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High School Teacher Taught His Class A Simple Yet Powerful Lesson About Privilege
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Social Issues8 years ago

High School Teacher Taught His Class A Simple Yet Powerful Lesson About Privilege

If you’re reading this, you’re probably enjoying  quite a few privileges that you may not even be aware of. You may even take what you have for granted: such is the nature of privilege.

It can be a hard thing to understand, even for adults. But one high school teacher found a wonderfully simple way to explain it so that all of his students got the message. Don’t miss this brilliant lesson!

More info: buzzfeed (via: boredpanda.es)

One high school teacher decided to teach his class about privilege, so he made a simple exercise. First, all the students received a piece of paper and crumpled it into a ball

Then, the recycling bin was placed in front of the classroom

“You represent the country’s population, and everyone has the chance to become wealthy and reach the upper class”

“All you must do is throw your paper balls into the bin while sitting in your seats”

Of course, students in the back of the room had it worse than the ones in front, and complained about this unfairness

Everyone threw their ball and many (not all) students in the front made it, and only a few in the back made it, as expected

“The closer you were to the recycling bin, the better your odds: this is privilege. Did you notice how the only ones who complained were in the back of the room?”

“But people in front of room were less likely to be aware of their privilege. They only saw 10 feet between them and their goal”

“You are students receiving an education, and your job is to be aware of your privilege. Use this privilege called ‘education’ to try to achieve great things, but also to advocate for those who are behind you.”

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UllaSutton
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I think it is brilliant and a very important lesson! i will try this in my classroom, so thank you for inspiration

DaisyWallflower
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

What if someone from the back of the room passed their paper up to the front line and trusted an individual to make it happen?

CarnotRomero
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

"Thank you for passing me this lovely piece of paper, but it does not have a picture of Benjamin Franklin on it. Please pass one that does."

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MariaLazoura
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The people in the front could have passed the bin to the back rows to help those in a less privileged position.

SiegfriedSharpesworth
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I guess some people just have to work harder to get ahead. Success is not just about some simplistic class stunt. Its about work.

KimMaser
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This post was to illustrate privilege, not success.

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Ronet
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Wonder how many received the message.

Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I think the message rings even more true reading all idiotic replys, back seat complainers

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NicaAlexandru
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I would have waited until the lesson was over, then i could get up my seat and put the paper in the basket. Not breaking the rules ;)

MaryMagnusson
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

What a wonderful lesson and a wonderful way to teach the lesson. That is an awesome teacher!

TamiAhdaSyahida
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I think it's smart and wonderful way. Yeah..thanks for the sharing.

MarkBeecher
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Why are they wasting paper? Don't they care about the environment?

hobo
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Madarchod the bastard that you are. a few sheets of paper are nothing compared to the understanding being imparted.

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John Guss
Community Member
5 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This of course misses the point that those students (if they are like most) got to choose their seats on the first day of class. You might then say that those up front had the work ethic to succeed. Although there probably was at least one "privileged" student up front... that would be the one that came in last that first day, and was left with the only open seat left, at the front of the class.

John Guss
Community Member
5 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

And let's examine the socialist version of this game. The target remains in the same place, and everyone gets to shoot from a single line near the front of the class. Of course, the target is turned upside down, so while everyone has an equal chance to "win", that chance, is in fact, ZERO.

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Natalia Morales Rangel
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Someones knows who is the teacher and where that ocurred?

Natalia Morales Rangel
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Someone knows who is the teacher, when and where this happenned?

DougHeitland
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The kids in the back don't have to throw from the back. They can get off their arses and walk to the front.

TerryTaylor
Community Member
7 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

How did the ones at the front of the class get there in the first place?

JeanGray
Community Member
7 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

DaisyWallflower - More are concerned that the one in front got credit, vs whether the paper got into the basket :(

SejoDopra
Community Member
7 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Very educational i will adopt this in my management class what a previledge

NebojšaEvetović
Community Member
7 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Erm, call me crazy but isnt education a human right ? I think it is...it shouldnt be a privilege.

AngelaClark
Community Member
7 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Jus might have my 16 yr old son read this

Trudy Beerman
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I say, move to the FRONT of the room. This piece inspired my radio show topic for today and was mentioned http://bit.ly/1pYXFWc

PeterMaciag
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This is Indoctrination! There is no privilege life is what you earn for yourself and the choices you make it good or bad your decision.

bob barker
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

What a load. The logical thing would be to move your chair, but liberalism, like this teacher say you must remain at the back of the class.

bobbarker
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

What a load. The logical thing would be to move your chair, but liberalism, like this teacher say you must remain at the back of the class.

TimSozio
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

All this shows is some physical ability - it shows nothing about hard work and dedication as well as proper and good choices.

Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This assumes that rules in society say you can't move from your place to take a shot. Reality doesn't make that rule.

DavidBruning
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Except title 9, etc. takes those students in the back and moves them next to the can whilst shaming the front about their privelage.

JimBoraski
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

And even after knowing the example was going to be repeated many students chose to sit in the back of the class. Think about that for a bit.

Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I really appreciate this. Its a wonderful way to understand that some people are born with the privilege of front row seats, others are not

ShkendijeShaljani
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The activity presented really gives me an urge to start this kind of activity in my school.Great job indeed.

ManuTaro
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I'm glad the teacher didn't mention race as a so call privilege

Tom Adkins
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

What happens when one group INTENTIONALLY moves to the back (Keepin' it real, Yo!) and demands we work twice as hard, and send them money?

TomAdkins
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

So what happens when one group INTENTIONALLY moves further from the basket? And demands we work twice as hard, and send them the rewards?

onewhitehen
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

What a wonderful way to teach such an important and true lesson

BethnieEE
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Do many follow rules these days to succeed? In an ideal setting. These students sit in their spots and throw the ball. Reality is....

Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Then the ones at the back rioted and the headmaster passed them and said sorry then the teacher was sacked

Galih Eka Putra
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

put your chair as close as possible to the bin then throw the paper

GalihEkaPutra
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

just bring your chair as close as possible to the bin then throw

DoingGoodTogether
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This is fabulous. Thank you for such a thoughtful and easy-to-replicate lesson for students of all ages.

BillTilland
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

It appears that part of being in a privileged class involves denying that you are privileged or insisting that it shouldn't really matter.

DanielRobinson
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

success is nowhere near as simple. neither is privilege as much an advantage as the closer basket. wish there weren't a character limit.

GregLelonek
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

If you had to throw the paper from your seat, just move your seat closer. #Educated

LukeLaupheimer
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Walk up to bin, bring it to our desk, drop crumpled paper into it. Pass it to your neighbor.

Kite
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

...get shot by police acting in "self-defence".

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Jenny Mahvi
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Privilege is not a right it's a gift. If squandered or taken for granted, you risk causing pain to yourself and others. Clever way to see it

JennyMahvi
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Very clever, not understanding privilege is likely to lead folks into squandering it before they've had a chance to benefit from it! Bravo!

1puddy1
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Immediately when I read this I realized I would have remained in my seat, but slid it up to the bucket for a slam dunk winner.

Joseph Kronenberg
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

White people NEED to leave or accept that their time of tyrany over us REAL americans is over. I feel for you black people, I am jewish!

JosephKronenberg
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

White people realy need to learn or LEAVE this society; their hate only brings intolerance and pain to our nation. They are racist by nature

TomPenrod
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I would have picked up the trash can and walked around the room allowing everyone to place their paper ball into the trash can.

LeslieHarrington
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

That sounded like elitist condescension, not "privilege".

JohnDickenson
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Sit in your seat and scooch it to the front row and "swish."

TashaDiCoio
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I would have organized to have the kid who was on the basketball team throw everyone's in and would simply get a bigger cut.

RoTana
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I will try this for my Training too, I think it's very important if the trainee could understand why they are here today.

SiegfriedSharpesworth
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Success is about hard work and perseverance not some liberal, stunt in a classroom.

KimMaser
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Lesson, not stunt. Many people are visual learners and this was a simple yet effective way to illustrate the concept of privilege.

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gmcallis
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Brilliant and perfectly demonstrable - no words necessary!

KeithConnors
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The deal was you must make it from your desk. In essence getting out of your assigned seat would be like embezzling and calling it profit.

JaniceHassett
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Like it a lot. Simple analogy to clearly state how one should act . The people in the back or on the fringes of society need to be advocate

Kyle Grooters
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This education has to come from college? I've learned more in the industry than I did in college. Which is why I dropped out.

RohanDasgupta
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I think the game should have taught few things more.

DarrenKyle
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I would have gotten up and walked to the bin and placed my paper in it. Privilege? Stop making excuses.

hideki
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

And there you sit, commenting on boredpanda.com, while you could've been walkig towards that bin. You said you'd get up. So get up.

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LindaReck
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I think it's a ver valuable lesson.

MillyThomas
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

just as Sean implied I am stunned that some one can earn $9402 in a few weeks on the internet . Learn More Here >>>> W­W­W.u­s­a-­r­e­v­i­e­

NosliwOelpme
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

who decided to put the bin in front of the class? and not at the back? or the sides? those are the same people who dictate life.

ChristoferEvelönn
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Why is the goal to be wealthy? Can't you live for something else?

Kite
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Wealthy? Or just not terribly poor and discriminated against?

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JackieDoyle
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Why isn't every teacher using this very wise technique

JamesBaribeau
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This is a great exercise. Sure the children in the back were complaining, but they CHOSE to sit there in the first place.

VickiIbarra
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Perhaps the real lesson was in choice, not privilege? A lesson how much better it is to sit in front, where you are ready for opportunities

ToddInVancouver
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Then I think you miss the point. A minority, poor, single parent, malnourished, abused home doesn't always get the chance to sit at the fron

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DanPalmer
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Brilliant my butt. The front row weren't privileged, they were lucky, or bold, because they chose to situp front and be noticed.

NikolasBeck
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I would've been the student in the front, asking if I could switch with the person that complained. Because I wouldn't care about making it.

Anastasia
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Then why aren't you looking for ways to give your privilege away to those less fortunate right now?

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UllaSutton
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I think it is brilliant and a very important lesson! i will try this in my classroom, so thank you for inspiration

DaisyWallflower
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

What if someone from the back of the room passed their paper up to the front line and trusted an individual to make it happen?

CarnotRomero
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

"Thank you for passing me this lovely piece of paper, but it does not have a picture of Benjamin Franklin on it. Please pass one that does."

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MariaLazoura
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The people in the front could have passed the bin to the back rows to help those in a less privileged position.

SiegfriedSharpesworth
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I guess some people just have to work harder to get ahead. Success is not just about some simplistic class stunt. Its about work.

KimMaser
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This post was to illustrate privilege, not success.

Load More Replies...
Ronet
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Wonder how many received the message.

Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I think the message rings even more true reading all idiotic replys, back seat complainers

Load More Replies...
NicaAlexandru
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I would have waited until the lesson was over, then i could get up my seat and put the paper in the basket. Not breaking the rules ;)

MaryMagnusson
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

What a wonderful lesson and a wonderful way to teach the lesson. That is an awesome teacher!

TamiAhdaSyahida
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I think it's smart and wonderful way. Yeah..thanks for the sharing.

MarkBeecher
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potra