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How to Teach about the Holocaust in Schools

There can be no single "correct" way of teaching any subject, no ideal methodology that is appropriate for all teachers and students. What is offered here are guidelines and advice that might prove useful to schoolteachers in constructing their own schemes of work, taking into account the learning needs of individual students. These guidelines draw on current best practice from a number of institutions with expertise in teaching the Holocaust to address some of the concerns teachers have about how to approach this very difficult subject and to present possible ways forward.

What to Teach about the Holocaust

In general, teaching about the Holocaust should:

  1. Advance knowledge about this unprecedented destruction
  2. Preserve the memory of those who suffered
  3. Encourage educators and students to reflect upon the moral and spiritual questions raised by the events of the Holocaust and as they apply in today's world

These aims can be clearly seen in the following definitions of the Holocaust:

Why Teach About the Holocaust

The objective of teaching any subject is to engage the intellectual curiosity of students in order to inspire critical thought and personal growth. Therefore it is essential that educators consider questions of rationale whenever they approach any subject.

When educators take the time to consider the reasons for their lessons on the Holocaust, they will be more likely to select content that speaks to their students' interests and that provides a clearer understanding of a complex history.


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