Meet them in the proximal zone: Introducing framework concepts to “novice learners” using reference sources

Kristin E. C. Green


Striving to foster critical thinking and metacognition in relation to information literacy is the penultimate goal of instruction librarians. Yet, all effort to do so is futile if students are not being met in their own proximal zone of development. Within the descriptions, knowledge practices, and dispositions of the frames in the Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education,1 the “novice learner” is often referenced and compared to the “expert learner.” So while first-year college students begin their journey into higher education with varied levels of experiences in academic research and writing, many are these novice learners referred to within the Framework. Recognizing, and more importantly, accepting where these students are within their own levels of information literacy development can help to determine how to best scaffold instruction by using appropriate teaching tools and pedagogy.

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Copyright Kristin E. C. Green

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