The Ranting Kraut

19.3.2006 – 27.9.2010

Science Repeating Itself?

Posted by rantingkraut on April 12, 2007

A School in Texas reportedly decided to teach students ‘the problems of intolerance’ by dividing them up into Jews and Germans and then telling them to role-play. To the great surprise of the teachers, the whole thing got out of hand:

“Some students said the exercise got out of hand when the German students spat on or hit the Jewish students.

“They would spit on them. They would push them down the stairs. They would be really rude,” student Tiffany Zimmerman said. “I think it was too rough and over the edge.”

It is hard to see the need “

(Source)

Now there is a surprise! The first question one should ask is what the merit of such an exercise could possibly be. If someone tells me that Nazi Germany deported Jews to death camps, do I really need to engage in role-playing to find out that all was not well in Hitler’s Germany?

At least as relevant is the question what those teachers were expecting. One assumes that they were trained for their jobs, so haven’t they heard about Prof. Zimbardo’s experiment? The only thing that really surprises me is that it apparently took them five years to replicate Zimbardo’s result.

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