The concept that passionate practitioners are better able to sustain their careers drives the approach taken by the teaching staff in the information management programs.

Applying passion-based learning and encouraging ‘scholarly citizenship’in students, helps information management graduates become  engaged with, and committed to, the profession they are about to enter.  In addition to developing the essential skills required to “to do the job” students also learn “how to be” an information professional.

Sue Reynolds talks about the passion-based learning and good citizenship strategies used in the information management programs to develop engagement and commitment in new professionals, and how this is helping students transition into their professional roles. New professionals then need to be further enculturated into the profession and library and information practice and nurtured in order for their passion to be sustained. Commitment and engagement are closely connected with good citizenship in the academy, workplace and profession where citizenship is a willingness to contribute beyond the usual requirements of participation, employment or membership.

Passion-Based Learning

John Dewey’s concept of students engaging in productive enquiry and experiential learning based on real-world understandings provides a foundation for passion-based learning. Productive enquiry is where the learners themselves determine what is needed in their individualised learning and assumes that students will therefore be more actively engaged with their learning (Cook & Brown, 1999; Dewey, 1915). Common concepts associated with passion-based learning include students engaging with relevant and important ideas, connection to real-world problems and projects, student-driven learning and the need for enrichment and connection. Importantly, Maiers and Sandvold (2011) suggest that a driver for this approach to curriculum design and thinking by educators is the desire to remove education from purely outcome-driven, standards-based, data-oriented methods which appear to be prevalent in education from primary school to postgraduate programs in universities.

Good Citizenship

Academic citizenship can be considered as ‘voluntary, often invisible, activity to sustain academic culture for its own sake, which brings benefits to a wider group than oneself or even one’s department’ (Power, 2014). The activities referred to include academics acting as external examiners, peer reviewers, mentors, guest speakers, ‘critical friends’, etc. within the academic community. Students also have a community within the academy, where they and educators are the citizens and support of the community is provided through a willingness to contribute to classroom activities and to mentoring each other as good scholarly citizens.

Good scholarly citizenship can then be further developed in graduates as they contribute to their profession and employing organisation as good professional and organisational citizens. The attributes of passion and good citizenship work together to not only sustain the careers of new information professionals but also the profession itself.


Dewey, J. (1915). The school and society (Rev. ed.). Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
Cook, S. D. N., & Brown, J. S. (1999). Bridging epistemologies: The generative dance between organizational knowledge and organizational knowing. Organization Science, 10, 381–400
Maiers, A., & Sandvold, A. (2011). The classroom: A framework for teaching and learning. Larchmont, NY:
Eye on Education.
Power, M. (2014, October 30). Do scholars need ‘performance free’ time and space? Times Higher Education. Retrieved from


Engaging with our future: the role of educators, practitioners, professional associations and employing organisations in the co-creation of information professionals

Passionate practitioners: Engaging not just the head but also the heart