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Jane elliott blue eyed brown eyed experiment

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She is known for her "Blue eyes—Brown eyes" exercise. She first conducted her famous exercise for her class the day after Martin Luther King, Jr. When her local newspaper published compositions that the children had written about the experience, the reactions both positive and negative formed the basis for her career as a public speaker against discrimination.

Elliott's classroom exercise was filmed the third time she Jane elliott blue eyed brown eyed experiment it with her third-graders to become The Eye of the Storm. This in turn inspired a retrospective that reunited the class members with their teacher fifteen years later in A Class Divided. After leaving her school, Elliott became a diversity educator full-time. She still holds the exercise and gives lectures about its effects all over the U.

Her father, who delivered her, was Irish-American. She was the fourth of several children. Inafter graduating from high school, Elliott attended the Iowa State Teachers College now the University of Northern Jane elliott blue eyed brown eyed experimentwhere she attained an emergency elementary teaching certificate in five quarters.

Inshe began her teaching career in a one-room school in Randall. On the evening of April 4,Elliott turned on her television and learned of Dr.

Martin Luther King Jr. She says that she vividly remembers a scene in which a white reporter pointed his microphone toward a local black leader and asked, "When our leader [ John F. Kennedy ] was killed several years ago, his widow held us together.

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Who's going to control your people? At the moment she was watching the news of King's death, she was ironing a teepee for use in a lesson unit about Native Americans. The following day, she held a class discussion about the lesson and also talked about racism in general. They were doing what white people do. When white people sit down to discuss racism what they are experiencing is shared ignorance.

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She felt that simply talking about racism would not allow her all-white class to fully comprehend racism's meaning and effects. She suggested to the class that it would be hard for them to understand discrimination without experiencing it themselves and then asked the children if they would like to find out.

The children agreed with a chorus of "yeah"s. She decided to base the exercise on eye color rather than skin color in order to show the children what racial segregation would be like. On the first day of the exercise, she designated the blue-eyed children as the superior group.

Elliott provided brown fabric collars and asked the blue-eyed students to wrap them around the necks of their brown-eyed peers as a method to Jane elliott blue eyed brown eyed experiment identify the minority group.