Books Behind Bars Audio and PowerPoint
The humanities have been slow to respond to growing skepticism in recent decades about their value in post-secondary education. “Books Behind Bars: Life, Literature, and Community Leadership” is an innovative academic community engagement course that places undergraduates at U.Va and incarcerated juvenile delinquents in a radical new community learning environment which is intended to foster the academic, social, and emotional growth of its participants. The purpose of the Youth-Nex-funded study, “Awakening Youth Through the Humanities,” is to conduct analysis of the data gathered from the first two iterations of the course in order to better understand whether and how student growth and learning take place in this teaching model. Course creator/instructor Andrew D. Kaufman, Youth-Nex Program Director and research consultant Nancy Deutsch, and Research and Teaching Assistant Rob Wolman will discuss preliminary findings and their implications for further research.
Andrew Kaufman is a Lecturer and Academic Community Engagement Faculty Fellow in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures and a Research Affiliate in the Curry School of Education. A recognized Russian literature scholar, he is the author of Understanding Tolstoy, and the forthcoming, Give War and Peace a Chance: Tolstoyan Wisdom for Troubled Times. In 2009 Dr. Kaufman created the “Books Behind Bars” course.
Rob Wolman is a Montessori teacher and corporate trainer who received his masters in Educational Psychology – Applied Developmental Science from The Curry School in 2011. He is the teaching assistant and primary research assistant for “Books Behind Bars” and is also currently working on the Charlottesville Promise Neighborhood Initiative and on efforts to bring mindfulness education to parents and at-risk youth.
Nancy L. Deutsch is Associate Professor of Educational Leadership and Foundations at the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education. She is affiliated with the Research, Statistics & Evaluation and Applied Developmental Science programs. Her research examines the socio-ecological contexts of development, particularly on issues of adolescence, identity, gender, race, and class. Nancy has focused on the role of after-school programs in the lives of youth deemed “at-risk.”
Audience(s): Current students, Faculty and Staff, Community Members