Editor's Note: Dave Schechter is CNN's Senior National Editor and will be doing a series of blogs on education in the coming weeks.
CNN Senior National Editor
There’s a lot important happening in education – ranging from school districts coping with budget shortfalls to the creation of a national set of curriculum standards to new ways of teaching math – and I plan to write about these developments in the weeks before most children resume school in August and September.
But while researching the serious stuff my mind detoured to movies with education themes. So, let’s have some fun. Here are a dozen of my favorites:
Blackboard Jungle: (1955) Glenn Ford struggles to maintain control as a new teacher in a difficult urban school.
Teacher’s Pet: (1958) I started in newspapers, so I’m a sucker for Clark Gable as the grizzled editor and Doris Day as the journalism teacher he tries to show up and then charm.
To Sir With Love: (1967) Sidney Poitier as a teacher determined that his students become more than just bricks in a wall.
The Paper Chase: (1973) John Houseman as the intimidating Professor Kingsfield, who insists that his students study law the old fashioned way.
The Breakfast Club: (1985) A brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess and a criminal learn the others are more than they appear.
Pleasantville: (1988) When you view the world in black-and-white, there may be blank pages in your education.
Stand and Deliver: (1988) Edward James Olmos’ portrayal of math teacher Jaime Escalante’s efforts to win respect for the achievement of his Latino students.
Dead Poets Society: (1989) Robin Williams as a boarding school teacher struggling to break through conformity by seizing the day.
Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure: (1989) History doesn’t have to be boring, especially if you have a phone booth time machine.
Matilda: (1996) If you have children, you’ve watched the tale of the smart little girl . . . more than once.
October Sky: (1999) The “based on a real story” tale of a teacher who helped launch a boy’s dream skyward instead of it being buried in a mine.
Finding Forrester: (2000) In and out of the classroom, the lesson is not to judge books by their covers.
I’ve left off a lot of popular films so chime in with your choices.
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