I’m posting twice today, because I came across this video that every teacher should see. It tells the story of the historic classroom experiment conducted by Jane Elliott, a 3rd-grade teacher from Iowa, on the day following the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. Because she knew her white students could never truly grasp what it felt like to be judged by the color of your skin, she divided the class into blue-eyed and brown-eyed groups and told them one group was superior to the other. Students’ reactions were powerful and immediate, and the effects of the experience lasted for decades.
I watched this film years ago, and since the original documentary is almost 30 years old, I think it’s safe to assume some younger people have never seen it. If you’re already familiar with it, watch again, because you’ll find it just as powerful today as you did the first time.
I don’t think any teacher today would get away with this kind of experiment, but showing this video to your students will likely impact them with almost the same intensity as the original simulation had on those kids in 1968.
(Sorry for the subtitles! The original video ended up being removed, so I had to replace it with this one. Still worth it!)