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A Class Divided, Then and Now, Expanded Edition Paperback – September 10, 1987
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Top Customer Reviews
Having seen all of the documentaries made on Jane Elliott's famous lesson on discrimination, I found this book very interesting, especially to read excerpts from interviews with her on the inner moral struggle she went through in trying to work out whether she was doing the right thing by these children, and the heartache and stress it caused her knowing that she was lying to them about eye colour being an indicator of superiority. She talks openly about her fears that she could have been doing them more harm than good, and the fact that the children's reactions to the experiment and to one another taught her much more than she was either expecting or wanting to know about discrimination.
However, if you have seen the documentary 'A Class Divided' made for the PBS series 'Frontline' you will realise that the book is almost solely a transcript of the video, doing nothing more than describing exactly what I had already watched. The only thing that came through to me as new was, I believe, more coverage given to interviews with Jane and her honesty and frankness about the experiment. But on balance, it was much more interesting to watch the documentary and to see facial expressions and conversations than have them described to me. The book is useful, but the documentary is better.
To really appreciate Elliott's brown-eyed/blue eyed exercise, I think one has to see the students' reactions. Her conviction is so strong I felt as if I was in the classroom (first with the children, later with the prison guards and company employees). Prejudices I wasn't even aware I had were brought into the light. The book does provide some additional insight into Elliot's internal moral conflict, the fear she had of harming her students with her hard-nosed approach, but it wasn't anything that would make me recommend the book instead of the video; and it wasn't anything I didn't find in her other informative video, "Blue Eyed," which documented one of her more recent workshops in greater detail.
Now, if we could just do something about the Mexicans.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
WOW!!! I love this book, I saw her on Oprah some years ago when I was younger. I never forgot her! Very powerful! Read morePublished 12 months ago by Amazon Customer