THE LEARNING follows four Filipina teachers – Dorotea, Angel, Grace, and Rhea - during their first year in America. There is a shortage of teachers in American public school systems and consequently, a significant number of urban school districts across the country have begun hiring foreign teachers. School districts across the nation have traveled the world in search of highly qualified teachers. In this search, the Philippines has emerged as a recruitment hub American-based education system, and its English-speaking population.
Across the school year's changing seasons, the film chronicles the sacrifices they make as they try to maintain a long-distance relationship with their children and families, and begin a new one with the mostly African-American students whose schooling is now entrusted to them. Their story is at once intensely personal, as each woman deals with the implications of her decision to come to the U.S., and fundamentally public, as they become part of the machinery of American education reform policy.
"THE LEARNING is an important film that explores the changing world of education in America as well as the new faces of American immigrants,"
The Learning is a co-production of CineDiaz and the Independent Television Service (ITVS), in association with The Center for Asian American Media (CAAM) with funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), and American Documentary | POV
Executive Producer for ITVS Sally Jo Fifer; Executive Producer for American Documentary | POV Simon Kilmurry
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