Learning Beyond the Classroom
Just like the meat at most conferences is to be found in the lobbies and lunch-time chats, many of our most important lessons are learned outside the classroom. Our morals and beliefs are shaped by parents and authority figures, we find our way in the world through the company we keep, and we grasp human nature through books and film.
Of course, a formal education is essential, but there is much to be said for supplementary learning outside of an academic structure. Our brains don’t shut off the moment we exit the four walls of the school building. We continue to learn all the time.
With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of four films that exemplify the different areas where you can learn outside your classroom.
From Your Family – Stories We Tell
Family relationships are complicated. Never more so than when long-buried secrets are involved. This film by Sarah Polley delves into her own family’s past as she tries to untangle the truth from a series of contradictions. It involves all members of her family, who learn and grow based on the information acquired and exchanged throughout the process. It touches on loyalty, bonds, relationships and traditions.
From Your Culture – The Tibetan Book of the Dead: A Way of Life
Despite being 25 years old, this film has much to teach about death and dying, a difficult subject under the best of circumstances. This two-part series shows people approaching death from a new perspective. It takes you from the Himalayas to the hospices of San Francisco at the height of the AIDS crisis. It’s an invaluable resource and an excellent tool for comfort and counsel.
From Your Community – Urban. Indigenous. Proud: Full Circle
This short offers a glimpse inside urban Indigenous life through the Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre’s Fire Youth Program. This is a space for the Indigenous community to feel safe, learn and grow. Here we get to meet some of the members and watch as one group lays down drum tracks at a recording studio while another group of young dancers showcases their moves.
From Your Teammates – Baseball Girls
Sportsmanship and the ability to work in a team are two of the most important skills a person can have. Where better to learn them then on the baseball diamond? This documentary shines a light on women’s participation in the incredibly male-dominated world of baseball. From little girls learning the rules to 50-year-olds hitting home runs, it’s got something for everyone.