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Creating Communities of Professional Practice in the Correctional Education Classroom

NCJ Number
Journal of Correctional Education Volume: 59 Issue: 3 Dated: September 2008 Pages: 219-230
Margo DelliCarpini
Date Published
September 2008
12 pages
This article discusses research-based approaches to teacher professional development in the correctional classroom.
One way noted by the work that correctional educators can ensure their own participation in in-service education is to work collaboratively with their teacher colleagues to create such opportunities “in-house.” The authors found that when teachers in correctional programs attended professional development venues offered by many districts, they often left feeling that, while they received valid and interesting information, it didn’t really apply to them. Since continued professional development is said to be critical to the teaching profession, and teaching in a correctional education program poses unique challenges, teachers who teach in these programs are most in need of meaningful and relevant in-service education opportunities. This article discusses professional development in general and applied research-based approaches to teacher professional development within correctional contexts. The authors note that previously meaningful professional development for correctional educators has not been frequently addressed, though these teachers work with students who are most at-risk in terms of academic success. It is also noted that, in addition to the challenges that the students themselves face, inherent obstacles exist in administering educational programs in correctional facilities whose goals are very different from those of traditional educational programs. References