ERIC Number: ED374103
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994
Reference Count: N/A
Piaget and Columbus: A Post-Hole Dig into Decentering (A Qualitative Study in Progress).
This paper describes the process and content of The Columbus Project, designed to provide an opportunity for preservice teachers to explore in depth the complexity of intercultural encounter. The project required students to gather and analyze data from schools, libraries, the media, and interviews with children, to ascertain how the story of the initial arrival of Europeans in the Americas has traditionally been and is presently being represented. The aim was to help students perceive the narrow ethnocentrism of traditional teaching and to help themselves and each other begin to rethink American history. In conjunction with studies of Jean Piaget, students learned by direct experience what the term "cognitive dissonance" meant in their own lives. Classroom activities for the project involved students "freewriting" on everything they knew about Columbus, viewing the video "Columbus Didn't Discover Us," discovering alternative perspectives, learning facts about the history of Native Americans, and designing lesson plans. Students' development of consciousness and implications for teachers and teacher educators are discussed. (Contains 20 references.) (JDD)
Descriptors: American Indian History, Attitude Change, Cognitive Dissonance, Consciousness Raising, Critical Thinking, Culture Conflict, Education Majors, Ethnocentrism, Higher Education, Latin American History, Learning Activities, North American History, Perspective Taking, Qualitative Research, Social Attitudes, Student Development
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Columbus (Christopher); Piaget (Jean); Preservice Teachers
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the New England Educational Research Organization (Samoset, ME, April 21, 1994).