Every teacher and prospective teacher should watch and discuss ‘Schooling the World.’ – Bill Bigelow, Rethinking Schools
From the Harvard Graduate School of Education to the Kativik School District in Nunavik (Northern Quebec), teachers are finding that Schooling the World gets their students thinking deeply, questioning assumptions, and engaging in (sometimes heated!) discussion about the relationships between education, poverty, globalization, culture, and environment.
The film is recommended for use in secondary schools in the International Baccalaureate Theory of Knowledge textbook published by Oxford University Press. It is being used in graduate and undergraduate departments of education, anthropology, ethnic studies, environmental science, sustainability studies, and international development, in secondary school social studies and science classrooms, by homeschooling and unschooling groups, and by international service learning programs.
We invite teachers, students, and independent learners to share their thoughts and questions in the comment space below.
RESPONSES FROM EDUCATORS
“Every teacher and prospective teacher should watch and discuss Schooling the World.” – Bill Bigelow, Rethinking Schools
“An important and fascinating movie.” – Sir Ken Robinson, educator, author, The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything
“Poignant and deeply insightful, this is a must-see film for anyone interested in the meaningful upbringing of children and the future of human civilization.”
– Nosheen Ali, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeleyy
“Painful, provocative, and oddly exhilarating.” – Paul Campbell, International Baccalaureate / IB Americas
“Powerful, effective, direct, clear… and at the same time poetic, subtle, delicate, tender.” – Gustavo Esteva, Universidad de la Tierra, Oaxaca, Mexico
“Stunning! I couldn’t wait to show it to my students. It carries a compelling message to those of us here in a developing nation that is struggling against so many of the same issues portrayed here. – Henry Ferguson, teacher at American International School of Mozambique
“If only I still had students… This is one of the days I wish I hadn’t stopped active teaching… This is one of the teaching and learning opportunities for my English class I would have certainly grasped with my students to make them reflect on school and learning.” – Sigi Jakob, former teacher and education blogger
“A film of profound insights and the quest for hope in the thick of much violence by mainstream cultures against the marginalized and the silenced peoples of the world … Challenging, courageous and thought provoking.” – Dr. Madhu Suri Prakash, Professor of Education Philosophy, Pennsylvania State University
“Wow. Incredible. I teach these texts and critical events to my highly privileged college students, and at first they are skeptical. This is so much more powerful… Visually, also stunning.” – Kirsten Olsen, educator and author, Wounded By School: Recapturing the Joy in Learning
“Having been involved in several international linkage projects, I strongly believe Schooling the World should be obligatory viewing for international development agencies who send out young people to ‘educate’ the other world. The documentary shatters the myth that we cannot learn from developing countries and that our education system is the best. It should also be viewed by decision makers in the developing world who think that everything ‘foreign’ is better. Having worked in China for nearly 20 years I am appalled to see how we are producing thousands and thousands of business managers with a western outlook, who will ultimately hit a dead end, without the jobs they built their dreams on, and thus produce a frustrated mass of population. This documentary asserts what I believe passionately –– that our world is an interesting place to live because of the diversity of culture and heritage. It would be less of a burden if we could accept this diversity as a sane way of life.” – Dr. Jayanta Guha, Emeritus Professor of Earth Sciences, University of Québec
“A film recommended by one of my students (thank you, Reese) gave me not only an hour of beautiful and disturbing images but also a lot of reflections on the knowledge that education gives — and takes away. The central argument of the film is fairly straightforward: that standardized western education has destroyed the connection of younger generations with their families and cultures, devalued the knowledge passed down within their cultures, and prepared children for life in an urban western context, largely as workers and consumers. What makes the film powerful is that it gives a glimpse what is being lost — or stamped out deliberately in order to “civilize” and integrate populations, supposedly for their own good. It leaves, lingering in the eye and mind, images of other places, other people, other cultures.
“The film would provide a fine class, exposing students to other ways of living and knowing. Like many other TOK (“Theory of Knowledge”) teachers, I have often led students through discussions of what knowledge they think is valued in their school systems, and what they learn in school that is not overtly part of any curriculum. Education is not accidental and not neutral …. Through exposing them to different ways we can help them see their own, and within a large context of human possibilities.” – Eileen Dombrowski, International Baccalaureate teacher and author, International Baccalaureate Theory of Knowledge Course Companion