The Learning

Four Filipino teachers are recruited to teach in some of Baltimore’s toughest schools.

Film Signature Image
Premiere Date
September 20, 2011
90 minutes
Funding Initiative
Open Call
Ramona S. Diaz

Ramona S Diaz

Ramona Diaz is an Asian American filmmaker best known for her compelling character-driven documentaries that have demonstrated her ability to gain intimate access to the people she films, resulting in keenly observed moments and nuanced narratives. Ramona’s credits include Spirits Rising (Student Academy Award, Ida Lupino DGA Award, Golden Gate Award from the SFIFF, IDA Certificate of Merit); Show more Imelda (Excellence in Cinematography Award, 2004 Sundance, IDA ABCNews Videosource Award, Independent Lens in 2005); The Learning (IDA Humanitas Award nomination, POV in 2011); Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey (2012 Tribeca Film Fest, closing night of the San Francisco International FF, opening night of 2012 Silverdocs (now AFIDocs); aired on Independent Lens in 2014).

Diaz has received funding from ITVS, CAAM, MacArthur Foundation, Ford Foundation, Sundance, Tribeca, Catapult Film Fund, and Chicken & Egg. She was awarded a Fellowship by the Bogliasco Foundation in the autumn of 2015 where she was in residence at the Bogliasco Study Center in Italy, and she received a fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation for film and video. She is a graduate of Emerson College and holds an M.A. in communication from Stanford University. Show less

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The Film

Across the United States, public schools systems are struggling to meet the federal No Child Left Behind Act’s requirement of having highly qualified teachers in every classroom. The Learning follows the journey of four Filipino teachers recruited to teach in some of Baltimore’s toughest schools and chronicles their life as they leave behind loved ones and grapple with the challenges of American education reform policy.