A Class Divided: Third-Grade Class and Adults at Work

Subject: Sociology
Pages: 1
Words: 258
Reading time:
< 1 min

A Class Divided

There are some similarities between the dynamics in Jane Elliot’s third-grade class and the adults who work in organizations. She is highly successful in triggering the desired emotions and reactions among the group of people whom she places on the top so that they feel confident about themselves, while those who she places on the bottom lose their self-confidence.

There is sadness, discomfort, and pain among those who she places at the bottom and constantly criticizes. The group which she prefers over the other is highly confident and does tend to get divided based on color, quite easily. The preferred group members do not mind being segregated based on color or being united because they are of the same color. Whether it’s a third-grade class of children or adults in an organization whom she addresses, the divide is created almost instantly. However, while there is a complete response from the children, this is not possible from the adults, some of whom are adamant and do not want to partake in the class activities.

The blue-eyed people felt a “sense of hopelessness” and went through the feelings of being “discriminated”. The most startling similarity was the fact that the brown-eyed people simply sat in their places and did nothing to save their other peers, similar to how the children of the third grade had behaved. Both the groups, in the end, successfully understood what it felt like “to be in the minority.”