Dorner, D. G., & Gorman, G. E. (2011). Contextual Factors Affecting Learning in Laos and the Implications for Information Literacy Education. Information Research: An International Electronic Journal, 16(2). Retrieved from http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/contentdelivery/servlet/ERICServlet?accno=EJ935871
“A simple way to assist development in a country such as Laos is to help local educators and librarians introduce information literacy into the education system. We maintain that for interventions of this type to be successful, advisors coming from developed countries must understand the impact of local culture on learning in general and information literacy in particular.” (¶ 10)
“… information literacy is ‘a set of abilities requiring individuals to recognise when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate and use effectively the needed information’ (ACRL 2000).” (¶ 12)
“It does not question the basic assumptions about information, and how it becomes knowledge, assuming the latter to be something external that can be tracked down and captured. (Dorner and Gorman 2006: 284)” (¶ 15)
“… Dorner and Gorman (2006) employed Geert Hofstede’s dimensions of culture as a means of understanding how cultures differ and how those differences must be considered in information literacy education programme development and delivery in the context of Asian developing countries.” (¶ 33)
“It thus appears that one of the effects of the externally-provided educational resources from developed countries (whatever their motives), provided in the form of educational resources for Lao schools, is a mixture of the languages used for teaching and learning, which often leads to student comprehension problems and, no doubt, materials that may not relate to the real life experiences of the students.” (¶ 54)
[Using existing Hofstede scores directly rather than assessing the selected group. The discussion uses the observations as examples of the Hofstede dimensions and scores; a tenuous link, confirmation bias? --oki (¶ 61-62, fig 2)]
“In the educational setting power distance affects, for example, teacher-student relationships and teacher- teacher relationships.” (¶ 64)
“… some teachers may be reluctant to change because in their view student-centred teaching will reduce student respect for the teacher. This issue is a reflection of the tension that arises when there is a change in a society of a cultural dimension.” (¶ 76)
“The first part of our definition of information literacy focuses on the ability of individuals or groups to be aware of the social, economic and political factors affecting the creation, communication, and control of information and how these factors relate to knowledge construction.” (¶ 117)
“Indigenous knowledge might also be the only information source about Lao traditional culture, including its language, music, religion and morality, its handicrafts and arts, and its agriculture and environmental management.” (¶ 119)
“Information literacy programme developers must therefore have knowledge of the range of information resources available to the local people, resources that in one context might be for university students and available on the Internet, but in another context might be for rural secondary school students and available only through oral sources. The developers must also be aware of any cultural issues that might arise when individuals are asked to think critically in their evaluation of information resources.” (¶ 121)
“Anyone involved in providing assistance to Lao teachers and librarians must be aware of the contextual factors that may affect how individuals construct knowledge from the acquired information.” (¶ 122)
“We now refer back to Hofstede’s dimensions of culture to provide examples of issues that require consideration in the design of information literacy programmes.” (¶ 123)
“Individuals involved in information literacy programme development must be aware that a higher level of critical thinking could increase individualism, decrease power distance, and erode the strength of traditional Lao culture among the youth of the country, raising tension between young people and their elders.” (¶ 125)
“… for an information literacy education programme to be successful in Laos, it cannot simply adopt what has been implemented in other countries. … must take into consideration and use indigenous culture and knowledge, indigenous teaching and learning methods, indigenous contexts for genuine learning.” (fig 4)
Association of College and Research Libraries. (2000). Information literacy competency standards for higher education. Retrieved 22 July, 2010 from http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/acrl/standards/informationliteracycompetency.cfm (Archived by WebCite® at http://www.Webcitation.org/5rpower distancecFDC5)
Dorner, D.G. & Gorman, G.E. (2006). Information literacy education in Asian developing countries: cultural factors affecting curriculum development and programme delivery. IFLA Journal, 32(4), 281-293
Hofstede, G. (2001). Culture’s consequences: comparing values, behaviors, institutions and organizations across nations. 2nd ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
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