Steve Patriarca

Treasurer and Vice-President of IKIS

As a founder and vice-president of IKIS, I come to information literacy with a background as teacher, headmaster and international school consultant. I see Information Competence as a cross-curricular, inter-disciplinary study which is still in its infancy in schools and higher education. In many institutions it is led by librarians or teachers, but does not include a grasp of the central questions of epistemology. I want to focus on how information can become knowledge and what skills are involved in that process.

In 40 years teaching and latterly leading or advising schools my main focus has been not only on imparting knowledge but also that even more important quality of Judgement. As a teacher of English literature I strongly believed with F. R. Leavis that English is a discipline of thought – a living principle. Later I campaigned for Philosophy in English schools and worked with the Examinations Board on the syllabus and setting the A level questions. I became a member of the Council of the Royal Institute of Philosophy and worked with the Institute to raise awareness of the need for philosophical literacy.

I have always taken an interest in politics and at various times in my career I have been more directly involved. I believe very strongly that the open society and liberal democracy is conditional upon an educated public. Many western democracies have moved towards more ‘direct democracy’, referendums and devolved power, without necessarily seeing the necessary advances in education – not least in Information Literacy. I do not believe that liberal democracy is the province of any one political party or even one ideology; rather that we should challenge all political claims against the criteria of good judgement.

You can also find me on Social Media – on Facebook