In the exercise that Jane Elliot influenced onto the children was very brave, she took a risk on her students as well on her reputation. This exercise showed the following: moral development, group self esteem, looking glass esteem, and prejudice. Elliot’s teaching of racism after the death of Martin Luther King affected many children and even adults. The moral development of a child changed dramatically for these children after this lesson. Since moral development components are: reasons one adheres to social rules and the bases used to evaluate actions by self or others as good or bad.
When a child is growing up, learning through social influences, an environment where their parents use derogative names towards African American. Those influences on a child that young could really affect ones moral development. Although when Elliot introduced the idea of what it is to be looked at differently, as the out cast just because of their eye color, they felt what it is like not to be white. While Elliot segregated the children by eye color she tested the children on flash cards.
The children that were the “bad” children, tested to be slower verses the children that were superior. This shows the group esteem that is affected just because of the way they were treated. For example one of the blue eye children was calling the brown eye child names and being a bully, they brown eye child punched him. This is just an example of what people of different color experienced every day when being prejudice was more extreme. In comparison, in the adult’s experiment, blue eye people reacted in rude and very defensive.
The group esteem went dramatically down, it seemed like they were almost kids again, although they felt belittled because they are adults. The blue eye people still did not want to listen, pay attention, or corporate. During Elliot’s experiment it was obvious that most, if not all, the children came from a racist family atmosphere. This comes to show how the looking glass self really effects a child’s origin of self. They were impacted and influenced by their parent’s opinions and actions.
From the lesson Elliot taught the children, she became one of the best “looking glass” for the children to look up to. While Elliot was trying opening the eyes of young people, she was broadening their horizons of thinking on their own, creating their own set of norms, and teaching to accept people as people, not eye color nor skin color. Being prejudice is another option they could have chosen to become. After Elliot showed the children the other shoes that they’ve never tried on, it would be hard for them to be prejudice towards a person with different skin color.
Considering that they know what it feels like to be looked at and treated disrespectfully. In conclusion, Jane Elliot changed many lives. This story was an eye opener, for many others, such as adults, children, even people that are in jail, as well as myself. If only everyone was taught this lesson when young, I believe that this world would be less judgmental. The adults are less influenced yet more stubborn, although I believe there is hope for everyone to change their outlook on people and life.
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