Studying the Armenian Genocide: A Flipped Classroom Approach

Posted by KC Kourtz on April 17, 2015

This month marks 100 years since the start of the Armenian Genocide. This event raises important questions. How do historical events influence our identity and our perception of the "other"? Why do genocides frequently take place under the cover of war? What choices do individuals, groups, and nations have when responding to genocide and other instances of mass violence?

Grappling with such questions is essential work in a Facing History classroom. As you think about how you might teach this history, consider this flipped classroom approach, our latest in a series of blog posts using our latest video resources and the flipped classroom model.

The Armenian Genocide

This 14-minute film gives an overview of the historical events that led to the Armenian Genocide and its aftermath. It features interview footage with Dr. Richard Hovannisian, Professor Emeritus of Modern Armenian History at the University of California Los Angeles. Please note that the film includes some imagery that could be disturbing to some viewers. Educator discretion is advised.

1. Have students watch the video.

2. After they watch, pose the following questions. Students may re-watch the video to guide their responses:

  • Hovannisian believes the Ottoman massacres were “the way traditional regimes respond to calls for change and equality.” Why would traditional regimes respond to calls for change with slaughter? How is a democracy supposed to respond to dissent? What protections are there for those that advocate for change in your community? School? Country?
  • As you listen to Dr. Hovannisian’s description of the Armenian Genocide, what details stand out? How would you describe the process of the genocide in your own words?
  • What “choiceless choice” does Dr. Hovannisian describe regarding the Armenian women? What does the phrase “choiceless choice” mean here?
  • According to Dr. Hovannisian, what was the role of sexual violence in the Armenian Genocide? What do we learn about history and human behavior by examining the particular treatment of women during genocide?
  • Hovannisian also describes incidents of rescue and resistance. How do these stories impact your understanding of the genocide?

Are you teaching the Armenian Genocide? Be sure to download our free resource, Crimes Against Humanity and Civilization: The Genocide of the Armenians.

Explore our Armenian Genocide Resource Collection.

Topics: Antisemitism, Armenian Genocide, EdTech, Media Skills, Assessment, Online Learning, Flipped Classroom, Facing Technology

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Welcome to Facing Today, a Facing History blog. Facing History and Ourselves combats racism and antisemitism by using history to teach tolerance in classrooms around the globe.

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