Call for submissions: Journal of Higher Education in Prison

 “Pedagogies Under Constraint: The Practices of Teaching and Learning in Prison Higher Education”

There is no shortage of writing describing the transformative impacts of postsecondary prison-based teaching and learning. Indeed, one need not look far to encounter a collection of transformation-oriented claims about teaching and learning in prison. Higher education in prison is described as liberatory and emancipatory.

As critical or radical. As life-changing. As truly transformational. Some of the more commonly represented examples in the literature and scholarship seem to require transformation as part of the work, and the need for a demonstrable change in students and/or instructors. Compounding an absence of nuance, the majority of narratives to which people currently have access are published by non-incarcerated individuals, namely instructors who travel in and out of prisons and document this transformation for readers.

Experiencing dramatic changes and gaining new insights and perspectives have long been the cornerstones of theories of teaching and learning in education, and particularly theories born of a critical or poststructural tradition. In Teaching to Transgress, for example, bell hooks (1994) describes education as the practice of freedom. She calls for an engaged teaching practice that focuses on well-being and self-actualization that is “healing to the uninformed, unknowing spirit” (p. 19). Enhancing capacities to live full and meaningful lives, education as the practice of freedom is but one of a multitude of approaches that seek to guide people toward critical consciousness. In her letter to Paulo Freire, Michelle Fine (1997) referred to this collective guidance as “connected raindrops of radical consciousness, spread globally” (p. 90).

Submissions for Volume Two of the Journal of Higher Education in Prison are invited to respond to the following prompt: What are the possibilities and limitations of teaching and learning in prison spaces? This is an expansive call and authors are encouraged to think toward futures and urgencies, considering what teaching and learning in higher education in prison could and should look like, feel like, and be, within the many spaces and places that education in prison occurs.

Fine, M. (1997). A letter to Paulo. Chapter Five in Counterpoints, Mentoring the mentor: A critical dialogue with Paulo Freire, 89-97.
hooks, b. (2003). Teaching community: A pedagogy of hope. New York: Routledge.

For further information, see:
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