Harvard Educational Review
  1. Spring 2017 Issue »

    Critiquing Critical Pedagogies Inside the Prison Classroom

    A Dialogue Between Student and Teacher

    ERIN L. CASTRO and MICHAEL BRAWN
    In this article, Michael Brawn, an incarcerated student, and Erin L. Castro, a nonincarcerated instructor, engage in a dialogue about the politics of using critical pedagogies in prisons, where teaching and learning processes are severely restricted by the constraints of mass incarceration. Situated within the broader politics of postsecondary educational opportunity for incarcerated people, their dialogue highlights the ways that the prison context significantly limits the promises and praxis of critical pedagogies. The authors close by turning to an emplaced praxis for nonincarcerated educators working within prison systems that acknowledges the complicated and contradictory nature of authority in critical pedagogies.

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    Erin L. Castro is an assistant professor of higher education in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy at the University of Utah. She is also an Instructor Affiliate with the Education Justice Project of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, which provides higher educational opportunities to students who are incarcerated at the Danville Correctional Center in central Illinois. Dr. Castro’s work seeks to expand the specific responsibility of public higher education in an increasingly divided and unequal society. Her research examines material and discursive barriers to quality postsecondary education for systematically disadvantaged populations, including incarcerated and justice-involved individuals, and has been published in the Review of Higher Education, Education Policy Analysis Archives, and the Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice. Dr. Castro is also a member of the strategic organizing committee to establish the Alliance for Higher Education in Prison.

    Michael Brawn was born in New York City and raised in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey, and Barrington Hills, Illinois. After graduating high school in 1989, he briefly attended Arizona State University (ASU). Following ASU, he worked in the trade publishing industry as an advertising salesperson on electronic engineering and consumer electronics publications. In 2005 Brawn was sentenced to twenty years in prison. While incarcerated, he earned an associate in science degree and became certified as an associate addictions professional. He teaches substance abuse classes, serves as a peer educator, and continues his own educational journey.
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    Spring 2017 Issue

    Abstracts

    Responding to “Cross-Pollinating Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy and Universal Design for Learning: Toward an Inclusive Pedagogy That Accounts for Dis/Ability”
    A HARVARD EDUCATIONAL REVIEW FORUM
    H. SAMY ALIM, SUSAN BAGLIERI, GLORIA LADSON-BILLINGS, DAVID H. ROSE, DJANGO PARIS, and JOSEPH MICHAEL VALENTE
    Where Are All the Black Teachers?
    Discrimination in the Teacher Labor Market
    DIANA D’AMICO, ROBERT J. PAWLEWICZ, PENELOPE M. EARLEY, and ADAM P. MCGEEHAN
    Putting Race on the Table
    How Teachers Make Sense of the Role of Race in Their Practice
    AMANDA J. TAYLOR
    A Crime for a Crime?
    The Landscape of Correctional Education in the United States
    LYNETTE N. TANNIS
    Complex Sentences
    Searching for the Purpose of Education Inside a Massachusetts State Prison
    CLINT SMITH
    Critiquing Critical Pedagogies Inside the Prison Classroom
    A Dialogue Between Student and Teacher
    ERIN L. CASTRO and MICHAEL BRAWN
    The Problem Child
    Provocations Toward Dismantling the Carceral State
    ERICA R. MEINERS
    Harvard Educational Review’s Commitment to Justice and Equity at a Time of Political and Social Change
    From the Editors

    Book Notes

    Continuity in Children’s Worlds
    Melissa M. Jozwiak, Betsy J. Cahill, and Rachel Theilheimer

    An Everyone Culture
    Robert Kegan and Lisa Lahey, with Matthew L. Miller, Andy Fleming, and Deborah Helsing