This article elaborates the concept of informed learning and locates it in educational, workplace, and community settings. Drawing on existing research into people’s experience of information literacy, it identifies critical experiences of informed learners in each of these three settings. It also explores the support required in educational, community, and workplace contexts, which makes informed learning possible. Recognizing strong implications for policy makers in different sectors, the article presents a set of guiding principles for developing informed learning and learners. The idea of informed learning represents and advances understandings of information literacy that incorporate the broader concept of using information to learn: those understandings that go beyond the functional or generic information literacy paradigm and draw attention to the transformational, situated, and critical aspects of information literacy. Using information to learn is a natural, but often implicit part of all formal and informal learning environments, and is a vital component of the lifelong learning agendas of many nations worldwide. Supporting informed learning requires conscious attention to the use of information in the learning process, by educators, managers, trainers, and policy makers in all sectors. It requires a far reaching response to policy directions involving a wide range of stakeholders.
This article is based in part on a keynote address to the International Conference on Library and Information Science (iCoLIS), Malaysia 2008, and develops ideas that originally appeared in Bruce (2008). The preparation [End Page 543] of this article is made possible through a grant from the Australian Research Council focused on exploring informed learning for health purposes, and a Fulbright Scholarship. We are indebted especially to David Kent, reference and instruction librarian, Peninsula College Library, Port Angeles, Washington, for drawing our attention to the etymology of informed learning.
Bruce, C. S.,
Somerville, M. M.
Supporting informed learners in the 21st century.
Library Trends, 60(3), 522–545.