Saturday, March 22, 2014
Barefoot College, a new half hour documentary from Producer Bob Gliner (Schools That Change Communities, Lessons From the Real World, Democracy Left Behind), examines a unique community based education program in rural India. Yet, while seemingly far removed from the American experience, it offers telling lessons for how the current debate around educational reform might be focused and curriculum transformed in the United States. When we think about schools in the United States, we generally think of places separated from the larger community, places where students go to learn. Like government schools in India, much of what is taught often seems to have little relationship to the problems students face in their day to day lives. In contrast, at Barefoot College, located in the Indian State of Rajasthan, education takes place off campus, in nearby impoverished villages, among all age groups, with a unique interdisciplinary curriculum intimately encompassing rural village life and the issues villagers must grapple with. Filled with stunning visuals, poignant and insightful interviews, this cross cultural documentary offers powerful insights not only in terms of addressing world poverty, but changing possible education outcomes here at home.