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 A Class Divided 
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What was your reaction to A Class Divided?

I thought it was really interesting to see how quickly people assumed their roles. It seemed like an excellent lesson and a great way to teach empathy and the ridiculousness of judging by race. I was a little worried about the ethics of the experiment, but the children seemed to react very positively.

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Maggie Chambers

Education is what survives when what has been learned has been forgotten. ~ B. F. Skinner


Fri Mar 03, 2006 2:16 pm
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i was really impressed that the 3rd grade class reacted so positvely. it seemed like the experiment really helped the class bond and treat each other equally. from observing their comments and reactions when they reunited several years later, they were still adament that the experiment was positive and helpful. Like Maggie, I am a little concerned though about the experiment in general. there are so many things that could go wrong in this experiment if other teachers try it. for example, what happens if a child really does hurt someone else? they might say an extremely rude thing and the child might not be able to move on as quickly as the children in the video did. also, what if there actually are students in someone's class that are a minority? do you still do the experiment and keep them on the "better side?" i think it might bring up a lot of issues if a child who was asian, latino, or african american had to be stereotyped again. we also discussed in class the issue with the parents- i think that in order to do this experiment, you would need parent's permission. what if some of them don't give their permission? or, what if a parent becomes angry at the teacher for mistreating their student? in essence, i think that it is a fantastic idea to put people in a situation and have them experience some of the same situations as others have. this way, people can empathize with one another. however, i think that a class could have serious problems if not handled very delicately with the right kind of students, teachers, and parents.

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Laura Greene

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Sun Mar 05, 2006 3:03 pm
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I was more intrigued by the adults that were put in the situation than the children. One thing I have learned from working with children that young is that they will most likely do whatever their teacher wants them to do. The way this teacher presented the activity to her class made them excited about doing it. When the adults were put in that situation, they weren't as willing to cooperate. Some of the things that the adults said in response to the teacher/facilitator were very rude and obnoxious. I especially found the women with the big white collar to be funny.

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Jordan Will


Mon Mar 06, 2006 10:19 am
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And that is the problem Jordan. Getting adults to do the activity. They just don't want to cooperate. To alot of adults they probably feel as if they have lived there life long enough to not have to sit and experience something they are not used to. It has to do with their comfort zone. I'm with you on the lady with the white collar. I'm not sure if she was actually in the experiment or just took herself out of it. Her comment about how she is no different than a black woman that was answered by the brown-eyed woman seemed completely removed from the focus of the activity. What I mean by that is that her comment seemed to show that she didn't get anything new about how other people feel from the activity. If you've ever done anything with adults it's hard to get them to do stuff like that and often they will simply experience it and not take it into the rest of their lives. I believe the guy leaning against the corner might take some of what he learned with him, but for many of the blue-eyed people, I think they will not implement any of what they were taught.

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-Adam Warren

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Tue Mar 07, 2006 11:12 am
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