Immersed in a discipline, possibly drowning!

Written by: Rachel Minkin

Primary Source: Information Literacy Resources

At the end of every semester, I see students struggling to immerse themselves in their discipline. A semester’s worth of information needs synthesis into final projects, final papers, final exams. In each field, in each class, students are synthesizing new knowledge out of the facts they’ve learned (one hopes!)

But disciplinary literacy is more than just understanding the requirements for a specific career, more than just knowing what you need to earn a degree in a field. Disciplinary literacy is understanding the language used in the discipline, the culture of a field… how we talk to each other as lawyers or librarians, how we share our information with our colleagues.

How are you talking to students about what it means to be someone in your field? What does it mean to be an economist or a museum curator? Or, at this time of the year, do you pull back and let your students have space… no more new knowledge?

Lovingly written by Rachel Minkin

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Rachel Minkin
Rachel M. Minkin is an Information Literacy Librarian, responsible for leading information literacy sessions for the first-year students taking Tier One Writing class in the Department of Writing, Rhetoric and American Cultures. Prior to beginning at Michigan State in August 2011, Rachel was a Reference and Instruction Librarian at Lansing Community College (Lansing, MI) and the Graduate Theological Union (Berkeley, CA).