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To fulfill its commitment to helping students become well-informed, engaged citizens, the New Jersey Department of Education recently issued an advisory with guidance for educators and administrators that aims to enhance information literacy in classrooms across the state.

In 2023, New Jersey became the first state in the country to require K-12 instruction in information literacy through P.L.2022, c.138. Information literacy is defined in the legislation as a set of skills that enables an individual to recognize when information is needed and to locate, evaluate and effectively use the needed information. This essential set of skills is critical for cultivating an engaged and well-informed citizenry, fundamental to the functioning and preservation of the principles of democracy.

The initial set of guidance materials provided to local agencies are entitled practice briefs. The practice briefs focus educators’ attention on information literacy’s relevance in the content area, posing questions for reflection as well as providing resources and recommendations designed to help educators teach students how to discern credible sources, evaluate information accuracy and navigate the complexities of the information age.

The briefs serve as an initial step in preparation for the forthcoming information literacy standards, which will provide comprehensive descriptions of an information-literate student. The briefs offer a conceptual framework and broad guidelines, laying the groundwork for educators to gain familiarity with the legislation and the intent of information literacy. The NJDOE is pleased to make these practice briefs available at the Standards Transparency and Master Platform website.

Ensuring that our students are well-informed regarding information they encounter is a shared responsibility, and the NJDOE looks forward to partnering with educators across the state to equip students with the skills to navigate today’s information-rich landscape and make sound judgments in an increasingly complex world.

Please email the Office of Standards with any questions.