“I GO TO GET AWAY FROM THE COCKROACHES”: EDUCENTRICITY AND THE POLITICS OF EDUCATION IN PRISONS

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Identity, Agency and Social Institutions in Educational Ethnography

ISBN: 978-0-76231-144-6, eISBN: 978-1-84950-297-9

ISSN: 1529-210X

Publication date: 30 December 2004

Abstract

Education – and especially aspects of reading and writing – have consistently been ideologically and politically linked to the times and spaces in which they occur. Historically, groups or individuals invariably demonstrate some form of “educentricity,” that is, holding to a view of education that is based either on their own experiences or related to the perceived educational needs and experiences of those around them. It is usually based on what “we” (or “they”) think education “is” or “ought to be” and is tied strongly to the value placed upon it. Educentric points of view can be linked to the “way of the world” at almost any given point in history and have frequently been used as a way of positioning learners, including or excluding certain groups, and supporting or constraining educational progress. This chapter looks at educentricity – with a specific focus on literacy – at the beginning of the 21st century and from a primarily European perspective. More specifically it looks at the literacy-related activities and practices of one particular group – prisoners – and seeks to understand the impact of various educentric ideologies on current educational provision in prison. It is written from outside the parameters of educational research, takes an ethnographic and holistic stance towards prison life, and seeks to look at education – and reading and writing in particular – from the perspective of policy-makers, practitioners and prisoners themselves.

Citation

Wilson, A. (2004), "“I GO TO GET AWAY FROM THE COCKROACHES”: EDUCENTRICITY AND THE POLITICS OF EDUCATION IN PRISONS", Troman, G., Jeffrey, B. and Walford, G. (Ed.) Identity, Agency and Social Institutions in Educational Ethnography (Studies in Educational Ethnography, Vol. 10), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 205-222. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1529-210X(04)10011-9

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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