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Consideration of the Inmate Student's Locus of Control for Effective Instructional Leadership

NCJ Number
Journal of Correctional Education Volume: 42 Issue: 1 Dated: (March 1991) Pages: 36-41
G D Love
Date Published
6 pages
This paper reviews earlier findings and reports the results of a replication of research showing that, typically, adult male inmates are external in their locus of control and suggests that the teaching assumption of self-directedness is not valid for them.
The concept of self-directed learning refers to the adult learner as autonomous, independent, self-controlled, goal-oriented, and individualistic with a strong sense of self-identity that is associated with an internal locus of control. Correctional education literature asserts that adult inmates are characterized by an external locus of control. The article discusses the implication that this type of locus of control has on the effectiveness of educational opportunities offered to these inmates. The concluding idea is that an understanding of the individual inmate student's attributes underscores the need for an eclectic approach to instructional leadership and the need for a long-term systematic, cumulative program to shift the inmate student's locus of control from an external to an internal one. 52 references (Author abstract modified)