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ERIC Number: EJ956111
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Dec
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1368-1613
Information Needs in a Community of Reading Specialists: What Information Needs Say about Contextual Frameworks
Normore, Lorraine
Information Research: An International Electronic Journal, v16 n4 Dec 2011
Introduction: The perceived information needs of teachers who specialize in reading instruction for at-risk first graders were studied and related to frameworks for the role of social context in information needs, seeking and use. The frameworks considered were: disciplinarity, role theory in work settings, small worlds and information grounds and communities of practice. Method: Two focus groups of Reading Recovery teachers and teacher leaders were conducted to learn the kinds of information each group needed to support their teaching and outreach efforts. Analysis: Participants' suggestions about information needs were gathered and prioritized using participant-generated votes to assign weights to the group's suggestions. The suggestions were organized for ease of interpretation into three groups: communication, specific skills or resource needs and personal professional development. Results: The two groups showed both common and distinct information needs related to their roles as educators, their relationships with administrators, other teachers and parents and the social ties within their professional community. Communication needs, both within their group and to others, especially parents, were noted. Print and audiovisual materials were most valued. Traditionally accepted resource types (e.g., lesson plans, skill sheets) were mentioned, but were not highly valued. Conclusions: Interpreting these data from the different theoretical frameworks provided alternative views of these data. However, doing so resulted in substantial differences in what was learned about the relationship between information needs and social context and about the ability of the frameworks to drive theoretical exploration. These findings enlarge our view of the information needs of professional educators and provide an illustration of the utility of contrasting frameworks for the development of theory. (Contains 3 tables.)
Thomas D. Wilson. 9 Broomfield Road, Broomhill, Sheffield, S10 2SE, UK. Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 1
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A