Free and interesting on peace

A class divided

Part of my ‘the best things in life are free’ series, highlighting great free-to-access resources from the annals of peacebuilding.

This full length documentary follows up on an experiment that primary school teacher Jane Elliot performed with her all-white class in the 1970s – dividing them according to eye colour. The results were immediate and shocking.

“I watched what had been marvellous, cooperative, wonderful, thoughtful children turn into nasty, vicious, discriminating little third graders in the space of fifteen minutes”, says Jane.

Now adults, members of her former class look back on the experience and the lessons it holds for understanding racism, discrimination and prejudice formation.

Compelling viewing and an experiment that almost certainly couldn’t be repeated today. Somehow it’s only got 20,000 views on youtube – a true hidden gem. Let me know what you think – it had a big impression on me!

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1 reply »

  1. Many years ago the Open University had a TV lecture which included part of an American documentary about this experiment. They then analysed the documentary and commented on the morning oath of allegiance to the USA flag and ow it was ironic that even when making a documentary on indoctrination they failed to see their own indoctrination!

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