• Toni DobinsonEmail author
  • Katie Dunworth
Part of the Multilingual Education book series (MULT, volume 30)


This first introductory chapter presents the rationale for the selection of chapters in this volume. It outlines how the protean construct that is literacy has been presented across time, domains and cultures and explains how the chapters were selected to embody, as far as possible, the multiplicity of research contexts in which literacy has been explored in education. The chapter summarises each of the contributions made by the authors in this book, whose different writing styles and approaches to their texts also reinforce the idea of literacy being multiple and unbound. This chapter concludes that across the differing conceptions of literacy, what unites them is a sense that literacy, however it is defined, can be a force for liberation.


Literacy as liberation Multiliteracies Multimodal literacy Literacy as multilingual 


  1. Miller, A. (2015). On paper, in person, and online: A multiliteracies framework for university teaching. Journal of Academic Language and Learning, 9(2), A19–A31.Google Scholar
  2. Street, B. (2013). Literacy in theory and practice: Challenges and debates over 50 years. Theory Into Practice, 52(1), 52–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Wenger, E. (1998). Communities of practice: Learning, meaning, and identity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Whitehead, K., & Wilkinson, L. (2008). Teachers, policies and practices: A historical review of literacy teaching in Australia. Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, 8(1), 7–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of EducationCurtin UniversityPerthAustralia
  2. 2.Department of EducationUniversity of BathBathUK

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