Film and Education

Marcelo Cabrol 26 abril 2011 Comments

The discussion about education is both a full-length feature film and takes place in films themselves. Here are my recommendations:
1. “Waiting for Superman” and “The Lottery“.

Is it fair that a child’s future depends on a lottery? Can all children learn at the level of the high expectations adults place on them? I wonder what the equivalent of the lottery is in Latin America.

2. “The Class” and “Etre et avoir” (To be and to have).

Is it sufficient to have committed teachers? How far does the school’s responsibility extend when the social environment is a critical factor? Here are two excellent French films in which teachers confront the two major challenges of the contemporary teaching profession: teaching in multi-grade rural schools, and in urban secondary schools severely affected by social problems.

In these documentaries, the messages are familiar but the approach is new. They appeal to emotion, morality and justice, but with humor and irony. New technologies are used to distribute content (social networks, YouTube) and also to provide avenues for action. The documentaries leave the viewer somehow “outraged,” ready to participate, and in some cases with explicit information on how to do so.

For my last recommendation, see the website “Waiting for Superman.” See the “crossroads” and the hope–the teachers–. Think of the realities of education in your countries. Do they seem similar?

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