The Freedom Writers’ Diary by Erin Gruwell

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Freedom Writers is a Hollywood film based on the book “The Freedom Writers’ Diary” by Erin Gruwell. The movie begins showing the 1992 race riots resulting from the beating of Rodney King. This sets the scene for the racial tension present in Long Beach, California. This racial tension has touched the lives of every student assigned to Mrs. Gruwell’s freshman English class. In order to give the students an opportunity to open up about their individual thoughts and experiences, Erin buys composition books and encourages her students to write each day. Erin Gruwell goes above and beyond for her students and helps to facilitate the growth of an open family environment lacking in the lives of everyone involved. The students grow to understand that they can accomplish their dreams with their diligence and effort, and that gang life does not truly benefit anyone. Precious Knowledge is a PBS documentary following the Ethnic Studies Program found at Arizona High School. The making of the documentary was spurred by political attention given to the program with the aim of placing a ban on the program and all ethnic studies programs on the basis that such programs prove to be divisive as they place emphasis on the differences that exist between races. The documentary aims to show that the Mexican American Studies Program does not perpetuate hate or division, but rather generates love and unity. The Mexican American Studies Program was created with the intention of increasing graduation rates of Hispanic students and closing the achievement gap between white students and students of color. As a result of being instructed in topics in which they are interested, a marked increase in interest, attendance, and participation has been noted by stud... ... middle of paper ... ...eed. As a group, we admired both films and their powerful messages as they each gave different perspectives on education, perspectives that we may not have been aware of previously. The films showed that some students in our diverse country face numerous challenges that hinder their ability to achieve the same educational success that we can Works Cited Choi, J. (2009). Reading Educational Philosophies In Freedom Writers. The Clearing House, 82(5), 244-248. García, J. (2013). Critical Media Review: Precious Knowledge: Arizona's Battle Over Ethnic Studies.. Urban Review,45(1), 94-97. Retrieved March 30, 2014, from the Academic Search Premier database. LaGravensese, R. (Director). (2007). Freedom Writers (2007) [Motion Picture]. USA: Paramount Home Entertainment (UK). Palos, A. L. (Director). (2011). Precious Knowledge [Documentary]. USA: Dos Vatos Productions.

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