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Condition: Used: Like New
Comment: Copyright 1987, softcover. All pages are clean.
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A Class Divided, Then and Now, Expanded Edition Paperback – September 10, 1987

4.7 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

William Peters is the author of "The Southern Temper", "A More Perfect Union", "A Class Divided: Then and Now", and many television documentaries.
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Product Details

  • Series: Then and Now
  • Paperback: 172 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press; Expanded ed. edition (September 10, 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300040482
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300040487
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #356,934 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is the second edition of 'A Class Divided', the first having been published soon after the original documentary 'Eye of the Storm' was made in 1970. It contains the original nine chapters unedited. The new material consists of describing a reunion with 11 of the 16 students from Jane Elliott's 1970 class, and also details the blue eyes-brown eyes experiment as a workshop for adults, this particular one being with people who work in the Iowa Department of Corrections.
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.
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By A Customer on January 22, 2003
Format: Paperback
I found that many children are in need of these experiences, being taught that we are all the same. The teacher shows the reader and students how easily one can be manipulated to believe anything without validating the information. I recommended this book for anyone interested in teaching or a life lesson.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I knew about this story but had no idea that it was facilitated so soon after the murder of King. As a teacher in today's school this project could most probably never happen and the lives of the children who were lucky enough to be part of the experiment would have never taken place. I think that we should all take heed to the fact that lessons like this can't be taught in today's schools because the schools are afraid of being sued and the parents want to protect their children from talking about controversial subjects. The value of diversity is the not having to agree on everything but being able to look and discuss differences and value other people's perspectives. This DVD is a wonderful look at what we should be doing in school and how to responsibility handle controversial with young children.
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Format: Paperback
I agree with the other reviewer that the Frontline video of "A Class Divided" (available on PBS' website) and the original documentary, "Eye of the Storm," are about as informative as this book, if not more so, but I think any exposure to Jane Elliott's work is a positive one. So, if you come across the book first, it wouldn't hurt to check it out.

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.
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Format: Paperback
Although the main point of the book is the battle against racism, the message doesn't stop there. The difference in academic performance of the children between "superior" days and "inferior" days is dramatic. When children truly believe they can excel, they do. When children truly believe they are worthless, the behave accordingly. Teachers wield an amazing amount of power in the class room -- for better or for worse.
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Amazing and absolutely a timeless lesson for all! I was surprised, educated, and saddened by the realities that were uncovered in this book.
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