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Revista Electrónica Educare

On-line version ISSN 1409-4258Print version ISSN 1409-4258


SANTA OLMEDA, Adalberto; VILLAFANE SANTIAGO, Ángel A.  and  CAPELLA CASELLAS, Manuel. Educators in Puerto Rican Juvenile Correctional Institutions: Challenges and Professional Development Needs. Educare [online]. 2014, vol.18, n.1, pp.7-39. ISSN 1409-4258.

The  main  purpose  of the  present  research  was to  report  the  experiences  of teachers in  juvenile  correctional   institutions,  their  challenges,  and  professional   development  needs. Research was conducted using a qualitative descriptive phenomenological methodology through a semi-structured interview  applied  to  four teachers  from the  Juvenile Correctional  Institutions Administration (AIJ) in Puerto Rico. The information was analyzed based on the systematic qualitative research procedures proposed by Strauss and Corbin (1998), cited by Lucca and Berríos (2003): open, axial and selective coding, respectively. Teachers were greatly satisfied for providing  educational services. A relevant finding is the lack of a curriculum that fits the needs of this youth population. The curriculum used is the same as the one used in public schools, which makes it unappealing to these students. These teachers face unusual challenges, including the institutions’ security system and the teaching  and learning methodology. A lack of coordination  is perceived in the educational services and  a multidisciplinary  team  is needed to  address  the  cognitive  and  emotional  aspects  of the population.  Like teachers  in any other educational system, respondents obtain some achievements and satisfactions that strengthen them spiritually and motivate them to continue  working in these institutions for many years.

Keywords : Professional development; life experiences; correctional institutions.

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