Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education


Education, Leadership and Public Service


Reading Specialist for K-12 (MAE)

First Advisor/Chairperson

Dr. Christi Edge


For students and teachers in prison classrooms, success with reading and literacy tasks does not come easily. To teach within the correctional setting, an educator must get used to teaching with tension. These tensions must be balanced for the teacher to continue focus on instruction and to continue proper teaching practices. For students, reading proficiency is necessary for passing the 2014 computer version of the GED test. Passing the GED test is an exit goal of corrections education. The purpose of this qualitative self-study was to explore and describe my teaching practices to better understand how to apply my knowledge of special education and reading instruction to motivate incarcerated adults to develop basic literacy skills and to work toward Adult Basic Education and General Education benchmarks. Data were collected over a three-month span and iteratively explored and analyzed using Creswell’s (2013) data analysis spiral. Findings detail changes to and development of my instructional practices over time, attention while teaching, connections I made, and the role of reflective practice in developing confidence and independence as a professional educator who teaches with tension. Implications for my own practice as well as for students and other professionals in the prison are offered.

Access Type

Open Access