Intro Unit: The Politics of Education - Enlightenment or Propaganda?

Intro Unit, Class 3: African History  – The Missing Pages Of World History

Social Experiment: Jane Elliott's "Brown Eyes, Blue Eyes Experiment"


​Jane Elliott, internationally known teacher, lecturer, diversity trainer, and recipient of the National Mental Health Association Award for Excellence in Education, exposes prejudice and bigotry for what it is, an irrational class system based upon purely arbitrary factors. And if you think this does not apply to you. . . you are in for a rude awakening. 

In response to the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. over thirty years ago, Jane Elliott devised the controversial and startling, "Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes" exercise. This, now famous, exercise labels participants as inferior or superior based solely upon the color of their eyes and exposes them to the experience of being a minority. Everyone who is exposed to Jane Elliott's work, be it through a lecture, workshop, or video, is dramatically affected by it.

Acclaim for "Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes" exercise

"It won't help much to be prepared to face Jane Elliott. This elderly woman will tear down any shield. Even we, the spectators in BLUE EYED, can't get rid of this feeling of uneasiness, embarrassment, anxiety and utterly helpless hatred when she starts keeping people down, humiliating them, deriding them, incapacitating them. No doubt about this: for three quarters of the time in this documentation Jane Elliott is the meanest, the lowest, the most detestful, the most hypocritical human being hell has ever spit back on earth. But she should be an example for all of us". - Stuttgarter Zeitung

Discussion Questions
Where do you think these 4th grade students learned the word "N" and to not like Black people?

Who do you think is responsible for teaching children positive values, the school or parents?

Why do you think the students who wore the collars performed worse on their flash cards than they did when they did not have the "inferior" collar on?

Do you have friends from another "race?' 

If so, what race? And do your family, friends, or people in your community support this friendship or have negative things to say about it?

Intro Unit: Class List

INTRO UNIT: CLASS 1 - African History: The Missing Pages of World History
INTRO UNIT : CLASS 2 - The Miseducation of the Negro
INTRO UNIT: CLASS 3 - The Psychological Effects of Racism on Blacks and Whites
INTRO UNIT: CLASS 4 - The Struggle Continues...The Ongoing Battle Against Racist Propaganda In Public Schools