Freedom Writing is a pedagogical method developed by American teacher Erin Gruwell. The method has reached worldwide success, attracting an international audience since the publication of “The Freedom Writers Diary” in 1999, as well as the motion picture “Freedom Writers” in 2007, based on the story of the author.
The first Freedom Writers
Erin Gruwell began teaching in 1994 in Long Beach, California in a low-performing high school class with an expected graduation rate of 20%. Noticing the racial conflicts between students, Gruwell adapted her curriculum to focus on tolerance and understanding diversity. She offered students books bought out of her own salary, organised movie watching sessions and inviting relevant guest speakers to class.
Ms. Gruwell soon discovered that by asking students to keep anonymous journals and make movies inspired by their lives, while relating to famous literary works, helped students relate to each other and reflect on their future. All her 150 Freedom Writer students graduated from high school and many went on to attend college.
Main principles of Freedom Writing
- Engage – approach students with materials that speak to them, adapted to their interests, regardless of their situation.
- Enlighten – provide a diverse set of tools that convey the information effectively, stimulating curiosity and social interaction while acquiring new knowledge.
- Empower – help students create their own projects, demonstrating the practical benefits of learning.
Freedom Writer teachers believe that everyone has his own story. They encourage students to find their own and present it to the world. In the process, Freedom Writers acquire general academic and life skills while becoming responsible for their own lives and happiness, overcoming social disadvantage.
Learn how to become an inspiring teacher in Denmark!
You can now learn the famous Freedom Writing method by attending the Freedom Writing International Summer School course offered this year by the University College of South Denmark. The full-time one-week summer course will assist aspiring Freedom Writer teachers to apply the principles of the method on themselves. The main aim of the Freedom Writer summer-school is to write, edit and publish an anthology written by the participants telling stories about their lives in present-day Europe.
You will engage in a set of unique learning processes, resulting in fulfilling personal experiences that will help you assist vulnerable students in difficult social situations.
Students of the summer course will:
- Gain in-depth understanding of the principles of the Freedom Writing method;
- Attend sessions of writing and editing;
- Write a Freedom Writer-inspired book becoming themselves Freedom Writers;
- Read diaries and personal narratives of others like Anne Frank and Zlata Filipovic;
- Watch movies telling stories about changed lives;
- Participate in socializing exercises.
Who is the Freedom Writer summer course for?
Freedom Writing Summer School at the University College of South Denmark targets a wide European audience including:
- Undergraduates studying to become teachers;
- Social workers focusing on upbringing at-risk young people;
- Humanities students interested in child psychology;
- People interest in social work and the Freedom Writers method.
Join the Freedom Writing course this year, starting on August 14th, 2016.