Ferguson, Framework, Teaching

Written by: Jessica Sender

Primary Source: Information Literacy Resources

When the grand jury in Ferguson handed down the decision to not prosecute Darren Wilson, the policeman who shot and ultimately killed Michael Brown, it set off reactions across the country-from protests and marches spanning from New York City to Oakland. Many teachers, professors, librarians, and educators have been wrestling with how to address some of the issues that Ferguson, the deaths of Eric Garner and other black men, and race and racism in America have raised, in the classroom.

One of the most thought provoking blog posts I have read (at least for me) was a post on ACRLog, entitled “Using the New Framework to Teach Ferguson.” ACRL is at the tail end of a multi-year process outlining new guidelines for information literacy in higher education. The blog post highlights some of the most relevant pieces of the new frameworks, and how we, as educators and librarians, can teach about what’s going on in Ferguson (and across the country). Encouraging analyzing information for validity and bias, finding information whether across formal or informal channels, and understanding how information delivery has changed and evolves based on emerging technologies (twitter, etc.) are all just a few of the framework points that we can incorporate into our sessions-regardless of being one shot sessions or more involved research and projects we work on. The post also discussed the hashtag #fergusonsyllabus, which was started in August, and has gathered quite a bit of traction on twitter, encouraging and highlighting different pieces that professors, instructors, and teachers of all levels can use in classes to encourage discussion of Ferguson and issues of race nationwide.

Lovingly written by Jessica Sender
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Jessica Sender
Jessica Sender is the Instructional Technology and Information Literacy Librarian at Michigan State University. After growing up in Illinois, attending the College of Wooster in Ohio and Indiana University, Jessica fled the Midwest to North Carolina, and worked for three years as Instructional Technology Librarian at Guilford College, in Greensboro, NC. Although reluctant to brave Midwest winters again, she is happy to be back in the Big Ten. Her research interests focus on academic and instructional technologies, the digital divide, and technology literacy.
Jessica Sender

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