The concepts of literacy events and practices have received considerable attention in educational research and policy. In comparison, the question of value, that is, ‘which literacy practices do people most value?’ has been neglected. With the current trend of cross-cultural adult literacy assessment, it is increasingly important to recognise locally valued literacy practices. In this paper we argue that measuring preferences and weighting of literacy practices provides an empirical and democratic basis for decisions in literacy assessment and curriculum development and could inform rapid educational adaptation to changes in the literacy environment. The paper examines the methodological basis for investigating literacy values and its potential to inform cross-cultural literacy assessments. The argument is illustrated with primary data from Mozambique. The correlation between individual values and respondents’ socio-economic and demographic characteristics is explored.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)363-380
Number of pages18
JournalCompare: Journal of Comparative and International Education
Issue number3
Early online date24 Jan 2014
Publication statusPublished - May 2015


  • literary practices
  • values
  • weighting
  • Mozambique

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