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Title: Thinking inside the box : British prisoner-students' experiences of distance learning
Author: Hughes, Emma Jane.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3583 7685
Awarding Body: Birmingham City University
Current Institution: Birmingham City University
Date of Award: 2007
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This dissertation examines prisoner-students' experiences of distance learning in' British prisons. This interpretivist research considers the perspectives of the students, securing a deeper appreciation of the value of education to the students, and exposing the influences behind their decisions to apply for funding to study through distance learning. The research explores the students' educational experiences at school and prior to imprisonment and also takes account of previous learning experiences in prison-based classes. The research is also able to offer crucial insights into the varied disincentives that may serve to discourage prisoners from studying whilst in prison, whether through distance learning or in prison classrooms. After an exploration of the motivations and disincentives to begin studying whilst in prison, the research provides a critical analysis of the students' learning experiences. The benefits that students derive from their studies, the difficulties and obstacles that they encounter, and the incentives that encourage them to persevere with their courses, are all taken into account. The analysis adopts a multi-dimensional approach whereby various agencies, departments, individuals, institutions and policies within and without the prison are seen to a greater or lesser extent to exert influence over the students' educational experiences. These influences, however, are mediated through the students' own personalities, personal histories, and social positioning. In developing such a model, this research provides a challenging and provocative 'alternative voice to prison education studies which focus on measuring recidivism rates. Whilst not focused on recidivist-based post-release outcomes, the research concludes with an analysis of the prisoner-students' plans for the future, and considers how education may influence their post-release lives. Two former distance learners provide an account of their own experiences following their release from prison. Overall, the research seeks to offer a contextualised and situated analysis of learning in prison. The implications of the research findings for education policy in prisons are addressed, providing final insights into how prison culture may interact with rehabilitative endeavour.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available