In the latest Tea for Teaching podcast produced by the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) at the State University of New York at Oswego, Tom Mackey and Trudi Jacobson participate in a conversation about metaliteracy with John Kane, an economist, and Rebecca Mushtare, a graphic designer. John and Rebecca run the Center and produce the Tea for Teaching series. As part of this podcast, Trudi and Tom define what metaliteracy is, provide illustrative examples of metaliteracy in practice, and explore the connection to the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education. This conversation also goes into detail about the latest SUNY Innovative Instruction Technology Grant (IITG) awarded to the Metaliteracy Learning Collaborative to support a new metaliteracy MOOC Empowering Yourself in a Post-Truth World, currently under development in the Open EdX platform for a March 2019 launch. Tom and Trudi talk about their forthcoming book for ALA Publishing Metaliterate Learning for the Post-Truth World and Trudi provides updates on the Metaliteracy Digital Badging System. As part of the podcast, a full transcript of the discussion is provided, along with related references. Get ready for this Tea for Teaching podcast with your favorite tea and then listen for the latest ideas about metaliteracy that will support your own teaching and learning!
Allison Brungard and Kristin Klucevsek offer the following preview of their chapter, “Reconstructing Scientific Literacy through Metaliteracy: Implications for Learning in a Post Truth World,” appearing in the forthcoming book, Metaliterate Learning for the Post-Truth World, edited by Thomas Mackey and Trudi Jacobson.
Science now exists in a wide range of digital contexts. Scientific information can be shared through social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and user-generated communities such as YouTube, Flickr, Blogger, and Wikipedia. These platforms can help disseminate scientific information to the wider public, but they also can spread misconceptions and distortions. In our post-truth world, this has a strong impact on scientific literacy, with downstream implications for health, politics, and the environment. We also encounter effects of this post-truth world in our classrooms as we work to build stronger literacy skills with our students. The need for learners to critically examine and reflect on what they encounter in these participatory online environments is crucial. To improve scientific literacy, learners must develop the metacognitive processes necessary to discern fact from fiction. As teachers, we must re-examine competencies for scientific literacy in this post-truth, digital world.
In this chapter, we address the challenges of scientific literacy within the larger framework of metaliteracy. With an emphasis on the four domains of metaliterate learning, we align scientific process with metaliteracy competencies to enhance scientific literacy. We explore the impacts of current events and education on scientific literacy, as well as the relationship between social media and personal biases through which scientific facts can be misconstrued. We also focus on strategies for academic librarians and disciplinary faculty to infuse metaliterate objectives in their teaching, curriculum, and research. Reflective and participatory learning can move learners beyond the consumption of information and towards critical thinking, research, and writing. This encourages learners to also be content producers, with the ability to understand the most effective ways to use science in their daily lives
Kimmika Williams-Witherspoon, an Associate Professor at Temple University offers the following preview of her chapter: “Poetic Ethnography and Metaliteracy: Empowering Voices in a Hybrid Theater Arts Course’ appearing in the forthcoming book, Metaliterate Learning for the Post-Truth World.
When is a Theater arts course more than a theater arts course? How do we encourage students to “have voice”? In an age when “alternative facts” have become the new norm, how can theater and the theater studies curriculum give students agency to contribute to the discourse? Well… at Temple University, these days, its when faculty consciously use a metaliteracy lens to develop or improve their courses so as to encourage students to not just consume new knowledge but also to produce it and to distribute it through multiple modalities and across multiple platforms.
At Temple University in Philadelphia, the Theater Studies curriculum exemplifies the metacognitive domain of metaliteracy teaching students to effectively consume and produce new information in the form of devised theater productions, displays, press releases, exhibitions, community performances and critiques. One such course that goes a long way to introduce metaliteracy concepts into the theater curriculum is THTR 2008 Poetic Ethnography.
The course, THTR 2008 Poetic Ethnography operates as both ethno-drama and as a theater hybrid that incorporates several tightly structured field site audio and video digital storytelling projects into its 13-week curriculum. These projects encourage students to expand their knowledge base, investigate multiple forms of information gathering methodologies and to develop performative and distributive content across multiple cultural and social platforms.
Through the process of research and new knowledge production, students gain life-long learning skills about how to develop more nuanced, personal narratives that tell a more complete and factual story about communities, individuals and contemporary events. This chapter, then, looks at how Poetic Ethnography teaches students how to develop ethnographic and personal narratives set to poetry about Philadelphia neighborhoods and its people—giving voice to the sometimes voiceless in our communities, while simultaneously learning metaliteracy and metacognitive learning strategies.
Dr. Kimmika L. H. Williams-Witherspoon, Associate Professor
Department of Theater
The forthcoming metaliteracy book Metalierate Learning for the Post-Truth World, edited by Thomas Mackey and Trudi Jacobson will be published in spring 2019. Metaliteracy is a pedagogical model for ensuring that learners successfully participate in collaborative information environments, including social media and online communities. Today’s post-truth world requires learners to ethically produce and share information while checking their own biases, and critically evaluating the proliferation of false or misleading information, unfiltered content, and outright denialism of facts. Indeed, it is clearly evident that the competencies, knowledge, and attributes of metaliterate individuals are critical for grappling with the post-truth era. Metaliteracy supports reflective learning through metacognitive thinking, the ethical production of new knowledge, the critical consumption of information, and the responsible sharing of verifiable content across media platforms. Through metaliteracy, learners are envisioned as teachers in collaborative social spaces. This book examines the newest version of the Metaliteracy Goals and Learning Objectives, including the four domains of metaliterate learning. Several chapter authors explore the relationship between metaliteracy and the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education.
This new metaliteracy book includes a Foreword written by Troy Swanson, MLIS, Ph.D., Department Chair Library Services, Moraine Valley Community College and features persuasive contributions from information literacy instructors, librarians, and disciplinary faculty. All of the chapter authors present effective methods for advancing metaliterate learning in the post-truth world, exploring such relevant topics as:
- Strategies for empowering metaliterate learners through the newly developed metaliterate learner characteristics and revised Metaliteracy Goals and Learning Objectives in the framing chapter by Thomas P. Mackey, Ph.D., Professor in the Department of Arts and Media at SUNY Empire State College
- Documentation as an expanded dimension of the metaliteracy model to reinforce ethical and responsible information practices examined by Marc Kosciejew, M.L.I.S., Ph.D., Faculty of Media and Knowledge Sciences in the Department of Library, Information, and Archive Sciences, University of Malta
- Inoculation theory as a way to build resistance to influence in the post-truth world theorized by Josh Compton, Ph.D., from the Institute for Writing and Rhetoric at Dartmouth College
- Scientific literacy enhanced as a holistic learning strategy through metaliteracy examined by Allison B. Brungard, M.L.I.S., from Slippery Rock University and Kristin M. Klucevsek, Ph.D., from Duquesne University
- The synergistic relationship between text and image in photojournalism analyzed by Thomas Palmer, M.S., Digital Media Lecturer from the University at Albany, SUNY, and Editorial Design Director / News Editor at the Times Union newspaper
- The role of LIS professionals in supporting metaliterate learning and the ACRL Framework in a chapter co-authored by Nicole A. Cooke, Ph.D., M.Ed., M.L.S., and Rachel Magee, Ph.D., M.A., from the University of Illinois
- Teaching students to be wrong through lessons designed with metaliteracy and the ACRL Framework in a freshman seminar developed and taught by Allison Hosier, M.S.I.S., Information Literacy Librarian, at the University at Albany, SUNY
- Developing metaliterate learners as analytical readers and writers through genre analysis and fictionality in first-year writing instruction as described by Jaclyn Partyka, Ph.D., in the English Department at Temple University.
- Incorporating Poetic Ethnograpy and digital storytelling based on poetic narratives from neighborhoods in Philadelphia in the closing chapter by Kimmika L. H. Williams-Witherspoon, Ph.D., Associate Professor in the Department of Theater at Temple University
Metaliteracy is an empowering pedagogical model for preparing learners to be ethical and responsible participants in today’s divisive information environment. This new book showcases several teaching and learning theories and practices that have already proven effective and are certain to inspire new ideas. Metaliterate Learning for the Post-Truth World builds on the two previous metaliteracy books Metaliteracy in Practice (2016) and Metaliteracy: Reinventing Information Literacy to Empower Learners (2014).
The recent presentation by Trudi Jacobson and Tom Mackey at LSU entitled Teaching Metaliteracy in a Post-Truth World is now available online via YouTube. If you have any follow-up questions or comments be sure to contact us.
Thanks to Dr. Carol L. Barry, Director of the School of Library & Information Science, and everyone at LSU, for welcoming us to campus as part of the College of Human Sciences and Education’s Quality of Life Lecture Series. Special thanks to Dr. Edward Benoit III, Assistant Professor from the School of Library & Information Science, for working with his team on producing the video.