Wip dec-10

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  • The outline of my presentation:- Background to my research into Higher Education through distance learning in prison & the effects of initial results. I will talk mostly about prisons as that is where my research has been focused but the title is ‘secure environments because I believe that much of what is said here is relevant to other situations where students do not have control over their environment or access to the outside world, - other forms of correctional facilities, - closed facilities for asylum-seekers and - mental institutions, maybe - other hospital facilities or - armed forces on active service. We’ll then look at the profile of the HE student in prison – who are they? what do they study? Why do they study? How do they study? I use results from my research to outline the benefits and barriers to teaching and learning in a secure environment – in particular the digital divide Some of the work that’s being done in the UK and elsewhere to bridge the digital divide and the developing support communities The way forward – what is needed both in terms of pedagogy and technology to develop these communities further
  • The outline of my presentation:- Background to my research into Higher Education through distance learning in prison & the effects of initial results. I will talk mostly about prisons as that is where my research has been focused but the title is ‘secure environments because I believe that much of what is said here is relevant to other situations where students do not have control over their environment or access to the outside world, - other forms of correctional facilities, - closed facilities for asylum-seekers and - mental institutions, maybe - other hospital facilities or - armed forces on active service. We’ll then look at the profile of the HE student in prison – who are they? what do they study? Why do they study? How do they study? I use results from my research to outline the benefits and barriers to teaching and learning in a secure environment – in particular the digital divide Some of the work that’s being done in the UK and elsewhere to bridge the digital divide and the developing support communities The way forward – what is needed both in terms of pedagogy and technology to develop these communities further
  • So why do prisoners study HE? What are the benefits? They want to use their time usefully and stay away from the bad elements in the prison. Here are a few student comments. They develop confidence from finding they can do study at this level, by staying the course, by succeeding. They feel empowered by their knowledge and their ability to break away from their past and to be treated as a student; to be valued. This is sometimes the first time in their lives that someone has believed in them. These students are given options that they haven’t had before – and particularly the option to stop reoffending because it changes their values , gives them hope for the future. Often it’s not the first or even the second course which makes the difference but there certainly seems to be a point at which they realise that there is another path & that education really can change their lives. It appears to be these softer skills which come from independent higher level study which really helps these prisoners to change. So what are the challenges? Well it will help first to look at the student’s learning environment
  • Here’s our student – they often find it difficult to find quiet & must study alone in their cell but there is an education dept which deals with standard basic education and sometimes they are able to attend. Student communicates with other students in the prison - rarely on same course but they do sometimes develop informal study groups – peer support usually works best when there is a flexible distance learning environment which has some IT facility and is coordinated effectively by the prison education staff who are usually teachers of . Some of them are extremely committed There OU associate lecturer in yellow visit the student and provide face to face tutorials where possible and occasionally have telephone tutorials, otherwise the communication is via letter or occasionally via CD or DVD. Everything must go via the education staff – never direct. Similarly assignments are sent out via the education staff. Special people - prison education coordinator or the Associate Lecturer who believed in them. OU provides good student support but again direct access to the student is not possible and makes support difficult. Other prisoners can be a problem – a recent publication by some US authors ( Nancy Wolff;  Jing Shi; Jane Siegel – Justice Quarterly) showed that HE is one of the key factors in bullying incidences in prison – jealousy or ‘difference’. It is a hostile environment Prison guards or officers are normally indifferent to education but they can be negative and very unhelpful. Ignorance is a factor – they don’t trust what they don’t understand - a graphics calculator can be confiscated if its seen as a threat. Click for list. Note that the outside world also contains the media and the public. Prison is there to protect the public. Thanks to the media sensationalism there is a poor public perception of the HE and distance learner in prison. And of course the internet
  • Wip dec-10

    1. 1. I’m a student, get me out of here! The importance of student identity for distance learners in prison Anne Pike, Institute of Educational Technology [email_address]
    2. 2. MRes Research <ul><li>Built on previous research/ collaboration </li></ul><ul><li>What technology for learning, how is it accessed and used and how is it perceived? </li></ul><ul><li>3 prisons (male,cluster) across 3 security cats B-D </li></ul><ul><li>10 inmates (3.5 yrs to life) studying with 3 DL providers </li></ul><ul><li>6 staff across most organisations </li></ul><ul><li>In-depth, semi-structured interviews </li></ul><ul><li>+ observation & document analysis </li></ul>
    3. 3. Research Findings <ul><ul><ul><li>Learning journeys </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Three emerging themes </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Physical environment </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Institutional visions </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Student identity </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
    4. 4. Physical Environment <ul><li>Personal space-time : “ this bed space is mine and what takes place in here is me and anything else is outside of that” (Duncan) </li></ul><ul><li>Trust: As prisoners progress through the security levels, physical restrictions improve but access to technology appears to reduce </li></ul><ul><li>Dehumanisation: “it’s put on your purple tracksuit … at HMP X you are going to be sewing curtains” (Freddie). </li></ul>
    5. 5. Institutional Visions <ul><li>“ Can you read? Yes? Then you’re educated ” </li></ul><ul><li>Stigma – DL is recreational (purposeful activity) </li></ul><ul><li>Complex, conflicting visions (Punishment v Rehabilitation, work v education, ‘progressive’ v ‘working’) </li></ul><ul><li>HMPS Regimented work ethic – recycling, cleaning, forklift-truck driving </li></ul><ul><li>Media/public opinion </li></ul>
    6. 6. Student Identity. (student comments) “ “ The box arrives. I think ‘Great, I’m a student again’” “ It makes me feel a lot more like a human being. I’m not a number in a box, I’m an individual, I’m allowed to share and expand my mind” “ I’m moving away from where I was” “ I’m swimming against the tide”
    7. 7. Is this evidence of identity change?
    8. 8. Prisoner identity - frame of reference <ul><li>Social exclusion </li></ul><ul><li>Failure – no previous qualifications, 80% excluded from school </li></ul><ul><li>Crime – a way of life </li></ul><ul><li>Stigma – past, present, future </li></ul><ul><li>Drugs – cognitive therapy </li></ul><ul><li>Fellow prisoners – gangs, criminal code, doing time </li></ul><ul><li>Hopelessness </li></ul><ul><li>Need – use time usefully , pay back, survive </li></ul><ul><li>Institutionalised </li></ul>
    9. 9. Student identity frame of reference <ul><li>Choice – doing it for me (because I can?) </li></ul><ul><li>Self-worth </li></ul><ul><li>Confidence </li></ul><ul><li>Belonging, peers (other students) </li></ul><ul><li>Isolation – unable to communicate with tutor/peers but no longer part of the prisoner community </li></ul><ul><li>A new community of practice – different codes </li></ul><ul><li>Pride – success, skills (employability?) </li></ul><ul><li>Use time usefully </li></ul><ul><li>Hope (survive) </li></ul>
    10. 10. So what? Where does it lead?
    11. 11. Prisoner v Student Identity Confidence Power Self-worth Stigma Media Respect Technology learning failure employment Social exclusion qualifications drugs Prison staff Other prisoners Society pride crime skills community Other students education choice needs money support survival
    12. 12. PhD – possibilities and practicalities <ul><li>Comparison – progressive v working prison? </li></ul><ul><li>What makes a learning prison? </li></ul><ul><li>Comparison – prison v non-prison student? </li></ul><ul><li>Longitudinal – probation, employment, reoffending, model citizen? </li></ul><ul><li>Higher level learning or any learning? (Art?) </li></ul><ul><li>Distance travelled from original frame of reference? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the key parameters? </li></ul>
    13. 13. Progressive’ v ‘Working’ prison Many organisations have conflicting views and rules (different targets?) Organisations work together – with one aim (shared targets?) Funding is difficult to find Application process and funding is well-organised Students invisible in the system Progression recorded No coordination of distance learning – students work alone Dedicated distance learning coordinator ALs have difficulty gaining access or communicating with students ALs welcomed – good relationships with education staff Very limited access to computers/printers (not welcome in education department where facilities are better) Open access to ICT with supported internet or intranet access No peer contact Open learning with debating/discussion groups Work-led Student-centred Working culture Learning culture Distance Learning is classed as recreational – no time or space for learning Distance Learning is part of learning programme with dedicated classrooms and session time ‘ Working’ Prison Lower security cat ‘ Progressive’ Prison Private/ higher security cat?
    14. 14. Future research – possibilities and practicalities <ul><li>Large scale and valuable to society </li></ul><ul><li>Comparison - Working prison v Progressive prison </li></ul><ul><li>Higher level Distance Learning? </li></ul><ul><li>Moving frame of reference – how far? </li></ul><ul><li>Comparison - with non-prisoner? </li></ul><ul><li>Does it make a difference? Longitudinal study, probation </li></ul><ul><li>Support from within </li></ul><ul><li>IT - Virtual Campus </li></ul>Source: www.emeraldinsight.com/journals.htm?articleid ...
    15. 15. Prison Education Dept OU Outside world Original source: Higher Education in Prison: Just another chapter in the bigger picture? Peter Mortimer, Cned-Éifad, France HE/DL Process Prison staff Learning Management – Virtual Campus/Intranet OU tutor Student Other prison students DL coordinator (OLASS/CIAS/L&S)) Other inmates Internet
    16. 16. HE/DL process L1 Literacy and Numeracy L2 Core Curriculum OU Openings HE OLASS/ L&S Classroom education Distance Learning Enter Enter Progression <ul><li>OU + others: NEC, Open College of Arts, Stonebridge </li></ul><ul><li>IAG </li></ul><ul><li>Sift process </li></ul><ul><li>Funding </li></ul><ul><li>IT compatibility </li></ul>

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