This is my fourth journal entry for our social foundations of education course.
In this class we watched each other’s video reflections on the movie Freedom Writers and I have a few comments relating to things my classmates reflected about. But before I dive into these, I wanted to reflect on the fact that people pay attention to certain details or aspects in relation to their background and their current interests.
Each one of us interpreted scenes in the movie in a completely different way that related to each of our interests and backgrounds. So when two or more of us commented on the same exact scene that happened in the move, there was a different angle from which each one saw and understood it as it made sense to their contexts.
What I want to reflect on specifically is how each one of us paid attention and actually ‘saw’ certain things rather than others and that also related to our backgrounds. For example, the teacher in our group saw how the actress dealt with a difficulty in class management and how she was able to bring the students together and establish a sense of community in her classroom. Another person in our group is more politically or activist oriented and he paid attention and reflected on the moments where the students were clashing, when there was chaos in the school and how there was a clear division in the student groups/gangs in the movie. I have a background in international relations for example, and one of the first elements that grabbed my attention and that I reflected on was the strong emphasis, and the perpetuation of, violence in the movie and that reminded me of the first article in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It’s “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.” And in no way, shape or form was this even regarded as important in the community in which the movie was set. On the contrary, it was explicitly violated.
In a sense, our personalities came into strong play in this reflection because it is through what you see, pay attention to and remember that your interests and character becomes alive. So it’s not just that we “see” or pay attention to certain things as in the psychological theory of selective retention, it’s also selective “attention” and selective seeing as well.
And that, to me, is the underlying essence of reflection activities such as this one.