How Can Teaching Writing be Used as a Method of Rehabilitating Young Offenders?

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The evidence to support writing as a valuable teaching tool is always increasing, Creative Writing courses are rising in popularity at the Undergraduate and Post Graduate level and a justified conclusion for the reason of this could be the growing use of writing being used as part of the curriculum at school level. A focus on creative arts such as writing in education has been noted as ‘stimulating student’s curiosity, encouraging originality of thought, fostering peer relations and overall increasing student’s engagement.’ The skills that we focus on in Teaching Writing to students are not only necessary to the classroom, but are valuable tools for functioning in society: freedom of expression, self awareness, self editing, group engagement, as well as nurturing literacy skills. As teachers are responsibility is not to only educate students on a subject, but to help them become well rounded individuals within society, ‘We live in a literate world, in a society that values reading and writing. Consequently a great deal of emphasis is placed on becoming competent in these areas’ . The value of preparing an individual for society as part of education is as significant to school students as it is to those within the judicial system, therefore education should be valued as our highest tool for rehabilitating criminals. As writing embodies many of the skills aforementioned, it raises the question of whether Teaching Writing can have the potential to promote correctional goals of restorative process? Education courses in prison have been proven to cut reoffending rates by up to 8%’ , they allow inmates to use their prison time productively, gain a chance at education that many inmates have not receive before and potentially gain t... ... middle of paper ... ...ducation and Family [Online] Available from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-25668081 Hunt, E. (2013) Call to Recognise the Value of Arts in Reducing Reoffending’ Arts Professional [Online] Available from: http://www.artsprofessional.co.uk/news/call-recognise-value-arts-reducing-re-offending Petty, G. (2004) Teaching Today: A Practical Guide. Nelson Thornes Strong, R. Silver, H. F. Robinson, A. (1995) ‘Strengthening Student Engagement: What do students want (and what really motivates them?) Strengthening Student Engagement V.53:1 [Online] Available From: http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/sept95/vol53/num01 Walsh, C. (2008) ‘Writing Their Way To Freedom’. JoePublic Blog. The Guardian Online [Online] Available From: http://www.theguardian.com/society/joepublic/2008/oct/15/write-to- Williams, R. Ed. (2003) Teaching the Arts Behind Bars. UPNE

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