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What is the intersection of literacy and critical thinking?

Last Updated: Sep 09, 2013  |  9 Views

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The differences aren't often that clear - but we'll shoot for an answer.

Information Literacy is defined by the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), the Academic Library branch of the American Library Association, on the following page (http://www.ala.org/acrl/standards/informationliteracycompetency).
The gist is that Information Literacy is about knowing when you need information, what kind of information is best to answer your question, how to find information, evaluate what you find, use the information, and be ethical in that practice (citing, etc).

Critical thinking can be thought of as a broader set of skills. Our campus has a Critical Thinking GE Area for example,
which can be seen (http://www.csus.edu/acaf/Portfolios/GE/geareaA3.stm). In essence critical thinking is about reflecting on ideas/concepts/arguments and interrogating those ideas/concepts/arguments.

The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) has rubrics, which may illustrate
the relationship better.

http://www.aacu.org/value/rubrics/pdf/CriticalThinking.pdf  "Critical thinking is a habit of mind characterized by the comprehensive exploration of issues, ideas, artifacts, and events before accepting or formulating an opinion or conclusion."

http://www.aacu.org/value/rubrics/pdf/InformationLiteracy.pdf
"The ability to know when there is a need for information, to be able to identify, locate, evaluate, and effectively and responsibly use and share that information for the problem at hand.- Adopted from the National Forum on Information
Literacy."
 
Both Critical Thinking and Information Literacy are considered components of Life-Long Learning. Information Literacy is focused on "information" and contains both critical thinking as well as practical skills (accessing information, etc).

Answered by Anne BradleyBookmark and Share

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