Most Likely to Succeed


mostlikelytosucceed cropDate: Monday, April 11
7:30 pm
The Gershman Y
Greg Whiteley
Genre: Documentary
Country: USA
Year: 2015
Running Time: 86 min
Language: English

The traditional U.S. educational system was developed during the heyday of the 19th century industrial revolution; yet in the intervening century, and despite massive shifts in both the U.S. and world economies, it has done very little to keep pace. In acclaimed documentarian Greg Whitely’s timely and poignant MOST LIKELY TO SUCCEED, he highlights what he sees as the failings of the American “memorization-based” education system, as well as introduces a potential alternative: San Diego’s High Tech High.

Founded by Larry Rosenstock and funded primarily by Jewish philanthropist Irwin Jacobs, High Tech High completely reworks the traditional high school experience by eschewing conventional courses and standardized testing for a more experimental project-based curriculum that espouses critical thought, collaboration, and problem solving. Rosenstock, a Boston University law graduate who taught carpentry and woodworking to inner city youths for over a decade before serving as director of the New Urban High School Project, came to realize that the old way of teaching our children was ineffective in preparing them for the demands of the 21st century workforce. He envisioned a school where students, regardless of class, race, or ethnicity, would be given the agency to think independently, work collaboratively, and take education into their own hands. High Tech High Learning now comprises twelve K-12 schools, a teacher-credentialing program, and a graduate school of education.

As Whitely follows teachers, students, and parents – – some of whom are admittedly skeptical of High Tech High’s new experiential approach to learning – – to see if this unorthodox, student-centered model can be the impetus for a paradigmatic shift in education, the viewer is left to consider which of these educational philosophies is most likely to succeed in our rapidly evolving technological future.

Awards & Honors: Official Selection Sundance Film Festival; Tribeca Film Festival; AFI; Dallas International Film Festival; Cleveland International Film Festival

Special guests: Kevin McCorry (journalist, moderator); Larissa Pahomov (educator); Gerry Hartnett (educator); Mike Strong (educator); Matt Bar (educator)

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