A Class Divided

Essay by cakalusaUniversity, Bachelor'sA, April 2004

download word file, 3 pages 3.8 4 reviews

In the video "A Class Divided", Jane Elliot a teacher from Riceville, Iowa engages her third grade class into a brown eyed/blue eyed experiment. The experiment is to help the children to understand about prejudice and discrimination. The same experiment was also used a couple of years later with adults.

In the brown eyed/blue eyed experiment Jane Elliot told her third graders with blue eyes that they were better than the brown-eyed children. The brown-eyed children had to wear collars so that they could tell each group apart from a distance. Elliot told the blue eyed children that they were smarter, nicer etc. than the other group, they also had special privileges. While she told the brown eyed children that they acting up not doing good, basically the opposite of what she would say to the other group plus they also had less time during recess. Before the experiment started all of the students were friends, cooperated with one another and got along with one another, but during the experiment they started to turn on one another.

The students from both groups started to show discrimination the next day of the experiment, during recess one child from the blue group started to call a child from the brown group names. The reason the students started to act this way is because they started to actually believe that their group was better than the other and the group that wasn't started to feel that they weren't being treated fairly. The students even showed hatred towards the opposing group and hatred at home, even showing hatred towards their teacher because of what she made the other group believe and how they reacted. Elliot later changed things around when she told the brown-eyed group that they were now better than the blue-eyed group.