Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)


Teacher Education


Incarcerated adolescents deserve and need an aggressive literacy program which draws upon their personal experiences and cultures. They need to discuss and explore their beliefs and values, and write about their discoveries and experiences for the purpose of making themselves known to themselves and others. The purpose of this research is to examine the feasibility of creating a classroom writers' workshop which includes dialogue and process-based writing, culminating in publication for a specific audience. I hope that the workshop will bring an affirmed sense of self to these kids at the same time that they get a glimpse of real purposes for literacy: emancipation and inclusion. I hope that the workshop will increase the literacy skills of students who are in danger of being continually oppressed and marginalized in our literacy-rich society. My findings were encouraging, even though the study was limited to a one-week workshop. The most noteworthy result was the gain in enthusiasm and confidence for writers who wanted to express their perspective to the target audience: the probation department. The enthusiasm and efficacy affected the classroom behavior of the participants, and some realized and verbalized new options for their own futures as adults: mentoring youngsters like themselves.


Thesis (M.A.) Institute for Advanced Studies in Education