«The Wave» is a short story based on a true incident that occurred in a high school history class in Palo Alto, California, in 1967. It began as history teacher Ron Jones tried to teach his class about one of the most hideous events in human history: World War II.  Jones” students had lots of questions: Ηow could such a thing have happened?  Why didn’t anyone stop it?

The teacher couldn’t explain it, so he decided to try out a little experiment which he called «The Third Wave.» He wanted to create an environment in his classroom that would help his students understand what was going on in Nazi Germany.

If you would like to learn more about the Third Wave, you can watch this documentary in which the actual events that took place are described:


The following are thoughts inspired by The Third Wave :


‘The Wave’ helped me to learn;

  • How someone (e.g. Nazis) can control someone else by simple disciplinary actions (e.g. sitting in attention position, salute with special salutation etc.).
  • How serious human control can be.

It is amazing!

  • How obedient the students were to their teacher.
  • How quickly students reacted to other student’s reactions (Sherry’s posters).
  • How the feelings of the students changed during the experiment.
  • That the students inspected other ones to see if they were following the rules.

The main message was:

  • That Nazism could manipulate people by enforcing rules. Nobody reacted to these rules because they all wanted to be members of something big that could change the world. They believed in the world change as the children of the experiment believed in their unity through discipline.


Πλαβούκος Χρήστος, Α3