Rethinking Christopher Columbus

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As educators it is important that we analyze the materials that we use in our classrooms to provide our students with anti-bias and anti-stereotype curricula. Analyzing our materials so that they are anti-bias and anti-stereotype provides our students with factual historical accounts and teaches our students to see things from multiple perspectives. As a result of this, our students will view the world in a different way, as well as think critically about things. One historical account that is often portrayed from one perspective is Christopher Columbus’ “discovery” of the new world. One piece of Children’s literature that presents Columbus’ voyage in a more factual way than I have experienced in the past is Christopher Columbus: Sailing To A New World by Adrianna Morganelli; however, the book still does provide some ambiguity of Columbus’ account. This literary work provides information ranging from Columbus’ biography to the Spanish conquest after Columbus’ voyages. In this book, it not only tells the story of Columbus’ voyage from his side, but also provides information about the Native people and how the Europeans conquered them. This helps provide the reader with multiple perspectives of the account and not just from the Eurocentric point of view. Furthermore, at the end of the book the author provides a disclaimer about the information presented in the book. The disclaimer mentions how most of the information in the book was based on journal and first hand accounts that the European explorers sent back to the king in Spain. In addition it talks about how there were no cameras in the time period so the illustrations are based on the information in the book and may not be accurately portrayed. Even though the book provides... ... middle of paper ... ... so that students can become critical thinkers and view the world in a different way. Many of the materials that we use in the classroom are written from one perspective and do not always portray historical events as accurately as they should; this is not fair to other cultural groups that had a part in the historical event. As educators, it is crucial that we analyze the materials that we use in our classroom. We should use a multicultural approach on content to build our students’ civic competencies and capacity for respecting others’ perspectives. History is not a one-sided story and we should not take a one-sided approach to teaching it. Works Cited Bigelow, B., & Peterson, B. (1998). Rethinking Columbus: the next 500 years (2nd ed.). Milwaukee, WI: Rethinking Schools. Morganelli, A. (2005). Christopher Columbus: sailing to a New World. New York: Crabtree.

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