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An Analysis Of Ellen Condiffe Lagemann’s Article On What Can College Mean? Lessons From The Bard Prison Initiative

869 words - 4 pages

It may come as no surprise to some that a quality education has the power to provide, for those who seek it, the opportunity of personal and professional transformation. It can be said that a society which encourages higher education is more likely to yield a population of individuals who are civic minded and purposeful as opposed to a society which does not. In an article entitled “What Can College Mean? – Lessons from the Bard Prison Institute, author Ellen Condiffe Lagemann supports the importance of a liberal arts education but also presents the case that quality education in the United States is not available to all.
Lagemann is a professional in the field of education. Amongst ...view middle of the document...

Advisors encourage students to discuss their work with their peers as a way to further develop their ideas and share their knowledge with others in a learning community. BPI wants their students to recognize that the learning process is not easy but is possible with support and discussion.
The third area is BPI’s understanding of the importance of a liberal arts education over vocational training. Lagemann points out that there is a temptation to forgo a liberal arts education over vocational training due to the cost and commitment required for completion. That being said, a liberal arts education can provide fundamental values necessary in any employment setting with the added value of self-actualization and a foundation for personal purpose.
As stated above, Lagemann believes in the transformative power of a liberal arts education and believes that it should be available to everyone, including the prison population. She has experienced first hand, the immense value that a prison education program can provide for inmates and wishes to utilize the lessons learned at BPI to benefit all. BPI not only illustrates the effectiveness of a college prison program in decreasing dicividism rates, and ultimately decreasing the financial burden of an exploding prison population, it also highlights the importance of higher education for all and how BPI’s specific approach towards education can help more traditional colleges with their low completion rates.
The one thing standing in the way of actualizing this goal of higher education for all is the lack of adequate policies to provide funding for education, but more specifically funding for...

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