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Filmmaker Interviews

Filmmaker Ramona Diaz discusses the social costs and culture shock experienced by many immigrants.

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The teachers return to the Philippines and realize the new life they can provide for their families with the money they've earned in Baltimore.

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In this clip, the Filipino teachers make their initial adjustments to their teaching styles as they begin teaching in the Baltimore school system.

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In this clip, the four teachers leave the Philippines in order to work abroad and send money home.

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In this deleted scene from The Learning, Angel prepares her students for a standardized test.

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In this extra scene from The Learning, Rhea is caught off guard by a student's prediction of a future career.

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In this extra scene from The Learning Dorotea connects with one of her students who discovers she's pregnant.

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Dorotea meets with an argumentative student and her mother in this deleted scene from The Learning.


Four Filipino women leave their families and schools to teach in the U.S. The women bring idealistic visions of the teacher’s craft and of American life, which soon collide with Baltimore’s tough realities.

  • Updated on May 13, 2014

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Film Information

The Learning (90 min.)

Premiere Date: September 20, 2011

Streaming Dates: Expired

Photos: Download Here

Trailer: Link | Embed

Filmmaker: Ramona Diaz Bio | Interview | Statement

Press: Critical Acclaim | Press Release | Fact Sheet


Ramona Diaz
Ramona Diaz

While I was born and raised in the Philippines, I’ve lived my entire adult life in the United States. I’m both an insider and an outsider, which allows me to have a distinct point of view.”

— Ramona Diaz, Filmmaker


Film Update

Critical Acclaim

An illuminating, absorbing documentary. . . . Diaz’s heroines become the unforgettable faces of a story all the more shocking for being so little-known.”

— Ann Hornaday,
The Washington Post

The Learning is like no other teaching film — it sensitizes you in fresh and unexpected ways to the transactions between instructors and students.”

— Michael Sragow,
The Baltimore Sun

Each of the four teachers has a unique story to tell, a reason the distance between home and work is so daunting, and watching each slowly unfold is the documentary’s greatest strength.”

— Michael Gaynor,
The Washingtonian

Few real-life narratives can be more involving or inspiring than a teacher’s impact on students. . . . The Learning offers potent uplift on several fronts — not least for reminding that few things are more valuable, yet undervalued, than a truly devoted schoolteacher.”

— Dennis Harvey,

A different take on how to solve teacher shortages in inner-city schools”

— Judy Woodruff,
PBS NewsHour

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