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Inquiry Project

empowered21's picture

            For this project, I plan to investigate, critique, and compare the effects of restorative and punitive practices on adolescents. There are many instances of cultural and racial disparities in the way administrations deal with students. Awareness of these issues is a necessary tool for a multicultural educator as subconscious rather than overt bias is often the driving force in inequality. In this project, I expect to examine the school to prison pipeline as well as the effects of reinforcement of behavior. Though my placement isn’t at the Prison, I’m wondering if there is any way I could observe/ask questions for a day. 


jccohen's picture


This is a great topic, and of course is very broad and needs to be narrowed down - which you could do in terms of a particular population of students (e.g. age, race/ethnicity, gender, dis/ability...) or more conceptually with a focus on punitive or restorative practices, or... you could begin to investigate broadly and follow what grabs you.  Pedro Noguera writes compellingly about these issues with reference to boys/young men of color specifically (The Trouble with Black Boys is one of his books), as does Ernest Morrell.  Ronnie Casella has also done some relevant work, including a piece I use for another class (let me know if you'd like me to send this to you).  It's difficult to take someone into prison for just one visit (issues with our preparation, permission from the prison, etc.) but several folks who work in prisons will be visiting our class next Tues. for a panel, so I'd suggest you think about what questions you'd like to ask them to further your inquiry.  Also, two of our visitors work at HC and might be available for further conversation about this.