Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Kelly Orme, CRS 302, Relate a movie to class learning

A recent film that I watched was Freedom Writers. This movie is about at-risk students that have no hope for success. A school district assigns them a new teacher with not much experience and no real knowledge of how they live and what they are struggling through. The teacher ends up connecting with the students and helping them succeed not only in school, but also with their families and day-to-day drama. She gets them motivated to learn and succeed. The title comes from what they end up calling themselves as they produce a book with all of their journal entries from the four years in high school. This movie proved to be very relevant to what we have learned in class.

1. This movie emphasizes working in groups and group communication. The kids initially dispute with each other over outside circumstances. The teacher connects them together and shows them that they achieve more in a diverse group. Once they became united they showed more success and improvement.

2. Throughout the movie you see the stages of group development. The first stage forming is when they were trying to all be accepted by one another considering their backgrounds. Then came a great deal of the storming stage. They fought and even got violent over many issues with one another. No one wanted to end the arguments and no one wanted to listen to one another. Eventually the teacher smoothed relations as the leader and the made it to the norming stage in which they started excepting each other and appreciate the situation they were in. They then moved to the performing stage where they achieved most of their success and became loyal to each other. Adjourning was shown at the end of the movie in which they begged to not leave the teacher and was emotional when they had to move on. They felt as if leaving the group would give them another excuse to fail again.

3. The teacher used the facilitation technique more than a teaching approach. She guided them, but did not push them. They made majority of decisions regarding their learning on their own. She put them in the right direction and then stood back and let them learn for themselves and solve issues themselves.

4. The class became a resource group rather than individual students. They bounced off of each other’s ideas. They united not like a typical class, but more like a group dependent on each other. They had problems to solve together and diverged and converged to get to solutions

5. They resolved conflicts the whole movie. The teacher, facilitator, stepped in to resolve issues amongst each other. They also learned techniques to resolve issues at home, in the community/hood, and with themselves.

6. The class used the Brainstorming Technique. There were multiple scenes that they used it, however one in particular was how they were going to raise money to get the proper resources, books, fieldtrips, etc., they needed to learn.

7. They used proper and constructive feedback with each other. They switched from bashing each other with negative feedback to helping improve one another with good feedback techniques and how to improve from it. The teacher knew that constantly providing them with bad feedback was not encouraging and actually holding them back.

8. They used creativity in the way that they learned instead of traditional lecture. They fulfilled the terms novel and useful. They had field trips to engage them in what they would be reading about. They created events to raise money for learning. They developed a toast for change, which was a toast to what they would become and not what others expected them to be. They invited had dinners to speak with real Holocaust survivors and they invited the German girl who harbored Anne Frank. They also wrote in journals about their personal feelings to vent and not have their struggles inhibit their learning.

9. They showed many different learning styles and the teacher created material and experiences to improve learning based on these. Some needed hands on material. Some learned better with applying emotion. Some were innovators and thinking outside of the box. Some enjoyed just simply reading and learning from that.

10. They developed a Plan for Action on the idea of how to get the German girl from Anne Frank to come and meet with their class. They all wrote to her and what they thought of the diary. They then assigned different roles to everyone on their fund raising idea and when and how it needed to be done.

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