I finished the chapter over the summer, titled Digital Literacy: Necessary but Not Sufficient for Lifelong Learning, and share the abstract below.
In wrestling with this chapter, I gained great insight into the importance and urgency of our task, which I will share here as time permits.
In wrestling with this chapter, I also rediscovered Neil Postman’s Teaching as a Subversive Activity (written with Charles Weingartner), in which they write that
of all the ‘survival strategies’ education has to offer, none is more potent or in greater need of explication than the ‘inquiry environment’
Both statements remain as true as when they were first spoken.
The title for this thread comes from Jonathan Rauch’s book, The Constitution of Knowledge: A Defence of Truth (2021).
This chapter argues that the problem that digital literacy addresses is an epistemological problem, a problem of knowing and coming to know, and so is bigger than digital literacy skills even though knowing and coming to know are increasingly dependent on digital literacy skills. The rupture between knowledge and reality as uncovered by the academic disciplines – reflected in Jean-Francois Lyotard’s, The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge (1984) – has resulted in a more widespread breakdown of the knowledge-building process, which is an inquiry process. Because action conforms to knowledge, or ought to, this epistemological crisis lays the groundwork for an existential crisis, mounting evidence of which is all too obvious. To avert this existential crisis, it is necessary, therefore, to resolve the underlying epistemological crisis, which means developing engaged and empowered inquirers. The most effective way to do this is to make better use of the many years of formal education that school provides. In this, schools can draw on more than 60 years of international research-informed development of inquiry as a highly effective pedagogical strategy for learning disciplinary content in a school setting, which requires collaboration between classroom-based teachers and library-based teachers. Central to this pedagogical strategy is a sound instructional model of the inquiry process and underlying framework of developmentally appropriate inquiry skills, which, crucially, include digital literacy skills. FOSIL, which is based on the Empire State Information Fluency Continuum, is such a model and underlying framework of inquiry skills.