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Holocaust Education in a Global Context

Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Global Studies host K-12 teachers for genocide workshop
December 11, 2015

In June 2015, the Institute for Global Studies, in partnership with the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, hosted a four-day institute for K-16 teachers to explore issues and challenges of genocide education in the classroom and to discuss and share best practices in educating students about mass violence.

The institute addressed the historical and sociological significance of comparative genocide studies in education.  It also provided hands-on materials through survivor testimony, literature, art, and film designed to help educators create activities and lessons accessible to all learners.

Thirty-two educators took part in the initial institute, coming to the University of Minnesota from high schools and tribal colleges across the state and beyond.  Institute organizers were especially pleased to welcome one educator from Ganado High School, located on a Navajo Reservation in Arizona, and one educator from Tiospa Zina, a tribal school on the Sisseton-Wahpeton Dakota Reservation.  

Following the completion of the institute, a group of six educators--two experienced teachers and four teachers in training--stayed for an additional two weeks to create lesson plans and gather additional resources that support the teaching of the Armenian Genocide, the Rwandan Genocide, the Cambodian Genocide, the Dakota War, and the Holocaust.

In the fall, these six educators together with Professor Alejandro Baer, Director of the Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies, led a workshop entitled “Teaching Genocide: Lessons, Resources & Experiences.” They shared their research and presented the materials they developed to 32 additional educators in the metro area.

Institute for Global Studies Outreach Coordinator Deborah Jane reflected on the process, “It was amazing because often times it’s difficult for teachers to develop curriculum during short institutes, but this process allowed them to do just that. It was a really positive experience all around.” In total, the institute and follow-up workshop reached almost 75 educators who can now share what they have learned with students for years to come.

These programs were made possible by a grant from Ohanessian Endowment Fund for Justice and Peace Studies of the Minneapolis Foundation to the Institute for Global Studies.

This story was written by an undergraduate student account executive in CLAgency. Meet the team.