Inside Literature is a Community-Based Learning approach to the Humanities. In the program, instructors teach courses in groups of two on works of enduring literary value to incarcerated persons in a pre-trial correctional facility. It provides an opportunity for community members to share their passion for literature, develop as teachers, and get involved in our community.
It is a focus on collaboration, reciprocity, reflection, and citizenship that distinguishes community-based learning. Reflection allows instructors to connect their community work with a deeper sense of civic engagement or Citizenship. Reciprocity reminds us that all participants in Inside Literature have something to learn and something to teach. Collaboration gives all participants agency to form their own learning goals and to shape their own program experiences.
We offer literature courses with both intellectual and personal outcomes: critical thinking skills developed through close reading literature; intellectual curiosity brought on by new or unfamiliar ideas; and increased confidence from discussion of the text with a close-knit learning community. Instructors propose a reading schedule; develop thoughtful discussion questions & writing assignments; and pair the text with multimodal activities or supplementary handouts.