Education in Independence Writers

Foundations of Education

Film Critique - Independence Writers

Historically, concepts such as curriculum, syllabus, lesson plan, educational goals have been all-important words in education. These principles do not can be found in vacuum pressure. Coaching and learning are often affected by sociable, political, financial, and historical factors that are not accounted for in the formal curriculum. The film Freedom Writers explores some of these factors from the vantage point of Ms. Gruwell, an inexperienced middle income Caucasian female teacher at a built-in institution, Woodrow Wilson Classical SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL inLong Beach, California. The film is defined in the racially charged atmosphere of 1994, less than two years after the Los Angeles riots sparked by the acquittal of the Caucasian officers who were caught on camera brutalizing Rodney King, an DARK-COLORED. Her group of racially diverse vulnerable students are unflatteringly tagged unteachables. Before she can show basic concepts in poetry, however, Ms. Gruwell must cope with and overcome the racial stereotypes, low teacher and student anticipations, poor willpower, socioeconomic restraints, and myopic bureaucratic plan that have led to her students bad attitude to their educators, institution, the educational system, and life generally. They think that their educational restrictions are limited, that their professors are not invested in them, and this school is only another prison to that they are assigned throughout the day to battle the undeclared conflict. Both instructors and students think that the students are hopeless which attempts to teach them using the formal curriculum can be an exercise in futility. This paper explores how certain factors external to the educational institutions-racial stereotypes, low professor and university student expectation, poor self-discipline, socioeconomic and historical restraints, and myopic political policy-affect the educational process as portrayed in Freedom Authors.

Initially, Ms. Gruell attempted an ineffective professor dominated, teacher centered method of educating her students. Try as she might, however, she could not have the students thinking about her lessons. The students viewed her as an outsider which she had to gain their esteem before they might provide them with hers and invite her to teach them. Ms. G was required to revise her teaching style and ways of reach her students. Eventually she expelled the curriculum and simply listened to her students. Her knowledge was in realizing that she needed to hook up with them and also to understand that they had needs that had to be acknowledged and barriers that needed to be demolished before they might be educated. She assigned materials about minorities and discrimination that they could relate to including The Journal of Anne Frankand Elie WieselsNight. She empowered them with words by giving them diaries in which they could write their own stories. She devised activities and field outings to help them learn esteem and tolerance of 1 another. The learner paid attention to guest sound system, and conducted a field visit to america Holocaust Memorial Museum so they could experience racism, intolerance, death and injustice in a new framework. She was even able to raise money for class projects and outings. Once she experienced received their interest, Ms. G relentlessly built on themes or templates that which was familiar her students. In so doing, she achieves what so far had been apparently impossible: getting her students interested in reading education.

Ms. Gruwells pedagogical style changed to resemble the Inquiry Strategy. Inquiry is a student-centered pedagogical model which is based on the theory that coaching and learning are improved when students are productive agents in the teaching and learning process. Coaching is most effective when students are not just passively digesting arbitrary information, but are employed in the real engineering of diverse, relevant, and real world knowledge. Thus, the characteristics of the Inquiry Strategy means that it's highly effective construction for catering to students different learning styles and then for facilitating the management of challenging curricula. The learning sequence is based on concepts that assist in effective learning somewhat than arbitrary school room activities: tackling real-world questions, issues and controversies, developing questioning, research and communication skills, and dealing with problems or creating solutions. Schema activation, articulating novel methods of processing ideas, drawing ideas and generating new ideas from encounters, conducting indie research are important to Inquiry. Inquiry is genuine: lessons and content are centered on traditional, relevant ideas that students are actually interested in. This is the ultimate genius of the Inquiry Procedure: the profound understanding of self-generated content within an authentic context which extends beyond the class room. While Ms. G might have opted simply to teach the established curriculum, she instead opted to instruct the students in the way they needed to be taught.

One of the key themes of Freedom Writers is the fact that teaching and learning do not take place in a vacuum. Rather, the class room is a microcosm of the larger society where a host of public, historical, politics and economical factors converge in the school room and straight impinge on the training process. This plethora of factors affect the educational process and exactly how effectively a instructor can show.

Political brokers included the institution administration and the Mother board of Education; all cogs in something designed to curb the improvement of minorities. The callous label of unteachable positioned on the students only exacerbates the sense of oppression these disenfranchised minority students feel. The school serves as microcosm of the larger world where oppression was even more pervasive and damaging. Instead of serving as a springboard for the students to self-actualize and get away the bonds of the matrix of domination by challenging them to achieve high requirements, it instead institutionalized the same oppression the prevented the students from self-actualizing to begin with. A simple example is the reading list for school. Instead of allowing the students to interact with high quality, challenging reading materials such as Shakespeares Romeo and Juliet, they students were likely to read a condensed version of the play which was below the reading standard for their grade. Even worse, the main concern of the head of section, Ms. Margaret Campbell, was that the students would ruin the books instead of reading them. She was not concerned with challenging students to attain for high academic achievements. She simply fed into the equipment of the matrix where unteachable students continue steadily to perform much more poorly than their Caucasian counterparts. What she fails to realize is that this attitude simply perpetuates the very concern that she complains about. Regarding to Carborne II in "Contest, Class, and Oppression: Alternatives for Dynamic Learning and Literacy in the Classroom. "

The drawback perpetuated by this oppression can effect a students inspiration to succeed in institution, and has been shown to negatively impact academics performance and levels of self-esteem. In lots of urban school options, the racial impact of socio-economic position is shown in the academic performance of minority students in those colleges as well as in the sense of hopelessness that often accompanies it.

The affect of historical factors and the impact on attitudes to education is clear in Freedom Writers. The film is set in 1994 soon after the 1992 contest riots in LA which were prompted by the televised police brutality of Rodney King. With the sole exception of an male Caucasian learner, Erin Gruwells students are minorities: African-American, Latino, Asian, and Mexican. Customarily, undereducated, underprivileged and marginalized, these students was raised with an extended background of racial, financial, educational, and social inequity. They result from neighborhoods that are usually controlled by offense lords, drug kingpins; neighborhoods where drugs, shattered family members, gang-life and assault are a way of life. Survival dominates their thinking, and most are self-confident that the will not reach their 18th birthday. The hate the machine that warehouses them in designed college and forgets that they can be found. Their primary goal in university is to survive the day.

Learning is of secondary importance particularly if the education comes from a Caucasian, the representation of the machine that they hate very much. In the beginning, Ms. Gs students resisted her efforts to teach them, because that they had been socialized to think of Caucasians as them: racially oppressive forces that historically have undermine and disenfranchised minority races. The students refuse to or cannot value her as a teacher or even as a individual because she actually is one of them. They neglect to recognize the possible positive effects of being educated by her.

The most damning facet of this kind of oppressive system is that it is self-perpetuating. Over generations, the oppression has become solidly engrained in the lives of minorities to the main point where they internalize and express the stereotypes even while they withstand them. For instance, while Ms. G was genuinely interested in her students, but after many years of discrimination and ill treatment, her interest came across as sympathy, or worse pity. Her good attitude had not been accepted at face value. Instead her screen of what the students interpreted as what Freire terms false charity was just one more bit of confirmation that the machine was stacked against them. The fact is that she needed to show charity because of the system-her system-put minorities at an unfair financial disadvantage.

Economics play a significant role in Room 203. Researchers such as Jonathan Kozol (2008) and Berliner (2006) record startling correlations between your achievement distance and which are directly linked to economic prosperity. According to a Fads in Mathematics and Knowledge Analysis TIMMS (2003), American universities with the most wealth possess the highest test results. Conversely, American institutions with the best degrees of poverty achieve the lowest test ratings. Hodgkinson (2008) accounts even more startling figures: the United States has the most significant final number of children living below the poverty series. On this demographic, 33% is African while only 14% is Caucasian. Hodgkinson asserts that long term investment from federal government and non-governmental businesses would be the ultimate way to alleviate the problem of pupil performance in underperforming colleges. Investment like this would have a ripple impact in the larger world by breaking the cycle of poverty. However, the problem is far too sophisticated to be fixed by a straightforward injection of financial capital into poor performing classes. A collaborative work is necessary where students, parents, instructors, university administrators, and educators converge as an individual entity to beat this matter.

Initially, Ms. Gs students resisted her attempts to educate them, because they had been socialized to think about Caucasians as them: racially oppressive makes that historically have undermine and disenfranchised minority races. Their attitude toward her was predicated on their previous activities with white teachers and other privileged participants of the racially oppressive system, who do not understand the struggle that that they had experienced as minorities: poverty, discrimination, criminal offense, drugs, racism, and death. Actually, for these oppressed students, these individuals are actually area of the machinery made to perpetually oppress minorities. With her continuous smile, her high minded ideals, and her feeble, misguided efforts to save lots of the minority students using their company own lives, she fit perfectly the stereotype of white privilege. The writer of Race, Course, and Oppression: Alternatives for Working Learning and Literacy in the Classroom talks about this in terms of an matrix of domination where the achievement distance between minority students and their Caucasian counterparts has led to the marginalization of several students by sociable category and race. The students won't or cannot respect her as a professor or even as a individual because she is one of them. They neglect to recognize the possible positive ramifications of being informed by her.

The movie provides an in-depth exploration of the sophisticated dynamics of goals. Historically, low goals were routinely designated to lower class or minority populations by teachers and the students themselves. The academics downgrade of Woodrow Wilson High School after integration proved that minorities aren't as academically able as students from other privileged backgrounds. The poor performance was further exacerbated by the students insufficient discipline which in turn confirmed teachers negative attitude and low prospects. Perhaps the most severe result so such behaviour is that they creates a sense of inferiority in these students who now internalize these low targets of others now express them as low objectives of themselves. \

Clearly, expectations are a double edged sword. Positive prospects are a major contributor to college student success, while negative prospects have the opposite effect. Over the last several decades a number of researchers show that whether the instructor or students have high or low academic targets, self-fulfilling prophecies ensure that those expectations will be found. The results of a study of 30, 000 minority students by Harvard College or university economist and researcher Ronald F. Ferguson discovered the distinct need for instructor encouragement as a way to obtain determination of non-White students. Both Mr. Gelford and Ms. Campbell, and all of those other staff, possessed low anticipations of the unteachables in Room 203. Through the starting point, Ms. Campbell mentioned that Ms. Gs targets in her lesson plan were pitched above the students ability and encouraged her to simplify them. She also dismissed the theory that the pupil should be provided with rich, stimulating materials. Mr. Gelford refused to amuse the theory that the students would be able to appreciate the novel The Journal of Anne Frank and sneered at the idea that that they had the intellectual sophistication to bring parallels between their lives and Annes life. Ms. Gs kids were not expected to achieve approximately the students in Mr. Gelfords advanced course so these were held to a different, albeit lower, standard.

The solution for counteracting the harmful effects of low expectations is not only to dispel low goals or even to declare a notion in high expectation. Instructors must think that students have to prospect of endless success. Rosenthal and Jacobsons 1968 experiment suggested that students showed remarkable academic success simple because their teachers thought they might. Had Erin taken care of the advice about the success probable of the students in 203 would never have achieved their impressive academic performance. What drove them to attain was her simple idea that they were just as with the capacity of the degrees of success as their Caucasian counterparts.

Despite all chances, Ms. G could achieve what the two professors before her had been struggling to. She was able to get the students in Room 203 to have an active curiosity about their own education. Despite all probabilities, and with great personal sacrifice, she showed the students what it really meant to produce an education in an oppressive world. She offered them hope for the near future. Once she shifted the emphasis from her coaching to the students learning, she could recognize that the racial stereotypes, low instructor and learner expectation, poor discipline, socioeconomic and historical restraints, and limited bureaucratic insurance policy are real restraints that compromise the educational process.

The film Freedom Writers inspires me as a teacher. Students today are a lot more difficult to control, but as the film shows, management difficulties are rooted in communal, economic, politics, and historical factors that the students internalize and consciously manifest in ways that bargain them. It requires enormous dedication, tolerance, and conviction to help students break through whatever constraints the students are fighting. Ms. Gruwells experiences remind me of my first days as a tutor with typed lessons plans and one thousand misconceptions about how exactly students should be educated. Ultimately, we have to understand out functions as facilitators of learning, and much more broadly, life. Our jobs-vocation-as instructors is not only to transmit facts. Alternatively it is to teach students in the sense of aiding them to assemble and construct relevant information that will help them to evolve as creative specific thinkers. Teachers need to find catalysts that generate the fireplace for learning in their students. We have to strive daily to find creative and ground-breaking methods to get students to achieve way beyond their wildest prospects. If Ms. G, inexperienced and idealistic as she was, encouraged 150 at risk students to persevere and graduate, then so can any instructor. She truly is an inspiration for us all.


Carbone II, S. A. (2010). "Race, Class, and Oppression: Solutions for Dynamic Learning and Literacy in the Class room. "Student Pulse, 2(01). Retrieved fromhttp://www. studentpulse. com/a?id=113

Laurier. J. (2007). Freedom Writers: Truly no child left out Retrieved from http://www. wsws. org/en/articles/2007/01/free-j27. html

OHara, M. (2009). Liberty Writers: Their Storyline Their Words. A REPORT Guide. Retrieved from http://www. metromagazine. com. au/freedom/downloads/freedomwriters_sg. pdf

Teach for America. (2011). Variety, Community and Achievement. Retrieved from http://www. teachingasleadership. org/sites/default/files/Related-Readings/DCA_2011. pdf

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