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Developing oral communication and productive thinking skills in HM Prisons

Lookup NU author(s): David Moseley, Professor Jill ClarkORCiD, Dr Vivienne Baumfield, Dr Elaine Hall, Ian Hall, Jennifer Miller



This report examines how educators and psychologists seek to foster positive thinking, learning and behaviour change in prisons. Part A focuses on the English Speaking Board’s oral communication courses, looking at evidence from observations, interviews and feedback, and at participants’ reoffending rates. Part B is a complementary account of desk-based research focusing on cognitive skill development programmes. The authors argue that prisons should be designed as ‘thinking environments’, and that oral and thinking skills interventions should continue in the community after prisoners’ release. The report will be of value to policy-makers, managers, teachers and researchers.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Moseley D, Clark J, Baumfield V, Hall E, Hall I, Miller J, Blench G, Gregson M, Spedding T

Series Editor(s): Soden, R; Livingston, K

Publication type: Report

Publication status: Published

Series Title:

Type: LSRC Research Report

Year: 2006

Pages: 140

Report Number: ISBN: 1845723864

Institution: Learning and Skills Research Centre

Place Published: London


Notes: Both parts of the report examine ways in which educators and psychologists seek to foster positive thinking, learning and behavioural change in prisons. Acknowledging that transfer of knowledge and skills to different contexts is problematical, the authors argue that prisons should be designed as ‘thinking environments’ and that oral communication and thinking skills interventions need to be continued in the community after prisoners are released. Other common themes include the importance for learners of motivation, learner interaction, concern for others and formative feedback; and the need for staff to model across disciplines the kind of behaviour they wish to promote. Policy-makers, managers, teachers and researchers will find in this report useful reviews of research into teaching and learning in prisons, together with new evidence about the value of oral communication and group activity in the rehabilitation of offenders.