Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Center for the Advancement of Education


Georgianna Lowen


Juvenile Delinquency, Literacy, Functional Illiteracy, Learning Disability, Adolescent Education.


This practicum aimed to improve the basic literacy skills of juvenile delinquents in the county jail by using relevant experiences as the basis of learning. Two corollary aims were to increase the number of high school diplomas generated through the General Education Development Test (GED), and prepare students to function in the outside world. Students shared relevant experiences with other students. From this discussion a vocabulary list was generated that was used for reading and spelling. Students then wrote out on paper what they had shared with the group and submitted it to the writer for review and correction. Students then revise the work before typing it on the computer. Students shared the completed writing with the teacher and fellow classmates. Students produced poetry, personal stories, letters to the judge, and GED essays. outcomes of the practicum were positive. Although the correctional facility posed unique problems, objectives were met. Students produced original papers based on the relevant experiences; six of seven students passed the GED; and the data showed improvement in basic literacy skills. In addition, the practical demonstrated that: (a) students in correctional facilities can take responsibility for their own learning, (b) literacy is based in culture and related through relevant experience, (c) technology is a motivating factor in student learning, and (d) peer tutoring is beneficial for tutors, tutees, and teachers.

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