A class divided is a documentary about a teacher named Jane Elliot who teaches her students about racism first hand. She divides the students into two groups, the blue eyes, and the brown eyes. For the first day, the “brown eyed” children are not able to go to recess, or lunch at the same time as the rest of the children. They wear a blue collar around their necks so that they are obviously different at a distance from the other students. They are not allowed to drink from the same water fountains, use the playground equipment, or even play with the blue eyed children. The next day, the roles are reversed. During these two days Jane Elliot would make comments about the children wearing the collars to degrade them. She would point out if one of them wasn’t ready on time, or if they forgot something. She would say things like “That’s how blue eyed people are” “Brown eyed people are better than blue eyed people” (J. Elliot, A Class Divided, 1985). After the children who weren’t wearing a collar noticed Mrs. Elliot saying these kinds of things, they would also chime in and begin saying things about the kids wearing the collars. Mrs. Elliot said “I watched wonderful, thoughtful, children turn into nasty, vicious, discriminating little third graders.”(J. Elliot, A Class Divided, 1985) .The movie showed the students come back for their fifteenth class reunion to talk about this life long lesson that their third grade teacher taught them. All of the students said it was a lesson they have never forgotten and something that changed their lives forever. They talked about how it affected their lives growing up, and how it affects the way they raised or were currently raising their children. Since she got done teaching, Jane has been doing trainings are conferences to teach others. Her movie A Class Divided has been shown in prisons to inmates who are trying to earn a degree. She also did training at a prison in Iowa for the guards and other staff members. When people...
References: Peters, William. (1985). A Class Divided. PBS, Frontline
Benokraitis, Nijole. V. (2012). SOC, (Student Edition) Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning
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