In this article we investigate different understandings of learning underlying the interpretation of students’ and researchers’ moves between learning in the university domain and learning processes, usually associated with information literacy, the latter including information managing activities like information seeking. We show that mainstream concepts like information need, “Anomalous State of Knowledge”, information seeking or topic inherit their learning theoretic background from a cognitive constructivist view on learning, dominating the understanding (and implementation) of learning in the domain of higher education. In order to construct a coherent understanding of disciplinary learning and information managing activities, cognitive constructivist assumptions on learning and the nature of information in learning processes are implicitly transferred to the domain of information literacy as well, establishing fields like generic or disciplinary information literacy. The application of cognitive constructivist assumptions on information literacy learning produces, in our opinion, an inadequate characterization of information related activities in the context of higher education, ignoring their unconscious, purely activity based character. In order to link information literacy as emergent, incidental learning to the typically formal and conscious contexts of disciplinary learning we propose a Critical Psychology framework, conceptualizing individual learning as a primarily activity based concept. This move makes the students’ and researchers’ shifts between the two domains understandable and allows reconstructing those movements as instantiations of coherent learning activities.
Copyright (c) 2015 Volkmar Engerer, Jens Kristian Dahlgaard Gudiksen
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