While today such an experiment on children in the public school system would likely see the teacher promptly fired and lawsuits against the district pop up, it should be noted that later tests done on the children Elliot ran this experiment on over the years (approximately 450 kids), performed by the University of Northern Iowa, showed that they were significantly less racist than other students their age, both compared to other students in the school itself, and the local community. Not only this, but they also seemed to have helped make their fellow students who didn’t have the experiment run on them less racist, as the school as a whole scored better than similar schools in this way, with, of course, Elliot’s former students scoring the best of all. Further, this effect was lasting as the children grew to adulthood. So while it is a harsh method of teaching, the lesson seems to have been learned well- racism, particularly when based on arbitrary things like the color of something, is silly.
- Do you think certain people are better than others? For example, the Chinese are better at Math than white people?
- Why do people have stereotypes about others? Are these stereotypes useful or do they serve to distance people?
- How can a more egalitarian world be built?