Freedom Writers Review

1848 Words Feb 23rd, 2012 8 Pages
The movie “The Freedom Writers” is based on the true story of Erin Gruwell’s English classes at Wilson High, an integrated school with students of all racial and cultural backgrounds. As a new teacher she is given the lowest achieving students. For safety and belonging most of these students belong to racial gangs and bring this social concept into the class by sitting in racial arrangements. Their morals and self concept are defined by these gangs, as shown by Eva’s statement of “we protect our own” and Andre’s comment about how his brother taught him to do anything it takes to survive. They have the ability to learn, but they do not see how school based knowledge fits their world. These kids are given negative labels like losers and …show more content…
and gives them journals to record their thoughts and experiences. These are effective because they provide situational interest and change up the equilibrium. The game provides a visual and active situation while the notebooks show her commitment to them and interest in their stories. Because they will not be graded the students have the choice to write anything and express themselves in any format they choose. Gruwell wants to read them, but shows respect for the students by only reading them if given permission.
After creating the foundation of trust and community in the classroom they go on a field trip to the Museum of Tolerance and Gruwell arranges for Holocaust survivors to have dinner with them and talk about their experiences. This builds on the knowledge from the museum and allows the students to see the impact intolerance, hatred, and violence on someone outside their own circle. Vygotsky would view this as scaffolding to develop the background for the reading of The Diary of Anne Frank which is the next book Gruwell gives her students. Marcus is so strongly affected by The Diary of Anne Frank he suggests Gruwell writes to Miep Gies, who hid Anne Frank from the Nazis. She changes her assignment from an essay to a letter to Miep Gies, but makes no promises about getting the letters delivered. This results in a student lead initiative for Miep Gies to speak to them. By “giving in” to the students Gruwell

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