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The Wise Scholar: A Guide to Teaching Information Literacy

Instructional guide for faculty based on the skills and values of the Wise Scholar model

Welcome to The Wise Scholar!

This guide is an overview to Hekman Library's model for teaching information literacy, The Wise Scholar. Read on to learn more about what information literacy is really about, the vision behind this model, the integration of research practices and scholarly virtues which make up the Wise Scholar, and resources and suggestions for practically applying this model in your curriculum with the help of the Hekman librarians. 

What is Information Literacy?

From Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education (2015):

  • “Information literacy is the set of integrated abilities encompassing the reflective discovery of information, the understanding of how information is produced and valued, and the use of information in creating new knowledge and participating ethically in communities of learning.”

Or, a shorter definition from the 2000 Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education:

  • “Information literacy is a set of abilities requiring individuals to recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information."

What is the Wise Scholar?

The Wise Scholar is a framework for teaching information literacy developed by Calvin librarians, Amanda Matthysse and Sarah Kolk, to provide a faithful, holistic approach to this critical area of higher education. Its goal is to use "a unique application of critical skills and Christian values" to teach "the work and character of scholarship, building the foundation for life-long learning..." (taken from the Wise Scholar white paper). The Wise Scholar highlights 5 major practices of research (Questioning, Searching, Evaluating, Using, and Sharing) with 5 key virtues of learning (Wonder, Persistence, Discernment, Integrity, and Humility) in an iterative, interconnected structure.