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Scooped by Deb Nystrom, REVELN!

Keeping it Real: 4 Points to be Flexible in Teaching, Jane Elliot's Famous Experiment

Keeping it Real:  4 Points to be Flexible in Teaching, Jane Elliot's Famous Experiment | Agile Learning |

How to make it clear, satisfying, concrete, and real - including Jane Elliot's Famous Experiment and the impact it still has today in the third point, #3.  It's worth a re-read every so often to remember.

1) Make it clear

When I was a journalist, [I used] the inverted pyramid structure....the upper part …. represents the most important facts, ….and the lower part ...represents additional information …in order of diminishing importance. The pyramid [has] three sections: the “lead”, “body”, and “tail."  ...frame your...“lead” around a problem to be solved or an enquiry to be investigated...  [C]oncentrate on writing questions...  [W]rite a “big question” which forms the basis for the lesson. 


2) Make it satisfying


…Once I’ve opened a gap in my knowledge I must fill it; once a problem has been brought to my attention, I must solve it. This explains why I watched Disaster Movie through to the bitter end. Piquing curiosity … is also key to effective teaching. ….start by highlighting the knowledge they are missing. Another technique is to start a lesson by asking students to make a prediction.


3)  Make it concrete   [The Experiment]


…ensure your ideas “stick” by making them tangible. ...Take, for example, Jane Elliott’s famous “blue-eyed/brown-eyed” experiment with third grade students the day after Martin Luther King had been assassinated in 1968. 


....Most of Elliott’s students were, like her, born and raised in a small town in Iowa, and were not normally exposed to Black people. ....she divided the class into the brown-eyed and the blue-eyed children. She said the blue-eyed children were the superior group, provided brown fabric collars and asked the blue-eyed students to wrap them around the necks of their brown-eyed peers as a method of easily identifying the minority group. She gave the blue-eyed children extra privileges, such as second helpings at lunch, access to the new jungle gym, and five extra minutes at recess.   


….eventually those who were deemed “superior” became arrogant, bossy and otherwise unpleasant to their “inferior” classmates. Their grades also improved, doing mathematical and reading tasks that had seemed outside their ability before. The “inferior” classmates also transformed into timid and subservient children who even during recess isolated themselves, including those who had previously been dominant in the class. These children’s academic performance suffered, even with tasks that had been simple before. 


Once she had concluded the experiment, she asked the children to reflect by writing down what they had learned and it became clear that her students had come to deeply understand racism because Elliot had made it feel real, she had grounded an abstract concept in sensory reality and thus engaged her students’ emotions.


(DN:  See my comment below for a link to the impact of this experiment decades later on the children who were in the original class.)

4) Make it real


...Metaphor is good at making ideas stick because it brings ideas to life, it draws connections between new knowledge and existing knowledge.  For example, if you are trying to describe how electricity flows through a material, you’ll need to explain the structure of atoms. You might first use a metaphor which describes atoms as “nature’s building blocks” to help your students understand an atom’s function.


As always in REVELN ScoopIt news, click on the photo to see the full post.

Related posts by Deb:





  • Stay in touch with the monthly Best of the Best news, taken from Deb's  9 multi-gold award winning curation streams.  Preview it here, via REVELN Tools.


  • Are you local to SE Michigan?  Find out more about horse-guided leadership development sessions (no fee demos) for individuals by contacting Deb, after reviewing her coaching page here.  


Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

The standout here is the controversial and visceral story of Jane Elliot's controversial blue-eye, brown-eyed experiment.  A paper that described the lasting effects of this experience is here, quoting the students in the original classroom some 40+ years later.  So as for concrete (and real) we have Ray Hansen,
…now 43 and an attorney in Rochester, Minnesota, says that because of Jane, “I go out of my way to offer a kind word to people of color. I don’t think I would do that if not for Jane. What Jane taught is woven into the fabric of my being. You cannot underestimate the impact that such an experience has had on us.


I don’t know how anyone who went through the experience can say that they have not been changed. Jane must get the credit she deserves for making the world a better place, and making us better human beings.”

Concrete and real, indeed.  ~  Deb 

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Rescooped by Deb Nystrom, REVELN from A New Society, a new education!!

Pinterest THIS, Curators: How McLuhan, Agel, and Fiore Created a New Visual Vernacular

Pinterest THIS, Curators:  How McLuhan, Agel, and Fiore Created a New Visual Vernacular | Agile Learning |

Pinterest THIS!  It's an opportunity to channel your connect-the-dots ability into absorbing this prescient piece from Brain Pickings.


It may strike you as sophisticated & illuminating  or wandering and confusing, depending on how it grabs your favorites or introduces you to unknown history.  


Some excerpted nuggets:

"...contemporary visual culture:  the convergence of highbrow and lowbrow, the vernacular of advertising, the dynamics of newspaper and magazine publishing, the creation of avant-garde mass culture, and a wealth in between."


"The purpose of this inventory is to draw a circle around a body of objects; to take stock of their common properties; and to tell a story about where they came from, what they were, and where they led.


Their variety is such as to sustain a multiplicity of narrative threads: about

  • the rise of a new photo-driven graphic vernacular;  
  • the triumph of a certain cognitive/cultural style;  
  • criss-crossing between high and low,  
  • erudite and the mass cultural;  
  • the shifting boundaries between books, magazines, music, television, and film.” 

Referred:  for the Information Age via @piscitelli

Via juandoming
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Scooped by Deb Nystrom, REVELN!

How to make Knowledge Management Sexy Again

How to make Knowledge Management Sexy Again | Agile Learning |

Two articles surfaced recently that reinforce that point to how to make KM sexy again:

BBC – Did Minsky find the secret behind the financial crashes?

Time – Google’s flu project shows the failings of big data

If you want to make KM sexy again it means a shift in thinking!

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

The second article reference would probably cause Nassim Nicholas Taleb to say, of big data, "Of course!"  One of his quotes, "The fooled-by-data effect is accelerating. There is a nasty phenomenon called “Big Data” in which researchers have brought cherry-picking to an industrial level."

That said, I'm just back from the Knowledge Management Institute Showcase (next post) where "sensemaking" and combining narrative and social science methods was exactly what we were doing.  

My version of it, using "Open Space Technology" as a process technique to FRAME for enrichment, exchange, commitment will be in the next post.   ~  D

Marie Jeffery's curator insight, April 9, 2014 2:09 PM

Deb's presentation at the KM Solutions Showcase was stellar!

Scooped by Deb Nystrom, REVELN!

Opportunity or Threat? The New Transparency | Doug Rice via @JanetCallaway

Opportunity or Threat?  The New Transparency | Doug Rice via @JanetCallaway | Agile Learning |

In a play or musical, the scene or act will come to an end and the actors and actresses will fade to the back of the stage. 


Now we have:  The Death of the Curtain


Somewhere along the lines, between the revolution in information technology and the development of social media, the curtain vanished.


Businesses are increasingly losing their backstage. Performance is always live, there is no time to rehearse or rescript. The customer, more and more with each passing moment, can see everything.


Authenticity and transparency used to be a choice. You used to be able to plan exactly how much about you the customer should know.


Not anymore.


Your story is transparent, whether you like it or not.


The real you will shine through because there is no curtain to hide it. You are exposed. And the show will go on, whether or not you are ready for it.


The question you must ask yourself is whether or not this is a good thing. The open conversations you are having with your customers via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, blog comments, etc. can go either way.


They’ll see you for who you are. The question is, “Who are you?”


Your story is more important than ever because now, more than ever before, customers can have instaneous access to it. Is it something that you are proud of or ashamed of? Do you fear joining social media due to the threat of bad PR or are you excited about joining social media due to the opportunity for good PR?


How you answer this questions says everything about your story.

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