A Class Divided

By: Erica Engbretson, Hannah Cayton and Bre Beck

Ericas Take

Jane Elliott did an experiment in 1968 in her classroom with making blue-eyed kids inferior to brown-eyed kids and vice versa. When the brown-eyed kids were superior to the blue-eyed kids Jane noticed a difference with the way the blue-eyed kids were acting even though they had no idea what was going on. The brown-eyed kids were able to have a longer recess, not have to wait to go to lunch which they could also have second helpings of what was served for lunch that day, on top of that they were able to drink from the water fountain. But on this day Jane favored the brown-eyed kids and always wanted to help them and with this she never wanted to help the blue-eyed kids and by doing this she noticed that while the brown-eyed kids were excelling in their academics for the day, the blue-eyed kids were failing. The kids that were superior were happy and alert while the inferior kids looked miserable and defeated. These kids truly believe that they were either superior or inferior. By doing this a second day with having the roles reversed Jane figured that the kids would realize what she was doing, and to her astonishment they didnt. I think that this experiment worked back then and wasnt considered to be unethical but if a teacher were to do this today there would be a lot of problems with parents and that sort of thing. But knowing that the kids actually believed that they were either superior or inferior is kind of weird because when you think about it people still do that today. If people have money, they know that they are superior to everyone who doesnt have money and they show it off. Likewise the people who dont have money also know it and they show it as well.

Hannah's Ideas

Jane Elliott conducted a experiment called, "Brown eyes vs. Blue eyes". What her results showed was a prime example of discrimination. And although this experiment should no longer be allowed to be conducted, due to possible psychological problems arising. Jane proved that although all the children were the same, their ethenicity that is, discrimination can still exist. The experiment portrayed that no matter what, students will still find ways to be superior or inferior. In this case they were told who was what, but after awhile the children truely believed it. I think this experiment really showed that although people are similar, they will always judge eachother and find differences.

Bres Opinion

Jane Elliott conducted an experiment an discrimination with her classes. She assigned her class into two different groups, one was a blue eyed students, the other was all brown eyed students. After telling the brown eyed students they were superior over the blue eyed students, she noticed a change. She would totally ignore and put down the blue eyed students, but then she would help and congratulate the brown eyed students. She noticed the blue eyed students feeling depressed and frustrated while the brown eyed students were feeling great and superior. On the next day she switched the roles. She started to favor the blue eyed students and ignored the brown eyed students. The brown eyes students then felt left out and depressed, the blue eyed students then felt good and better than the brown eyed students. Even though doing this showed insight to the power in discrimination, it is now considered unethical. Doing this today would cause students psychological problems. Elliott though retired, still goes on teaching people about discrimination.