Robert W. Easton

My name is Robert W. Easton. I teach third grade at Bancroft School, in Worcester, Massachusetts, USA. It has taken two planes and 400 kilometers in a rental car to get to L'Anse aux Meadows, and sitting on a rock in the freezing wind, I puzzle about why I picked this destination.

One of the themes third graders study is Exploration. We discuss Marco Polo and his trip to China, Christopher Columbus and his voyages to the New World, and the Vikings. (I wonder how much Columbus knew about the Viking explorations?) Our approach to teaching about Exploration is to begin with the world as it was known by different peoples. Then, as explorers brought back information about unknown lands and peoples, we show how the view of the world changed. We examine the cultures of both the explorer and the "explored." We study the effect of each on the other, so that when our third graders have an opportunity to assume the role of explorer, in addition to excitement and adventure, they will bring sensitivity and thoughtfulness to the process.

- 14. august 2004 -