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Holocaust Memorial Museum Provides Teachers with Workshops to Engage Students

Holocaust Memorial Museum Provides Teachers with Workshops to Engage Students

The Holocaust Memorial Museum is providing teachers around the country with materials and insight to address the difficult subject matter that comes with teaching about the Holocaust.

According to The Richmond Times-Dispatch, one of the major issues that teachers face when teaching about the Holocaust is finding the time to discuss the complexities of the emotional topic, oftentimes only having two or less weeks to cover the entirety of World War II.

This past weekend, the museum held an all-day workshop for about 25 teachers from across Virginia in the state’s capital. Here, the teachers were taught how to address questions like “Why didn’t they just leave?” in reference to the persecuted Jews who remained in Germany.

"Teachers were given a worksheet detailing the labyrinthine requirements needed to emigrate from Germany and later Austria. These rules, which included 25 percent transfer tax on assets levied only on Jews and an itemized list of every gift made to a third party since 1931, were designed to be so intimidating that leaving was virtually impossible,” the article said.

Besides being taught specifics about how to address the complexities of the topic, teachers were also provided ways to personalize the material to fit into their individual classrooms.

Kate English, a regional education corps member of the national museum and a teacher in Alexandria, "offered several principles aimed at helping teachers find the best way to teach the Holocaust in their specific situations, whether that is meeting the expectations of administrators or adjusting the material to what is appropriate for specific grade levels.”

Educators helped their peers find ways to integrate the Holocaust in lessons not just limited to World War II.

William Rogers, a seventh-grade history teacher, told The Richmond Times-Dispatch that the workshop helped him increase his knowledge of history and find ways to make the content more accessible to his middle school students.

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Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

10/26/2015

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