“The Wave” Classroom Experiment

This video is a dramatization of an actual classroom experiment. It demonstrates the extreme suggestibility of what appear to be ordinary classroom students and how easily their teenage externalized behavior can be molded and shaped by peer pressure. It also demonstrates how a single person can be idolized and actually worshiped.

Text From The Third Wave — Wikipedia Article

“The Third Wave was an experimental to demonstrate the appeal of fascism undertaken by history teacher Ron Jones with sophomore high school students attending his Contemporary History class as part of a study of Nazi Germany. The experiment took place at Cubberley High School in Palo Alto, California, during first week of April 1967. Jones, unable to explain to his students how the German populace could claim ignorance of the extermination of the Jewish people, decided to show them instead. Jones started a movement called “The Third Wave” and convinced his students that the movement is to eliminate democracy. The fact that democracy emphasizes individuality was considered as a drawback of democracy, and Jones emphasized this main point of the movement in its motto: “Strength through discipline, strength through community, strength through action, strength through pride”.

The experiment was not well documented. Of contemporary sources, the experiment is only mentioned in Cubberley High School student newspaper The Cubberley Catamount. It is only briefly mentioned in two issues, and one more issue of the paper has articles about this experiment, but without much detail. The most detailed account of the experiment is an essay written by Jones himself some six years afterwards. Several other articles about the experiment exist, but all of them were written after a considerable amount of time had passed.”

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