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Becoming a Holocaust Educator: Purposeful Pedagogy Through Inquiry

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Today’s teachers seek to address the Holocaust not just as history, but also in relation to current events. Featuring stories from middle school, high school, and university classrooms across the United States, this collection offers a comprehensive argument for the inclusion of purposeful Holocaust pedagogy rooted in literacy practices and historic content. Each narrative addresses the reasons that teachers engage students in deep, emotional, and challenging inquiry; the struggles they encounter when broaching difficult content from the past and present; and what can happen when students have opportunities to raise their voices about issues of inequality, persecution, and remembrance. Grounded in the experiences and voices of classroom teachers who are actively navigating the challenges of teaching about the Holocaust, this book will help readers to teach a specific set of historic events while helping students address broader questions about responding to injustice.

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Today’s teachers seek to address the Holocaust not just as history, but also in relation to current events. Featuring stories from middle school, high school, and university classrooms across the United States, this collection offers a comprehensive argument for the inclusion of purposeful Holocaust pedagogy rooted in literacy practices and historic content. Each narrative addresses the reasons that teachers engage students in deep, emotional, and challenging inquiry; the struggles they encounter when broaching difficult content from the past and present; and what can happen when students have opportunities to raise their voices about issues of inequality, persecution, and remembrance. Grounded in the experiences and voices of classroom teachers who are actively navigating the challenges of teaching about the Holocaust, this book will help readers to teach a specific set of historic events while helping students address broader questions about responding to injustice.

Book Features:

  • Experienced educators share how they conceive of Holocaust education as based in writing and inquiry.
  • Materials such as lesson seeds and activity ideas to illuminate the narratives of teacher and student efforts.
  • Reflections on how professional development helps guide teacher growth and success.
  • Examinations of the ways professional organizations and networks can support teachers grappling with challenging content.

Testimonial

“I suspect these stories and the teachers who tell them will keep you company long after you have finished reading the book. They will accompany you along your own journey of becoming a Holocaust educator. They will sit next to you, offering encouragement and support, letting you know that you will get better, even though it might take a decade—or longer. I have no doubt that, like me, you will feel richer, and much less alone, for having read them.”
—From the Foreword by Tanya Baker, director of national programs, National Writing Project

About the Authors

Jennifer Lemberg is associate director of U.S. Programs at The Olga Lengyel Institute for Holocaust Studies and Human Rights. Alexander Pope IV is an associate professor in the Department of Secondary and Physical Education and director of the Institute for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement at Salisbury University.

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