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Coping in isolation: Time to Think
Coping in isolation: Time to Think

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1 Learning from the past: coping with confinement through education

This is an illustration of a book with ‘OU’ written on it, against some barbed wire. The words ‘Time to Think’ appear at the top of the image.
Figure 2 Time to Think

You may find parallels between your experiences of isolation and the experiences of individuals and groups of people who have lived through other forms of forced confinement and isolation.

In 2010, The Open University (OU) began collecting the oral histories of Loyalist and Republican OU students in British and Irish prisons during the years of conflict, 1972–2000. The OU also collected the stories of OU tutors and office staff, prison education staff and prison governors, reflecting on their educational journeys with The Open University during this time. You can explore The Open University Ireland archive, which is called Time to Think at the following link: Time to Think archive [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .

Next, you will watch a short film, made for the Time to Think archive launch in 2019, about how people used education to help them cope with confinement and isolation. Take some notes as you go along about what ideas it sparks for you.

Activity 2 Time to think

Now watch the film Time to Think.

Download this video clip.Video player: Video 1:
Video 1: Time to Think
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Video 1 transcript (Word document)

Answer the following questions:

  • What struck you most about these stories?
  • Can you make any connections between these experiences and your own experiences of confinement?
  • What could you do with your own time to think?
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