A Class Divided
You're not as good as the person next to you. Or the one across the room. That's just how it is, ever since you were born, all because you're different. What if you were told this? In the film Eye of the Storm/A Class Divided, one teacher decided to do just that with her students. It was a small class of young children, all of them innocent and kind. After being told by the teacher that blue eyed students were better than brown eyed students, the actions and feelings amongst the students started to change. The next day, they were told that brown eyed people were actually better than blue. Social comparisons, reflected appraisal, self-fulfilling prophecies, the Michelangelo Phenomenon, and the rise and drop of the students' self-concept were all factors of the experiments. Not to mention some name calling. With enough repetition by a superior influence, almost anyone of any age will believe anything they're told. In this paper, I'll explain how and why the students easily succumbed to their teacher, and why it still can, and always will happen. The teacher's goal for this experiment was to teach the children about discrimination. Instead of just giving them a normal lesson, however, she decided to make them part of it. What allowed the teacher to do this is called the Michelangelo Phenomenon. As we grow older, the power of messages from significant others remains (Adlen, Rodman, & Proctor, 2013, pg. 69). Basically, because the teacher was their significant other, at least during school, her influence was titanic. Especially at such a young age, the children only knew to listen to their teacher, and that they would learn from her. The teacher lying to them was never a possibility in their minds. Once the children were informed that they were smarter than other children in the class, social comparisons, reflected appraisals, and self-fulfilling prophecies started to take effect. Children that were smarter for the day genuinely thought they...
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