The Basics

With a simple prompt: “Use the text to make art,” facilitators achieve educational acupuncture, pressing on academic material to fire the pleasures of creative autonomy. Those pleasures drive literacy, innovation, and citizenship like gears of a holistic system that supports young citizens. The next prompt, “go off on tangents” to bring in material related to the required text, ignites intellectual curiosity along with appreciation for culturally diverse classmates who multiply perspectives and deepen interpretation. Cognitive and emotional learning go together here. The invitation to play with complex texts fuels critical thinking, enjoyment of one’s own particularity, and admiration for others.


Since 2007, Professor Doris Sommer has followed Latin American models to promote holistic education through the arts. Pre-Texts combines popular Latin American practices with the pedagogy of Paulo Freire and Augusto Boal, along with Friedrich Schiller, Maria Montessori, and John Dewey. Having learned from Milagros Saldarriaga, of Lima's “Sarita Cartonera,” to recognize books as raw material, not sacred objects, Sommer and other Pre-Texts trainers have brought literary theory down to earth in under-resourced areas throughout Latin America, as well as in Boston, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Zimbabwe, and China.

Reports & Evaluations

These documents correspond to the reports and evaluations produced by Cultural Agents and different institutions in countries where Pre-Texts has been implemented. We invite you to download and read these forms, which demonstrate the positive results and great impact that Pre-Texts has had around the world.

Impact Evaluation - Universidad de Coahuila



NEACOL – Pre-texts in Chocó (Colombia)

Quibdó, Colômbia


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