Dr Chris Millora

Staff details

Dr Chris Millora


Lecturer in Educational Studies


Educational Studies


c.millora (@gold.ac.uk)

Goldsmiths Research Centres/Groups

Chris explores the links between youth learning/literacies and social justice, particularly in Global South contexts.

I am Lecturer in Education and Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellow, leading the project 'Literacies of Dissent: learning, youth activism and social change' in the Philippines and Chile. Broadly, I research links between youth learning/literacies and social justice, particularly in Global South contexts. I am Deputy Head of Programme for the MA Social Justice in Education.

I joined the Department of Educational Studies in August 2023. I currently serve as Chair of BALID (British Association for Literacy in Development) and Academic Associate with the UNESCO Chair in Adult Literacy and Learning for Social Transformation, University of East Anglia.

Previously, I was Senior Research Associate for the UKRI/GCRF-funded project on Family Literacy, Indigenous Learning and Sustainable Development and was Lead Researcher for the commissioned UNV State of the World's Volunteerism Report 2022.

Academic qualifications

  • PhD in Education and Development 2021
  • MA in Lifelong Learning Policy and Management 2016

Teaching and supervision

I am Deputy Head of Programme of the MA Social Justice in Education. I am module leader of the 'Global Education, Power Practice and Policy' and contribute to the modules 'Living Multilingualism' and 'Introduction to Social Justice in Education' and 'Researching Social Justice in Education'. I also co-lead of the Comparative and International Education Module in the BA Education Programme.

I welcome enquiries from PhD students with potential links with my research areas/interests and would like to explore collaboration. Please get in touch!

Research interests

My research interests sit at the intersection of youth learning/literacies and social justice. I research participation of young people in/through volunteering and social activism and how these cultivate and/or confine learning processes and personal transformations. I employ ethnographic, participatory and participatory action research methods.

I am interested in the conceptualisation of youth activist spaces as (informal) learning spaces that shape and/or are shaped by wider social dynamics.

My research keywords include:

  • Youth literacies and informal learning
  • Literacy as social practice
  • Youth participation and social movement learning
  • Education and international development and the SDGs
  • Volunteerism, activism and student movements
  • Education and social justice
  • Comparative education

Methodologically, I am interested in approaches to research that 'model' participation - sharing some degree of power to research collaborators. These include:

  • Participatory Action Research
  • Youth-led research
  • Creative methods (such as Photovoice activity)

Publications and research outputs


Millora, Chris. 2024. Learning to work in certain ways: Bureaucratic literacies and community-based volunteering in the Philippines. Community Development, 59(1), pp. 108-127. ISSN 1557-5330

Millora, Chris. 2023. ‘Social-contextual’ approaches to family literacy programmes: policy and practice lessons from Nigeria, Mexico and Nepal. Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education, ISSN 0305-7925

Jere, Catherine M.; Priyadharshini, Esther; Robinson-Pant, Anna; Millora, Chris and Evren, Burcu. 2023. Cooperation, collaboration and compromise: learning through difference and diversity. Educational Action Research, 31(3), pp. 540-555. ISSN 0965-0792

Book Section

Millora, Chris and Karunungan, Renee Julienne. 2024. Researching the criminalisation of young people’s dissent: insights from Southeast Asia. In: Judith Bessant; Philippa Collin and Patrick O'Keefe, eds. Research Handbook on the Sociology of Youth. Cheltham: Edward Elgar Publishing, pp. 69-82. ISBN 9781803921792

Millora, Chris. 2022. Making a difference: Addressing imbalances and inequalities in research on volunteering. In: Michael Locke and Jurgen Grotz, eds. Volunteering, research and the test of experience: A critical celebration for the 25th anniversary of the Institute for Volunteering Research. Norwich: Institute for Volunteering Research & UEA Publishing Project, pp. 171-176. ISBN 9781913861940


Millora, Chris. 2022. Setting Spaces for Youth and Student-Led Advocacy: Analysis of the impact of COVID-19 on youth and student organising calls for urgent action towards inclusion of youth and students in advocacy spaces. Discussion Paper. Global Campaign for Education, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Robinson-Pant, Anna; Binesse, Helene; Maleki, Mohammad; Millora, Chris and Wang, Qingru. 2021. Adult literacy and learning for social change: innovation, influence and the role of non-state actors; case studies from Afghanistan, China, the Philippines and Senegal. Discussion Paper. UNESCO, Paris.

Millora, Chris and Karunungan, Renee Julienne. 2021. Students by day, rebels by night? Criminalising student dissent in shrinking democracies. Discussion Paper. SAIH (Studentenes og Akademikernes Internasjonale Hjelpefond/Norwegian Students' and Academics' International Assistance Fund), Oslo, Norway.


Millora, Chris. 2022. Book Review: Literacies, power and identities in figured worlds in Malawi. Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education.

Millora, Chris. 2018. Book Review: Perspectives on volunteering: Voices from the South by Butcher, J., & Einolf, C. J. (Eds.). Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly.

Research projects

2022: Literacies of Dissent: learning, youth activism and social change
A youth-led participatory research project exploring the learning & literacy dimensions of youth social movements in the Global South. Funded by the Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship

2024: Policy and practice toolkit on meaningful youth engagement
A Goldsmiths Research Impact Fund Award alongwith collaborator, Global Compaign for Education (based in South Africa).

Research Engagement

I am committed to exploring how research could be utilised towards improving practice, particularly in development and youth-involving organisations. I have previously developed research and commissioned projects with organisations such as UN Volunteers, SAIH (Norwegian Students' and Academics' International Assistance Fund), the International Association for Volunteer Effort and the Global Campaign for Education (see reports on the publications section of this page).