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Title: Rehabilitation as an ’educational’ project : exploring educators’ perspectives on their practice
Author: Flynn, Jean
ISNI:       0000 0004 2742 7119
Awarding Body: University of Nottingham
Current Institution: University of Nottingham
Date of Award: 2012
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This qualitative study explores the issue of lifelong learning in the rehabilitation of offenders in the Canadian correctional system. Specifically, the research investigates educators' perspectives: how they understand rehabilitation and their role in the process; what cultural and structural properties exist to either constrain or enable their practice; and their reflexive deliberations as they chart courses of action. The philosophical elements of the research draw on critical realism to articulate a research strategy that includes a rhetorical analysis of select policy documents as well as interviews with ten educators and administrators within the Canadian correctional system. Through a rhetorical analysis, I discuss the persuasive impact of policy and examine how it can both enable and constrain the work of educators in that participants differentially and reflexively deliberated the impingement on their own individual actions. This illumination is critical in my discussion of how people when faced with similar structural and cultural properties adopt multiple courses of action. Drawing on the participant interviews, the findings indicate that structural and cultural conditions such as workplace culture, ideologies, power relations and resources constrain and enable educator practice depending on the participant's assessment of her situation, thus introducing the importance of agential subjectivity. Importantly, the mere existence of these structural and cultural properties do not possess an intrinsic capacity for constraining or enabling; they must be activated by agents in relation to a particular project. Thus, they do not necessarily have the same impact upon the courses of action of the participants - thus, lending credence to a critical realist perspective that structural and cultural forces condition, yet do not determine what participants actually do. These findings highlight the critical importance of the participants' reflexivity in determining what they actually do. Educators shared how they reflexively deliberated how best they could move forward with the collective goal of rehabilitation. Whether through collaboration, dialogue, or specific strategies for learning, these participants demonstrated that despite their involuntary positioning in the correctional system, they actively and purposefully enacted strategies they believed would move the 'rehabilitative project' forward. I argue that a deeper understanding of reflexivity, as discussed in this study, is fundamental to understanding the relationship of adult learning and rehabilitation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Ed.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available