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Class Divided Essay (Essay Sample)

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Name: Instructor: Course: Date: A Class Divided Discrimination of people according to their skin color and other stereotypes was high in the 50s and 60s, especially during the Martin Luther King era. Individuals of a certain race could think they were better than the opposite group, or the other group had bad characters which one was supposed to avoid associating with. The discriminated group felt inferior, isolated, hopeless, and an outcast in society. Ms. Jane Elliot a grade 3 teacher tries to bring the feeling of discrimination in a different way, by involving her pupils in an exercise using different eye color stereotypes. This exercise had an impact on their lives from their childhood days up to their adult life. After Martin Luther King was shot, people kept wondering who will take care of “their people” and what will happen to the rest of the other people. Pupils came to school the next day in the morning and told their teacher of the King’s death. The teacher knew how their parents might be talking and the level of discrimination of minority races could rice, so, she decided to teach the pupils the effects of discrimination in a different way. Since the whole class was made up of white pupils, she decided to divide the class according to their eye colors; blue and brown. She easily manages to divide the class into two groups as the pupils wanted to know which group is better. Ms. Elliot's eye color is blue, so she tells the class that the blue-eyed people are the best in society. This was enough to convince the pupils of their stereotypes as their teacher had said, as they trust their teacher. Elliot goes on further to give out discrimination measures on the brown-eyed kids. She gives out a test on how to write the letter “W” using the left hand, and she picks a blue-eyed student who scribbles letter W using his left hand. She quickly praises the blue-eyed kid and exclaims on how the blue-eyed people are fast learners. So, she tells the kids not to associate with the brown-eyed kids as they are slow learners. She goes to restrict the brown eyes from using the playing ground equipment. Finally, she adds the blue-eyed some more minutes to play. This had divided the class into two unequal groups. Friendship disappeared and the students abruptly turned against each other, seeing their opposite group as enemies. The brown-eyed felt not part of the class, and when the teacher brings on the test, the brown eyes take longer to finish it than the blue-eyed colleagues. To add on, their average scores were lower than those of blue eyes. This clearly shows how authoritarianism has a great impact on people in their childhood. The children easily accepted that the blue eyes are better than the brown eyes since it was their teacher telling them. This also indicates how kids listen to their elders with respect. Authoritarianism was the main effect for the pupils to take the idea of stereotypes and practicing discrimination as the information comes from a trusted source, their teacher. The kids look at their elders; teachers, parents, and other elder people as their role models and people to take advice from. This is how students may inherit bad behaviors from their parents or elders. When the case is reversed in the class, the blue eyes “felt the pinch” of discriminations and the teacher tells them that’s how exactly someone feels when being discriminated against. People have different levels of discrimination, some do it openly while others do it indirectly but whichever the case, the discriminated person will never feel happy. By the end of the lesson, the kids say they had learned a great thing in their lives, and they will never discriminate ag...
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