Pedagogical Challenges and Benefits of Teaching on the Inside: Lessons From 'Drugs in Urban Society'

Jerry Stahler, Temple University

"Drugs in Urban Society" is an undergraduate, upper level class that had been taught in a traditional seminar format at Temple University in the Department of Geography and Urban Studies. The course became adapted within the "Inside/Out Prison Exchange" model so as to present students with a more direct and experiential learning opportunity. This paper describes the pedagogical approach of the course, the changes needed to adapt a traditional course into an experiential one, and how the class was implemented in a prison setting. A particular focus of the presentation will be on the experiende in teaching the course the challenges encountered in blending traditional university undergraduates with incarcerated students, the reactions from both groups of students, the curricular modifications that were required, and suggestions on how to undertake such an initiative.

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Updated 05/20/2006