Literacy and UNESCO: Conceptual and Historical Perspectives


  • Daniel Wagner

    1. UNESCO chair in learning and literacy and professor of education, University of Pennsylvania
    2. Director of the International Literacy Institute and of the University of Pennsylvania's International Educational Development Program (IEDP) in graduate study
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  • This paper was originally presented in the panel: “Re-Imagining UNESCO: Past, Present and Future” at the Annual Meeting of the Comparative and International Education Society (Chicago, Illinois, March 4, 2010). Parts of the paper were also adapted from Wagner (2011).


This chapter addresses Themes 2 & 3 of the Hamburg Declaration: Improving the conditions and quality of adult learning and Ensuring the universal right to literacy and basic education.