Class Divided is an presentation of the classic documentary on third-grade teacher Jane Elliott’s “blue eyes/brown eyes” exercise, originally conducted in the days following the assassination of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968.
Using the data provided in video:
What did you learn?
What scene or scenes do you think you’ll still remember a month from now and why those scenes?
Did any part of the film surprise you?
Do you think someone of a different race, ethnicity, or religion would also find it surprising?
What did the children’s body language indicate about the impact of discrimination?
How did the negative and positive labels placed on a group become self-fulfilling prophecies?
Both Ms. Elliott and her former students talk about whether or not this exercise should be done with all children. What do you think? If the exercise could be harmful to children, as Ms. Elliott suggests, what do you think actual discrimination might do?