From ancient byways to modern highways, glimpses of faith are everywhere...

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Imprisoned minds: Liberation education

Beware the revolving door...   (PD)
Teaching philosophy within a prison really ups the ante.

Students inside those walls are not just mulling over concepts.  More than most who move freely about, inmates are subject to the daily rigors of society’s views (or lack thereof) about morality.

That is why it is so essential to provide a "safe space” in which prisoners can mull over life’s finer points.  In the absence of that, they may simply be steeped in life’s coarser moments.

Christia Mercer of The Washington Post reports that she has been teaching Aeschylus’ “Oresteia” to a group of incarcerated women.  These women, “who have spent years in prison,”
responded vibrantly to this opportunity.  Some asked insightful questions; others bristled with excitement.

Mercer does this as a volunteer because funding for post-secondary courses has been slashed from prison budgets since the 1990s.  She puts forth this question for all to consider:  If our job as educators is to nurture intellectual growth and contribute to a
thoughtful future for our country, what could be more obvious than to help those who are educationally under-served?

Mercer adds this encouraging Rand Institute statistic: Recidivism goes down by 43 percent when people are offered education.  


Copyright March 29, 2015 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

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