I just wanted to say that after hearing you speak yesterday, Darryl, I have managed to get a space in our senior management meeting next week to talk about FOSIL and how we can better prep. our EE students. The timing couldn’t have been better, so soon after the IB results. Thank you for reigniting the fire.
The Empire State Information Fluency Continuum was initially developed in New York City under the auspices of the Office of Library Services and Director Barbara Stripling as the New York City Information Fluency Continuum in 2009.
It was re-imagined in 2019 under the leadership of Barbara Stripling to “adapt to the changing information, education, and technology environments, as well as the increasing diversity in … student populations”.
It currently serves 3.2 million students in 4,236 schools in New York State alone.
CWICER – Connect Wonder Investigate Construct Express Reflect – is, or was, essentially FOSIL.
When I first adopted and began developing FOSIL from the Empire State Information Fluency Continuum (ESIFC) in 2012, FOSIL stood for Framework for Oakham School Information Literacy. In 2013 Elizabeth Hutchinson, who was then Head of the Schools’ Library Service in Guernsey, attended a workshop that I was running for International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme (DP) librarians. Elizabeth adopted FOSIL and renamed it CWICER, which better suited her/ their situation.
As my understanding of the ESIFC grew – like you I was on a very steep learning curve – I began to realise that what I had thought was a framework of information literacy skills was actually a model of the inquiry process and an underlying framework, or more properly a continuum, of inquiry skills that included information literacy skills. By this time interest in FOSIL from colleagues beyond Oakham School had grown to the point where some sort of community of mutual support was desirable. FOSIL was renamed Framework Of Skills for Inquiry Learning to more accurately describe its purpose and enlarged scope, and the FOSIL Group was formed in April of 2019. At this point, Elizabeth renamed CWICER to FOSIL.
The distinction/ relationship between information literacy and inquiry is an important one, and one that needs fuller treatment, but basically, FOSIL develops information literacy skills within an inquiry process. I will later attach a leaflet that I produced for CILIP’s School Libraries Group – FOSIL-based inquiry for school librarians: an introduction – that explains this in slightly more detail.
Welcome on our journey.
Edit: FOSIL-based inquiry for school librarians: an introduction may be downloaded from here.
This reply was modified 5 months, 3 weeks ago by Darryl Toerien. Reason: Added link to FOSIL-based inquiry for school librarians
Yes CWICER and FOSIL are one and the same. As Darryl says when I adopted it I could not call it FOSIL as this originally stood for Framework for Oakham School Information Literacy now that he has renamed it to Framework Of Skills for Inquiry Learning means that I can talk about the framework in the same way. I am hoping to run some webinars in the coming weeks that might help explain it all a bit more but in the meantime, if you have any questions, big or small please just ask!
Thank you Darryl and Elizabeth for your replies and the leaflet. I would be very interested in the webinars by the way.
I am going to tell you more about my background. I may have mentioned that I previously worked as Teaching Assistant and School Librarian in a primary school. A couple of years ago I was very interested in introducing information literacy in the primary school; I did some homework, made a lot of enquities; someone who was a school librarian in Guernsey emailed me all the “Lesson Ideas and Support from your SLS Librarian” for years 1 to 6. Unfortunately I can’t remember who sent them to me as I have the saved documents but cannot find the emails. At about the same time I had downloaded a six page document entitled “Information Literacy Framework for Primary Schools (CWICER)”. Lesson ideas seemed to be based on the CWICER document but with some changes and additional information. So in a sense I have come full circle by finding this Forum…
Anyway, unfortunately my primary school was too small and had simply no capacity to support such a project. In January I started a new job in a secondary school library and while I’m home because of COVID, the library line manager asked me to consider how we could introduce information literacy.
Initially I had “homed in” on PLUS. I had found articles and examples relating to its adoption at Ripon Grammar School and I thought I would be able to run some workshops based on that.
Now of course I have discovered FOSIL and I have had to reconsider some plans I had begun to make;
so now you know about my journey which has only just begun.
Thank you for your help!
Oh, Vittoria that must have been me! I worked for SLS Guernsey for nearly 16 years. I was always happy to share what we had been doing and it is wonderful to hear that it had such an impact on you even if you did not manage to do anything with it at the time. I am delighted that you have found your way here! I am not sure if you are a member of the SLA but I am running a couple of webinars for them about information literacy and FOSIL which you can find out about here If you are happy to wait I am planning to do some on my own once they are done which will be after the 7th May.
Hello Elizabeth, thank you for your message; yes, I am a member of the SLA (many, many years ago I was a student member of both The Library Association and The Institute of Information Scientists – later merged to form CILIP – but that’s another story); I recently attended a webinar and I meant to attend more but forgot – I am losing my sense of time a bit. Anyway, I have remedied now by booking two webinars with you (16th April and 7th May) as well as another one on 23rd April.
Elizabeth mentioned that you had a question or two from the webinar that might be of broader interest. If so, and if you are happy to do so, please ask them here and I will do my best to answer them, and relocate the discussion to another Forum if necessary.
In answer to your first question … FOSIL is based on the Empire State Information Fluency Continuum – a PK-12 (Reception-Year 13) continuum of the information literacy and inquiry skills that are essential for all students to learn – which was initially developed in 2009 as the New York City Information Fluency Continuum (NYCIFC) under the auspices of the Office of Library Services and Director Dr Barbara Stripling. The NYCIFC was endorsed in 2012 by the School Library System of New York State and renamed the Empire State Information Fluency Continuum (ESIFC). The ESIFC was re-imagined in 2019, again under the leadership of Dr Barbara Stripling, to adapt to changing information, education, and technology environments, as well as increasing diversity in student populations. The ESIFC serves 3.2 million students in 4,236 schools in New York State alone (as of October 2019). So in theory, all schools in New York State are working across the curriculum with this continuum of skills – Assessments by Grade gives an indication of what these skills look like and how they might be assessed (and were the starting point for our FOSIL resources). By the time I started developing FOSIL from the ESIFC, Barbara Stripling had moved on to the iSchool at Syracuse University and had also become ALA President, so I attempted to contact Ric Hasenyager, who took over from her as Director of Library Services in the New York City Department of Education, with this very question, but never received a reply. A recent development gives me hope again – I was asked to contribute to the programme for The Evolving Concept of ‘School Library’ and Its Profession by Luisa Marquardt, my colleague on the IFLA Section Standing committee for School Libraries, which I did – (Re)Discovering Inquiry In and Through the School Library: the FOSIL Model. As it turns out, Luisa knows Barbara Stripling and is going to put me in touch with her, which means that I will hopefully be able to raise this question directly with her.
I have to say you and Jenny really are an information powerhouse and a “fountain of wisdom”! I am very grateful for your answer and for the linked article which have been very helpful and clear.
Curiously, a few days ago while googling I happened to find that you had been planning to attend the Roma Tre University Seminar. Roma Tre University is very close to where I was brought up but was not founded until 1992, long after I had moved to London.
I hope you manage to track down Barbara Stripling as I do not doubt the New York experience would be useful in taking enquiry led learning forward “organically”.