SAGE Journal Articles

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Journal Article 1: Schwartz, J. (2015). After incarceration and adult learning: A collaborative inquiry and writing project. Adult Learning, 26, 51–58.

Abstract: Mass incarceration in America is a moral, economic, and societal crisis with serious implications for many men of color and high school non-completers who are incarcerated at proportionally higher rates than Whites or college graduates. For the formerly incarcerated, engagement in adult learning, whether high school equivalency (HSE) or college, decreases the likelihood that they will return to prison, increases opportunities for employment, and serves as a powerful re-integration tool in society. This article describes one community college’s collaborative inquiry and writing project that uses archival, auto-ethnographic, and interview data to explore how formerly incarcerated students might be effectively engaged in adult education and offers this inquiry project as a potential model for this engagement. Through the voice of the faculty/instructor, this article conceptualizes the inquiry writing project process using a two-part framework: Chevalier and Buckles’ five stages of collaborative inquiry and critical race theory (CRT).

Discussion Questions:

  1. In the most specific terms possible, describe the quasi-experiment design used in this study.
  2. Can the researchers conclusively conclude that the changes they implemented caused the difference in the number of students enrolled in research experiences before and after the change? Why or why not?
  3. Why do you think the researchers chose to consider the number of students in enrolled in the experiences for several years before and after the changes (instead of just looking at the year before and the year after)?
  4. Why is this study considered a quasi-experiment instead of an experiment? How could the design be changed to create an experiment?
  5. What are some alternative explanations of the results reported by the researchers?