Schoolhouse Docs: Monitoring the Halls of Learning

Documentary titles that look at various aspects of the education system -- the students and faculty, the classrooms and curriculum, the policies and politics.

List order is from newest to oldest (by year of release), and titles are sorted alphabetically within each year.
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1.
Ivory Tower (2014 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
A documentary that questions the cost -- and value -- of higher education in the United States. (90 mins.)
Director: Andrew Rossi
 
2.
Alam High School (2017 Documentary)
An elite high school in Iran, taught by American teachers, imprisons former students after being transformed into a prison for political dissidents following the 1979 Revolution.
 
3.
Approaching the Elephant (2014 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Year one for Lucy, Jiovanni and director Alexander at the Teddy McArdle Free School in Little Falls... (89 mins.)
Director: Amanda Wilder
 
4.
The Backward Class (2014 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  
The first class of Dalit ('untouchable') caste students, in India's history, undertake the national... (91 mins.)
Director: Madeleine Grant
 
5.
Rise Above the Mark (2014 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.1/10 X  
Rise Above the Mark is a documentary narrated by Peter Coyote that brings to light the heartbreaking realities of public education... (65 mins.)
Director: Jack Klink
 
6.
School of Babel (2013 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
How to integrate into French society when you are a young immigrant newly arrived in Paris? Just join the school of La Grange aux Belles where... (94 mins.)
 
7.
Standardized Lies, Money & Civil Rights: How Testing Is Ruining Public Education (2014 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  
For decades, standardized testing has been a part of public education. Within the last ten years, however... (74 mins.)
 
8.
Alphabet (2013 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A documentary that analyzes the modern educational system and argues that it squelches children's capacity for imagination, creativity, and independent thought. (113 mins.)
 
9.
American Promise (2013 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
This intimate documentary follows the 12-year journey of two African-American families pursuing the promise of opportunity through the education of their sons. (135 mins.)
 
10.
At Berkeley (2013 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
The University of California at Berkeley, the oldest and most prestigious member of a ten campus public education system... (244 mins.)
 
11.
Frontline (1983 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Examine the legacy of controversial former chancellor of Washington, DC, public schools, Michelle Rhee. (60 mins.)
 
12.
A Global Education (2013 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
A Global Education is connecting students on a individual level from around the world. Ten students from Thomas Jefferson High School in Dallas... (68 mins.)
Director: Robert Conger
 
13.
Go Public: A Day in the Life of an American School District (2013 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
GO PUBLIC: A Day in the Life of an American School District follows fifty different subjects, ranging... (90 mins.)
Director: James O'Keeffe
 
14.
If There Is a Reason to Study (2013 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
People usually believe that focusing on academics and getting a higher educational degree ensures career readiness... (101 mins.)
Director: Adler Yang
 
15.
Is School Enough? (2013 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Is School Enough? documents vivid examples of where new modes of learning and engagement are taking hold and flourishing... (53 mins.)
Director: Stephen Brown
 
16.
Listen (2013 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
LISTEN is a documentary about education from the student's perspective. The film explores how as the... (107 mins.)
Director: Ankur Singh
 
17.
180 Days: A Year Inside an American High School (2013 Mini-Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Follow students, teachers, and administrators for one school year at a Washington, D.C. high school. (231 mins.)
 
18.
The Rubber Room (2013 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  
What happens when a teacher in New York City is accused of misconduct or incompetence in the classroom... (87 mins.)
 
19.
Senior Year (2013 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
A documentary set in Montreal Quebec, about teenagers in a French high school that are about to finish their senior year... (92 mins.)
 
20.
Teach (2013 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Explores America's education system through the eyes, minds and hearts of its most essential resource, teachers. (120 mins.)
 
21.
We the Parents (2013 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
We the Parents, a feature documentary film, follows the people and events surrounding the first ever... (62 mins.)
Director: James Takata
 
22.
The Board of Education (2012 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.5/10 X  
A documentary film that examines the use of corporal punishment in the U.S. public school system. With... (80 mins.)
Director: Jared Abrams
 
23.
Build Me a World: The Story of the Howard School (2012 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
A troubled school. Lost students. Hero teachers. This is the story of the first black public school in the South. To get the real story, filmmakers put cameras in the hands of the real storytellers--the students. (84 mins.)
 
24.
American Teacher (2011 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Weaving interviews of policy experts and startling facts with the lives and careers of four teachers... (81 mins.)
 
25.
August to June: Bring Life to School (2011 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
Intimately and exuberantly, AUGUST TO JUNE is a voice for values we are on the brink of losing in the... (88 mins.)
 
26.
Bridging the Gap: The Joe Dulin Story (2011 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
"Bridging the Gap" is the story of a failing educational system and the life of an extremely unique man named Joseph Dulin... (103 mins.)
 
27.
Building Hope (2011 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Filmmaker Turk Pipkin promises to help build the first high school for a remote African community and connects Americans and Kenyans in a true story of Building Hope. (70 mins.)
Director: Turk Pipkin
 
28.
The Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for Superman (2011 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
A group of New York City public school teachers and parents wrote and produced this documentary in response... (65 mins.)
 
29.
Mitchell 20 (2011 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
This is the story of teachers as heroes during a tough time to be a teacher. In 2007, one teacher at Mitchell School in Phoenix... (80 mins.)
 
30.
To Whom Much Is Given (2011 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
This film follows the journey of one man and his students as they struggle to change their futures from being locked up or dead in the street... (95 mins.)
Director: Cory Lutz
 
31.
VERITA$: Everybody Loves Harvard (2011 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
'The best and the brightest' is how Harvard University is described today. People all over the world admire Harvard... (81 mins.)
Director: Eunjung Shin
 
32.
Frontline (1983 TV Series)
Episode: College, Inc. (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Frontline investigates for-profit colleges and universities. It examines their recruitment methods, their online curriculum, and connections to big business. (60 mins.)
 
33.
Just a Beginning (2010 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
"Just A Beginning" follows a nursery school class for a period of two years. But this is a very unusual class as the children... (97 mins.)
 
34.
The Lottery (2010 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Four children enter a high-stakes lottery. If they win, they can attend one of the best schools in New York. A look at the crisis in public education, The Lottery makes the case than any child can succeed. (81 mins.)
 
35.
A Right Denied: The Critical Need for Genuine School Reform (2010 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
After spending more than two decades on the front lines, witnessing first-hand public education's dramatic failures and remarkable successes... (86 mins.)
Director: Dan Treharne
 
36.
Schooling the World (2010 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
If you wanted to change an ancient culture in a generation, how would you do it? You would change the way it educates its children... (66 mins.)
Director: Carol Black
 
37.
Teach (2010 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Teach is a film that features conversations about the art of teaching and learning by teachers themselves... (55 mins.)
Director: Robert Lamothe
 
38.
To Educate a Girl (2010 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
What does it take to educate a girl in a world where 72 million children are not in school -- most of them female... (71 mins.)
 
39.
Waiting for 'Superman' (2010 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Filmmaker Davis Guggenheim reminds us that education "statistics" have names: Anthony, Francisco, Bianca... (111 mins.)
 
40.
When We Stop Counting (2010 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
It is in our best interest to educate all children. But what happens when a small town's school system suddenly becomes 50% minority... (60 mins.)
 
41.
The Cartel (2009 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
American public schools have been growing progressively worse. According to the U.S. Department of Education national testing... (90 mins.)
Director: Bob Bowdon
 
42.
Heart of Stone (2009 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
An inner city high school and the tribulations of its principal, Jewish alumni, and even gangs restore the school's safety. (84 mins.)
 
43.
Our School (2009 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Our School is a critical study of the Detroit Public School System through the eyes of high school students and their teachers... (90 mins.)
Director: Oren Goldenberg
 
44.
P.O.V. (1988 TV Series)
Episode: The Principal Story (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
 
45.
The Providence Effect (2009 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
This is the remarkable story of a K through 12 school on Chicago's impoverished, high crime West Side... (92 mins.)
Director: Rollin Binzer
 
46.
Race to Nowhere (2010 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
RACE TO NOWHERE is a close-up look at the pressures on today's students, offering an intimate view of lives packed with activities... (85 mins.)
 
47.
School (2009 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
What is going on in Chinese elementary schools where students go to school with red scarfs? The film... (83 mins.)
Director: Tie Wei
 
48.
A School with a View (2009 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
"Celio Azzurro" is the name of a small preschool in the heart of Rome and a shining example of how to... (80 mins.)
 
49.
Show Me the Way (2009 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Show Me the Way shares the stories of five urban high school kids with very diverse needs and backgrounds... (72 mins.)
 
50.
Teached (2009 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
More than half a century after Brown v. Board of Education, African-American and HIspanic students still perform far behind white students... (27 mins.)
Director: Kelly Amis
 
51.
2 Million Minutes: The 21st Century Solution (2009 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
For 25 years, report after report has shown that American students are falling further and further behind the rest of the world intellectually... (54 mins.)
Director: Dan Treharne
 
52.
The War on Kids (2009 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Shows how American public schools have failed in their mission to provide education, erode the country's democratic foundation by denying the most basic civil rights to youth, and often resemble prisons. (95 mins.)
Director: Cevin Soling
 
53.
We Are the People We've Been Waiting For (2009 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
This landmark documentary explores the extent to which young people around the world are being failed... (90 mins.)
Director: Daryl Goodrich
 
54.
Whatever It Takes (2009 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
WHATEVER IT TAKES follows principal Edward Tom, who envisions the Bronx Center for Science and Mathematics... (54 mins.)
 
55.
Accelerating America (2008 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
ACCELERATING AMERICA tells the story of a revolutionary school in Rhode Island that gives inner-city... (90 mins.)
Director: Tim Hotchner
 
56.
Flunked (2008 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
The American education system is failing. It's time to do something. "Flunked", narrated by Joe Mantegna... (46 mins.)
Director: Corey Burres
 
57.
Imagine a School... Summerhill (2008 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
The students of England's only free school defend themselves before Parliament, as it attempts to shut down their school. (67 mins.)
 
58.
Reborn: New Orleans Schools (2008 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Chronicles the first official year of public school in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. The centerpiece... (85 mins.)
Director: Drea Cooper
 
59.
Blackboard Bubble (2007 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
In 2001, I graduated from a NYC private school. Four years later, I went back in order to ask my teachers some serious questions... (88 mins.)
Director: Jeff Deutchman
 
60.
Final Score (2007 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
"Final Score" is a documentary following a group of 17-year old Thai students at the age of 17 preparing for their upcoming "entrance examination"... (95 mins.)
 
61.
Indoctrinate U (2007 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Documentary filmmaker Evan Coyne Maloney investigates political censorship at colleges and universities in the United States. (89 mins.)
 
62.
We are the ... of Communism (2007 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
The mysterious closing of a Beijing school sends hundreds of migrant children on a desperate struggle to reclaim their right to an education... (94 mins.)
Director: Zi'en Cui
 
63.
Class Act (2006 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Class Act points out the importance of arts education in the public school system and the dire funding shortage which it is facing... (90 mins.)
Director: Sara Sackner
 
64.
African School (2005 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
 
65.
The Boys of Baraka (2005 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Twenty 12-year-old black boys from one of the most violent ghettos in Baltimore, Maryland, are taken... (84 mins.)
 
66.
Histoire d'être humain (2005 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
A look at public education at a Montreal high school.
 
67.
The Hobart Shakespeareans (2005 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
Rafe Esquith, 1992 American Teacher of the Year and National Medal of Arts recipient, teaches 5th-grade children whose parents don't speak English at a school in a dangerous, poor, drug-infested 100% Latino/Asian neighborhood in Los Angeles.
Director: Mel Stuart
 
68.
No Child Left Behind (2005 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.0/10 X  
After spending a year as a student teacher in a New York City elementary school, documentary filmmaker Lerone Wilson explores the effects of President Bush's momentous No Child Left Behind Act on schools across the country. (56 mins.)
 
69.
Secondary School (2003 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  
Shot over three months, the film chronicles daily lives of two "Band One" secondary schools, one for boys and one for girls... (85 mins.)
Director: Tammy Cheung
 
70.
To Be and to Have (2002 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A documentary portrait of a one-room school in rural France, where the students (ranging in age from 4 to 11) are educated by a single dedicated teacher. (104 mins.)
 
71.
The First Year (2001 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
 
72.
School (2001 Mini-Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.0/10 X  
A history of the American public education systems, beginning in the late 1700s and working up to the present day.
 
73.
Frontline (1983 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Investigation of the political and educational clash over charter schools and voucher programs, especially in Ohio and Texas. (60 mins.)
 
74.
Children in America's Schools with Bill Moyers (1996 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.2/10 X  
Overcrowded, underheated, torn-up textbooks, condemned buildings - you'll want to root for "Children In America's Schools"... (120 mins.)
Director: Jeffrey Hayden
 
75.
High School II (1994 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
(220 mins.)
 
76.
I Am a Promise: The Children of Stanton Elementary School (1993 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Filmmakers Alan Raymond and Susan Raymond document Philadelphia teachers facing challenges at an inner-city school. (89 mins.)
Director: Susan Raymond
 
77.
Homework (1989 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
In this documentary, Kiarostami asks a number of students about their school homework. The answers of some children shows the darker side of this method of education. (86 mins.)
 
78.
Avaliha (1984 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A concealed camera follows a group of first graders during their day at school. (85 mins.)
 
79.
High Schools (1983 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
 
80.
High School (1968 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Documentary filmmaker Frederick Wiseman takes us inside Northeast High School as a fly on the wall to observe the teachers and how they interact with the students. (75 mins.)
 
81.
A Touch of Greatness (1964 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
In an era when Dick, Jane, and discipline ruled America's schools, Albert Cullum allowed Shakespeare... (26 mins.)