Teaching Excellence Colloquium:
Critical Thinking, Information Literacy, and Lifelong Learning: Bringing It All Together for Student Success
Patricia Senn Breivik
Vice President, Nehemiah Communications and Former Chairperson, National Forum on Information Literacy
October 4, 2007
Participants in this colloquium gained a greater understanding of what constitutes an information literate person and how information literacy enhances student academic performance while equipping them for success after graduation. The colloquium offered a unique opportunity to dialogue with fellow faculty members, to explore possible curriculum initiatives within a supportive environment, to define barriers to increased integration of information literacy into the curriculum, and to devise strategies for overcoming barriers.
Dr. Breivik invited faculty to participate in interdisciplinary discussion groups to explore best practices in integrating information literacy into the curriculum, to identify barriers to more effective integration and to devise strategies for overcoming these barriers. 11 tables of 8 were asked to discuss the following questions:
- What information literacy and critical thinking skills do you feel your students must have in order to be successful in their academic programs and careers?
- From a faculty perspective, what can be your contribution toward helping students develop information literacy and critical thinking skills to prepare them for lifelong learning?
- What are the barriers to overcoming the gap between students' actual skills and the skills needed for success at USC and after graduation?
- What suggestions do you have for overcoming these barriers?
Dr. Breivik has summarized faculty responses to many of the larger issues raised by multiple groups. Click here to review the discussion summary.
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About the Presenter
Dr. Patricia Senn Breivik has served as Vice President of Nehemiah Communications, a company which provides services for nonprofit organizations and small businesses, since August 2005. Previously she served as the Dean of the University Library at San Jose State University where, in collaboration with the San Jose Public Library, a merged library opened in August 2003. An innovative model serving as the Silicon’s Valley’s 21st century information hub, the library won the Gale Publishing/Library Journal Library of the Year award for 2004. Formerly, she was the Library Dean at Wayne State University for four years, where she served as the chief administrative officer in charge of five University Libraries, Media Services, the University Press, the Library and Information Science Program, the Office for Teaching and Learning, and UGE1000. In the early 1990s, she served as Associate Vice President for Information Resources at the Towson State University campus at the University of Maryland System for five years. At Towson, she was responsible for organizing, developing, and managing units including the library, academic computing services, telecommunications, office automation, satellite systems, telephone and fax systems, and for campus-wide networking. Previously she served for over ten years as Director of library and telecommunications services which supported three academic institutions on the Auraria campus in Denver. During most of this period, she also served as part-time special assistant to the President of the University of Colorado. Earlier positions were as Dean of Library Services at Sangamon State University in Springfield, Illinois, and as Assistant Dean of Pratt Institute, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, Brooklyn, New York.
Breivik has held numerous leadership positions at the state and national levels within both librarianship and higher education. For example, she served as Chair of the National Forum on Information Literacy, an umbrella group of over 90 national and international organizations concerned with the need for people to be able to access and use information effectively from its founding in 1989 until 2005. She is a past President of the Association of College & Research Libraries.
She is also a frequent speaker and writer on the topic of information literacy and resource-based learning. For example, she co-authored the book "Information Literacy Revolution in the Library" with now President of Vanderbilt University which won the 1990 G.K. Hall Library Literature Award. Her second book with Gee was published in 2006 and is entitled Higher Education in the Internet Age.
Her awards and honors include: the Miriam Dudley Instruction Librarian Award (1997), the Pratt Institute Alumni Achievement Award (1995), the American Association of School Librarians Executive Board recognition for special contributions to School Library Media Programs (1992), the American Council on Education Fellows Program in Academic Administration Service Award (1990), and the Columbia University School of Library Service Distinguished Alumni Award (1989). Breivik holds a B. A. from Brooklyn College, an M.L.S. from Pratt Institute, and a D.L.S. from Columbia University.