Skip to content

The Learning

Watch the Trailer

PBS Premiere: September 20, 2011


One hundred years ago, American teachers established the English-speaking public school system of the Philippines. Now, in a striking turnabout, American schools are recruiting Filipino teachers. The Learning is the story of four Filipina women who reluctantly leave their families and schools to teach in Baltimore. With their increased salaries, they hope to transform their families’ lives back in their impoverished country. But the women also bring idealistic visions of the teacher’s craft and of life in America, which soon collide with Baltimore’s tough realities. A co-production of CineDiaz and ITVS in association with The Center for Asian American Media, with funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and American Documentary | POV. (90 minutes)

Read the full film description »

Send me a reminder about the broadcast


TAGS: baltimore, culture, education, immigration, philippines, school, school system, teaching

Are you aware of our Comment Policy?

* Your email address is for verification purposes only and will not be published, shared, or sold to other entities.

Share This

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

Upcoming Films

A Co-Production of

Logo: ITVS

In Association With

Logo: CAAM

With Funding Provided by

Logo: CPB