In The Freedom Writers Diary, how does education help improve the lives of the characters?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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In the form of reflection and journal writing, education ends up playing a vital role in Gruwell's life and the lives of her students.  Through teaching literature as an exploration of the individual in specific social contexts, Gruwell and her students are able to explore the issues of marginalization in their own lives and relate historical conditions of silencing voices to their own contexts.  The result is that education bridges the gap between classroom and real world settings.  There is a strong and passionate display between how the academic conditions of students can filter into the predicaments they face as human beings.  Education is not in opposition to students' world, but rather enhances it and through writing, reflection, and embracing social solidarity, the children's lives are changed.  They envision higher education as a reality and end up going to college, becoming "catalysts for change."  In this vein, education becomes the tool by which social change is possible.  The ability to envision the world as it should be as opposed to how it is becomes the critical element in the characters' lives, and only possible through education.

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