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If adult learning theory techniques were applied in an orientation before placing students in a GED class, some inmates potentially were prevented from forming habits of inattention, resistant behaviors, and inertia, an ethos that blocked cognition (Stromquist, 1993). If the adult was first greeted with respect in the learning environment and became involved in the inquiry with the teacher, a period of reorientation could be necessary. Since the GED program was mandatory, even andragogical orientation emphasizing selfdirected learning in a mandatory class was antithetical to the theoretical assumptions of andragogy.
The Journal of Correctional Education 61(1) • March 2010 Andragogical Methods and Readiness for the Correctional Ged Classroom Hollisa S. Alewine, D. Phil. Introduction The educational experience for an inmate is part of an ethos of personal restriction. Within the social and physical restriction of prison, the research assessed the extent to which andragogical treatment could influence inmate mood and behavior in the classroom. The need to improve inmate readiness for the Federal Bureau of Prisons mandatory GED program was recognized by correctional education staff. Implementing methods based on assumptions in andragogy, an orientation treatment group was compared to a control group for significant difference in emotional readiness and GED classroom behavior. Educational orientation, an andragogical component recommended in adult education literature, was the vital first step in establishing the best mood state for learning. The research design was a quasi-experimental post-test only design. The objectives of the treatment reflected hypotheses that there was a significant difference between andragogically oriented students and nonoriented students in self-reports of POMS values, classroom teacher assessments of mood states, and mean values of off-task classroom behaviors. The orientation attempted to manipulate the classroom ethos to a positive mood persuasive in the classroom environment, and the hypotheses isolated the mood states and behavior that contributed to ethos. The population was male inmates entering the GED classroom at the Federal Correctional Institution, Manchester, Kentucky, from January 31, 2007, through March 30, 2007. Hypotheses were tested to determine if orientation to a mandatory GED class improved readiness in self-perception of mood state, teacher perception of mood state, and teacher perception of classroom behavior. Research Problem Over one-quarter of prisoners committed to the Federal Bureau of Prisons had not attained a high school diploma or GED (U.S. Department of Justice, 2003). 9 The Journal of Correctional Education 61(1) • March 2010 Andragogical Methods and Readiness for the Correctional Ged Classroom Alewin
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