It is well known that the imperative objective of teaching any topic or subject is to pique the intellectual curiosity and interest of learners, with the aim of inspiring critical or analytical thought, as well as personal growth. The key rationale for teaching the Holocaust as a subject is that the topic provides the opportunity to contemplate moral implications that can be derived from the event. Education is nothing but a process of discovery. As such, by providing holocaust education, learners are actively occupied and absorbed in critical thinking and self-reflection respectively. By so doing, students are engaged in making critical connections between the Holocaust, as well as other historical events, and the contemporary moral situations and moral choices that confront them in their own lives. Equally important, teaching Holocaust education enables students to recognize, appreciate and embrace cultural diversity in a pluralistic society.
Learning materials, resources, and activities are extremely beneficial in facilitating and enabling learners to understand the subject of the Holocaust. Materials used as curricular resources for my Holocaust education lessons include the use survivor testimony contained in portable document file (PDF) format as well printed handouts. The use of Holocaust history animated maps also engages the learners visually using animated maps that also illustrate and provide details of Holocaust history. Equally important, learners participate in examining and analyzing judiciously selected photos that relate to the Holocaust. To effectively impart Holocaust education to learners, photo analysis activities are helpful, particularly in the classroom. Also, a visit to the Holocaust memorial Museums is an activity that engages the students and always pays off in terms of helping learners get better insights. Also, this provides the learners with the opportunity to learn more about the Holocaust from the museum experts.
The effectiveness of this teaching method is evaluated or measured through the classroom’s question and answer session. The learners are also asked to hand in written log journals of what they learn from a visit to the Holocaust museum. Lastly, learners participate in a group work assignment and also fill KWHL chart (also, referred to as “what I Know” charts) about the Holocaust.
The value of teaching the Holocaust is that it facilitates and enables learners to question presumptions, challenge preconceptions, in addition to understanding and interpreting the complex and multi-faceted relationship between individual identity and universal identity.
Below is a course outline for Holocaust Education
The General overview of the Holocaust
From the beginning to the end – The Holocaust Timeline (Activity)
The United States of America and the Holocaust – How History Unfolded
Partnership/ collaboration and complicity – Ethical Leadership
Oath and Resistance: Education under the Third Reich (Nazi)
Analysis of the Familiar: Photo Activity
Partnership/ collaboration – Kristallnacht
Propaganda: Redefinition of Propaganda
Contemporary Genocide: Defying Genocide –The Rwanda case scenario
If I win the $ 1500 scholarship fund, I will utilize part of the funds to apply and enroll myself in collegiate courses of Holocaust studies. By so doing, I will have the opportunity to enrich myself with valuable knowledge pertaining to the Holocaust and use that knowledge to help learners and the community, in general, to understand the subject better and without prejudice. In the same train of thought, I also intend to donate a percentage of the scholarship funds back to the community by initiating an educator outreach program. The primary objective of initiating the educator outreach program is to create public awareness and sensitize instructors of all levels of the education system on the significance of teaching the subject of the Holocaust to students. In the same vein, the money funds will go a long way in helping to hold and attend Holocaust workshops.