Dead Poet’s Society. Teachers. Lean on Me. To Sir With Love. Blackboard Jungle. Stand and Deliver. Mr. Holland’s Opus. Movies such as those have at times shaped American dialogue about education, sometimes even influencing policy as well as inspiring a generation of teachers. However, all of them, even the ones that are ostensibly based on a true story, have one thing in common: they are Hollywood movies, crafted around an essentially myopic, artifical structure; we know that everything will end up so “our hero” will be battle-worn but victorious.
At the Movies: Films Focused on Education Reform is an annotated list of movies–mainly documentaries–about education today. The list, which is found on The George Lucas Foundation’s Edutopia website, is heavily focused on the modern school reform agenda, but the characters and stories told in these movies are compelling. The thirty-three movies on this list could provide many stimulating conversations–and may be an interesting alternative for book discussion groups, parent-teacher organizations or professional developement.