outside the city limits and about25 km. south east of the city centre. It is surrounded by family run farms,large houses located on acreage and hobby farms owned by professionalssuch as medical practioners and teachers who wish to live in a thoroughlyrural setting.The area which contains the school's population is very pretty, withits large open fields, dirt roads, trees and quiet rural atmosphere. Many ofthe people here farm to raise their own food, support their livestock andearn a small second income. In these cases, the partner earns the mainincome by working in the city, frequently in a service industry, or, in thecase of the male partner, at a variety of blue collar jobs. Foster childrenare placed in homes in this area and contribute slightly to family income.The background of the population is mainly white Anglo-Saxon with avery few recent immigrants and the economic status is middle to lowincome. Families are very supportive of the school and are frequentvolunteers at school events and field trips. The community is a countryone with the tradition of sharing and helping. There is a large volunteerfire department, the members of which contribute in many ways tocommunity life. There is an active 4 H club. Most of the families see thattheir children have access to the city recreational facilities, but a smallpercentage of the school population has never visited the city.93The SchoolThe school has 140 students. This number has been reached by aslow decrease in the population over the past few years. The teachingstrategies employed by the teachers are moving strongly toward Year 2000,and the focus of the school is changing slowly but steadily fromtraditional single grade classrooms to multi-grade integrated classroomswith the philosophical emphasis on the child as an active partner inhis/her education along with the teacher and the parents.The Students The 140 students display the usual wide range of abilities andlearning styles. The four ESL students in the school this year are morethan there has ever been at one time. Generally the students are matureand responsible. They are expected to do farm chores, look after their 4 Hanimals and help look after younger siblings at home. Many students helpin various ways in the school.The LibraryThe library was created out of two full classrooms and is a largepleasant room with a collection of about 5000 print items. There is a largeprofessional collection which the teacher librarian says has to be severelyweeded. The library is located in the south west corner of the school awayfrom the office area and near the primary classrooms. The teacherlibrarian is assigned to the library .5 FTE. There is no designated clericaltime but the office secretary does the library clerical work. The library isopen during school hours and the teacher librarian is available more than94the .5 FTE would indicate as she also provides preparation time for theregular classroom teachers.It is the practice in this school to offer library orientation sessionsto every class at the beginning of the school year and to teach 'librarylessons' on such topics as note taking, outlining, use of the card catalogueand the Dewey decimal system throughout the year. Not all classes arecovered every year if the teacher and the teacher librarian do not feel thata class needs a particular lesson. The teacher librarian also works withgroups of students on projects which are usually planned by the teacher.Sometimes the teacher librarian assists in the planning. As Year 2000teaching strategies are adopted, the use of the library is increasing. Theteacher librarian feels that the Administration supports her managementof the library.95PROFILE: FEEDER SCHOOL 4The School CommunityThe fourth small feeder school is located some 50 km. north east ofPrince George. The community originally grew up around a prosperoussaw mill which then closed about 15 years ago. The houses whichbelonged to the saw mill were auctioned off and many of them were moved.In effect, the community was closed down but many people chose to stayand the school was kept open. The main occupations in the communitynow are farming and independent logging. Many people work outside thecommunity. The population is a mixture of those who are long time olderresidents and those who follow one of several alternative life styles. Thepeople who live in this community are those who wish to live in arelatively isolated place and do all their business 50 km. away. Since thevillage is located on the west bank of the Fraser River it is fairly regularlycut off in the spring when the river floods from the spring runoff or in thewinter from ice jams Community interests centre around outdooractivities and the school.The SchoolThe school population presently stands at 50. It is funded by thedistrict on the same basis as larger schools but because the population issmall it is not a school rich in material resources. Teachers must beflexible as their assignments always include multi-grade classes. Year2000 teaching strategies are suited to these kinds of classes and have been96adopted by the teachers.The Students The 50 students have a real sense of ownership of their school andthey perform many helping and sharing tasks in the school and in theirclassrooms. Discipline problems are uncommon in schools like this one.The LibraryThe school has a library with a small collection. Limited fundingmeans that the library allocation is minimal. The collection is not up-to-date and looks worn and shabby. The teacher librarian is assigned to thelibrary on a .1 FTE contract, which amounts to one afternoon a week.This time is spent on clerical tasks, trying to keep some order on theshelves and in the circulation. There is no time for a library programmeand consequently the students know little about using library resources.The library is supported by the Administration of the school to the extentthat it has not been closed.97PROFILE: SECONDARY SCHOOLThe School CommunityThe school is located in the same area as Feeder 1 and draws itspopulation mainly from the first three of the four previously describedfeeder schools. There are two more small feeder schools, each located in adiscrete community, one 30 km. to the south of the city and the other 60km. south. The principal occupations in these two communities arecentered around logging and trucking and the economic status of bothcould be described as low to middle. Profiles have not been developed forthese two feeder schools because the sample of students in the classes inthe study from these feeders in the study was too small.The parents of the students are primarily blue collar workers, someself-employed in businesses associated with logging and trucking. Aminority is university educated professionals who live on hobby farms anda few are farmers. There are relatively few single parent families andabout sixty percent of the mothers do not work out of the house. If theydo, they are usually either teachers or are employed in a service industry.The ethnic background is Anglo-Saxon and with the exception of theCroatian community the immigrant population is very small.Secondary schools traditionally do not receive as much directparental support as elementary schools and this one is not an exception.Some parents are active volunteers at school events. Most of the parentsdo think that education in the basics is important and this is reflected in98their children's attitudes toward school and their courses.Outdoor sports and activities are important in this community.Many people own snowmobiles and ATVs. Horseback riding is theprincipal leisure-time activity for a number of students and a substantialnumber of students are active in 4 H clubs. Many parents make sure thattheir children continue to have access to the recreational and culturalpossibilities in Prince George.The School The school has 320 students who are in Intermediate 2-4 (Grades 8 -10). The school has been involved in a year 2000 Site Development projectand last year had a class of Intermediate 3 (Grade 9) which integratedEnglish and Social Studies and did some project work with anIntermediate 1 class (Grade 7) from the elementary school. The studentscalled their class the Year 2000 one and many students chose to stay withthe same teacher this year, although English and Social Studies are notintegrated in Intermediate 4 (Grade 10). Other than this Site DevelopmentProject and team teaching by Intermediate 2 (Grade 8) teachers, thecurriculum is delivered in a traditional manner. Teachers have alwaysmade an effort to accommodate individual needs both in their classroomsand through learning assistance. The ability range of the students is verywide and their learning styles are varied. As in the feeder schools, thereare never more than a few ESL students. The school philosophy commitsthe school to provide each student with the opportunity to develop tohis/her fullest potential culturally, socially, academically and physically99and to provide the best possible environment to achieve thisThe Students The students from Feeder School 1 see themselves as a distinctgroup, different from the rest of the students in the school. Because theirelementary school is across the road, they have a proprietary feeling abouttheir secondary school and they also see their area as being the mostsettled and stable of all the feeder areas. As only about half of this grouptravels by school bus, they are the ones who have more time to help atvarious tasks around the school.The aspirations of the students reflect those of their parents. Mostwant to go on to the senior grades; some want just to get a job so they canbuy a truck; some want to go to college or a trade school after they finishhigh school; a few want to go to university and have expressed interest inthe new University of Northern British Columbia in Prince George,realizing that this offers an opportunity that was not available a few yearsago. The aspirations of a number of the girls include getting married andhaving children.The LibraryThe library has recently been expanded into what was the corridorand is a much more attractive, less crowded room with sufficient seatingspaces for two classes. It is located on the second floor of the two storywing, on the east side of the school. The Shops, the Home Economicsrooms, the Computer Laboratory and the Science Laboratories are alsolocated in this wing. The regular classrooms are in another wing quite far100from the library. The collection has just been thoroughly weeded and hasabout 5000 mainly print items There is a CD ROM magazine index whichreceives heavy use and a modem which students and teachers use toaccess the audio-visual collection at the District Resource Centre. Thevarious departments in the school have their own small professionalcollections and there is a modest one in the library.The teacher librarian holds orientation sessions in the fall forstudents new to the school and other classes as necessary. She workedextensively with the Year 2000 class on library projects and has continuedto build on that base and to plan cooperatively with other teachers aswell. The principal is supportive of libraries and librarians. He feels thatthe teacher librarian has made it easy and pleasant for teachers to makelibrary research a necessary part of their curriculum.101Consent Letter, parents of students in participating classes:My name is Anne Rowe. I am a teacher librarian at Prince GeorgeSecondary School. I would like to ask your permission to allow your childto take part in a small research project which I am conducting as a part ofthe requirements for a Master of Arts Degree in School Librarianship atthe University of British Columbia. The title of my project is Exploringthe Interaction of Secondary School Students and Information Seeking. The purpose of the research is to gather information about thethoughts and feelings of secondary students as they engage in a libraryproject which involves information seeking. In addition, informationabout strategies the students use to monitor their progress during theinformation seeking process will be gathered.Your child will engage in a typical library research project which willbe part of the regular curriculum. The students will be asked to keep ajournal recording their thoughts and feelings about looking forinformation in the library for the project. I will observe the students asthey complete their library project and will have informal conversationswith them. Some students will be asked to take part in semi-structuredinterviews about the search process. The interviews will be recorded. Thetime needed for the interviews (about 30 minutes) will be the only extratime required. Interviews will be arranged at the students' convenience.Complete anonymity will be maintained by no use of student,teacher of school names. After the data analysis has been completed thedata will be destroyed.Please complete the attached form and have your child return it tome at the next class. Thank you for your cooperation. If you have anyquestions about the project please contact me at 562-6441(PGSS) duringschool hours. My Faculty Advisor is Dr. R. Jobe, Faculty of LanguageEducation, U.B.C., telephone 1-(604)-822-5233.1 of 2^ Yours truly,102To: Anne M. Rowe, Teacher Librarian, Prince George Secondary,C/O Blackburn Junior Secondary SchoolI request that my child participate in the research study as described onthe foregoing page. I understand that complete anonymity will bemaintained and that the data will be destroyed upon completion of theproject. I understand that my child has the right to withdraw from theresearch study component of the information seeking project and thatsuch withdrawal will not jeopardize his/her academic standing I alsounderstand that students who do not participate in the research studycomponent of the information seeking project will complete theinformation seeking project as a part of the regular curriculum in thiscourse.There are two pages to this consent form. As well as indicating yourwillingness for your son/daughter to participate in this project, yoursignature also acknowledges that you have read both pages.I consent to have my child participate in this study.Signed^I do not consent to have my child participate in this study.Signed^103Consent Letter, Administrators and Teachers.My name is Anne Rowe. I am a teacher librarian at Prince GeorgeSecondary School. I am conducting a small research project as a part ofthe requirements for a Master of Arts Degree in School Librarianship atthe University of British Columbia. The title of my project is Exploringthe Interaction of Secondary School Students and Information Seeking. The purpose of the research is to gather information about thethoughts and feelings of secondary students as they engage in a libraryproject which involves information seeking. In addition, informationabout strategies the students use to monitor their progress during theinformation seeking process will be gathered.Students will engage in a typical library research project which willbe part of the regular curriculum. The students will be asked to keep ajournal recording their thoughts and feelings about looking forinformation in the library for the project. I will observe the students asthey complete their library project and will have informal conversationswith them. Some students will be asked to take part in semi-structuredinterviews about the search process. The interviews will be recorded. Thetime needed for the interviews (about 30 minutes) will be the only extratime required. Interviews will be arranged at the students' convenience.Complete anonymity will be maintained by no use of student,teacher or school names names. After the data analysis has beencompleted the data will be destroyed.The University of British Columbia and School District 57 requirethat written consent be obtained from those participating in any researchproject. Please indicate your willingness to participate in this project bysigning the attached form and returning it to me.Thank you for your cooperation. If you have any questions aboutthe project please contact me at 562-6441(PGSS) during school hours. MyFaculty advisor is Dr. R. Jobe, Department of Language Education,U.B.C., telephone 1-(604)-822-5233.1 of 2^ Yours truly,104To: Anne M. Rowe, Teacher Librarian, Prince George Secondary,I am willing to participate in the research study as described on theforegoing page. I understand that complete anonymity will be maintainedand that the data will be destroyed upon completion of the project. Iunderstand that a student has the right to withdraw from the researchstudy component of the information seeking project and that suchwithdrawal will not jeopardize his/her academic standing. I alsounderstand that students who do not participate in the research studycomponent of the information seeking project will complete theinformation seeking project as a part of the regular curriculm in thiscourse.I am willing to be interviewed as a part of this project.There are two pages to this consent form. As well as indicating yourwillingness to participate in this project, your signature also acknowledgesthat you have read both pages.I consent to participate in this study.Signed^I do not consent to participate in this study.Signed^105


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