Theory of Change

Our mission is to create a world where no-one is isolated from a learning opportunity.

We do this by developing technology and systems to support isolated learners.

We are driven by the impact that we make, the reduction in isolation from learning opportunities and a decrease in the negative consequences that can come as a result, such as incarceration and long-term unemployment. The importance of providing access to education to those who are isolated is as much about recognising that being included can be as important as being engaged. As such, we monitor a wide range of metrics including user numbers, learner engagement and learning outcomes as well as participant attitude to learning.

We believe that the use of our technology can play an important role in helping people on a pathway to change whilst generating data that can inform our theory of change as well as supporting longitudinal studies, such as Learning Together, led by the University of Cambridge.

Our first key target area is the UK prison system.

Our thesis is based on the fact that access to digital resources to support education, employability and well-being would support rehabilitation of offenders. Rehabilitation is considered a priority target by the Ministry of Justice. (Prisons and Courts Bill 2016-17 included the term as part of the definition of the role of prison) Spending time in prison places a significant economic burden on the economy of the country and where a prisoner has a family, economic pressure is placed on those waiting on the outside.

Coracle Inside provides the tools to support educational outcomes, to improve employability and support well-being. This is achieved by recognising the role of education on a prisoners’ mindset and enables us to analyse the benefits of, barriers to, and general challenges surrounding the provision of our digital service.

A review of the academic literature highlights that topics including education and crime are complex. There are a wide range of reasons why an individual may end up within the prison system and the attitudes of society towards defining criminal actions is continuously evolving. Providing a circumspect view of the issue is central to the theory that reducing recidivism might have more to do with unpacking underlying perspectives than applying traditional outcome based pedagogical practice. Investigations into the role of education on prisoners mindset and rehabilitation is an area that is generally under-explored. We recognise that making connections between epistemological concepts such as learning theories and the concept of mindset can be problematic and we champion the opportunity to support an interdisciplinary approach.

Despite growing awareness of the potential benefits of employing individuals with a criminal record, there is a persistent poverty of expectation of the capabilities of this group that is matched by a paucity of delivering opportunities by employers. Shifting the focus, promoting a growth mindset and unlocking the potential is in the interest of offenders and society. Studies endorse the view that working with offenders on a growth mindset provides the groundwork towards their belief that reform and acceptance by society is achievable.