Daniel A. Wagner

Professor, Director of the International Literacy Institute, the National Center for Adult Literacy, and the Penn Global Development Initiative

Graduate School of Education



Dr. Wagner is a professor of education and the director of the International Literacy Institute (ILI), co-sponsored by UNESCO and Penn. As founding director of the Literacy Research Center in 1983, he is also director of the National Center on Adult Literacy. He received his Ph.D. in developmental psychology at the University of Michigan and was twice a visiting fellow at the International Institute of Education Planning in Paris, a visiting professor at the University of Geneva (Switzerland), and a Fulbright-Hays Scholar at the University of Paris. He is a fellow of the American Psychological Association and the American Anthropological Association.

Dr. Wagner has extensive experience in national and international educational issues, has consulted for numerous U.N. and donor agencies as well as with the U.S. government, and has worked in more than a dozen countries around the world. Dr. Wagner has more than 120 professional publications, including 20 books (translated into a half-dozen languages) across topics of literacy, basic education, child development, applied technology, and research and policy in cultural and international perspectives.


B.S. Cornell University, 1968; M.A. University of Michigan, 1971; Ph.D. University of Michigan, 1976


French, Spanish, Moroccan Arabic

Research Interests:

International Issues in Education; Cultural Perspectives on Development

Overseas Research Experience:

Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Abu Dhabi, Mauretania, Mali, Senegal

Recent Publications:

Wagner, D.A.: Smaller, Quicker, Cheaper: Improving Learning Assessments in Developing Countries. UNESCO-IIEP and FTI/World Bank, in press. 2011.

Wagner, D.A.: Quality of education, comparability, and assessment choice in developing countries. COMPARE: A Journal of Comparative and International Education 40(6): 741-760, 2010.

Wagner, D. A. : Pro-poor approaches to using technology for human development: Monitoring and evaluation perspectives. Perspectives on Human Development, Family and Culture. K√ľntay, et al. (eds.). London: Cambridge University Press, 2009.

Wagner, D. A. : New technologies for adult literacy and international development. Cambridge Handbook of Literacy. D. Olson & N. Torrance (eds.). London: Cambridge University Press, 2009.