Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Question of the Week (12/17/10)

Do you think an experiment like the one Mrs. Elliott performed on her third-graders would benefit our school? Post your thoughtful response to this question and respond to a classmate's respond. Post by the end of the school day on Monday for full credit. Enjoy your weekend and continue reading The Power of One.

19 comments:

sam merrens said...

I AM THE FIRST TO POST!

Haiti quilter said...

I don't know how to respond to the first post but I think that the experiment would be really helpful in our school. But I think that it would have to be modified a little bit like it was for the adults. I think that the experiment wouldn't work if people knew what was really going on. But I think that the experiment could work for any age group and it would be helpful for all age groups. No-matter how old you are everybody makes judgements or generalizations. This experiment wont be able to eliminate them, but it will make people more aware and conscientious.

Marlou Taenzer said...

I agree with the person above who said that regardless of our age we all make judgments. We are constantly judging others I am most certainly guilty of this.
The video we saw in class was to me both surprising and somewhat shocking. Isn’t it amazing how much the attitudes of others can change just by telling them that they are better than others. Perhaps these reactions were partially influenced by the young age of the participants. However they were nonetheless shocking.
This is definitely an experiment that should be conducted in our school. It would have to be modified for our age, however it would have the same effect in the long run. When Ms. Piro asked us yesterday how we would react if everyone in the class said that they were smarter and overall better than us I realized that I would grow frustrated and because of that probably rude. I would either try to work even harder to prove them wrong or have very little motivation to do well. The emotional harassment would become unbearable at some point and I would probably eventually crack. The objective of the experiment is to bring children to the realization that judging and discriminating are on all grounds unacceptable. I think that we all are completely aware of this. Maybe we are not aware of exactly how much we judge others and for that the experiment would be helpful. The question that I think one must ask is how do we stop it? Most of us to do judge personally I don’t think I necessarily treat people better or worse based on these judgments however I do judge. I guess you could call this a bad habit, a natural fault, a simple mistake that we all make. But that does not make it okay. As discussed in class we don’t know what the lives of others are really like. We don’t know what hardships they are going through. I think the answer to the question is actually rather simple, don’t judge people because you simply never really know what they are going through. Don’t judge until you have walked in their shoes. It is now just the adaptation of this state of mind that is needed.

Hudson Schuchman said...

I agree with the first two posts that doing an experiment like Mrs. Elliot's would help in our school. I also believe however that it would help more to have the experiment implemented at a younger age. Maybe not as young as third grade, but a younger age than in high school. I think it would help to allow people to know when they are judging someone and too look past those judgements so that they can actually get to know the person instead of labeling them and then not even attempting to look past their first judgements.

Kate Kerin said...

I think that an experiment like the one Mrs. Elliott performed on her third-graders would somewhat benefit our school, but I think that this experiment is better suited for younger children. The opinions of younger children are still developing and are more influenced by experiences like these. If you are taught these things when you are young you will grow up with these lessons and will live by them. This experiment would be meaningful and touching for everyone in our school but our values are mostly developed. I agree with Hudson’s post, that third grade is a young age and a little older would be better. That way the children could understand it better.

erbear508 said...

I think that doing the experiment Mrs. Elliot did would definitely be a good thing for our school and any school. The prime age for learning is when you are young and if you help kids understand the cruelties of prejudice and racism at a young age, they will grow up knowing it is wrong and help others understand it is wrong. Like in the movie, the people in our school would never forget the experiment if we had to go through it and they because of it they would hopefully show their children no to be judgmental or racist. This movie showed me that even in 3rd grade you judge and are judged and it is important to learn then, before it snow balls, that it is not okay. I agree with Kate thatdoing this to younger kids would be more beneficial because they are more affected by their role models then highschoolers who will be more likely to want to rebel and do the opposite of what their teachers tell them! I think though, that showing the movie to highschoolers would be a good approach because they can understand what is happening and see how bad judging is.

Carl Tischbein said...

I completely disagree with the first 3 REAL posts, and I don't think that this experiment would benefit our school. This experiment kind of shows the basics of discrimination, that thee's no reason why one group is better than another. It illustrates something that I think our whole school is aware of: discrimination is wrong and unfair. However, I think the second issue that was raised is still prevelant, in that we all make judgements. I don't think a one-or-two day workshop can get rid of those subconscious feelings that we instantly have. They can't be stopped except after years of 'training'. I remember the black barbie doll experiment where even black children thought the white barbie dolls were better than the black dolls, even though there were no other differences. It's all mental, and nearly impossible to stop. I do agree with Kate: Mrs. Elliot's teaching workshop was a good one at that time period (the 60's) and with that age group of children (young). I think we've learned a lot since the 60's as far as discrimination goes, and I think that the young age Mrs. Elliot taught the children at was the most beneficial. I just think that at our age and in our school, EVERYONE knows that discrimination is wrong, but these subconscious thoughts really can't be stopped and discrimination is always going to be out there.

Parker Gardner said...

I think an experiment like this would not benefit our school however I think that watching the documentary of Mrs. Elliot would. The documentary shows two important things in situations of discrimination. First: it is founded on falsity, fear, and superficial differences. Second: it is easy for the favored group to blindly follow authority and oppress the other group, and that it is very painful and unjust for the oppressed group. When we see and understand this it is easier for us to combat and prevent racism or discrimination. The reason I feel that this would not work on our school is not because I think anyone in the school is above discrimination and judging, but because we would quickly see through what our teachers were doing rather than accept what they were saying as true, like the 3rd graders. I know this for a fact because Mr. Seibel tried this very experiment on my gym class last year and none of us accepted what he was saying or allowed him to segregate us. This I think is because as high-schoolers we are much more prone to question authority and much less impressionable than 3rd graders. I agree with Kate that when people are young their minds are more easily changed and there opinions are more easily shifted and developed. This is why the experiment is good for younger children.

Parker said...

I think performing an experiment like the one Mrs. Elliot performed would not be beneficial to our school. We are not third graders, and I think as students we might not take being segregated very well. I think this experiment would end up causing more harm than education. We as students have been taught since a very young age to not judge based on our outer appearances. This is not to say that we don't judge. But, I think as students we don't discriminate. Discrimination and Judgment are two different things. Judgments are thoughts about someone, and discrimination is acting out on those thoughts treating someone different because they look, or sound different. As high schoolers we are not as vulnerable as third graders. I still think we are vulnerable, but if someone told me that people with blue eyes were better than brown eyes, I wouldn't believe them. Learning about the experiment would be very beneficial to us as students, but being experimented on would not be as beneficial.

anthony said...

I agree with Hudson that it would be more helpful at a younger age than high school because we have already formed our opinions about descrimination at this point. this experiment would probably annoy people because they don't want to go through this test to just reinforce what they already know. At a younger age I think it is more effective in forming a persons opinion on descrimination because it is something they can look back on.

Emily said...

I agree with Hudson and Anthony that it needs to be done at a young age to have any impact. But I also think that if its taught poorly, it could confuse the kids. But if its taught as well as Mrs. Elliot it could have an incredible impact on how people at a young age think about discrimination. Discrimination is such a huge part of our culture that if we were able to eliminate it in young people, that would travel throughtout all age groups.

Monica said...

I completely agree with Emily and couldn't have said it a better way. However, I don't think that it would have much affect in our school in particular. Although there is an impressive lack of racial discrimination in our school, discrimination is still there, I think most prominently against homosexuals. For high schoolers I think that becoming more educated on the individuals who are the focus of their discrimination would be a better choice. That said, I think that the older people are, the bigger the incident has to be to make enough of an impact on them to get them to change their ways of point of view. Where for third graders the incident that gets them thinking may be a simple classroom experiment, for adults it might have to be a life-changing realization or scenario. My reasoning comes from the following experience:
I remember in middle school all students and teachers were called to an assembly. There are a set of doors preceding the entrance of the gym and members of the 8th grade student council were stationed there, each with a marker of a different color. To pass through the doors you had to get a mark on your hand (with the exception of teachers). Then the orange (or green or purple) people were called out and had to stand while the other kids sat in the bleachers. The whole day signs were put up around the school - the 8th grade girls bathroom was only for greens, the 7th grade boys bathroom was only for purples, the sinks in the art room were set aside for a different color each. At the end of the day we were all called back for another assembly in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.
While that experiment was similar to Ms. Elliot's, it only played with limitations, it didn't teach the kids what it felt like to be discriminated against. I also think that the middle schoolers had reached a point where they were looking for the reasoning behind everything and had therefore "figured out" the meaning of the exercise without actually being immersed in it. The younger kids in Ms. Elliot's 3rd grade class were young enough where they had no idea what the idea behind the exercise was and believed everything the teacher had to say, thereby being fully immersed in the experiment. That was what taught them the true meaning of discrimination, which I don't believe older kids would benefit from because they would keep trying to undermine the system, show the system wrong, and they definitely wouldn't follow along with the teacher.

sam merrens said...

I think that everyone in our school might benefit from an experiment similar to that of Ms. Elliot, because everyone discriminates, even if the don’t realize it. I feel as though, even if they don’t mean it, people discriminate and hold at lower regard certain groups of people. Even though Hanover is one of the frontline schools in combatting this, homosexual or LGBT people are still discriminated against. With such common phrases as “that’s gay” being tossed around so much, I find it frightening to compare such insults towards those people with the same insults that were used against African Americans and other people of color less than half a century ago. I feel that such a workshop would help kids to realize just how hurtful their words are and that discrimination is nothing to be trifled with. I agree with Kate that high schoolers’ values are mostly firmed up by the time they would do the exercise, but I disagree with Hudson that 3rd graders are too young, I think that 3rd grade is a perfect age.

Charlie said...

I do not think that racism is a problem in our school. I do however think that this experiment would be a good lesson for everybody at a young age. I think that it should be more widely performed, and I think that people would definitely benefit us. Even though it is not a problem at our school, I think that we would learn a good lesson if we had this experiment done for us years ago. I agree with Sam Merrens when he said that the LGBT people are discriminated against. So I think that this may help for that too, and I think that it definitely would be beneficial.

David Desaulniers said...

When observing our community at school there aren't many racial issues or discrimination. It's because our school is a more "proper" school than most since the little tolerance that our community as a whole thinks. This is great, but there are still the little parts of discrimination that happen. Like if you get perfect grades or not, what classes you take, and who your group of friends are. Hanover does posses the discrimination when it comes to one's performance in school, since most kids are being pushed even harder to do better than the rest. So to answer the question, I agree with Charlie that having this demonstration be taught to us would be beneficial to us as a school body.

David W. said...

I agree with Charlie and David D. that racism isn't really an issue in our school. I still think that the experiment by Mrs. Elliot would be helpful because racism is a problem outside our school. I also think that just because people at Hanover are not exposed to racism very much and are taught that it is wrong to discriminate, doesn't mean that we can't learn a lesson that we can in turn teach to others. The experiment by Mrs. Elliot would certainly have to be modified quite a bit before it could be effectively put into action, and I think the best way to do this is not to try deceiving people into believing that blue eyed people are actually better than brown eyed, but to openly announce that it is an experiment in discrimination and label people who look a certain way as the ones who are to be discriminated against. I think that even though people knew it was not real, they would still act it out and get carried away into serious arguments and what have you. It just seems like a stretch to try to trick everyone at the school into thinking something like people's eye color is directly related to how good they are.

Daniel said...

I do think that if this experiment happened when we were younger we would benefit from it. I agree with Sam when he says that everyone discriminates even though they might not realize that they are doing it. At our school I do think that we hold others to a lower regard and treat them sometimes like they are nothing but it does not happen all the time. This Experiment would benefit our school but I think that everyone at this school knows it is not right to discriminate and I think that many people at his school don't. This was a great experiment and it definitely showed how humans can turn on each other so easily. Like Sam said our school is at the front lines to teach that discrimination is wrong.

Alli said...

I think that Mrs. Elliot's experiment would be very helpful and influential for out school. When we are younger, we are very judgmental but as time goes, and we start to mature, we learn to respect others and be less judgmental about things. I know we still discriminate but it's not very common now, especially at our school since we were all brought up well. Our school really points out that discrimination is wrong and make us try to think what it would be like to be in the person's shoes who was being harassed. I agree with Sam when he stated that people say they don't discriminate but they do without knowing it.

Oren said...

I think that the experiment that Mrs. Elliot tried on her class worked very well because the teacher had such an influence on our students, and because the kids were not very rebellious. If the teaching authority tried to do it at our school, it would not run smoothly, although I think our school as a whole could benefit from the lesson. Mostly though, our school is pretty good about racism and stereotypes, more so than many other schools in our area. I agree with Alli in saying that maturity plays a very big role in this experiment. I also think that Charlie is quite right in that racism is not really a problem, although we could all be a bit better educated.