No need to go big: Teaching Framework concepts with small teaching

Jane Hammons


The ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education encourages librarians to engage students with big ideas related to information creation, access, and use. One way that librarians may be able to do this is through a small teaching approach. In Small Teaching: Everyday Lessons from the Science of Learning, James M. Lang uses insights from educational research to highlight small instructional interventions that support student learning. Although Lang does not specifically call out librarians as instructors, some of these strategies could be used to engage students with Framework concepts, even within a single session.

In this essay, I focus on strategies in four areas—retrieving, predicting, connecting, and self-explaining. These were selected because they seem most applicable to a one-shot setting. For each, I describe models recommended by Lang and demonstrate how they could support increased understanding of Framework concepts. While none of these interventions by themselves may seem revolutionary to experienced instruction librarians, for some they may represent a new approach to intentionally teaching the Framework. While I have chosen to highlight only one Framework concept per category, there are likely ways to connect each strategy with any frame.

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Copyright Jane Hammons

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