“A Class Divided”
The video “A Class Divided” was about an exercise in discrimination. Jane Elliot, a 3rd grade teacher in an all-white town in Iowa, decided to teach her students about discrimination and the effects that it has on people. She started the exercise by asking her class about national brotherhood week, what it means to them, and if there are people in America who are not treated like brothers. Her students told her yes, that black and Indians were not treated as brothers.
With that being said, Jane Elliot decided to do a two day experiment to help the kids realize that discrimination is wrong. The first day of the exercise, she split the class into groups of blue-eyed people and brown-eyed people. On this particular day, the blue-eyed people were better than the brown-eyed people. She made the brown-eyed people wear a collar around their necks to help better distinguish between the eye colors. On this day, the blue eyed people were granted extra time at recess, were able to drink directly from the water fountain, have second helpings at lunch, and were allowed to play on the playground equipment. The brown-eyed children were not allowed the same luxuries.
Throughout the day, Elliott points out how much time brown-eyed students take to complete assignments, how unprepared they were, and how they were disruptive and behaved badly. The blue-eyed kids were quick to back her up. They started to bully the brown-eyed children, one even suggesting that the teacher keep a yardstick close by in case one of the brown-eyed kids got out of hand! The second day, Elliot reversed the roles and had the brown-eyed kids be better than the blue-eyed ones. The exercise ran the same way. On the second day is when the video starts to tell us that the children who were treated better, performed better on tests than the children who were treated badly. At the end of the day, Elliot asks the children how the experience made them feel, and if they thought people...
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