Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Prisoners’ Experiences of Foundation Skills – an Intensive Adult Literacy and Numeracy Programme Delivered in New Zealand Prisons

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posted on 2021-11-14, 04:30 authored by Moriarity, Alana (Lana)

This transcendental phenomenological study addresses a gap in the current literature by exploring prisoners’ experiences of Foundation Skills, an intensive Adult Literacy and Numeracy (ALN) programme delivered in New Zealand prisons. Research with prisoners may help to improve the effectiveness of existing programmes and policies and thus contribute towards rehabilitation aims. In this study, ten male prisoners were interviewed about their experiences of Foundation Skills. The data was analysed using Creswell’s (2007) simplified version of the Stevick-Colaizzi-Keen method outlined by Moustakas (1994) to arrive at a description of the essence of the participants’ experiences. The study found that the essence of the participants’ experiences was an increased interest and enjoyment in learning and education. The men all valued the programme as well as the opportunity to learn collaboratively. The participants’ aspirations for a better life and a better future for themselves and their whānau had a significant influence on their decision to learn and participate in education. Benefits of the programme, as well as factors that support or create barriers to learning were identified. The study outlines the implications of the findings for policy and practice and provides suggestions for future research.


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Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline


Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Education

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

970113 Expanding Knowledge in Education

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Educational Psychology and Pedagogy


Doyle, Stephanie