The Eye of the Storm (Brown Eyes Blue Eyes Experiment)

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The Eye of the Storm (Brown Eyes Blue Eyes Experiment)

  • DVD
Price: $225.00

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A wake-up call for all ages, The Eye of the Storm, teaches about prejudice using a dramatic framework. It provides an examination of the realities of discrimination as experienced by actual students in the classroom of third-grade teacher, Jane Elliott, whose demonstration shows how quickly children can succumb to discriminatory behavior. Peabody Award Winning Documentary. Produced by ABC News.

JANE ELLIOTT, internationally known teacher, lecturer, diversity trainer, and recipient of the National Mental Health Association Award for Excellence in Education, exposes prejudice and bigotry for what it is, an irrational class system based upon purely arbitrary factors.

Jane Elliott, inspired to action by the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1968, developed the now famous “blue eyed/brown eyed exercise” in her 3rd grade classroom in an all-white, all-Christian community in Riceville, Iowa.

“It might be interesting,” Mrs. Elliott said to her students, “to judge people today by the color of their eyes.” “Blue eyed people are smarter than brown-eyed people,” she announced to the children. “What color eyes did George Washington have? Blue. This is a fact. Blue eyed people are better than brown eyed people. The brown eyed people do not get to use the drinking fountain.” “Why?” challenged a brown-eyed girl. “Why?” the teacher bounced the question back to the class. A blue eyed boy ventured, “Because we might catch something from them?” Jane shook her head up and down.

What happened next was just what she expected—and feared. The blue eyed children were exhilarated. Most joined willingly in the persecution of the brown eyed. Their test scores were better than ever. The brown eyed children, by contrast, became anxious and morose. They got into fights at recess. Their attention spans wavered, and they performed significantly worse on tests.

What the exercise proved was that good, kind children could learn to be racists and victimize one another. It proved that racism was a learned response, and that it could thrive even in places where race was considered not to be an issue. It also proved that since racism is a learned response, it can be unlearned.

Length: 25:00 Minutes
Key points

Additional Information

  • This documentary emphasizes how easily prejudicial attitudes can lead to poor performance, frustration, broken friendships and vicious behavior.
  • Increases viewers' sensitivity and empathy to the problems of racism and prejudice.
  • Examines link between perceptions and performance
Package Includes

Additional Information

DVD (Closed Captioned) and Discussion Guide, DVD includes English, Spanish-Subtitled and Edited (Sensitive Viewer) Versions.

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