As I was reading this information, it struck me that I am now in my fifth year of post secondary education and still getting instruction on how to search for key words, phrases, or topics. It also dawned on me that each time I am taught about these strategies, there is slight variations.
I began to reflect on my time in post secondary and grade school and came to yet again, another realization. The first time the groundwork was laid on how to effectively research was in my first year of post secondary. Granted, each year there after I have taken part in library workshops or professor led classes, much like this one, and each year they get slightly more in depth or focused to a particular topic or subject area. My “how to research” education has been scaffolded through the years.
The key question here,
“Why is it that I wasn’t taught effective researching skills until my first year in post secondary?”
It is extremely clear from the ICT Program of Studies that these are skills that high school students should be graduating with. More than ever, with how technologically focused our world has become, as teachers we have to take responsibility to prepare our students for the future. This does not mean only post secondary, students who choose to graduate high school and find a career from there will at some point have to do some form of research – even if it is just them having to employ effective research strategies to find that job! The fact of the matter is, our students are leaving grade school with the understanding that Google and Wikipedia exist and that they can type words into the blank bar on each site and hit search and a whole bunch of stuff will come up. Beyond that, their scope of understanding is small.
It would be very helpful to our students, if when they leave high school they have a more holistic understanding of the endless possibilities and resources that are at our disposal courtesy of the world wide web. Through projects at school, in each and every grade level and subject, teachers must scaffold our students understanding of “what effective researching skills are”.
Until next time,