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ERIC Number: EJ1089923
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Feb
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0141-1926
Studying While Doing Time: Understanding Inmates' Conceptions of Learning
Rosário, Pedro; Núñez, José Carlos; Pereira, Joana; Fuentes, Sonia; Gaeta, Martha; Cunha, Jennifer; Polydoro, Soely
British Educational Research Journal, v42 n1 p151-167 Feb 2016
Low levels of education and dropping out of school are associated with criminal involvement. The Portuguese prison system, similar to other prison systems (e.g. England), offers prison-based educational programmes so inmates can complete compulsory education. However, the completion rate of these educational programmes is low, and the dropout rate is high. Deepening our understanding of how inmates conceptualise learning and how they engage in learning will improve the quality of the prison-based educational services and promote school enrolment. Data from a phenomenographic study of 30 Portuguese inmate students, ranging from 20 to 58 years of age, revealed an understanding of learning focused on the instrumental role of knowledge and its application in the short-term (e.g. learning how to read) and on integration in the prison system (e.g. learning how to play draughts to fit in the yard). Moreover, a broader understanding of learning that reflected particular forms of learning favoured within the prison context also emerged in the discourse. For example, learning was described as an opportunity to reflect upon their previous offence and behaviours and on the need to avoid violence. Participants also stressed the importance of setting an academic example for their children by engaging actively in learning and the significance of occupying one's time in prison in a positive and beneficial manner. Findings allow a first approach to prison students' involvement in school learning by listening to the inmates' opinions and thoughts, and they offer promising suggestions to improve the organisation of prison-based educational programmes.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Portugal
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A