Debating Transformative Approaches to Information Literacy Education: A Critical Look at the Transformative Learning Theory

  • Denis Kos
  • Sonja Špiranec
Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS, volume 492)


Information literacy as a concept is often thought of in the dimensions of being a functional competency. This paper aims to contribute to the critique of the limitations such an approach may imply and explores a different, critical approach. If IL is perceived as a concept that enables learning, and empowers learners through acquired understanding, then we should also ask: What kind of learning is to be enabled? It is because of that question that we aim to analyze the pedagogical process that is inherent to information literacy from the viewpoint of transformative education. We undertake an analysis of concepts in which we examine the transformative learning theory as conceived by its author Jack Mezirow and its subsequent critique. Transformative learning is examined through the connections drawn with information literacy made by Andrew Whitworth and is cross-examined with his outlook of critical information literacy.


Information literacy learning transformative learning theory critical information literacy Mezirow Freire Whitworth 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Denis Kos
    • 1
  • Sonja Špiranec
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Department of Information and Communication SciencesUniversity of ZagrebZagrebCroatia

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