“Learning Basic Skills while serving time” is a Norwegian report describing a specific pedagogical approach used for the provision of basic skills training in prisons. The project was first implemented in Bastøy Prison http://www.bastoyfengsel.no/English/), a large low-security prison situated on an island in the Oslo fjord. The approach and its results have later been multiplied in a number of Norwegian prisons, and the discussion will include experts from Vox, Norwegian Agency for Lifelong Learning , who are still participating in its further development.
Prisoners at Bastøy and similar prisons are involved in work training and are assigned specific tasks. The Bastøy approach to basic skills training aimed at making learning contextual and relevant, and involved the daily work activities of the inmates rather than the traditional “classroom and blackboard approach”. The report shows how basic skills training can and should be linked to concrete problems encountered in daily life, and it confirms the importance of facilitating close cooperation between the educational staff and the staff responsible for the daily prison routines.