Date

4-2016

Department

School of Education

Degree

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Chair

Craig B. Bailey

Keywords

Alternative Education, Institutionalization, Punitive Education, Type II Alternative Schools

Disciplines

Curriculum and Social Inquiry | Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Psychology | Other Education

Abstract

The purpose of this phenomenological study was to describe lived experiences in a type II alternative school, from the perspective of former students who are now in a correctional facility. Three research questions guided the study: How do former students who are now incarcerated describe their experiences in a type II alternative school? How do former students of a type II alternative school describe their experiences in a correctional facility? How do participants’ lived experiences in the alternative school compare and contrast with their lived experiences in a correctional facility? Data was collected through individual interviews, journaling, and focus group discussions. Interviews were conducted after surveying the entire inmate population and identifying 10 incarcerated participants. Questions were guided, addressing their lived experiences in the alternative school they attended and in their correctional facility. Research began using the survey instrument distributed to the entire inmate population not only to select the candidates for interviews but for the collective information gathered through the responses to the questions in the survey document. The research was completed through extensive interviews and journals of the incarcerated participants, selected based on their answers to the survey questions, which have attended a type II alternative school. Focus group discussions were also included, based on the results of the individual interviews, to gather further pertinent information about their experiences. The following themes emerged: Dysfunctional family environment, safety and stability found in institutions, and institutionalization during the formative years in life. Basically, participants grew up in chaotic environments and welcomed the structure and stability of both the alternative school setting and incarceration.