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Challenges and Suggestions to Deliver a Degree in a Prison Context: An adaptation of a current BA in Fine Art.

Authors: Pierre Mifsud, Carmen Aquilina,
  • Institute: Institute of Creative Arts
  • Symposium: Quality Pedagogy and Effective Learning
  • Day: 1 , Session: 1 , Location: Conference Hall 3
  • Session Type: Medium 15 min (Presentation of ongoing research developments and findings) , Start: 09:55 , End: 10:10




Understanding that education in prison is a right and not a luxury is not a natural conclusion to many. Nonetheless, research has shown that all education, be it correctional, formal, or non-formal education, helps in preparing inmates with several social skills that will help inmates to obtain employment once released from the prison and decrease the rate of recidivism. Establishing the importance of the arts in prison was also another important stage before trying to define possibilities and limitations for a prison inmate to follow the MCAST Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Fine Art. This was mainly established through desk-based research. However, supporting this were other methods applied in this research. These included meetings and interviews with staff working at MCAST, UOM and CSA, as well as direct encounters with educators while leading a programme offering a training and development opportunity for adult educators to work in a prison environment.

With the gathered data the resarch paper aims to: share pedagogical styles needed within an educational setting in prison; how educators can adjust to the realities of prison learning environments; how can the B.A Fine Art programme be adapted to these realities; and to what extent can these limitations hinder or otherwise the entirety of the programme. In conclusion, the research also aims to propose a way forward where the said adaptations can be embraced by other MCAST vocational programmes.