Centre for Social Justice and Wellbeing in Education
Centre for Social Justice and Wellbeing in Education, Department of Educational Research, County South, Lancaster University, LA1 4YD, UK
Tel: +44 (0) 1524 593189 E-mail Enquiries
Department of Educational Research > SJWE@lancaster > Literacy in policy and practice

Literacy in policy and practice

From formal theory to real-world solutions

Research impact story

Mary Hamilton has conducted research on adult literacy since 1995 and during that period she has contributed to several influential books, articles and projects on this topic.  She was Project Director of the Practitioner-led Research Initiative which was funded by the National Research and Development Centre for Adult Literacy and Numeracy (NRDC). Adult Literacy book cover

This initiative worked with 17 groups of practitioners over a 3 year period supporting practitioner research projects and resulting publications (available from the NRDC).  This work, and related publications, for example, "Adult Literacy, Language and Numeracy: Practice, Policy, Research" have enabled Mary Hamilton’s research to have a major impact on the UK Government's Skills for Life (SfL) policy and practice. 

At an international level, the German Ministry for Education and Research (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung, BMBF) funded a project at the Bunderwehrhochschule, Hamburg which used Mary Hamilton’s research to develop new ideas for adult literacy and basic education curricula and programmes. 

Zimbabwean learnerAlso at an international level, the UNESCO publication “The Global Literacy Challenge” drew on Mary Hamilton’s research, about the definitions of literacy and literacies, in their 2009 mid-point review of the United Nations Literacy Decade.

Watch a video of UNESCO posters produced during the United Nations Literacy Decade.






«Go Back



New for 2017: Online MA

MA in Education and Social Justice
Read more»

Study for a PhD

Watch video of Jo Warin talking about the online PhD in Education and Social Justice

We also offer:

  • Taught doctoral programme
  • Traditional PhD

Find out more about our PhD programmes»

Online Research seminars

Watch research seminars - Centre and Department of Educational Research


We have close links with:

Lancaster Literacy Research Centre

Centre for Gender and Women's Studies


  | Home | Research programmes |
Centre for Social Justice and Wellbeing in Education Lancaster University