Kingdom Come School (Film)

Kingdom Come School

  •  Diana Ott
  •  1973
  • Color IconColor
  •  21:33
  •  16 mm film
Film Description
Kindgom Come School follows teacher Harding Ison and his 22 students as they work, study, and play together during a typical day at the very last one-room schoolhouse in Letcher County. Students are seen doing cross-age tutoring, fixing lunch, working at the chalkboard, and receiving one-on-one instruction from the teacher at one of the last schools of its kind, while the film contrasts Ison’s views on the value of one-room school with the county school superintendent’s rationale for further consolidation. The film captures a moment in time and is a valuable data point in the ongoing debates about education in rural America today.

Screenings & Festivals
  • Robert Flaherty Film Seminar
  • Janus Theater, Washington, D.C.
  • Kentucky Educational Television
  • West Virginia Conference on Alternative Education

This film was preserved by Appalshop Archive with support from the National Film Preservation Foundation. To support the work of preserving and safeguarding the collections, please consider designating a donation to Appalshop Archive.


“It shows that there is more to education than new shiny buildings with indoor plumbing. This film captures the spirit of a true community school and a dedicated teacher.” — Hindman Settlement School
“No stronger case can be made for resisting overcentralization and mechanization of the schools.” — Herb Kohl, author
“Showing this film practically guarantees enthusiastic discussion; education planners and curriculum specialists, as well as classroom teachers, will be challenged by it.” — Childhood Education