Students Think Science Literacy Is Important and Improves with Lifelong Learning




A Review of:

Holden, I. I. (2010) Science literacy and lifelong learning in the classroom: A measure of attitudes among university students. Journal of Library Administration, 50:3, 265-282.


Objective – Investigate student attitudes to science literacy and lifelong learning as outlined in Standard Five of the Information Literacy Standards for Science and Engineering/Technology (ILSTE): The information literate student understands that information literacy is an ongoing process and an important component of lifelong learning and recognizes the need to keep current regarding new developments in his or her field (2006).

Design – Survey.

Setting – A large public American R1 university.

Subjects – Undergraduate students in two classes: Information Literacy in the Sciences (Science group) and Information Literacy (Non-Science group).

Methods – A 13 question survey was administered to students by a colleague of the author.  Three categories of questions were asked: students' perceptions of the important of science literacy, students' assessment of their own science literacy skills and students' perceptions of lifelong learning in relation to Standard Five.

Main Results – Survey participation included 13 students from the Science group and 18 students from the Non-Science group. Students agreed that science literacy is an important part of civic literacy and responsibility, and should be taught to undergraduates in the United States.  Students from the Science group frequently had more positive responses to statements than the students in the Non-Science group.  For example, 81% of Science students either agreed or strongly agreed with the statement, “Every responsible citizen should be aware of the latest scientific discoveries” compared to 61% of Non-science students.  Students felt that their science literacy skills had improved since high school.  Most students were confident in their research skills including using emerging communication technologies. Students believed that life-long learning and staying current contribute to good information literacy and science literacy.

Conclusion – Students think science literacy is an important part of being a responsible citizen. They also believe being a lifelong learner improves science literacy.


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Author Biography

Heather MacDonald, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Health and Biosciences Librarian, MacOdrum Library




How to Cite

MacDonald, H. (2021). Students Think Science Literacy Is Important and Improves with Lifelong Learning. Evidence Based Library and Information Practice, 16(2), 150–152.



Evidence Summaries