Matching Items (4)

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Teaching Biology in a Maximum-Security Prison Unit: Feedback, Notes and Recommendations from a Pilot Class

Description

We, a team of students and faculty in the life sciences at Arizona State University (ASU), currently teach an Introduction to Biology course in a Level 5, or maximum-security unit

We, a team of students and faculty in the life sciences at Arizona State University (ASU), currently teach an Introduction to Biology course in a Level 5, or maximum-security unit with the support of the Arizona Department of Corrections and the Prison Education Program at ASU. This course aims to enhance current programs at the unit by offering inmates an opportunity to practice literacy and math skills, while also providing exposure to a new academic field (science, and specifically biology). Numerous studies, including a 2005 study from the Arizona Department of Corrections (ADC), have found that vocational programs, including prison education programs, reduce recidivism rates (ADC 2005, Esperian 2010, Jancic 1988, Steurer et al. 2001, Ubic 2002) and may provide additional benefits such as engagement with a world outside the justice system (Duguid 1992), the opportunity for inmates to revise personal patterns of rejecting education that they may regret, and the ability of inmate parents to deliberately set a good example for their children (Hall and Killacky 2008). Teaching in a maximum security prison unit poses special challenges, which include a prohibition on most outside materials (except paper), severe restrictions on student-teacher and student-student interactions, and the inability to perform any lab exercises except limited computer simulations. Lack of literature discussing theoretical and practical aspects of teaching science in such environment has prompted us to conduct an ongoing study to generate notes and recommendations from this class through the use of surveys, academic evaluation of students' work and ongoing feedback from both teachers and students to inform teaching practices in future science classes in high-security prison units.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015-05

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Art Education For Incarcerated Youth

Description

My project is designed to provide art education to incarcerated youth in Arizona. This project will address two current issues in Arizona; the underfunding of art programs and high rates

My project is designed to provide art education to incarcerated youth in Arizona. This project will address two current issues in Arizona; the underfunding of art programs and high rates of incarceration. As of 2021, there are no state-funded art programs in Arizona. Arizona is tied with Texas for the eighth highest rate of incarceration in the country. In Arizona, 750 out of every 100,000 people are incarcerated. This project is an art course for incarcerated youth. The project includes a packet detailing the course content and assignment details, a class syllabus, a course flyer, and a certificate of completion. The course is intended to be taught at the Adobe Mountain School facility. The course is designed so that it can be implemented in other facilities in the future. The class will be taught by volunteers with a background in studio art, design, or art education. Each student will receive a course packet that they can use to keep track of information and assignments. Instructors will use the course packet to teach the class. The course focuses on drawing with charcoal and oil pastel, which will build a foundation in drawing skills. The course covers a twelve-week semester. The course content packet includes a week-by-week breakdown of the teaching material and project descriptions. The course consists of two main projects and preparatory work. The preparatory work includes vocabulary terms, art concepts, drawing guides, brainstorming activities, and drawing activities. The two main prompts are designed for students to explore the materials and to encourage self-reflection. The class is curated so that students can create art in a low-risk, non-judgemental environment. The course will also focus on establishing problem-solving and critical thinking skills through engaging activities.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2021-05

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The Importance of University Level Psychology Education for the Incarcerated

Description

Education is a fundamental human right. However, when groups of people are subjugated to systematic violence and institutionalization, the importance of education often is often forgotten. A team of students

Education is a fundamental human right. However, when groups of people are subjugated to systematic violence and institutionalization, the importance of education often is often forgotten. A team of students and faculty at Arizona State University (ASU) currently teach an Introduction to Psychology course within a minimum-security unit in conjunction with both the Arizona Department of Corrections and the Prison Education Program at ASU. This course aims to enhance the current educational programs offered by the prison by fostering an environment where inmates can practice literacy skills and are introduced to standard classroom procedures for the typical university class. In addition, the course introduces students to an academic field previously unknown to them, specifically, psychology. However, the most important aspect of this educational endeavor is to provide an environment where people who have been deemed inhuman and outside of the human experience can come together and learn. By doing so, the curriculum sought to instill confidence in the students by demonstrating that they are in fact capable of learning and comprehending university level material. As of 2016, numerous studies have been conducted from across the nation that have reaffirmed the validity and efficacy of prison education on reducing recidivism levels of the previously incarcerated (ADC 2005, Kim & Clark 2013, Nuttal et al. 2003). Additionally, studies have determined that the benefits that students receive from education while incarcerated are, over time, shared with the family members (Erisman & Contardo, 2005). These benefits, while not strictly educational, are incredibly important within the realm of reduction in crime as they pertain to "reduction of costs, reduction of strain of offenders on their families, and an economic boost for society" (Erisman & Contardo, 2005). Teaching within any prison unit, regardless of the security level, provides a variety of unique challenges. Some of these include the lack of technological resources within most classrooms, prohibition of outside material unless vetted and approved by prison education staff, and rigid restrictions on student-teacher interactions. Also, because of the nature of psychology and the students within the class, certain sensitive topics must be either handled with extreme care or will not be covered at all. However, particular achievements were made in regards to increasing in class participation and encouraging the students to continue to pursue academics. Most importantly, it provides an environment where the humanity of the prisoner is restored, if but for only a few hours a week. It allows them to be seen as more than numbers, allows them to think and voice their opinions in a space that respects them for their beliefs. And the restoration of humanity to an inherently inhumane system is far more important than any other educational goal.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2016-12

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Sending students to prison: an impact evaluation of the Arizona Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program

Description

The prison classroom offers a transformative educational opportunity for incarcerated and non-incarcerated students alike. The current study uses place-conscious educational theories and the intergroup contact theory to examine how a

The prison classroom offers a transformative educational opportunity for incarcerated and non-incarcerated students alike. The current study uses place-conscious educational theories and the intergroup contact theory to examine how a prison education program can offer deeply impactful experiences for students. Using a pre/post-intervention survey design, this thesis analyzes differences in attitudes, beliefs, and perceptions about crime and criminal justice between and within groups of incarcerated (n=24) and university (n=20) students participating in two semester-long prison-based criminal justice courses in Arizona. Results show that prior to participating in the Inside-Out Prison Exchange programs, inside students had less favorable views about the criminal justice system compared to outside students, and outside students had less favorable attitudes about people who are incarcerated. Throughout the course, positive attitudes toward the criminal justice system increased for inside students and positive attitudes about incarcerated people increased among outside students, such that at the end of the course, the differences in attitudes between the two groups were no longer significant. Additionally, outside students’ punitive attitudes decreased throughout their participation in the course. Overall, the magnitude of the changes experienced by each student group were different, such that outside students experienced more significant changes in attitudes and beliefs about crime and criminal justice than did inside students.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2018