Education in Freedom Writers

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Updated: Apr 19, 2020
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Category: Movies
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Education in Freedom Writers essay

Socioeconomic factors play an important role in molding the attitudes of students within a learning environment. Primarily, the students’ perceptions regarding their social context drive the plotline of the film. Evidently, their view of education in relation to their social conditions skews towards hopelessness. They are indifferent to the concept of learning because they originate from a less-advantaged social setting, which does not provide any hope for a better future. The socioeconomic hardships experienced by the students within their neighborhood are responsible for their negligence and aggression towards each other, their educators, the institution, and the system of schooling.

Due to this socially disadvantaged background, they hold that they have inadequate chances and resources to better themselves (Jeanquart-Barone 481) since their learning environment does not provide either the facilitation or freedom to develop. Besides, as part of the minority population, the students merge these challenges with racially charged problems that they encounter on a daily basis. Initially, everyone in the film recognizes the futility of the situation and disregards the ability of the official syllabus to transform the students’ status quo. Therefore, Erin Gruwell’s decision to shift the mode of teaching validates the despairing socioeconomic standpoint upheld by the students. Upon her arrival, Gruwell does not understand the students’ socioeconomic context; she follows the traditional mode of teaching that prioritizes the facilitator.

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Nonetheless, this path is unproductive in her quest to enlighten the students; hence, she changes it: “Gruwell’s revolutionary pedagogy begins when she refuses to mechanically follow the prescribed curriculum. This decision fits with the central component of student-centered education practices, which design lessons around student needs, not institution ally mandated standards” (Choi 45). She realizes that their conditions will remain unchanged if she fails to implement the inquiry-based method of learning. This strategy exclusively focuses on the students’ needs, emphasizing on the necessity of student participation in learning. Students rather than educators are the drivers of the process as they learn through an in-depth awareness of self-produced information, which transcends classroom education (Ernst, Hodge and Yoshinobu 570).

The teacher not only begins to dispense relevant material but also gives them the journals, which serve as platforms to express their diverse perceptions and reflect on the subjects of prejudice, tolerance, bereavement, and social inequality. By adopting this strategy, Gruwell gains their attention and empowers them out of their current social predicament by allowing them the freedom of expression, which sets the stage for breaking the barriers to development.

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Education in Freedom Writers. (2020, Apr 19). Retrieved from