A [Re]membered Place: Missed Opportunities of the "Educational" for Incarcerated Youth and the Ongoing Effects of York Detention Centre's Closure
Davey, Natalie Joy
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This dissertation investigates the question of what is educational in the education of incarcerated youth? Biesta (2012) writes that one goal of education is or should be subjectification, pointing to educations orientation towardsstudents as subjects of action and responsibility (2012). If educations aim, then, is for students to become subjects in their own right, what happens when objectification dictates how incarcerated youth are taught? Can that objectification be disrupted from the inside out? Prefaced by a philosophical consideration of concatenated concepts such as the wasted lives (Bauman, 2003) of the incarcerated and the sporadic identity of the teacher (Biesta, 2013) in such spaces, my research focuses on the continued impact of the educational site that was York Detention Centre in Toronto. YDC was formerly the central booking facility for young offenders in Ontario, closed in 2009, and this dissertation is a metaphorical return to what I suggest was an unlikely and, therefore, missed educational site for incarcerated youth to become. The ongoing educational impact of the former detention centre emerges through a narrative analysis of remembered stories shared by participant interviewees of both the teaching and learning they experienced within its walls. By compiling the narratives of four former staff and residents, and adding to them my own memories of teaching in that space, this place-based (Till, 2004, 2011) project culminates in an aesthetic narrative curation of missed educational happenings. This new educational story of YDC works to disrupt the limited discourse that exists around incarcerated youth and education in the present day.