Pedagogy for the Incarcerated: Augmenting the Socratic Method in Inmate Rehabilitation
PublisherMonroe Community College
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AbstractThis essay discusses the use of the Socratic Method in criminal rehabilitation. Ample scholarly research discusses the modern programs and pedagogies employed in many US prisons such as cognitive therapy, but the work of Peter Boghossian suggests that the Socratic Method is similarly effective in helping inmates improve critical and moral reasoning. This essay expands upon Boghossian’s research through the work of Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed in conjunction with Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave” from The Republic. A synthesis of the ideas from these works begins to reveal the source of the Socratic Method’s effectiveness as well as informing and augmenting the pedagogy itself. Considering Freire’s ideas on oppressive ideologies as a major obstacle in inmate rehabilitation, an idea central to the “Allegory of the Cave,” leads to an understanding of the need to elevate not only critical and moral reasoning in inmates but conscientizaçāo—learning to perceive and act upon social, political, and economic contradictions. By developing these critical aspects of consciousness, inmates have the ability to not only integrate themselves into society, but begin their own critical transformations of the world around them.
- Scholars' Day Review