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Methods to Increase Educational Effectiveness in an Adult Correctional Setting

NCJ Number
Journal of Correctional Education Volume: 49 Issue: 2 Dated: June 1998 Pages: 67-79
B Kuster
Date Published
13 pages
The author describes the teaching methods he uses to increase the effectiveness of educational services offered in Minnesota's Challenge Incarceration Program, which is a minimum- security prison for nonviolent offenders.
The orientation phase discusses students' philosophy of their participation in education and their fear of failure. This is followed by a tour of the educational facilities and the administration of a questionnaire about their past experiences with education, what they want to achieve in education, and how achieving their goals will benefit them and their families. During the first week, each student reviews his completed questionnaire and the standardized test results. Each student then decides in collaboration with the teacher an overall education goal to be achieved while at the facility. After the overall goal has been established, it is divided into three levels to be accomplished in 2-month intervals. These goals are then used to determine weekly goals. "Climate control" is another important factor that contributes to education effectiveness; a comfortable, businesslike environment in which people treat each other respectfully contributes to educational effectiveness. Other significant factors are praise from the teacher when goals are achieved and the continuity of education services after leaving prison. 13 references