U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

What Makes a "Good" Teacher "Good:" Women in Transition From Prison to Community Reflect

NCJ Number
Journal of Correctional Education Volume: 57 Issue: 2 Dated: June 2006 Pages: 145-157
Alexandria Mageehon
Date Published
June 2006
13 pages
Nine women who were completing detention sentences in a halfway house in the Midwest were interviewed about their perceptions of education services they had received, with attention to the qualities of a "good" teacher.
The women, who represented a range of ages, ethnicity, and educational levels, indicated they preferred teachers who explained concepts rather than just assigning work. Several of the women found the most help in classes where teachers encouraged hands-on experimentation. Attention to students as individuals was also cited by many of the women as helpful. In addition to favoring certain instructional methods and techniques, each woman indicated the importance of a teacher being patient, understanding, and compassionate. This involves interacting with students by listening to and responding to their questions and concerns. A teacher who is enthusiastic about students learning and improving was also rated highly. Further, a good teacher encourages students to assume responsibility for their education and their future. The nine women, who lived in a halfway house in a metropolitan area in the Western United States were interviewed twice, with each interview lasting between 45 minutes and 1 hour. Qualitative data included transcripts of interviews, field notes from site visits to the halfway house, and literacy narratives that each woman wrote. Transcripts and notes from the interviews were provided to the women for additional corroboration. 18 references