Gretchen Keer and Jeffra Bussmann – Transforming Knowledge Production: Decolonizing Information Literacy – notes

A really interesting presentation on bringing more of a focus on social justice into information literacy coursework, by incorporating what the presenters call “research justice.”  This involves looking at the sometimes problematic and exploitative process by which academic research gets done, and contrasting it with themes of community engagement and participatory action research (sometimes also called community-based participatory research), which involves research participants in all parts of the research – developing research questions, collecting data, and disseminating the findings in both academic venues and ways that the community can benefit from the research being done.  A really interesting topic, and one which I was delighted to see covered — I plan on touching on these themes for my own instruction.  Well done Gretchen and Jeffra!

  • CSU East Bay has a 2 unit course on information literacy – one module is about research justice

  • developed out of a faculty learning community about decolonizing knowledge

    • “from the vantage point of the colonized … the term ‘research’ is inextricably linked to European imperialism and colonialism.” – Tuhiwai Smith

    • less exploitative research methodologies – can be broadened out to many groups beyond

    • that perspective on research has been completely lost in information literacy

      • particularly thinking about students as knowledge producers (not just consumers as they are usually thought of)

  • Michelle Fein (sp?) CUNY – Polling for Justice video – community based participatory research aka participatory action research

    • outlining what PAR is

  • Class module chart – areas of:

    • social justice

      • community engagement, service learning

    • research justice

      • PAR and decolonizing methodologies

    • information literacy

      • ethical & socioeconomic issues, knowledge production

  • what does the module look like?

    • read CBPR article before class; discuss what is research; watch polling for justice video (who is the audience, is it effective); complete activity worksheet comparing research methods; end with reflection (where would you want to see change happen)

      • not prepared to support this – I want to do this right now! let’s go!

  • Article activity – ethnographic study vs. CBPR study

    • “what is the research question”? — both studies are inductive, so they don’t really have a good Q – more like “what is the goal of the research?”

  • Group discussion

  • Ideas:

  • Reverse engineering a headline – “subway bread additive also used to make yoga mats”

    • how does information fit into that process

  • one-shots – needing buy-in

    • what the assumptions are behind the final projects

  • working on the research question / topic – who is your community and what do you think that community would want to know

    • the potential is there to get students engaged in notion of scholarly conversation

    • ID a problem that your community is facing – base it on research or evidence

  • trying to talk about information ethics in a way other than plagiarism and copyright – getting more sophisticated

  • students latch on to one small thing (like APA citations) – what are those things and how can we build more learning into those

  • goo.gl/JNa2zd – slides

  • goo.gl/bBhJKl – references

  • gretchen.keer AT csueastbay DOT edu

  • jeffra.bussmann AT csueastbay DOT edu