This blog is a response to the overwhelming experience of seeing our students coming together to present their posters yesterday (for 50% of their module grade). We (the module leaders) were astounded by the work produced and by the challenging subject areas that our students chose to address. The presentations covered a range of topics from the module including trust, adaptation to long-term imprisonment, humanity, rehabilitation and the connection between these core themes and the collaborative learning experience.
While we were in awe of our students as they confidently stood in the somewhat daunting presence of their peers and a host of prison governors, there was something specific about the presentations that caught our attention (not to mention our emotions). Seeing our students visibly supporting each other, congratulating each other in their good work and coming together in a way that only a connected group of peers can, was formidable.
Yesterday we saw the result of broken barriers, the power of collaborative learning and the genuine trust, respect and friendship that exists within our cohort.
The learning sessions have now finished and we look forward to celebrating what has been a phenomenal experience at the module graduation later this month. Prisoners, both in research and learning contexts, often tell us “you don’t know unless you’ve experienced it yourself” and perhaps we would say the same to any who are yet to begin their Learning Together journey. This experience has challenged us all (staff and students) and without these challenges we would not know how to achieve the successes. Getting things wrong is just as important as getting things right because it’s the only way we feel we can truly understand what we’re doing and how to do it.
We hope that the students have enjoyed this as much as we have and we look forward to writing our next blog on the module graduation.