Re-defining Post-Literacy in a Changing World


This report is a follow up to the report which Education for Development produced for ODA (now DFID) in 1994, a shortened version of which was published under the title Using Literacy: a new approach to post-literacy materials (ODA 1994).

The first report was aimed primarily at literacy practitioners in developing societies, and was intended to be practical, suggesting some of the ways in which post-literacy programmes (and initial literacy teaching programmes) could become more effective. It drew upon the insights into literacy as social practice which are being developed under the title of the New Literacy Studies (Street 1993 pp. 4-12).

The aim of this second report is to conceptualise the field of post-literacy. It provides an examination of the most common current approaches in a number of developing countries, looking at the strengths and weaknesses of these approaches. This is followed by an outline of some of the emerging new approaches to literacy teaching and an analysis of a number of problems which have arisen in the course of attempts to implement them. The report ends with a discussion of some of the policy implications of this analysis, an action plan, and suggestions for further research.


Educational Paper No. 29, DFID, London, UK, ISBN 1 86192 069 5, 148 pp.

Re-defining Post-Literacy in a Changing World

Published 1 January 1999