In 1968 the primary school teacherJane elliotdecided to carry out a pedagogical exercise with his pupils and students following the death of Martin Luther King. It was an experiment based on social categorization and its objective was to make students aware of the effects of discrimination, both on those who exercise it and those who suffer it.
It consisted of dividing the classroom into two groups based on theeye color. In this way, the boys and girls who had theblue eyes the teacher would tell them that they are superior and smarter than those with brown eyes and that is why they had the right to go to recess or could repeat the meal. Meanwhile, the children ofBrown eyesI would tell them that they are slower, less intelligent and more clumsy, so they could not enjoy the privileges of the former.
In addition, each girl and boy in the class with brown eyes was made to wear a scarf around their neck that served to quickly identify them as the discriminated group. This separation in the classroom quickly had consequences and the fights between both groups and the discussions in class began. Longtime friends were now at odds simply over the fact that they had been told they were different.
The next day, the teacher reversed roles and the brown-eyed children became superior. The funny thing is that at that time this group did their homework and class exercises much faster than they had done the day before and much faster than the blue-eyed group. Each group had perfectly adopted the role of dominants and subordinates with the corresponding moods of joy and sadness in each of them. At the end of this exercise, the teacher explained that it was an exercise for them to realize how racists act in their country and that if it did not seem fair to feel discriminated against because of the color of their eyes, it is not fair to perpetuate prejudices based on categories such as skin color.