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Appears in:
Pages: 8782-8788
Publication year: 2017
ISBN: 978-84-617-8491-2
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2017.2081

Conference name: 11th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 6-8 March, 2017
Location: Valencia, Spain

EDUCATION AS THE KEY TO FREEDOM. NARRATING THE EDUCATIONAL SUCCESS OF INCARCERATED ADULT LEARNERS IN A MEDIUM SECURITY PRISON IN SOUTH AFRICA

D. Daniels

Stellenbosch University (SOUTH AFRICA)
In a knowledge economy, education is presented as the key to economic competitiveness and the prosperity of a nation. Human capital theory sees education as an investment in the individual: it makes him marketable and economically competitive. However, society mostly frowns upon investment in drug pushers, sex offenders, abusers, and murderers, men who are incarcerated, believing that it is a waste of valuable financial resources of the state that could be used to meet needs elsewhere. However, in South African society where the imprisonment rates for men in their early twenties to thirties tend to be highest, participation in an adult education programme could put inmates on a different life course than what landed them in jail. Adult education and training (AET) as an educational system has been created to facilitate a second educational beginning for adults in South Africa who have had no or inadequate access to formal education. Limited research has been undertaken on AET’s potential to effect the thinking of incarcerated individuals about their valued role in society.

The context for the study was an Adult Education and Training Centre that operates from a medium security prison in South Africa. I critique the asset based orientation that was adopted by educators for its potential to increase educational attainment in the prison inmates. Through narrative inquiry I take the human capital argument beyond the economic benefits to the individual, to reflect on the value of education to shift the mind set of prison inmates about their role and contribution to society. I offer key insights into the transformative learning experiences of these adult learners. The findings show that, though they initially enrol in the programme to escape the confines of the prison cell for a few hours daily, these inmates gradually start seeing the potential of education as the vehicle to help transport them away from the very destructive lives that they have lived thus far. Education then becomes the catalyst for change in their lives once they have served their sentences.
@InProceedings{DANIELS2017EDU,
author = {Daniels, D.},
title = {EDUCATION AS THE KEY TO FREEDOM. NARRATING THE EDUCATIONAL SUCCESS OF INCARCERATED ADULT LEARNERS IN A MEDIUM SECURITY PRISON IN SOUTH AFRICA},
series = {11th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2017 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-617-8491-2},
issn = {2340-1079},
doi = {10.21125/inted.2017.2081},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/inted.2017.2081},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {6-8 March, 2017},
year = {2017},
pages = {8782-8788}}
TY - CONF
AU - D. Daniels
TI - EDUCATION AS THE KEY TO FREEDOM. NARRATING THE EDUCATIONAL SUCCESS OF INCARCERATED ADULT LEARNERS IN A MEDIUM SECURITY PRISON IN SOUTH AFRICA
SN - 978-84-617-8491-2/2340-1079
DO - 10.21125/inted.2017.2081
PY - 2017
Y1 - 6-8 March, 2017
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 11th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2017 Proceedings
SP - 8782
EP - 8788
ER -
D. Daniels (2017) EDUCATION AS THE KEY TO FREEDOM. NARRATING THE EDUCATIONAL SUCCESS OF INCARCERATED ADULT LEARNERS IN A MEDIUM SECURITY PRISON IN SOUTH AFRICA, INTED2017 Proceedings, pp. 8782-8788.
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