ERIC Number: ED216388
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Designing an English Curriculum for Prisons.
Schell, John F.
Teaching composition in a prison is different from teaching composition in a traditional freshman composition classroom. Since most prison inmates have a high school equivalency degree earned while in prison, a developmental writing course offered prior to the standard freshman composition sequence is probably necessary. Such a class may include a little of everything--reading, writing, spelling, vocabulary building, grammar, mechanics, organization, study skills--because the inmates lack so much information. Inmates also need an explanation of academic jargon, such as "syllabus" and "credit hours". While much of the grammar work must be done by means of exercises and mechanical drills, as much writing as possible should be incorporated into the grammar study. The subsequent course in the freshman composition sequence may or may not need radical alteration. A modification of the basic subjective approach to composition may be a combination of the case approach to composition and letter writing. Persuasive writing is suitable because each student has a natural case to argue. The criteria of appeal and utility help to limit drastically the kinds of courses offered in the writing field of English. Technical rather than creative writing should be offered. If literature is to be taught, the reading should speak to the issues of honor, fidelity, tolerance, responsibility, consideration, discipline, and love. Although prison education is different in form and content from traditional instruction, the goal is the same: the encouragement of dignity and self-fulfillment for the good of society as a whole. (HOD)
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the College English Association (12th, Cherry Hill, NJ, April 2-4, 1981).