ERIC Number: ED363729
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Sep
Prison Literacy: Implications for Program and Assessment Policy.
Newman, Anabel P.; And Others
The United States confronts the problem of a large and growing prison population, the majority of which is insufficiently literate. Added to the general effects of educational disability are the marginalizing factors of ethnicity, class, socioeconomic deprivation, and other handicaps. Historically, the situation in prison literacy is 150 years of reform attempts with uneven results, spotty application, and meager support. Despite increasing legal and social opinion in favor of inmates' greater rights to literacy and education, practice still lags far behind statute. Studies by U.S. and Canadian researchers reveal that the "right kind" of education in prison can reduce recidivism. The "right kind" of education is not premised on a penal mentality, but seeks to include moral education, democratic self-rule in the "just community," and instruction in the humanities, with a strong cognitive appeal, delivered by means of andragogical methods. An ideal program in prison literacy is one that educates inmates broadly, is governed for the sake of the learners, is cost effective, improves quality of life, and makes appropriate use of educational technology. Prison educators should critique current assessment and evaluation methods, undertake new and improved approaches, and establish improved standards. (Appendixes include a checklist of questions to analyze programmatic prison education, 84 endnotes, and 830 references.) (YLB)
Descriptors: Adult Basic Education, Adult Literacy, Correctional Education, Correctional Rehabilitation, Demonstration Programs, Educational Policy, Educational Research, Educationally Disadvantaged, Females, Illiteracy, Literacy Education, Literature Reviews, Minority Groups, Prisoners, Program Evaluation, Public Policy, Recidivism, Student Evaluation
National Center on Adult Literacy, Dissemination/Publications, University of Pennsylvania, 3910 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-3111 ($12; checks payable to Kinko's Copy Center).
Publication Type: Information Analyses; ERIC Publications
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Reading and Communication Skills, Bloomington, IN.; National Center on Adult Literacy, Philadelphia, PA.