Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 2021


Critical information literacy (CIL) and critical service learning (CSL) have developed in parallel over recent years but have yet to intersect robustly. Rooted in critical theory, these approaches emphasize both conceptual frameworks and practices that center questions of social inequality in our teaching and learning practices—and in our universities as institutions. A small body of literature suggests that students’ social justice understanding is deepened when engaging with research-intensive assignments. Within this study, we explored students’ understanding of social justice in connection with research-intensive and non–research-intensive course assignments. Using a semi-structured interview technique, we interviewed 23 undergraduate students from 15 different CSL courses over an academic year at a private, West Coast, faith-based university. Our intention within this article is to highlight under-researched CIL pedagogy and curriculum within CSL and to put forth a call to action to university faculty and librarians to collaborate in further research.


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