11 Movies that Inspire and Educate – What Are Your Favorites?

As we take a little time away during the holidays, it’s nice to take time to refresh ourselves. And what better way than with a great movie. Everyone likes a good movie and there have been no shortage of films that inspire or educate. Some are silly, some are epic, and some make you cry. We all have our favorites and here are some that come to my mind when I think of ‘educational movies.’

  1. Dead Poets Society – Starring the late Robin Williams, as a teacher who inspires his students to challenge the norm through his teaching of poetry.
  2. Good Will Hunting – Matt Damon and Ben Affleck’s screenplay (also starring the late Robin Williams) about a mathematical genius who struggles against his past and with his present friends, while striving for a better future.
  3. School of Rock – Only Jack Black can bring a group of music students together quite like this! A fun movie that showcases the value of the arts.
  4. Searching for Bobby Fischer – A young chess prodigy is pushed to be the best, when all he really wants to is to play. This movie challenges us to think about how we treat gifted children.
  5. Mr. Holland’s Opus – A composer and musician who teaches so he can use his free time to write his masterpiece finds how teaching can consume and inspire passion, in both himself and his students (I’m sure many can relate).
  6. Stand and Deliver – A classic based on a true story of a math teacher who transforms his students into top achievers only have the state accuse them of cheating.
  7. School Ties – A movie set in the 1950’s that deals with anti-Semitism and can easily be applied to discrimination of all types.
  8. Dangerous Minds – The story of a former Marine turned teacher who changes the way she teaches to suit the difficult students in her class.
  9. Stand by Me – A movie about kids dealing with unfair expectations as they try to find themselves and their true identities.
  10. Lean on Me – The story about a principal who rules his school with an iron fist, but ultimately connects with both his students and teachers.
  11. Remember the Titans – Because learning doesn’t only happen in the classroom, I commend this story of a championship football team to you. Denzel Washington plays a remarkable coach who bridges a cultural divide to lead his team to victory.

There are many messages of inspiration that can be found in movies – whether they take place in the classroom or not. What movies should we add to our list? What education movies would you put on your list? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.