06 March 2013
A Class Divided Essay
Jane Elliot taught her 3rd grade students a very valuable lesson about not being prejudiced in 1970.Elliot separated her students into two groups based on the color of their eyes. On different days she claimed that one group was better than the other because of the color of their eyes. She tested the groups by using flashcards on the days that they were the superior group and on days they were inferior. She learned that on the days the children were in the superior groups their performance levels were high and the next day while in the other group they significantly dropped. Proving that they were self fulfilling prophecies. 15 years later the class came back for a reunion. The lesson that Elliot had taught them had carried over into their adult lives. They group was closer to one another and they were teaching their children not to be prejudiced. For one former student, this was a good lesson because her husband was in the military and she would move from her all white town to different countries and be surrounded by different cultures and races.
If these students hadn’t lived through this lesson there was a good chance that they would grow up believing the things that they had heard their families or others say about different races. In the beginning of the video they stated things that they had heard people say without any hesitation. At the reunion when talking about other races they were more respectful. The most important lesson here was also not about prejudices but about self fulfilling prophecies. This was proven by their trouble on the days they were told they were stupid by them not performing as well. Elliot goes on to teach this lesson to a group of corrections officers, again separating by eye color and saying one was better than another. The blue eyed group was deemed the inferior or stupid grupo. They were obviously distressed over this but only one woman tried to...