Freedom Writers

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A Critical Analysis from Contextual Perspective Li-chin (Crystal) Huang Freedom Writers

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Being enthusiastic/energetic What are these? Integrating teaching and learning knowledge Engaging Professional developments Having pedagogical expertise Mastering the contents Creativity/ingenuity Having sound teaching philosophy Great communicator Being a leader/counselor Caring Edu-politic professional Effective performing collaborating Sound teaching philosophy Understanding education ecology Being passionate €€€

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A analysis from the critical and contextual perspectives on a movie – The Freedom Writers, which was a true story based on The Freedom Writers Diary - a collecting writings by a group of labeled as rough, racial and ethnic diverse with high-risk teenagers. They were dubbed by administrators as "unreachable” students. in Room 203 at Woodrow Wilson High School in Long Beach, California, 1994. Erin Gruwell was this inspiring educator whose perseverance and dynamic pedagogy transformed the adversities into hope and success. Introduction

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The familiar patterns of schooling to which we haveall been exposed are often the learning of stereotypes manifestedin the various binary forms of the socially constructed ideologies. Both teaching and leaning are about the new that comes about from challenging, deconstructing, or decoding those repeatedly “redistributed” languages, in other words, the needs of the creation of the cutting edge. - Davies, 1993

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Conceptualized as knowledge that enabled human beings to emancipate themselves from forms of domination through self-reflection and took psychoanalysis as the paradigm of critical knowledge. Note: From Jurgen Habamas of the Frankfurt School in the late 1960s.Frankfurt In the late 1960s. The Critical Approach

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Addressed the construction of knowledge and relations of power structures within the interplaying contexts of social (in particular, the intersection of race, gender, social class), historical, and political spheres in the educational setting. The Contextual Analysis

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Framework of analysis Micro level: The Classroom DynamicsThe interaction b/w Instructor’s unconventional Pedagogies carrying specific content knowledge to engage with students Macro Level: The External Environment 1. Racial issues imbedded in culture and history 2. After the Rodney King riot era 3. Racial and ethnic segregation and integration problems in school districts 4. Intersection of social class and race/ethnicity Meso Level:The Internal Power Structure1. Teachers and Administrators 2. Senior instructors vs. junior and new teachers 3. Racial/ethnic segregation and integration problems in school districts 4. Limited resources and funding The Meso Level The Macro Level External Environment Internal Power Structures The Core Micro Level

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Macro Level: The External Environment Racial issues imbedded in culture and history After the Rodney King riot era Racial and ethnic segregation and integration problems in school districts The intersection of social class and race/ethnicity

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Meso Level: The Internal Power Structure The unbreakable iron curtain of power structures/hierarchy challenged a young, inexperienced student teacher: Teachers vs. Administrators Senior instructors vs. junior and new teachers Racial/ethnic segregation vs. integration problems in school districts Limited resources vs. funding Honor students vs. “unteachable, at risk” students.

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Micro Level: The Classroom Dynamics Gruwell enabled her students to reread and rediscover their lives via trust and sharing, in particular, the timing journal writing strategy. The sources of the classroom dynamics consist of the following components: 1. The teacher imbues with passion, caring, and construction the trustful teaching and learning environment through unconventional curricula and pedagogy. 2. Guide students to re-read, rediscover students’ own lives.3. Empower student to reroute the deemed pre-destined predicaments into strength and actions

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Erin Gruwell’s endeavors as a social change agent suggests that curricular and pedagogical reform retails the courage to teach and to address the complexities of anti-oppressive education. Individual endeavors and system scaffolding are the two keys components to facilitate teaching and learning journey. Conclusion

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“There are no un-teachable students. They just learn in different time and in different ways”.

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“Only what is comforting goes hand in hand with a resistance to learning what is discomforting, and this resistance often proves to be a formidable barrier to movement toward social justice…” - Kumashiro (2002).

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