Blog Assignment #7

Hello North House! I am your new scribe for the week! So let’s get started.

(Oh yeah, happy Columbus day for those of you doing this assignment on Monday)

So, when you were all little children in grade school you were probably told that in 1492 Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue. Am I correct? Many grade schools put on little plays or watch fun little movies and learn that Christopher Columbus was the first person to find America. But this is not true. Watch the video here to find out who discovered America first. There are also some facts in the article below the video but it is not necessary to read them, but feel free to if you wish.

Why do you think teachers decided to start teaching about Columbus’s journey to America instead of all the people before him? Why do you think history textbooks hardly mention all the others before Columbus? Do you think if you were taught the true story of Columbus anything would be different with how you viewed the world? Explain your answer.



34 thoughts on “Blog Assignment #7

  1. Why do you think teachers decided to start teaching about Columbus’s journey to America instead of all the people before him? Why do you think history textbooks hardly mention all the others before Columbus? Do you think if you were taught the true story of Columbus anything would be different with how you viewed the world? Explain your answer.

    I believe that teachers decided to start teaching about Columbus’s journey to America rather than all those before him, because at the time of Columbus, no European had known that anyone had been to America. And it wasn’t until modern archaeologists discovered evidence of Scandinavians in Newfoundland that we knew that anyone had ever even been there before. In fact, according to the article, Leif Erickson is given credit for being the first person to land on America, and yet his day of remembrance on October 9 doesn’t receive as much attention as Columbus does. This is not only historically inaccurate, but is ignorant to celebrate a day without truly knowing what historically happened.

    If I were taught the true story of Columbus, my view of the world would in fact be different because I wouldn’t have blindly celebrated a day to commemorate someone who not only was a terrible navigator on the sea, but he was cruel to the Hadians of the country that he truly landed on, which was Hispaniola. As it mentioned in the article, their hands would be cut off as a form of punishment if they did not collect enough gold, and some rebellious Spanish colonists would be executed at the gallows. This would have taught me that we as a country are celebrating the day for something that Columbus did not do. We are also having the young generation look up to a man whose ideals contradict what America aspires its people to be. If America truly wishes to celebrate the day it was discovered as well as promote positive qualities that each American should have, then they should stop looking at Columbus as a hero and idol, and instead spread the actual facts of the history of this country.

    After looking over this article, the question I have formulated is: What counterargument could you present in response to my answer? How would you argue in Columbus’s favor in what he did and why his day is celebrated in America?

  2. I think that we were taught about Christopher Columbus and only him because he was the only one who actually succeeded at the job. I think that there is no point in learning about all the other people that came before him because they didn’t get anything significant done. I feel like if the teachers would have told us the complete story of Christopher Columbus, even the bad and the ugly, we would probably feel different about him. Since we were taught at such a young age about him there isn’t much anyone can say to change the way we see him. Maybe if they would have told us the whole story of Christopher Columbus then maybe we wouldn’t idolize him like we do today.

    Do you think learning something at a young age has more of an impact than learning it as we get older? Ex: Christopher Columbus

  3. To answer the first two questions you’ll have to remember that America was not a country until July 4 1776. That date is a clear point when the history of America started. Anything before that we (Americans) have to take bitts and pieces form other nations that were there like Spain and Britain to get those pieces of history from. So, with that being said Columbus didn’t discover America but was the person to have Spain’s approval to go across the seas to go find a place that wasn’t documented anywhere else. Being taught that some strange white guy formed the place we live doesn’t effect me because history is written by the people who win, survive, or can write. So, through out history white males were displayed has powerful people that could only do great things for example Christopher Columbus.
    How do you feel about all of your history books bragging about our important in that manner?

  4. Personally, I feel like teachers taught us this false story about the amazing discovery of America by Christopher Columbus only because of the criteria they were supposed to fulfill. In addition to this, they were probably taught the same thing in their own primary schools, so it was what they were taught as well. I’m sure that if they were educated on what really happened when Columbus sailed the ocean blue, they would have educated their students on the reality of it. However, although the teachers may know the truth, there are certain aspects of learning in which teachers are not allowed to discuss their opinions or personal knowledge.

    History textbooks may not mention all the others before Columbus because of the context behind their journey. The story might have not been as exciting as Columbus’s story, as sad as that sounds. With Columbus, he was originally trying to find India, but instead found himself in a new world. There might not be as much information about the previous people as well.

    I feel like once I realized the true horror that Christopher Columbus caused towards indigenous people, I understood how naive we are as children and that we believe everything adults say. It made me realize that the world is very corrupt and that corruption is unavoidable.

    In response to Karen’s question, I feel like we take what we learn as a child for granted, we just absorb information and leave it at that. I feel like when we’re older, we understand concepts more thoroughly, for what it is, rather than absorbing information to just keep it in your mind, if that makes any sense haha.

    What was your reaction when you discovered what truly happened with the travels of Columbus?

  5. At the time Columbus sailed to the America’s, the existence of the America’s was unknown. Thus, everyone believed that Columbus was the first to land there, after, of course, Amerigo Vespucci proved that it was not, in fact, the Indies that Columbus had found. It was not until many modern archaeological discoveries that we began to discover that the Norse had been in America nearly 400 years earlier than Columbus, but at that point it was really too late. As to why modern textbooks still honour Columbus I really can’t say.

    In response to Lucia’s question:
    I can’t say I had much of a reaction, I’ve known this for years.

    A fun fact about the Norseman Erik the Red:
    He was born in Iceland, but was exiled after a fight with another Norseman. He sailed West and discovered Greenland. It was a cold land that snowed most of the year, but he called it Greenland to entice other Norsemen to settle there as revenge for his exile!

    What are the main reasons that entice civilizations to explore the world?

  6. Due to lack of technology and means to communicate with one another, perhaps something either was lost in translation or just not known so Colombus just so happens to be explorer that “discovered America.” Fortunately, I had a very socially “awoken” history teacher in my elementary years to tell me that Columbus did not discover America and was a downright putrid piece of filth. Through my teacher as well I learned as a matter of fact the famous Viking, Leif Erikson discovered the Americas. However, on the topic of why teachers tend to pick Columbus as the main explorer on who discovered America, must be the official documentations from Portugal, Spain and his personal diary or just the fact people want a day off from the daily grind of work and school.

    Textbooks generally don’t put explorers or people on a pedestal when talking about America on a pedestal like Columbus because probably lack of information or possible bias. All of the textbooks I used learning about Columbus involved like a few sentences or one paragraph about like Leif Erikson and migration, but then move on to Columbus journey to the West Indies.

    Personally for me hearing the true story of Columbus that wasn’t sugarcoated I wouldn’t view the world any different. I already know it was all about divide and conquer so nothing would really change besides my ever growing disgust for him will multiply tenfold.

    Why don’t we celebrate Leif Erikson’s day the same way we do as Columbus Day? Why do schools sugarcoat Columbus’ expedition? Why do some observe the day and or take a day off from school/work?

  7. After watching the video and reading the article, it came to the conclusion that all the other explorers weren’t given the same recognition as Columbus for discovering the Americas because there was not enough evidence. Not only this, but there also wasn’t the same amount of technology we have today which played a crucial role in helping us discover that the other explorers went to the Americas before Columbus. Since many modern textbooks are usually kind of old, they have not had the information updated to where it states the correct evidence on who founded the Americas. The textbooks do not mention the true story to Columbus because they are outdated, and not only this but it costs a lot of money to replace books withe newer and more updated versions. If I would have been taught the true story of Columbus, I would have realized that not everything is what it seems. There should always be current and updated evidence to support a certain claim or fact that a person says. In other words, Evidence is the key.

    Do you think that people would be impacted if they found out the real story of Christopher Columbus? Why or Why not ?

  8. In my opinion, I feel the reason why teachers decided to start teaching about Columbus’s journey to America instead of all the people before him is that there was a misunderstanding that is the stem to this present-day blunder. I believe that when we first asked the question “Who founded America?”, people started to say Christopher Columbus. A factor that could play into this is a lack of evidence. We don’t have a definitive answer to who founded America and back then, based on the information that they had, had to assume it was Christopher Columbus. Once this assumption became fact for Americans, it started being taught in school, leading to the nationwide spread of misinformation. Even when new evidence was found about how Christopher Columbus did not find America, it is very difficult to spread this information to millions of Americans. in addition, this information was passed down generation to generation through it being a national holiday and being taught in schools.

    I believe that some old history textbooks hardly mention all the others before Columbus is because again of the spread of misinformation through the past decades. As generations and generations of Americans are being taught about Columbus, he is eventually significant enough to be put into American history books. However, the information of Columbus in history books are very minimal. This could be because of lack of sufficient and modern evidence that can support the claim and more history books are now crediting Lief Erickson as the founder of America now as stated in the video that we watched.

    If I was taught the true story of Columbus I wouldn’t view the world any different as I am fully aware of the horrors and tragedies that occur throughout the world. In fact, I already do know the true story of how Christopher Columbus raped, killed, and murdered many of the indigenous people when he landed in “America.” He was such an awful ruler that Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand responded by removing Columbus from power and replaced him.

    In response to Alan’s question: I believe that people would indeed be impacted if they found out the real story of Christopher Columbus as he was a very unjust ruler. When he was appointed the leader of the Bahamas and the land that he founded, he used mutilation and torture methods to get his way frequently. The indigenous people would be subjected to these horrific methods of pain and torture if they ever spoke badly of Columbus or did anything wrong. In fact, when Columbus first arrived in the Bahamas, he imprisoned some of the native people and forced them to locate where they found their local gold, as they were wearing gold earrings. Overall, Christopher Columbus was not a nice guy and if everyone knew what he did then they would lose all respect for him and the national holiday.

    My question to you is: Is there definitive evidence to suggest a confirmed founder of America? If not, do you think we’ll ever know the true founder of America?

  9. I believe there are multiple reasons of why teachers taught children about Christopher Columbus’ journey to America instead of the previous explorers. One of them being that Columbus’ voyage is well known. It also ties in with our history lessons from years afterward about the slaying of Native Americans and ancient civilizations — Incas, Aztecs, and Mayans. It also relates more with our American history than it would with Lief Eriksson. The teachers were probably unaware of the previous explorers until recently or had to teach by their book. However, we all were children. We may not have understood our teacher’s explanation well. As we got older, we were finally told, but there are implications. The video mentioned that the other explorers weren’t as popular as Columbus and that is why they didn’t get credit.

    In my opinion, some textbooks are outdated and could be biased. They also may be relating more towards our American history rather than Lief Eriksson, which would be Norse Viking history. It mostly depends on the type of textbook and subject. If a textbook is mostly about WWII, then you won’t hear about the maple syrup in Canada. However, with the debate going around with “whether or not Columbus Day should continue being a holiday,” authors may have sneaked one line in about the previous explorers.

    I wouldn’t view the world as any different than it is. I was told the story of Columbus through movies and teachers. A good source was an animated film called El Dorado. It was similar to his voyage because it consisted of Europeans coming over to America and slaying innocent natives. Besides that, we were born after the world changed — September 11, 2001. Since then, the world has became anti-terrorist. We grew up with many changes in safety and security. The older we got, the more tragic and horrific the stories became. Besides, explorers like Columbus were mainly into conquering and finding glory. It made him no different since that is one of the reasons he traveled. He was trying to find a new route to the Silk Road in China by sailing across hoping that he will be a hero to Europe because the Silk Road was blocked off.

    In response to Alan: People have been impacted from the truth of Christopher Columbus. Most of the country stopped celebrating his holiday. It is being boycotted and some do have the day off. With the truth out, more people are celebrating Indigenous People’s Day (Native American Day). It was created as a counter-celebration of Columbus Day. It promotes the culture and history of the Native Americans.

    Should Columbus Day be eliminated as a holiday and be replaced with Indigenous People’s Day? Or should both co-exist? Explain your answer.

  10. After watching the video I don’t think the teachers are to blame for teaching students that Colombus was the first to discover America because It has something to do with our ancestors a long time ago and back then I think there could have been a little biased towards who would get credited for the discovery of America and like mentioned by Raquel and the video, Colombus was more popular than the other explorers. I don’t think teachers ever tried to teach us the correct story of who discovered America because that would just make every teacher a liar and students would lose trust and respect for teachers especially since this is taught to young students which don’t completely understand that with the past decades and with more research there has been evidence that Columbus didn’t discover America.

    In response to Raquel I don’t believe Columbus day should be replaced with Indigenous People’s Day instead, both should be celebrated as a holiday and everyone should have the right to chose what they want to celebrate since we have been taught about one story which is the one about Colombus and not everyone knows the story of the Indigenous people. Although if we would’ve been taught about the correct story of who discovered America and how cruel Columbus was to the Hadians of the country maybe we wouldn’t be crediting a figure that has nothing to do with the discovery of America.

    Question: What can we do now to teach students that Colombus didn’t discover America and would that lead us to stop celebrating Colombus day?

  11. Teachers probably taught about Columbus’s journey to America instead of the ones before him because that was just what the teaching material was. They probably followed the lesson plans that the textbooks taught. History textbooks probably hardly mention others before Columbus because, according to the video, Columbus got more credit for the achievements due to his popularity. The video basically explained that many were taught that it was Columbus’s journey and “discovery” of America rather than the people before him mostly because the voyagers before him weren’t as well known. I do not believe that learning Columbus’s real story as a child would have changed my idea of the world because I now know the truth, but my view still has not changed. All that happened was a fact was proven wrong, the fact hasn’t changed my way of life. It is like if you found out apples have actually been vegetables this whole time; would you still eat them then?

    Columbus’s story has been intertwined with our grade school lessons and material, are there any other stories that the world has switched up? Any other instances that the people have gotten the story wrong?

  12. Sorry for putting it in two posts

    Also, answering Raquel’s question of whether should Columbus Day be eliminated as a holiday and be replaced with Indigenous People’s Day? Or should both co-exist?, I would say they should co-exist because Columbus did in a way help us hear about the Americas, but we also need to respect the Indigenous people there.

  13. I think that most teachers educate their students about Columbus’ journey instead of all the people before him who had discovered America because it is the easiest place in time to pinpoint when America had actually become the destination for many European travelers. I also think that this reason applies to why the history textbooks usually don’t mention who else had found America before Columbus. The reason they all teach us about America’s discovery made by Columbus is because that is when the knowledge of its existence became much more widespread throughout the old world. I think that I would have a different outlook on the world after learning about Columbus’ real story because I would know about the atrocities he had brought upon the natives, and also would know not to glamorize him or any part of his voyages as some incredible part of history.

    Answering Kyle’s question: I can’t think of any large event in history that most people mix up, but one few small misconception comes to mind. We usually see Vikings depicted with large animal horns displayed on their helmets, but historically they did not put horns on their helmets. This myth was likely made popular by inaccurate depictions of Vikings in famous paintings during the 18th century.

    My question: Do you think it would be the right thing to revise all future history textbooks and lesson plans for Teachers to tell the truth about America’s discovery? Or would this take too much time, money and effort to be completed?

  14. I think teachers decided to start teaching about Christopher Columbus’s journey to America due to history textbooks hardly mentioning all the others before him because Columbus made it very well-known to many people that he was setting off to discover the “New World.” Because Leif Erikson, Zheng He, the ancient Babylonians, and the Solutreans did not emphasize the discovery of this land to be their goal or motivation for exploration. If I were taught the true story of Columbus, I don’t think anything would be much different with how I viewed the world. I think that I, along with the rest of the world’s people, may just have a different figure to acknowledge for the discovery of the Americas.

    To answer Kyle’s question, there are possibly many other instances in which “switched up” pieces of history have been implemented into our grade lessons and material. Just like the case with Christopher Columbus, there were people before James Watson, Francis Crick, Maurice Wilkins, and Rosalind Franklin who studied DNA, but because Watson, Crick, Wilkins, and Franklin gave this study a specific name and purpose later on in history, they are the ones we acclaim.

    Who do you think should be highly credited for a discovery or significant event in history: those who studied it first, or those who specified it later on?

  15. Due to lack of technology and means to communicate with one another, perhaps something either was lost in translation or just not known so Colombus just happened to be explorer that “discovered America.” Fortunately, I had a very socially “awoken” history teacher in my elementary years to tell me that Columbus did not discover America and was a downright putrid piece of filth. Through my teacher as well I learned as a matter of fact the famous Viking, Leif Erikson discovered the Americas. All of the textbooks I used learning about Columbus hardly mention his expedition or have any significance and disregard him as the first known person to discover the Americas. However, on the topic of why teachers tend to pick Columbus as the main explorer on who discovered America, must be the official documentations from Portugal, Spain and his personal diary or just the fact people want a day off from the daily grind of work and school.
    Personally for me hearing the true story of Columbus that wasn’t sugarcoated I wouldn’t view the world any different. I already know it was all about divide and conquer, so nothing would really change besides my ever growing disgust for him which will multiply tenfold.
    Why don’t we celebrate Leif Erikson’s day the same way we do as Columbus Day? Why do schools sugarcoat Columbus’ expedition? Why do some observe the day and or take a day off from school/work?
    For reference if you answer my first question.

  16. I think that teachers teach students about Christopher Columbus’s journey to America instead of all the people before him because it is part of the teaching material. He was the one that founded “The New World.” As far as I remembered, the textbooks don’t mention Christopher Columbus and his journey as much as other explorers. The teachers also don’t want to give Christopher Columbus a bad name. What I learned from school about Columbus was that he “discovered” America. However, he actually enslaved Native Americans and he spread diseases. I think if I was taught the true story of Columbus back then, I wouldn’t differently about the world but differently about Columbus because what I knew about Columbus didn’t effect what I see in the world. It makes me wonder what else we were taught that weren’t all true.

    Response to Lucia’s question: I was shocked because we weren’t taught any of this stuff and I didn’t think he would do those cruel things.

    My question: Why do you think some people get Columbus Day off and others don’t?

  17. I think that teachers teach students about Christopher Columbus and his “famous voyage” because it was probably the best documented voyage recorded at the time. I read some articles that talk about how Leif Erikson possibly was one of the first ones to discover what we call the Americas, but it can hardly be proven.
    To be honest I had already learned a lot about the horrors when Columbus came and found the natives. History is written in blood and violence and I feel that this only makes think that we live in a better time than before.

    My question is, Why do some schools not have class on Columbus day? I understand that it is an important holiday but not to that extent.

  18. The reason why we are taught about Christopher Columbus’ journey was because it was the most well-known/documented journey out there. If the previous journeys were documented then It could have been what was taught to us instead. Well-detailed documentation is the reason why Christopher Columbus is widely known so thus he is mentioned more often than others. If I were taught about Columbus true story, it wouldn’t really matter to me since that is in the past and it’s history already.
    Reply: In response to Alan’s question, To the common mass there might be a few shocked reactions but nowadays no one is going to care about history.

  19. Although christopher columbus didn’t discover america he was the person who popularized his discovery and he was the most well known explorer of those who did make it to america and back. Teachers probably prioritized teaching columbus’s voyage because there was more evidence and detail from his voyage compared to that of the other explorers. Most if not all of the explorers that sailed to america did equal amount of harm to the natives so i wouldn’t say that my opinion of the world would change.

    In response to Raquel’s question- I think that columbus day should exist but it shouldn’t be celebrated as much as indigenous peoples day should.

    My question- why aren’t many people informed of the fact that christopher columbus kidnapped and mutilated several natives over the course of his travels to hispaniola?

  20. Teachers decided to teach students about Christopher Columbus instead of the others because his journey was probably the most well known ones and is famous. Textbooks hardly mention the other voyager because in the video they mention that there was evidence, but hardly enough to prove that the other voyagers were the first before Columbus and there was a lot of evidence on Columbus’s voyage and that is why he mention majority of the time than the other voyagers. If I was taught the true story of Christopher Columbus it wouldn’t change my view of the world because there were much worst action done by people in the past like Hitler and since it is in the past I don’t really care because we can’t change the past we can only change the future base on our actions.

    Why do we celebrate Columbus day when he has done so many sinful actions on his expedition besides the fact that he “discovered” America?

  21. I believe that teachers teach about Christopher Columbus because he has a more interesting and well known story on how he discovered America. The others probably did not have as significant of a story than Columbus had. Possibly this could be how teachers were taught that Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue in 1492, and they did not know anyone else that discovered America. Also back then we did not have the proper technology we have today to actually find out who discovered America before Christopher Columbus.

    My question is : What else do you think teachers are “lying” about? Or what other historical events do you think we got the information wrong?

  22. I believe that we were taught about Columbus because he is one who did succeed of going through the ocean blue completely. Learning about the others has no significance because they did not complete the journey. If we would have know the different sides of Columbus we might’ve had a different view on him, we were also taught about Columbus at such a young age that there are somethings I don’t remember so it wouldn’t have an effect on me, viewing him differently.
    Question: Why did the holiday of Christopher Columbus recently change to indigenous holiday in the United States?

  23. “History is written by the victors” said by Winston Churchill completely explaining the reason behind the teachings of Columbus’s journey. Throughout history, only the most powerful and influential countries are remember while the rest are less known or completely forgotten. From the provided video, the narrator described Columbus journey as “His voyage paved the way of European Exploration and colonization; changing the course of world history.” in 00:16- 00.22 second mark. Columbus was indeed not the first explorer to discover America, however, his voyage popularised the discover backed by Spain, a powerful and influential country during that time, that which allowed the rest of European countries to seek out their own colony. Even though other explorer discovered America before Columbus, their discovery weren’t as popular or significant enough as Colombus. As I mentioned before, history is written only by the victors which in this case means the most powerful and influential country can create history. Previous explores weren’t backed by any powerful countries, and were only known by the local level thus being untold while Colombus discovery was well known by other powerful European Countries paving away a new era of colonization. Well if we were told as little children about how he wasn’t the first explorer, but rather to one who popularised it, we would certainly ask many question, and be confused about it, however, our minds would not view the world differently. Because history in itself is too vast, complicated, and far too biased towards the winner. We would still view him as the man who discovered America in the sense of popularising rather than being the first, which in reality only changes the factor of him not being the first.

    Answering luciabnorth Question: My reaction of Columbus actions towards the indigenous people were the same as any average sympathetic human being by being horrified and disgusted while asking the question “why do this?”, however, I soon realised how easily history can be rewritten favoring one side rather than the other. Like I mentioned before, “History is written by the victors” said by Winston Churchill does indeed happen. Rather than thinking about the poor souls of the indigenous people, my thoughts were rather into thinking the many important events were either written truly by scholars in different perspectives or written by the victors.

    Question: As I mentioned before, history is written by only the victors which makes you wonder if the history we all known is completely true or is it filled with numerous lies and deceptions favoring the winners?

  24. I agree with Kyle, teachers started incorporating Columbus’s journey into class because it was set up strictly in the past curriculum that was already approved by the districts standards for Social Studies. More recently, districts have adapted a better approach to this seasonal ‘holiday’ rather than teaching the blind truth about Columbus Day. About a year ago, school districts have urged a completely new prompt for the Social Studies curriculum. Students are being taught that Christopher Columbus was an important historical figure and his discoveries may have not been the first but they have a significant impact on how the world around us was formed. The curriculum is starting to change to a new view on this ‘holiday’ and maybe one day it will change to something new across all of America. Kids are given evidence of other explorers and students are urged to come to their own conclusions rather than an assumption presumed by the teacher’s views. As for the teachers who choose not to teach about Columbus Day are ignorant because students then start to give into the past views and this causes naïve students and teachers who refuse to accept the truth. The education system needs to implement a curriculum for this day to get rid of old views on this ‘holiday.’ This day should not be shied upon but it should be taught in another perspective so students provoking questions can be answered rather than left in the dust.

    Again, history textbooks may have hardly mentioned the other explorers back when we were in elementary or middle school because it was not something historical findings one hundred percent believed. As of now, many textbooks do include the discovery of America but with a different perspective afar from, “Christopher Columbus was the first to discover the Americas,” but now curriculums suggest teachers to talk about the explorer’s before him and how his findings impacted the new world. On the other hand, this has created a ruff in the education system because as mentioned before some teachers are refusing to teach about the subject as a whole and forget about the implications this puts on their students minds. Such as an endless amount of questions of who discovered the Americas and why America is the way it is now.

    Yes, I believe my views on the world would be different if I learned about the new findings behind Columbus Day. Not that I would have liked the conclusion that the school system would have put in my mind but I think I would have a better understanding of the old world and the history behind America and why we live in such a structured society today. I would have not had a bajillion amount of questions that bothered my family too. Personally, I was raised in a school district that strayed away from this topic and whenever a student tried to bring it up, the teacher would push away the question and move to the next topic. Much of what I know about Christopher Columbus is from research online. I would have liked to see my perspective revolutionize through the years.

    To answer Jesus’s question, “Why aren’t many people informed of the fact that Christopher Columbus kidnapped and mutilated several natives over the course of his travels to Hispaniola?” The school system during our generation and somewhat now was a strategic way to set up a selective curriculum for the teachers. They could teach us about what used to be written in the textbooks or they could ignore that part of the curriculum all together. This caused a trickling effect into the students because it taught them to be wrongly informed about the topic or not informed all together. As of now, past American students’ part of our generation and before have a broad understanding of the new world. Much of what we know is from our own research or small discussions from a teacher. This particular set of past students never got the true ‘whole day teaching’ of our modern understanding of the new world and Christopher Columbus’s wrong doings.

    Question: Have you ever been misinformed about anything during school that you later discovered was untrue? If so, what was it? Please explain.

    Evidence: “’There Were Already People There’: Teachers Give New Look to Columbus Day, Thanksgiving Lessons.” Google, Google,,amp.html.

  25. Christopher Columbus is known by many Americans today, to the point where he has his own day dedicated to his great journey of finding America. He is known by many people as the man who discovered America, even though he wasn’t the first. According to the video, he wasn’t even the “first European to find America.” Teachers today only teach about Columbus’s journey, and fail to mention the true first settlers of America. I think this is because When Columbus first found America, he was the one that beat others when it came to making America known. For example, today, when someone has a great idea but never makes it known to the world, someone else can jump in and steal their idea. The person who makes it known to everybody is the one who gets credited for it, even thought they might not be the first person that thought about it. I think that this is what happened when Columbus discovered America. He. simply made it known to everyone and that’s how everyone knows him today as the man who discovered America.

    Even history books seem to neglect all the others who lived or traveled to America before Columbus did. I think that this is because Columbus put in a lot of effort to make himself known. For example, the article state, “For nearly a decade, Columbus lobbied European monarchies to bankroll his quest to discover a western sea route to Asia” Columbus begged monarchies to provide him with the necessary resources for almost ten years, and never gave up on his quest, until he was finally able to achieve it. All his hard work and patience later payed off when he finally reached America, and everyone knew about it. Columbus may not have been the first to discover America, but he is certainly the one that made America known by many.

    If I were taught the true story about who discovered America, I don’t think it would have made a difference in how I viewed the world. I know the truth now, and it still doesn’t really make much of a difference. It might have made me question why America praises Christopher Columbus so much, but it doesn’t change my view on the world.

    Question: What do you think was so special about Columbus that made everyone think that he was the one that discovered America out of all others that went to America before him? Do you think that it is fair that Columbus got credited for discovering America even though he was not the first?

  26. To address Kylie’s question of “Why did teachers decide to start teaching about Columbus’s journey to America rather than people before him”, I believe that for the longest time, American education systems have opted to teach about the end result and the outcome of certain events, rather than the side effects (genocide, murder, disease). This causes uproar now, but when it was implemented, it was seen as fine. Also, considering that when Columbus is typically taught, the students are young and unknowing. This allows the teacher’s to convey the discovery and exploration of the new world through a specific figure without the critical thinking found later in life. I think that textbooks hardly mention the people before Columbus in order to avoid confusion, especially in younger minds. By teaching about Columbus, many consider this to serve as a blanket lesson for exploration in the new world. If the true story of Columbus were to be taught, later in education with an objective view, I am confident it would considerably increase the critical and meaningful thinking that education prepares students for.

    To answer Irene’s question, I think that the fact that Columbus’s journey took place in the coming age of long distance sailing with such a desire to explore, many take him to be the first. With advertising of his “discovery”, it gains more traction and is spread. I do not think it is fair that Columbus got full credit for a discovery he was not the first to make, however, this is how the history books are written, and it has been taught so extensively for generations that it will be hard to fix.

    Question: In what ways can an education system teach events objectively and aim to eliminate all potential bias to truly spark critical thinking?

  27. I remember learning about Columbus in school and believing that he was the one that discovered America. It wasn’t until I was in middle school that I discovered those lessons about Columbus were all false. I honestly have no idea why current school systems still teach about “Columbus’s Journey to America” when Columbus never landed in America. According to the video Kylie provided us with, Columbus landed in the Bahamas, not America. Columbus was also not the first person to even travel across the Atlantic Ocean. Nearly 500 years before Columbus sailed across the Atlantic Ocean, the Norse Viking Leif Erikson, is believed to be the first European to reach North America. Around the year 1000 A.D, Erikson had sailed from Greenland to Norway where King Olaf I Tryggvason converted him to Christianity. Instead of sailing back to Greenland, Erikson accidentally went off course and crossed the Atlantic Ocean, landing in North America. If I were taught the true story of Columbus I don’t think that I would view the world any differently, because I understand that there are horrors in the world that people need to be educated on.

    In response to Kevin’s question, history books are not also true to the facts due to the author’s bias opinion or lack of information, but one way someone can avoid this is by looking up the certain topic in different history books and learn all the different versions of the story. By doing this then most likely the reader can interpret what is false and what is true.

    Question: Although people were already living in North American, do you believe that “discovery” of North American should be celebrated, despite who was the first one to discover North America?

  28. In response to Kylie, I do not think they intended to teach about Christopher Columbus but rather because they had to follow a set curriculum of some sort. I believe this because my eighth-grade teacher completed and utterly dreaded the name Christopher Columbus. So much so, in fact, that whenever she ran across his name in our textbooks, she would refer to him as Idiot Boy. However, regardless of her hatred for Columbus, she still taught about him in her own special way. As for the second part of the question, it wouldn’t have changed my view on the world because my teachers made it their duty to tell me about who really found the Americas. Even if they did not tell and I didn’t find out until later down the line, I don’t think it would have a huge affect on my view on the world at all.

    My question: Seeing as how the vast majority of America acknowledges the fact that Columbus did not find the Americas and that he acted terribly towards the native Americans, do you think the holiday’s name should be changed? If so, what should it be changed to?

    Scribe: Kylie

  29. I believe we still learn about Columbus till this day because of all the mystery and unsolved stories back in the day. From my recollection, I learned on the internet somewhere that Leif Erikson was the first to discover America. While this piece of information might be true there just is not enough evidence and proof to change the lesson plan of every elementary school teacher. While Columbus might have not been the first one to discover America, it was one of the most well known documented voyage at the time and the most we knew about this country.

    Question: What do you think Columbus’ first thought was when landing in America?

  30. After knowing that our brave adventurer Christopher Columbus was not the one to discover America, it broke my little child heart. In my mind he was a discoverer who forged the very lives that we live now, but in reality he was a cruel man who enslaved the people that he found on the land that he reached. When we are kids, we enjoy stories that seem adventurous and are told like fairy tales. This allows the adult/ teacher/ instructor to grab our attention and actually teach something to us. By portraying Christopher Columbus as a revered explorer, he seems much more important and interesting than the people that walked for years to America. Not that I’m saying that is the true reason why teachers tell us these lies, it is just one possibility. Another reason could be that it was meant to be believed that Christopher Columbus discovered America to glorify Spain at the time. Because this false idea was spread, it became common knowledge and people immediately accepted it. It never changed throughout history and it was taught as a fact. Those who did not know the truth simply aren’t informed.
    Question: If everything that we know is proven wrong by someone will our society and life change or will people remain blissfully ignorant?
    Answering Kevin’s question, we can never know until more evidence is uncovered, because all we know is considered common knowledge and usually isn’t debated.

  31. First of all i think the first two parts of the question are related in that teachers didnt decide to teach it that way, the curriculum told them to and the people in charge of the curriculum and textbooks were the ones who decide Christopher was more important than the ones before him. i discovered the truth about Christopher pretty soon in life so if i was taught it differently i dont think my outtake on life wouldn’t be much different.
    Q.What other things are not completely accurate that we are taught and why were they taught wrongly?

  32. Why do you think teachers decided to start teaching about Columbus’s journey to America instead of all the people before him? Why do you think history textbooks hardly mention all the others before Columbus? Do you think if you were taught the true story of Columbus anything would be different with how you viewed the world? Explain your answer.

    Children are taught that Columbus was the discoverer of the new world because, in a way, his reintroduction of the America’s into the European lexicon helped propel the renisance into a new age of exploration. Historical documents make it obvious that he was a vile, murderous human, but this does not diminish his importance to western civilization. This is probably why Columbus is celebrated instead of someone like Leif Eriksson. Although Eriksson is credited as the first European to visit North America, his voyage did not have the same economic, cultural, and agricultural effects that Columbus’s voyage kickstarted.

    In elementary school, I was fortunate enough to have teachers that taught me the ugly truth about Columbus. This education has definitely affected my worldview. I really do believe that because of this, I have always looked at history from the perspectives of both sides. I was taught about the importance of Columbus’s “discovery” of America to western civilization, but also about the atrocities that he and other colonists committed. Because of this, the way I viewed the world was different than the way most elementary school kids do.

    To answer Kevin’s question, I do think that history is filled with lies. Not very many would be willing to show themselves in a negative light. The victors are the ones who write the history, but by looking at evidence from the losers, it is possible to piece together a narrative that might give the complete, unbiased picture.

    Is teaching young children about the full story of Columbus better than giving the simple “he discovered America” story?

  33. Teachers do not make the choice to instruct the claim that Christopher Columbus was the first to discover America. Teachers must follow a set of curriculum to cover and that curriculum is decided by the state. I strongly believe that school board associations feel that a student should be aware of Christopher Colombus because of the impact he had on the world. Surely, he was not the first to discover the Americas, but he did open the world for the Europeans. His “discovery” brought various goods to and from Europe, and also set the way for the mass settlement of the Americas. Without his exploration, the United States of America would probably have never existed.

    I believe History textbooks hardly mention all the others that preceded Columbus because there are many theories to who discovered the Americas first. As the video mentioned, Leif Erikson discovered the Americas 492 years before Columbus set sail. The video also states that some cultures believe that they discovered the Americas dating back as far as 600 B.C. Archeologists also believe that the Solutreans sailed from Europe to the Americas in 22,000 B.C. Time and research continue to yield more evidence on who discovered America first and it is published at a rapid pace. A pace so fast for History textbooks to be printed.

    I personally believe that any discovery story would not have a huge impact on how I view the world. Those who discovered the Americas are deceased and do not relate to me at all at a personal level.

    In response to Andrea’s question, I feel that Christopher Columbus day should be changed to I Indigenous People’s Day. This day should be a day of reverence for all those who were murdered by the white men who “crossed the sea” and brought “pain and misery” (Iron Maiden’s Run to the Hills)

    Do you believe that Christopher Colombus should be taught in school for the monstrosities he did?

  34. I believe we are formally taught that Christopher Columbus discovered Americas because it is properly documented and needed approval to travel rather than a group of people fleeing a place for safety. Archeologist probably knew other people arrived before Columbus but, could not give an explanation on who, how and why. Thus causing archeologist to release information that they are certain about because it will be printed in books all around the country.

    To answer Allan’ s question, I believe the few who know the truth will be not be surprised but those who grew up with the knowledge of Christopher Columbus discovering the Americas will be outraged. They will probably question everything they learned through school and if their brain was filled with false information.
    Would you question the information you learned if you just found out schools are teaching something different from what actually happened in history?

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