What is REFLECT?

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The REFLECT approach to literacy is an approach which involves community members in the development of the literacy lesson through activities related to their development needs. REFLECT is an acronym standing for REgenerated Freirean Literacy through Empowering Community Techniques.


The REFLECT approach was developed by ACTIONAID using a combination of the theory of Paulo Freire and the group methods of Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) to combine the literacy process and the empowering process through people-centered grass roots development. Some of the key points of the approach are:

  • Literacy is a process, not a skill to be developed.

  • The adult learners are active participants, not passive recipients.
  • The PRA techniques are the tools to enable a group of people to assess their felt needs, and investigate a theme of interest to the group of learners.
  • Focus is on learner-generated materials (not prepared primers and other materials).
  • Emphasize writing rather than passive reading of fixed texts.
  • The literacy events relate to the wider environment rather than simply a classroom activity.
  • A group facilitator (rather than a teacher) helps develop learner-generated ideas from graphic forms to written records of what they themselves have discussed.

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