The 14 Best Documentaries About Education

Aug 2, 2023 | Best Of, Education

If you’re looking for a way to learn more about the world of education, documentaries can provide an engaging and informative look at various topics. From exploring the history of educational movements to firsthand accounts of life inside the classroom, there are plenty of excellent documentaries available that offer insight into different aspects of education in our society. So, take some time out of your studies and enjoy the best documentary films about education.


1. Inside Singapore’s elite education system

We take a look at the world of high-stakes testing, and ask an important question: Does this culture of competition put too much weight on young students? The consequences of these tests are far-reaching and can impact students both academically and emotionally. With the pressure to perform, students may feel overwhelmed by the expectations placed on them. As we explore this issue, we gain insight into the impact of these tests, and how educators can help to alleviate some of the strain.

2. Why The Education System Is Failing America

Common Core was a major undertaking in 2009 to bring about an overhaul of the American education system. It had some influential supporters, including Bill Gates and President Obama, but its implementation cost a whopping $15.8 billion. Unfortunately, research after the fact showed that it had little effect on student performance. So why did Common Core fail? Is there something we can learn from its failure? Is it possible to create a curriculum that is beneficial and appropriate for all students? These are questions worth considering as the education system continues to evolve.

3. The future of education – Virtual learning

For children around the world, school can be an arduous journey. The path to knowledge and education is not always easy or accessible. From the steep mountain roads of India to sub-Saharan Africa, some students must brave hazardous terrain and sometimes even danger just to reach their classrooms. This is why documentaries about education are so important; they highlight these struggles and successes in the pursuit of learning.

4. School, pressure & innovative education – Founders Valley (1/5)

The Republic of Korea, better known as South Korea, has quickly become a global powerhouse in just a few decades. While much of the world is enamored with its successes, such as virtually eliminating poverty and malnutrition, what’s not often discussed is the intense academic pressure placed on students. Nearly every part of Korean life revolves around education – it’s not uncommon for students to spend 16 hours a day in school and study hard to be the best.

5. Inside Singapore’s world-class education system

Janice Petersen is a travel journalist who is on a mission to uncover the mystery of why Singapore’s education system stands out. She follows Australia’s most successful teachers and discovers how its culture creates some of the world’s brightest students. From the high-stakes tests they take to their competitive spirit, Janice investigates what makes this nation so successful in the educational realm.

6. Education Education ⎜WHY POVERTY?

In China, poverty has always been a reality for many people. But in more recent times, education has become the key to climbing out of destitution and achieving economic success. Dreams of glory and ambition have motivated the youth, as Chinese society celebrates hard work and diligence in pursuit of prosperity.

7. The Finland Phenomenon: The Best Education System

Finland has long been renowned for its excellent education system. Ranking first in the Education Index, published with the UN’s Human Development Index in 2008 and based on data from 2006, it was tied with Denmark, Australia, and New Zealand as having one of the highest scores in the world. Through rigorous standards and modern approaches to teaching, Finland is a beacon of success for countries hoping to restructure their education systems.

8. America’s Broken Education System – Full Documentary 2016

It’s clear that the state of education in America is precarious. From renowned online learning advocate Sal Khan to journalist-turned-educational reformer, Campbell Brown, policy elites are united in their mission to revolutionize an ailing system. The XQ project, for instance, calls for scrapping the blueprint and making revolutionary changes. But it’s not just about revamping the system — it’s about creating a completely new educational landscape that meets the needs of our ever-changing society.

9. Homeless & In High School (Education Documentary)

This riveting six-part documentary series offers an intimate portrait of a South Carolina high school. American High School EP2 profiles the staff and students as they navigate one full year in their lives. From early morning practices to afterschool drama class, this captivating series shines a light on the everyday triumphs and struggles of young people striving for success.

10. Making Rounds: Medical Education Documentary Film

Get an in-depth look at the inner-workings of Mount Sinai Heart and see how it is possible for doctors, fellows, residents, and nurses to save lives through their bedside manner. Listen as they tell stories of how patient communication has become medicine’s most powerful tool over technology alone. Get a glimpse into the care that these dedicated healthcare professionals provide day in and day out, allowing us all to have a better understanding of the kind of care that is possible.

11. Parents, Teachers & Students Debate the US Education System

Are the values we are teaching our children reflected in the classroom? Taking the fight to the real world, this panel delves into some of the most talked about topics in K-12 education. Parents, teachers, and students come together to discuss issues such as sex ed, racism, and critical race theory. Join us as we take a deeper look at what’s happening in our schools and the lessons we’re teaching our children. It’s an eye-opening exploration of today’s educational landscape.

12. Gender Neutral Education | Can Our Kids Go Gender Free

We have rarely seen such an ambitious project as the one Dr. Javid Abdelmoneim is undertaking – to really explore why men and women aren’t equal despite a lot of progress being made on this front. To do so, he’s taking over a primary school class with boys and girls in it to get to the bottom of things. Is there something about how we are raising boys and girls that are standing in the way of true social and economic equality? This film takes us on a journey to find out, exploring the everyday experiences of boys and girls in this classroom setting.

13. Declining by Degrees: Higher Education at Risk

A unique exploration into the college experience, this PBS documentary follows 30 students and their teachers to uncover a more honest narrative of higher education. This journey reveals both the joys and challenges that come with pursuing higher learning – from admission to graduation. Along the way, viewers will get an insightful look at how public and private institutions differ when it comes to preparing for exams, navigating college life, and ultimately achieving success.

14. The Hitler Youth: Episode 1 – Education

The National Political Institutes of Education was one of the Third Reich’s most insidious tools for creating a “thousand-year Reich”. Not only did they indoctrinate children with hateful and destructive ideologies, but these elite schools also had total control over their young students’ lives. From instilling them with delusions of a “master race” to demanding obedience until death, the regime subtly yet effectively shaped the attitudes and behaviors of future generations.

Read On – Our Latest Top Documentaries Lists

David B