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A major goal of SCORE History-Social Science is to provide a resource to build the information literacy of students so that they are more able to function as effective workers and citizens in an era when everyone is continuously bombarded by data. "Information literacy" helps people deal with this data glut by developing the ability to plan a resource-based project, think critically about data, research for needed information and create and present a new synthesis to others using technology. The following is a first draft identifying the skills that our students will need. These skills are closely related to the intellectual processes that teachers have long identified as the "Domains of History-Social Science Thinking." I would appreciate your comment and feedback.

-- Peg Hill, San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools

Information Literacy Skills

"Access, evaluate and use information from a variety of sources." -- Chris Doyle

Planning Skills Related to Information Literacy

  • Recognizes when there is a need for information to solve a problem or develop an idea
  • Formulates questions based on information needs
  • Brainstorms multiple strategies for approaching a problem or issue
  • Identifies, organizes and sequences tasks to complete an information based project
  • Creates and organizes an effective research team
  • Identifies tasks which need to be accomplished and assigns them to and manages their completion by various members of the research team

Domains of H/SS Thinking Related to Information Literacy

  • Interprets history-social science data
    • Puts data into own words
    • Puts information in context
    • Reads and creates a logical interpretation of data derived from many different kinds of sources, such as media, charts, graphs, timelines, maps, etc.
  • Relates historical events, people and eras
    • Shows similarities and differences
    • Compares and contrasts
    • Draws logical conclusions
    • Relates past to present
    • Uses social, political, economic concepts to understand the context in which information was created or used
  • Analyzes cause and effect
    • Puts events in sequence
    • Shows multiple and related causes and effects
    • Distinguishes between correlation and cause and effect in related events
  • Uses multiple perspectives
    • Takes the role or position of another and examines issues from that point of view
    • Makes multiple interpretations from the same evidence
    • Points out present assumptions, especially those that were not present in the past
    • Points out social norms of a home culture which are not present in another culture
  • Supports a thesis
    • Takes a position or point of view based on evidence
    • Creates a logical argument in writing or speaking supported with relevant evidence

Other Thinking Skills Related to Information Literacy

  • Evaluates the quality of information
    • Establishes authority
    • Determines accuracy, authenticity and relevance of information
    • Distinguishes among opinion, reasoned argument and fact
  • Analyses messages from various sources for their design, form, structure and sequence
  • Identifies the effects of camera angles, lighting, music, special effects, layout and sequence in a presentation
  • Creates new information by synthesizing data from primary and secondary sources

Searching/Researching Skills Related to Information Literacy

  • Identifies potential sources of information
  • Reads competently
  • Locates, selects and analyzes information from multiple sources
  • Integrates new information to existing knowledge
  • Uses keywords effectively to search for information related to a topic
  • Uses Boolean logic to narrow a database search
  • Organizes and stores data in searchable formats

Presenting Skills Related to Information Literacy

  • Knows many different kinds of presentation formats and the type of information they are best at conveying
  • Selects a presentation format which matches the information being conveyed and the audience for which it is intended
  • Organizes information for practical application
  • Uses writing, speaking, drama and layout as needed to make an effective presentation

Questions, comments, and suggestions may be addressed to

Resources on the SCORE H/SS pages were evaluated by history/social science leaders in California. Going beyond these links allows student access to unknown material. Each school site is responsible for evaluating resources for appropriateness in the local school community.

A Project of the San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools.

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