There are countless depictions of schools and teaching in the movies. In each episode of Film Schools: what we learn when cinema goes to school – a special Tes Scotland Podcast series for the summer – we speak to a teacher about a memorable cinematic depiction of a school and its staff. We look at what it gets right and wrong about teachers and schools – and whether any of the teaching approaches on display are remotely applicable in their own classroom.
In our fourth episode, teacher Gillian Freeland talks about 2007’s Freedom Writers, based on real events and starring Hilary Swank as a naive young teacher in California. We see her initial fumbling attempts to connect with a difficult class – but also the ultimate impact of her perseverance, unconventional methods and profound commitment to her students.