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The Stakeholders of Gorongosa National Park

Intersecting Scientific and Information Literacies


Author(s)

Andrea M.-K. Bierema
Center for Integrative Studies in General Science, Department of Integrative Biology
Michigan State University
abierema@msu.edu
Sara D. Miller
Libraries, Teaching and Learning
Michigan State University
smiller@msu.edu
Claudia E. Vergara
Center for Integrative Sciences in General Education
Michigan State University
vergara@msu.edu

Abstract

Working through this case study, students explore the intersection between scientific and information literacies and consider how authority (scientific or otherwise) is represented in information sources through examining stakeholders and how their voices are represented or suppressed through the production of information. The case study was created for a flipped classroom in which students learn basic information literacy concepts before class and then work in teams during class or online to apply those concepts. Students analyze two information sources related to the Gorongosa National Park restoration project in Mozambique, Africa: one is an educational video whose creators represent the scientists performing the research and the philanthropists funding it; the other is a scholarly source that describes ethnographic research conducted on Gorongosa Mountain to examine the restoration project’s activities and the narratives that led to entrenched conflict between park stakeholders and mountain residents. The case can be taught as a stand-alone activity or as the second of a two-case sequence (the first case study is “Bringing Mammoths Back from Extinction: Developing Scientific and Information Literacies”). Both case studies focus on information literacy rather than scientific content and can be used in a wide variety of science courses.


Objectives

  • Describe the ways in which content is used in different types of sources.
  • Identify different types of authority, such as subject expertise, societal position, or individual experience.
  • Explain that the ways in which information sources are constructed and the formats in which they are presented can impact readers’ perceptions of scientific content.
  • Identify and explain the types of relationships that exist between stakeholders involved in conservation programs.
  • Recognize that a given information source may not give voice to all stakeholders involved in and impacted by an issue, in this case conservation.
  • Identify and analyze connections that exemplify relationships between stakeholders.

Keywords

Article analysis; Africa; Mozambique; national park; ethnography; stakeholder; information literacy; scientific article; scientific literacy; secondary literature;

Topical Areas

Legal issues, Policy issues, Science and the media, Social issues, Social justice issues

Educational Level

High school, Undergraduate lower division, Undergraduate upper division

Format

PDF, Word

Type / Methods

Analysis (Issues), Flipped, Journal Article

Language

English

Subject Headings

Agriculture  |   Anthropology  |   Communication Science  |   Ecology  |   Environmental Science  |   Forestry  |   Science (General)  |   Science Education  |   Sociology  |   Wildlife Management  |  


Date Posted

12/20/2021

Teaching Notes

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Teaching notes are intended to help teachers select and adopt a case. They typically include a summary of the case, teaching objectives, information about the intended audience, details about how the case may be taught, and a list of references and resources.

Supplemental Materials

The file below is a Microsoft Word version of the case that uses a comparison table for learners to complete.

  
  info_lit_stakeholders_sup.docx (~ 30KB)

Answer Key

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