I read this on Wikipedia: Chicken eyeglasses, also known as chickens specs, chicken goggles, generically as pick guards and under other names, are small eyeglasses worn by chickens intended to keep them from attacking and cannibalizing one another. A common variety uses rose-colored lenses, the coloring thought to keep a chicken wearing them from recognizing blood on other chickens, which naturally causes an attack instinct. They were mass-produced and sold throughout the United States as early as the beginning of the 20th century.
As I was talking to my colleague Ginger Lewman about social aggression this we ran across this phenomenon. There is much to be found about cannibalism among chickens and ranchers’ attempts to minimize the behavior to maximize their profits.
The spectacle of chicken spectacles got me thinking about the lenses that were supposed to keep chickens from seeing blood and attacking. As I explore the issue of social aggression in children (and adults) I see similarities in the animalistic behavior of chickens and children. If I replace the word blood for weakness the two species have even more in common.
Remember back to your school experience and recall moments either witnessed by you or perpetrated on you or carried out by you where a kid or kids were attacked socially. What are the commonalities? In the pecking orders of school society kids have to learn their place. Without intervention I believe humans revert back to such behaviors naturally, especially when they feel pressure or are under stress. The accidental societies in school can become Lord Of The Flies environments while we’re busy writing lesson plans, planning bus routes and grading papers. Is it possible that while we’re designing the best system of schooling we’re losing kids because we’ve failed to create safe cultures? What are the lenses that kids see one another through?
Love learning about rose-colored glasses! Wow!
I've been reading Choice Theory by Glasser, and he doesn't mince words about the impact on students of the school environment. Fits very closely to what you are describing, especially since his key is to build relationships, not control systems.
Great to hear from you, Kevin.
I got a call from a representative from the company that made these glasses. They are hard to find these days and they are sending me an original pair to use in building an anti-bullying curriculum around this idea! : )
You are THE MAN. :)