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Distributed for Brandeis University Press

Education Behind the Wall

Why and How We Teach College in Prison

An edited volume reflecting on different aspects of teaching in prison and different points of view.

This book seeks to address some of the major issues faced by faculty who are teaching college classes for incarcerated students. Composed of a series of case studies meant to showcase the strengths and challenges of teaching a range of different disciplines in prison, this volume brings together scholars who articulate some of the best practices for teaching their expertise inside alongside honest reflections on the reality of educational implementation in a constrained environment. The book not only provides essential guidance for faculty interested in developing their own courses to teach in prisons, but also places the work of higher education in prisons in philosophical context with regards to racial, economic, social, and gender-based issues. Rather than solely a how-to handbook, this volume also helps readers think through the trade-offs that happen when teaching inside, and about how to ensure the full integrity of college access for incarcerated students.


248 pages | 1 halftone, 3 figures, 1 table | 6 x 9

Brandeis Series in Law and Society

Education: Curriculum and Methodology, Higher Education

Law and Legal Studies: Law and Society


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Table of Contents

Foreword, Lee Pelton

Introduction: Making the case for bringing college to prison, Mneesha Gellman

PART I: Why We Teach in Prison
Educating Survivors of the Cradle-to-Prison Pipeline, Elizabeth Langan
Days in the Life of a College-in-Prison Professor, Shelly Tenenbaum
Teaching Literature Inside: The Poet’s Report, Kimberly McLarin and Wendy W. Walters

PART II: How We Teach in Prison
Genre-based Writing as Empowering Practice for Incarcerated Students, Stephen Shane
The Logistics of Preparing to Teach Inside, Cara Moyer-Duncan
Paywalls, Firewalls, Prison Walls: Bridging the Digital Divide within the Prison Education System, Christina E. Dent
Economics as Literacy for Life, Sally Moran Davidson
One Foot In, One Foot Out: Senior Theses and Remote Internships in the Prison Space, Justin McDevitt and Alesha Seroczynski

PART III: Who We Teach
“You’da done that, you’da been in here with us,” Bill Littlefield
Learning to Live, Alexander Bolling

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