If you were designing the prison system from scratch, how would you set up its educational function? Would you emphasise skills that are in demand in the employment market? Social skills like conflict management that may help reduce reoffending? Life skills like financial planning and DIY? Creative skills that might provide an expressive outlet and a source of self-confidence? Physical activities that emphasise discipline? Humanistic subjects that invite us to ask deep questions about ourselves and our society? Or is all of this a waste of money, pandering to those who are in prison to be punished and who’ll have plenty of time to learn when they’re released? Our answers to these questions may tell us much about how we view our prisons and prisoners. They may also tell us something about what we think education is for more broadly, since what and how we ought to teach our prisoners must have some bearing on what and how we run our schools, colleges and universities. We’ll be joined for the discussion by Dr Aislinn O’Donnell, a lecturer at both Mary Immaculate College and Associate Fellow at Dublin’s Graduate School of Creative Arts and Media, who works on innovative educational projects in the arts and philosophy.
by / January 21, 2012 / Leave a comment