Framework documents are playing an increasingly important role in the higher education landscape. Two are of particular importance to those of us invested in rhetorical and information literacy in a digital world.
In the closing lines of its introduction, the forthcoming Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education (hereafter ACRL Framework, http://acrl.ala.org/ilstandards/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Framework-for...) from the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) asserts it “opens the way” for librarians, faculty, and other stakeholders to redesign assignments, courses, and curricula for today’s students as well as “to create wider conversations about student learning, the scholarship of teaching and learning, and the assessment of learning on local campuses and beyond.” The ACRL Framework includes the ACRL’s new definition of information literacy, six literacy “frames”—covering a wide “spectrum of abilities, practices, and habits of mind”—and a discussion of digital tools.
The Framework for Success in Postsecondary Writing (hereafter WPA Framework, http://wpacouncil.org/files/framework-for-success-postsecondary-writing.pdf), a document developed collaboratively by the Council of Writing Program Administrators, the National Council of Teachers of English, and the National Writing Project and published in 2011, also considers, often in strikingly similar ways to the ACRL Framework, “the rhetorical and twenty-first-century skills as well as habits of mind and experiences that are critical for college success.” Whereas the WPA Framework focuses on writing and considers students at the point of entering college, the ACRL Framework focuses on information literacy in the overall undergraduate experience. However, the frames, habits, and skills they articulate are largely the same—ones where students identify, research, read, write, create, and recreate texts within a diverse, digital, and rapidly changing information-based global society.
These two framework documents—the ACRL Framework and the WPA Framework—taken together show that the thoughts of both postsecondary educators and librarians are coalescing around the habits and skills students need to be successful in a robust digital information economy. What continue to be missing, however, are robust practical and pedagogical discussions that help teachers, librarians, and others both individually and collaboratively put these ideas into practice—to build the houses, if you will, on these frames in ways that are specific to students of today and tomorrow.
Like the authors of the ACRL and WPA Frameworks, we, too, believe that “wider conversations” are needed, and this book, The Future Scholar: Researching & Teaching the Frameworks for Writing & Information Literacy, strives to open just such dialogue. Therefore, we seek essays to complete an edited collection that helps writing teachers and librarians, along with those in academic “support” services (e.g., writing centers), assessment offices, and accreditation agencies, better understand, meet, and evaluate the literacies articulated in the ACRL and WPA Frameworks. As part of this conversation, this book will work to legitimate writing center, instructional librarian, and other support services and link information literacy research and efforts to published standards.
To this end, we seek essays that provide answers to the following, as well as other, questions:
- What do the particular abilities, habits, and practices of mind identified for reading, researching, and writing reveal about notions of literacy in a digital age? What priorities do they establish for us as writing teachers, faculty in English, English Education, and LIS, university administrators and college librarians, and citizens?
- How do the ACRL Framework and the WPA Framework help us understand one another? What do we learn by viewing each through the lens of the other? How might they be put into conversation?
- In what ways does your teaching—in the classroom, in the library, in the writing center, in the community—work to cultivate the desired abilities, habits, and practices of mind advanced by these framework documents?
- What specific digital technologies allow for helping students achieve these abilities, habits, and practices of mind? In what ways have you used them? How might we use them? How could these tools be better?
We also encourage potential contributors to consider the Frameworks documents explicitly and directly, practical strategies for enacting and evaluating them, and ways in which new digital technologies (might) shape the Frameworks and these processes.
Based on the success and positive reviews of our prior edited collections, The New Digital Scholar and The Next Digital Scholar, Information Today, Inc. has extended us a contract to publish this collection as part of the American Society for Information Science & Technology (ASIST) Monograph Series. The tentative timetable for publication is as follows:
June 1, 2015: Deadline for proposals
June 15, 2015: Responses to invitations
August 31, 2015: Chapter drafts due to book editors
October 15, 2015: Editor feedback to contributors
November 15, 2015: Revised chapters due to book editors
December 30, 2015: Completed manuscript to Information Today, Inc.
We realize this is a fairly tight timeline, but Information Today, Inc. is committed to publishing the text in a timely manner.
If you are interested in contributing to this collection, please send a 500-word abstract of your proposed essay by June 1, 2015 to Randall McClure at firstname.lastname@example.org and James P. Purdy at email@example.com. Queries are welcome and thanks for your interest.