The Setting

Erin Gruwell is a young literature teacher who starts her first assignment in a high school. She is given a class of “unteachables” – Latin Americans, Cambodians, Afro-Americans and one white student. The entire school is convinced that those students will never learn anything. But will Erin manage to overcome the challenge?

Teaching Perspective

“They won’t be able to read that” That is what the head teacher has to say about the students in Miss Gruwell’s class.

According to all teachers in the school, those students are just “unteachables”, ready to destroy books and waste their time looking for dignified teaching.

Dr. Rosenthal was the first to study positive expectancy effects and he carried out the experiment in an American school. The students presented as super-intelligent were the ones that obtained the best results, even though, if truth be told, they had been selected from the worst American colleges.

In the scene, for Erin Gruwell this is not the case:

“Miss Campbell, they know they get these because no one thinks they’re smart enough for real books.”

The “self-fulfilling prophecy” is explained in this way: the students perceive the distrust of the teachers and therefore in exchange they are rebellious and refuse to become involved in the lessons, and in turn this increases the weakness of both sides.

To conclude, can a trainer “make students want to learn?” Probably, where the level of culture is really low, the operation is of titanic proportions, but in other cases it is always vital to stimulate curiosity and the desire to take a gamble and this is the prerogative of a Trainer with a capital “T”, or of who takes on the responsibility of his or her own communication.





Buy the film

Buy the recommended book

"Freedom Writers – Our Story Our Words" A film by Richard LaGravenese with Hilary Swank, Patrick Dempsey, Imelda Staunton. USA 2007

"Schopenhauer’s Porcupines" by Consuelo Casula

1 Comment

  1. George says:

    beautiful meaning. George

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