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Book Chapter

Changing Conceptions of Literacy: Pluriversal Literacies

  • Mia Perry
  • Marcela Ramos
  • Nancy Palacios

«We are being stunted by a form of critical illiteracy», state Tierney, Smith and Kan, and «our global scholarship is facing a crisis of similar proportion to that of climate change […] because we are insufficiently ‘reading the world’, in the Freirean sense — acting as if we can and should be monolingual in a world that is multilingual» (Tierney et al. 2021, 305). This chapter will briefly chart the history of formal literacy education and describe the scope of the field of research and practice today that encompasses both standardised models of reading and writing text as well as more expansive models of meaning making across many sign systems. We relate the current standardised and universal model of functional literacy to a colonial past whereby systems designed for the benefit of the urban global north were imposed upon other contexts to ensure their expansion of power and economic advantage. Pluriversality is a concept that emerges from a decolonial movement of thought that provides a counternarrative to contemporary Northern assumptions of the universal and, in Escobar’s words, to «the hegemony of modernity’s one-world ontology» (2018, 4). This chapter provides a conceptual framework of pluriversal literacies in education inclusive of, but exceeding, the literacy of print. To illustrate the opportunities of a pluriversal literacies model in education, we provide a case study of land literacy practices in agricultural education in Patía, Colombia.

  • Keywords:
  • Equity,
  • Land,
  • Literacies,
  • Pluriversal,
  • Sustainability,
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Mia Perry

University of Glasgow, United Kingdom - ORCID: 0000-0002-0886-7093

Marcela Ramos

University of Glasgow, United Kingdom - ORCID: 0000-0003-2782-7617

Nancy Palacios

University of los Andes, Colombia - ORCID: 0000-0003-1318-0728

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  • Publication Year: 2023
  • Pages: 163-174
  • Content License: CC BY 4.0
  • © 2023 Author(s)

  • Publication Year: 2023
  • Content License: CC BY 4.0
  • © 2023 Author(s)

Chapter Information

Chapter Title

Changing Conceptions of Literacy: Pluriversal Literacies


Mia Perry, Marcela Ramos, Nancy Palacios





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© 2023 Author(s)

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Adult Education and Social Justice: International Perspectives


Maria Slowey, Heribert Hinzen, Michael Omolewa, Michael Osborne

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© 2023 Author(s)

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Firenze University Press



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Studies on Adult Learning and Education

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