Teaching Children About Discrimination

Teaching children about discrimination
PA POL 206
October 20, 2015

It is hard to explain to kids about what discrimination was and still is. Sometimes the best way to do it is by showing them through a lesson. But could that be going to far? Jane Elliott did an experiment with her third grade class to show them first hand how discrimination was, and it brought out the nastiness in the children. Personal I do believe that an exercise like this, even though it may be potentially harmful and cause violence in the children, is important to teaching children about how discrimination used to be like.
Elliott’s blue eye vs. brown lesson was very interesting to watch. One got to see sweet little third grades turn into monsters once they were told they were better then other students. Kids got into fights, made fun of the other children, and told them that they were inferior. In the end though the kids learned a valuable lesson; they learned that making someone feel inferior then them just because they may have a different eye color or skin color hurts and that no one deserves to feel like that. I personally believe that this should be taught to all children. It is hard to really teach kids about discrimination just by talking to them and telling them how it used to be. Even reading books like the Little Rock Nine, though very good and shows you a lot about discrimination, how bad it was, and how it took awhile for people to change their ways does not fully get though to children. Children need that hands on experience to truly get what is being said to them at that young age I believe.
I do though on the other hand see where this exercise could be potentially harmful, but at the same time is it truly the exercise that is harmful or the way the children react to being told they are better than someone? As we saw the kids turned into monsters and turned on their classmates who were considered inferior to them once they were told they were the top dogs.   In the...