Blue Eyed Jane Elliott Essay

Students will recognise that when one aspect of our identity is privileged above others by members of society, it can affect how we see ourselves, how we see others, and the choices we ultimately make.

In the last lesson, students examined the range of responses that individuals and groups can have when they encounter difference, and they looked in their own communities for examples and echoes of behaviours described in a poem by James Berry.

Members of the privileged group were told they were smarter, quicker, better behaved, and more respectful than their peers in the other group, and they received benefits such as longer break-time, access to the playground equipment, and second helpings at lunch.

They were also instructed not to interact with classmates in the other group, who had to wear coloured collars to help distinguish them from a distance.

She stated “I watched what had been marvelous, cooperative, wonderful, thoughtful children turn into nasty, vicious, discriminating little third-graders in a space of fifteen minutes” (A Class, 2003). The daring racism experiment that people still talk about 20 years later.

At this point she had realized that she had “created a microcosm of society in a third-grade classroom.” Elliott continued to perform this exercise every year in her classroom (A Class, 2003). Retrieved from: org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/divided Capretto, L. This entry was posted on Sunday, October 11th, 2015 at pm and is filed under Uncategorized.

Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination, an Iowan schoolteacher conducted a lesson on discrimination she called the "Blue eyes–Brown eyes" exercise.

Jane Elliott kept her third-graders separated in blue-eyed and brown-eyed groups for the rest of the day.

The film sheds light on the relationship between identity, group membership, privilege, prejudice, and discrimination. Feeling that her students were not fully grasping what she was trying to teach them about racism, prejudice, and discrimination, Elliot designed a two-day blue eye/brown eye experiment in which she privileged students with one eye colour over the other, the blue-eyed students on the first day and the brown-eyed students on the second.

Her former students stated later on that once you find out what it feels like to be hurt in that discriminatory way you don’t want to hurt others in that way ever again (A Class, 2003). You can follow any comments to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

A little more than twenty years ago, “The Oprah Winfrey Show” decided to use Jane Elliott’s model to conduct a racial prejudice experiment with their audience, because at that point in time racial tensions were high due to the acquittal of the police officers that had been tried in the beating of Rodney King (Capretto, 2015). You can leave a comment, or trackback from your own site.

After, she divided the children into the two groups she told them that the blue-eyed children were smarter, nicer, cleaner and just plain better than those that had brown eyes.

She allowed the blue-eyed children to have special privileges, and made the brown-eyed children wear a collar, and she criticized everything that they did (A Class, 2003).

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