In the prison setting, real-time, face-to-face contact between instructors and students and among students creates a critically needed learning community that supports students’ academic progress and psychological well-being. The classroom environment acclimates students to academic cultural norms and practices like dialogue, discussion, debate, and collaboration that are essential for success post-release, in or out of the classroom. A dedicated instructor who has the opportunity to get to know their students well over time can effectively track student progress, foster engagement and persistence, and respond to challenges in real time.
For incarcerated students, the classroom creates a space to form lasting interpersonal bonds, and to develop a sense of community across cultural and racial lines. The community of the classroom enables students to form new peer groups and identities, away from the pressures and labels that are endemic to prison. The classroom experience supports social and emotional learning. Apart from being a goal in itself, this improves the institutional social climate and, in turn, the physical safety of students and prison staff.
During the 2020 pandemic, Black Communities: A Conference for Collaboration launched Black Communities and COVID-19, a weekly webinar series exploring how people across the African diaspora are impacted by and navigating the coronavirus. Follow @blkcommunities on Twitter for information on their weekly webinars. During the 2020 pandemic, Black Communities: A Conference for Collaboration launched Black Communities and COVID-Register To AttendMore Info