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 Which to teach? 
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With so many different views upon the interactions between the native americans and the white explorers who settled here, how do we determine which to teach in our classrooms? For example when I was young I was taught that Christopher Columbus was a hero. However later I was taught that he was an invader. Should we simply lay out each view point and allow the children to decide?

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Burl Greene


Wed Mar 01, 2006 11:28 am
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I think that it's important not to lie to kids, but it's also important not to scare them as well. Instead of making Columbus out to be a hero, try just presenting a few facts. Like in 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue. Talk about the fact that Native Americans were already around, but do not tell younger students about the murders and things like that. Leave room for other teachers to add more information as the students grow up. In the fourth grade my teacher told me that you could NEVER EVER start a sentence with AND. Later, I found out that it is okay sometimes. I just thought I would add that as an example of something that teachers do sometimes & they do not realize the confusion that could happen later in life.

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Kelly Allen


Wed Mar 01, 2006 12:04 pm
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I agree, I don't think children should be lied to. But, there is no need to tell them of any graphic goings on (such as murders and torture). I think that at a young age children should be taught interesting facts about native americans and when explorers started making discoveries of the Americas (such as Columbus).

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Anna Kate Shook
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Wed Mar 01, 2006 1:03 pm
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I had a history teacher last semeseter who would teach us the same event from two different persectives. He taught us about Lewis and Clark from their white European view and then taught us about them from the Native American POV. I think this could also be done with children, while toning down the killing and sex. It's important to let children know that all these figures in history are human, not totally good nor totally bad. It's also important to teach children about the values and beliefs of the time. Many Europeans considered anyone non-white as physically, mentally, and culturally inferior. If children are taught this, they better understand each POV. On the other hand, Native Americans thought Europeans were dirty, strange, and disrespectful of the earth. Once children are able to place themselves in the positions of each and see the difference, they won't have to choose a side, but just be able to better understand the actions of each group.

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Laurie Tate


Wed Mar 01, 2006 2:49 pm
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Get it, read it.

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Wed Mar 01, 2006 4:08 pm
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We teach both!!! It's as easy as taht. We teach that we are NOT the conquerors and rulers ofthe world. Yes Columbus founded America in our terms but America was here way before he was and so were incredibly interesting and diverse people that we all need to learn about.

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Jill Parsons


Wed Mar 01, 2006 4:44 pm
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Quote:
We teach that we are NOT the conquerors and rulers ofthe world. Yes Columbus founded America in our terms but America


Our terms...wow I had no idea we were all Spanish. If they wern't conquerors then why were they called Conquistadors?

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"Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And when you look long into an abyss, the abyss also looks into you" - Nietzsche


Wed Mar 01, 2006 11:14 pm
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Man that word Conquistadors sounds almost the same as conquerors, maybe thats just me. Maybe I'm an idealist...

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Fo Holla


Wed Mar 01, 2006 11:25 pm
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I find it funny that in today's society we are mostly teaching people that the Native Americans had the right of it. If I remember correctly they were just as adamantly attacking European settlements as the Europeans were attacking the Native American villages and lands. Yeah, Europeans won. That's why we teach about them. The saying, "The victors right the history books" is most adequate in this discussion.

I plan on teaching my students the viewpoint of each side, but I have to make them realize that most of the leaders on both sides (not the whole culture) was determined to destroy the other. That's the way of cultures. Cultures co-existing side by side is, in my understanding, a twentieth-century American view.

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Wed Mar 01, 2006 11:52 pm
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