Perceived Effectiveness of Correctional Education Programs as Seen Through the Lens of Two Stakeholder Groups: Indigenous Students and Their Teachers

John Playford

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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Research based on the justice system, specifically corrections, has mainly focused on the adult population, with little research based on the juvenile population. Any juvenile-participant research, when it is culturally focused, has mainly been on the overrepresentation of the non-White population, mostly African American and Hispanics, with little research representing Indigenous populations. When the research is educationally focused in the correctional system, the emphasis has mainly been on special education needs and programming. A literature search revealed that research on Indigenous students attending an educational program in a correctional facility is rare. The gathering of data in my research was influenced by a mixed method design, which enabled me to compare both questionnaire and interview data with each of the two participant groups: students and teachers. Using these data, I was able to compare responses within and between each group at three youth correctional centers, as well as between facilities and as cumulative data between the two stakeholder groups. The results and my discussion concentrate on the following main questions, which are based on culture and academics:
• Are incarcerated Indigenous students’ educational needs met through attention to cultural dynamics and student need?
• Do correctional education programs instill public confidence from the stakeholder groups?
• Do social contexts of the institution, such as forms of communication, social order, and connection, have an effect on an Indigenous student’s success and a teacher’s ability to teach?
Student participants and teacher participants agree on a majority of the academically focused questions but vary greatly with respect to the perceived cultural focus within correctional education. I found that two of the three correctional education programs show evidence of cultural competence as seen in cultural programming and engaging Indigenous students in their education. However, there is also evidence that professional development for faculty is needed, as well as a clear focus for culturally responsive teaching, cultural competence, and cultural safety from the board of education associated with the correctional based educational program, and the specific educational programs themselves.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Education
Awarding Institution
  • Charles Sturt University
  • Letts, Will, Principal Supervisor
Place of PublicationAustralia
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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