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Bookphoria with Victoria – International Literacy Day

By: Victoria Heisler,

Human Rights and Literacy #literacyday September 8th

Bookphoria with Victoria – on Literacy! Browse our 6 selected books and celebrate International Literacy Day!

Since 1967, International Literacy Day (ILD) celebrations have taken place annually around the world to remind the public of the importance of literacy as a matter of dignity and human rights, and to advance the literacy agenda towards a more literate and sustainable society. This year’s literacy day will be celebrated worldwide under the theme, ‘Promoting literacy for a world in transition: Building the foundation for sustainable and peaceful societies.’

Literacy is a gateway to the fulfillment of many other human rights. It equips individuals with the knowledge and skills needed to understand and exercise their rights effectively. A literate population is more likely to be informed about their rights and responsibilities, leading to greater civic engagement and participation in the democratic process. Furthermore, literacy is essential for accessing economic opportunities, as it opens doors to better job prospects and financial stability. Illiteracy, on the other hand, often perpetuates cycles of poverty and inequality.

According to UNESCO, despite steady progress made across the world, literacy challenges persist with at least 763 million young people and adults lacking basic literacy skills in 2020. The recent COVID-19 crisis and other crises, such as climate change and conflicts, have been exacerbating the challenges. In low- and middle-income nations, the percentage of 10-year-old children unable to read and comprehend basic texts has risen from 57 percent in 2019 to an approximate 70 percent in 2022.

Efforts to promote literacy are not only a matter of human rights but also a key driver of sustainable development. Literate societies are better equipped to address complex challenges, such as healthcare, environmental issues, and social justice. They can access and disseminate information, fostering innovation and progress on a global scale.



Suggested reading on literacy, education, and human rights:


Quality Education

ISBN 978-3-319-95869-9

ebook permalink (for LU users)

From the publisher: The problems related to the process of industrialisation such as biodiversity depletion, climate change and a worsening of health and living conditions, especially but not only in developing countries, intensify. Therefore, there is an increasing need to search for integrated solutions to make development more sustainable. The United Nations has acknowledged the problem and approved the “2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”. On 1st January 2016, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the Agenda officially came into force. These goals cover the three dimensions of sustainable development: economic growth, social inclusion and environmental protection. The Encyclopedia of the UN Sustainable Development Goals comprehensively addresses the SDGs in an integrated way. It encompasses 17 volumes, each devoted to one of the 17 SDGs. This volume addresses SDG 4, namely “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all” and contains the description of a range of terms, to allow a better understanding and foster knowledge.


Critical human rights, citizenship, and democracy education : entanglements and regenerations

ISBN 9781350138797

On the RWI shelf under 61:1 CRI

From the publisher: Critical Human Rights, Citizenship, and Democracy Education presents new scholarly research that views human rights, democracy and citizenship education as a critical project. Written by an international line-up of contributors including academics from Canada, Cyprus, Ireland, South Africa, Sweden, the UK and the USA, this open access book provides a cross-section of theoretical work as well as case studies on the challenges and possibilities of bringing together notions of human rights, democracy and citizenship in education. The contributors cultivate a critical view of human rights, democracy and citizenship and revisit these categories to advance socially just educational praxis and highlight ground-breaking case studies that redefine the purposes and approaches in education for a better alignment with the justice-oriented objectives of human rights, democracy and citizenship education. A critical response, reflecting on the issues raised throughout the book, provides a conclusion. This is essential reading for those researching these pedagogical forms and will be valuable to practitioners and activists in fields as diverse as education, law, sociology, health sciences and social work and international development. The ebook edition of this book is open access.


Luminous literacies : localized teaching and teacher education

ISBN 978-1-80043-453-0

Ebook permalink (for LU users)

From the publisher: Luminous Literacies shares examples of teachers and educators using local knowledge to illustrate literacy engagement and curriculum-making through scholarly accounts of experiences in teacher preparation courses, classrooms, and other community spaces in New Mexico. This edited collection includes chapters focusing on the teaching of Native American literature to indigenous students in what used to be an assimilation school; learning to code while making connections to the bomb-building that was part of New Mexican history; using graphic novels and text sets that reflect local identities and concerns; and examining the duality of querencia/herencia with teachers from across the United States in a National Endowment of the Humanities-funded project. Teachers present counter narratives to literacy knowing and learning in places with extensive colonial histories. These chapters provide vivid demonstrations of what literacy is, how literacies are positioned in communities and contexts, and how literacies come alive as they are taught. This is essential reading for practicing teachers, teacher education researchers, cultural studies scholars, and educational leaders.


Transformation Literacy Pathways to Regenerative Civilizations

ISBN 978-3-030-93253-4

Ebook permalink (Open Access)

From the publisher: This open access book brings science and practice together and inspires a global movement towards co-creating regenerative civilizations that work for 100% of humanity and the Earth as a whole. With its conceptual foundation of the concept of transformation literacy it enhances the knowledge and capacity of decision-makers, change agents and institutional actors to steward transformations effectively across institutions, societal sectors and nations. Humanity is at crossroads. Resource depletion and exponential emissions that not only cause climate change, but endanger the health of people and planet, call for a decisive turnaround of human civilization. A new and transformative paradigm is emerging that advocates for regenerative civilizations, in which a narrative of systemic health as much as individual and collective vitality guide the interaction of socio-economic-ecological systems. Truly transformative change must go far beyond technical solutions, and instead envision what can be termed ‘a new operating system’ that helps humankind to live well within the planetary boundaries and partner with life’s evolutionary processes. This requires transformations at three different levels: · Mindsets that reconnect with a worldview in which human agency acknowledges its co-evolutionary pathways with each other and the Earth. · Political, social and economic systems that are regenerative and foster the care-taking for Earth life support systems. · Competencies to design and implement effective large-scale transformative change processes at multiple levels with multiple stakeholders. This book provides key ingredients for enhancing transformation literacy from various perspectives around the globe. It connects the emerging practice of stewarding transformative change across business, government institutions and civil society actors with the most promising scientific models and concepts that underpin human action to shape the future collectively in accordance with planetary needs.


Research, Literacy, and Communication Education: New Challenges Facing Disinformation

ISBN 978-3-0365-2514-3

Ebook permalink (Open Access)

From the publisher: The information that comes through digital media and social networks is increasing. This potential access to almost infinite information makes it difficult to select relevant content with a good understanding. It is therefore necessary to generate research that thoroughly analyses the phenomenon of communication and information in the digital age. For this reason, this monograph presents different research studies that highlight the need for greater media literacy and education in order to prevent the existence and dissemination of fake news. Citizens must know how to deal with disinformation and be able to detect the source of bad intentions behind information. Therefore, people need to be aware of the new communication challenges in order to determine what is important, which media they can trust, and where information has been misused or manipulated. In conclusion, society must be prepared to face new challenges related to misinformation. An educated and digitally literate society will be able to face these problems and be prepared to face the new communication challenges, including interaction with social networks, new audiences, new media, fake news, etc.


Perspectives on Libraries as Institutions of Human Rights and Social Justice

ISBN 9781786350589

Ebook permalink (for LU users)

From the publisher: Academic, public, school, and special libraries are all institutions of human rights and social justice, with an increasingly apparent commitment to equality, to ethical principles based on rights and justice, and to programs that meet needs related to human rights and social justice. Key topics at the intersection of information, human rights, social justice, and technology include information access and literacy, digital inclusion, education, and social services, among many others. Edited by Ursula Gorham, Natalie Greene Taylor, and Paul T. Jaeger, this volume is devoted to the ideals, activities, and programs in libraries that protect human rights and promote social justice. With contributions from researchers, educators, and practitioners from a range of fields, this book is an important resource for library professionals in all types of libraries, a reference for researchers and educators about all types of libraries, and an introduction to those in other fields about the contributions of libraries to human rights and social justice.

Browse more of Victoria’s recommendations here

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