In the video entitled “A Class Divided” which was shown through Frontline, one could specifically identify the sender of the message, the receiver, and the message as detailed herewith: The sender of the message was Jane Elliot, a third grade teacher at Riceville, Iowa. The…
In the first place, the sender of the message was their third grade teacher, perceived as an authoritative figure – someone who effectively provides them with accurate information, knowledge and instructions. As an authority figure, the sender is perceived by the receivers of the message as credible, believable, truthful, and a role model. Since the student have known Jane Elliot as a competent teacher in their school, whatever message she relays are deemed acceptable to the students.
In analyzing the receivers of the message, as the grade three students, one would deduce that they could be easily swayed to believe that blue-eyed people are the better people than brown-eyed people, especially when it was brought to their attention on the first day. With their young minds and ability to understand the issue at hand, these grade three students could easily accept as factual whatever information and instructions were fed to their minds by their teacher, who had been known to them as an authoritative figure when it comes to providing instructional information.
Finally, the message was introduced appropriately by providing a background scenario where Jane Elliot first brought the subject of brotherhood. She effectively asked a question that solicited the needed response from the students. She asked: “is there anyone in this United States that we do not treat as our brothers?” (Frontline: The Daring Lesson); of which, a student replied: “Black people” (Frontline: The Daring Lesson).By introducing that the color of a person’s skin causes them to be treated differently, Jane Elliot effectively convinced the students that “it might be interesting to judge people today by the color of their eyes” (Frontline: The Daring Lesson). As such, the message that blue-eyed people are the better people than brown-eyed people (and vise versa) was easy to be relayed to the children and they responded quickly and completely because: (1) ...
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