A Class Divided And The Invisible Knapsack Review

7 Oct No Comments

 A Class Divided and the Invisible Knapsack

Grand Canyon University: EDU 330

A Class Divided and the Invisible Knapsack


What an inspiring set of information. Some of the main issues we face in our communities is relating to each other, feeling empathy and understanding what other demographics are experiencing. The two resources presented to be used in the workshop for teachers and parents are “A Class Divided” and “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” these two resources are extremely useful, and I support them being used in the workshops. The two resources are able to bring people outside their assumed demographic letting people feel what discrimination feels like for themselves. The workshops would build stronger relationships between teachers, parents and students. Most importantly creating a greater cultural competence to teach our children and students.

Point A

In Jane Elliot’s A Class Divided exercise she took her class that had pre-existing friendships, and, in their eyes, they were equal to one another. She created a brilliant situation with something as simple as divided them by eye color to create superiority between them. This created a feeling some children may have never felt before. Until you feel discrimination yourself you pay be part of the problem. “The children took away that they can’t understand what it’s like to be somebody else until they’ve walked in their shoes.” (Mariexotonei, May 25, 2016, Section 4) Using this exercise would help teachers relate to all of their students and from every different home life. When teaching your students, it is important to never judge another child or person by their culture of skin color but their actions. When you include all students in this exercise they can related to each other and build the classroom as a community with no discrimination. When there are no injustices in the classroom the learning environment will increase as well as the friendships.

Point B

Peggy Mclntosh’s exercise is a great example of unearned advantage and oppression. Her article shows many examples of white privilege and shows how people can follow the leader or be a part of the change. It may be easy for a group of people to stand behind their privilege if it gets them ahead in life. This is no way to teach our children that skin color divides our talents or abilities. Peggy’s article describes some advantages of a white person we need to be a part of the change to have the “White Culture” every bodies culture. “A white person in the United States has on his or her back an invisible weightless knapsack granting favored positions, status, acceptance, and more.” (Bland S. and Furr M. 2016) Having a workshop using this information will teach teachers, parents and students more acceptance. Building an equal way of knowledge will create and greater sense of cultural competence.

Point C

Both of these exercises create discomfort. Discomfort is needed to inspire change from all groups. Teachers can gain very important skills to teach many positive ways to remove any discrimination thoughts the children, parents or peers may have. Mainly “The Class Divided” should be practiced many times to really show how easy it can be to show discrimination to anyone at any time. Stopping this way of thinking will create better opportunity for our children in the future. “If you are uneasy or uncomfortable around people of different backgrounds, your child will pick up on it.” (Lee K. March 18, 2018, Section 5) The only way we can help teach our students equality is to first change our way of thinking and perspectives.


Using the tools and knowledge given to us by “The Class Divided” and “The Invisible Knapsack” even though dated have a very powerful message to our future. Every teach and parent would be lucky to attend a workshop that broadened and enhanced their outlook on life. We can be taught to see every demographic as a whole, the human race. Nobody has the right to judge any other person by their skin color, sexual orientation, cultural practices or physical disabilities. We can create a strong community within our school and people we come into contact with. Using these tools, we can change our own perspectives and teach cultural acceptance.


Bland S. and Furr M. (2016) Section 5, Review: White Privilege: Unpacking The Invisible Knapsack, Retrieved from http://cultureandyouth.org/racism/articles-racism/white-privilege-unpacking-the-invisible-knapsack/

Lee K. (Marc 18, 2018) Section 5, 6 Ways to Talk to Kids About Race and Cultural Diversity, Retrieved from https://www.verywellfamily.com/teaching-kids-about-race-and-cultural-diversity-621099

Mariexotoni (May 25, 2016) Section 4, Stereotyping Experiment: “A Class Divided” Summary and Analysis, Retrieved from https://soapboxie.com/social-issues/Stereotypng

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