Defining Literacy: Paradise, Nightmare or Red Herring?

British Journal of Educational Studies 43 (4):412 - 432 (1995)
Abstract
In the past fifty years, hundreds of definitions of 'literacy' have been advanced by scholars, adult literacy workers, and programme planners. This paper analyses three major approaches to the problem of defining literacy: quantitative, qualitative and pluralist. The pluralist perspective, while not without its difficulties, appears to have the most to offer in understanding literacy in the contemporary world.
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