Jane Elliott's Experiment Summary

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During Jane Elliott’s experiment with her 3rd grade class, one of the shocking things is how quickly and easily those normally sweet and innocent children slip into the roles of bully and bigot. On Tuesday, the blue-eyed students were told that they are better than the brown-eyed students. The blue-eyed students enjoyed privileges such as longer recess time, seconds at lunch, drinking directly from the fountain, etc. One child suggests that Elliott should keep the yardstick close by so that she can deal with unobedient brown-eyed children. Some kids call others “brown eyes” in a demeaning and hurtful way which resembles the use of the n-word against African Americans. On Wednesday, it is the turn of the brown-eyed children to be better than the blue-eyed children. All the privileges enjoyed by the blue-eyed kids yesterday are now only for the brown-eyed ones today. Despite having been on the receiving end of discriminatory and nasty behavior because of their eye color only the day before, the brown-eyed children happily and easily embraced their…show more content…
This is backed up later in the documentary when Elliott describes that from the 2nd year of the experiment onward, she gave tests two weeks prior, during and two weeks after the experience and found that the stress and issues related to being discriminated against interfered with the students’ ability to perform. When Elliot asked her students who were being discriminated against why they did worse on the tests, those kids said they couldn’t stop thinking about how poorly others were treating them during the tests. This is an example of the stereotype threat.. The negative life experiences that people of color have daily can hinder their performances at school, university, and work, preventing them from reaching their full
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