Netflix is a powerhouse when it comes to streaming platforms that are a go-to for entertainment and information.
Among a wide range of catalogs, documentaries about education on Netflix are top-tier.
These films not only entertain but also bring understanding towards desiring meaningful changes.
The most compelling aspect of these documentaries is their ability to bring a wealth of information.
They go beyond test scores to uncover truths surrounding the lives of students and the challenges they face.
In case you’re curious, here are some documentaries about education on Netflix for a rewarding binge-watching experience.
1. Waiting for Superman (2010)
- Cast: Geoffrey Canada, Michelle Rhee, Anthony Black, Bianca Hill, Daisy Esparza.
- IMDb Rating: 7.4/10
Now, don’t let the title fool you. This isn’t a documentary about superheroes in capes swooping down to save the day in the classroom.
It is all about the challenges and flaws in the American education system. This film took the world of education by storm after its release in 2010.
Luckily, it’s still available on Netflix for all the knowledge-hungry viewers.
The film explores potential educational innovations that could give some little Einsteins the best shot at success.
You should give it a whirl if you’re in the mood for a documentary that educates and entertains simultaneously.
2. The Bad Kids (2016)
- Cast: Keith Fulton, Louis Pepe
- IMDb Rating: 7.0/10
This is not about some rebel kids running amok, causing chaos in the hallways.
It’s about a group of high school students who are considered at-risk and struggling to graduate.
The film follows the lives of these students and the dedicated staff at Black Rock High School in the Mojave Desert.
You’ve got the tough-love principal and teachers who are like a motley crew of superheroes.
Amidst all the drama, the documentary opens up on the incredible impact that caring educators can have on young lives.
3. Teach Us All (2017)
- Cast: Sonia Lowman, Brian Anthony, Melvin Brown, Lindsay Brown, Mary Evans.
- IMDb Rating: 6.6/10
Regarding documentaries about education on Netflix, Teach Us All stands out. It dives into the complex and often bewildering landscape of educational inequality.
According to the film, we’re confronted with the harsh reality that not all students have equal chances at success.
The documentary explores the historical roots of educational segregation, highlighting the struggles faced by minority communities.
It’s like your regular history lesson without boring textbooks and pop quizzes.
Instead, you see real-life heroes battling against the odds while challenging the status quo.
4. He Named Me Malala (2015)
- Cast: Malala Yousafzai, Ziauddin Yousafzai, Toor Pekai Yousafzai, Khushal Yousafzai.
- IMDb Rating: 6.9/10
He Named Me Malala tells the story of Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani activist and Nobel laureate.
She fought for girls’ education and incredibly survived a Taliban assassination attempt.
Hers is a story of bravery, resilience, and the power of education to change lives.
The film journeys into Malala’s life through interviews, historical footage, and animated sequences.
The documentary highlights the importance of education, especially for girls in societies that try to suppress their voices.
Prepare to witness Malala’s unyielding determination and unwavering spirit firsthand.
5. The Mask You Live In (2015)
- Cast: Joe Herman, Michael Kimmel, Caroline Heldman.
- IMDb Rating: 7.7/10
This is one of the best documentaries about education on Netflix that addresses the struggles of boys and young men in our society.
Imagine a world where men are expected never to shed a tear even when they stub their toe on the coffee table. Talk about a tight squeeze!
They’re often pressured to conform to narrow definitions of what it means to be a man.
You’ll find through this documentary how these pressures can lead to issues like depression, violence, and even substance abuse.
The film seeks to redefine masculinity and create a more inclusive and supportive environment for boys and men.
6. Resilience (2016)
- Cast: James Redford, Karen Pritzker.
- IMDb Rating: 7.5/10
Resilience explores the groundbreaking research on adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and how they can affect a child’s brain development and well-being.
You’ll learn about the different types of adversity, from neglect to abuse, and how they can have long-term consequences.
This film is like a crash course in understanding the invisible battles some kids face every day.
It will make you appreciate the strength of the human spirit and the importance of a supportive educational system.
Just be prepared to hug your loved ones a little tighter afterward, all in the name of support and resilience.
7. Most Likely to Succeed (2015)
- Cast: Ted Dintersmith, Tony Wagner, Sir Ken Robinson.
- IMDb Rating: 6.9/10
Now, if you are someone who was always picked last in gym class, you can’t help but be intrigued by this documentary.
This addition to documentaries about Education on Netflix critically examines the educational system.
It explores innovative approaches to education, focusing on project-based learning and critical thinking.
You can liken it to a revolution in the classroom, where students are encouraged to collaborate, solve real-world problems, and unleash their creative genius.
The film raises important questions about the purpose of education in a rapidly changing society.
Are we just churning out obedient workers or nurturing future leaders and innovators?
8. American Promise (2013)
- Cast: Joe Brewster, Michèle Stephenson.
- IMDb Rating: 6.5/10
American Promise provides a raw and honest look at the realities of educational inequality.
It’s like discovering that the school cafeteria you thought was serving everyone the same lunch is dishing out inequality on a silver platter.
You will be surprised at the systemic hurdles that some students face when you watch this documentary.
It captures the resilience, determination, and love of the families involved.
This is a heartwarming tale where the underdogs rise through an unwavering belief in the power of education.
So, if you’re ready to confront some uncomfortable truths, American Promise is waiting for you on Netflix.
9. The Test and the Art of Thinking (2018)
- IMDb Rating: 6.9/10
This documentary is about the Olympics of education but without any physical exertion or overly enthusiastic commentators.
Released in 2018, this documentary focuses on standardized testing and the art of thinking.
It follows a group of high school students preparing for the SAT, that dreaded rite of passage that can make or break college dreams.
It delves into the intense pressure these young minds face through their journey.
They go through test prep courses, study materials, and the ever-present anxiety that comes with the ticking clock of exam day.
10. CodeGirl (2015)
- IMDb Rating: 6.1/10
Get ready to witness the power of young minds and the beauty of lines of code coming together in perfect harmony.
This is one of the blends of documentaries about education on Netflix that proves girls can code their way to greatness.
The documentary showcases the challenges and triumphs of some talented young coders as they develop innovative solutions to real-world problems.
CodeGirl highlights the importance of empowering girls in the field of technology.
It is a rallying cry for equality in the digital realm, where girls are encouraged to break through stereotypes and shatter glass screens.
11. Paper Tigers (2015)
- Cast: Alain Uy, Ron Yuan, Mykel Shannon Jenkins, Matthew Page, Jae Suh Park.
- IMDb Rating: 7.2/10
This documentary grabs your attention by the tail, or should we say the paw.
It’s one of those hidden gems nestled in the vast library of documentaries about education on Netflix.
And no, it’s not about tigers who love reading books, although that would be pretty cool.
Paper Tigers presents the Lincoln High School in Washington State, where they’ve adopted a unique approach to dealing with troubled students.
Instead of the traditional punitive methods, they embrace a more compassionate and trauma-informed practice.
The documentary presents the determination of the school staff as they strive to create a safe and supportive environment.
12. The Wolfpack (2015)
- Cast: Bhagavan Angulo, Govinda Angulo, Jagadisa Angulo, Krsna Angulo, Mukunda Angulo, Narayana Angulo, Oscar Angulo.
- IMDb Rating: 7.0/10
The Wolfpack follows the lives of the Angulo brothers, a group of siblings who were homeschooled in a rather unconventional way.
By unconventional, we mean they were locked up in their New York City apartment for most of their lives.
But the twist is they found an escape from their confinement through movies.
They would watch movies and then painstakingly reenact them, complete with homemade costumes and props.
You could say they had a small theatre company with a limited audience of six.
The documentary addresses some serious issues, like the effects of isolation and the power of imagination.
13. Brooklyn Castle (2012)
- Cast: Pobo Efekoro, Rochelle Ballantyne, Justus Williams, Alexis Paredes, Patrick Johnston, Elizabeth Vicary, Fred Rubino, John Galvin, David MacEnulty.
- IMDb Rating: 7.3/10
The Brooklyn Castle falls among documentaries about education on Netflix, with more chess moves than you can imagine.
It unveils the world of competitive chess but with a little twist.
Instead of focusing on grandmasters and their intense battles of wits, you’ll get a glimpse into the lives of a group of middle school students from I.S. 318 in Brooklyn.
These kids are facing the challenges of adolescence and competing in national chess championships.
The film hints at the sad realities of budget cuts in public schools. You’ll see these talented students’ struggles when their beloved chess program is wholly threatened.
14. The Beginning of Life (2016)
- Cast: Alana Konst, Andrew Meltzoff, Álvaro Passos, Asma Jahangir, Debora Lopomo Bet.
- IMDb Rating: 7.6/10
The Beginning of Life tackles the science behind early childhood education and the importance of nurturing environments for little munchkins to grow.
Beginning from brain development to emotional intelligence, this documentary covers it all.
It is one of those documentaries about education on Netflix for anyone interested in the fascinating world of early childhood education.
15. If You Build It (2013)
- Cast: Emily Pilloton, Matthew Miller, Kerron Hayes, Erick Bowen, Charles Coble, Eric Edwards, Marcus Henderson, Tenicka Boyd, Luke Miller.
- IMDb Rating: 7.2/10
In this intriguing film, we follow the story of two passionate designers who decide to tackle the world of education head-on.
They set out to engage high school students in a hands-on project that will shake up the traditional classroom experience.
Documentaries about education, these designers don’t just stop at teaching youngsters how to use hammers and nails.
They’re on a mission to empower the students to become problem-solving superheroes. It’s like The Avengers but with graph paper and glue guns.