6 Tools for Teaching About Genocide

Posted by Kaitlin Smith on April 13, 2021

A dictionary definition of "genocide"Teaching about genocide is challenging for a number of reasons. Each instance of genocide is unique to the historical, cultural, and political contexts in which it emerges, demanding sustained intellectual engagement. Simultaneously, however, educators teaching about genocide are also called to engage themselves—and their students—in a level of emotional engagement and ethical reflection not required by most other topics of instruction. Below are 6 virtual tours, exhibitions, and professional development opportunities that educators can use to navigate these challenges with greater support:

Online Tours & Exhibitions

The Holocaust: History and Memory
Developed in cooperation with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and powered by Google Expeditions, this virtual field trip includes nine different scenes from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum—covering their permanent exhibition on the Holocaust, their Hall of Witness and Hall of Remembrance, and a conservation lab where students can examine how our staff preserve and present Holocaust history. Pair this with Facing History’s seminal case study and resource collection, Holocaust and Human Behavior.

Armenian Genocide Museum of America
This expansive online museum is a joint project of the Armenian Genocide Museum and Memorial, Armenian National Institute, and Armenian Assembly of America. Pair their offerings with Facing History’s unit, Crimes Against Humanity and Civilization: The Genocide of the Armenians.

Professional Development

In Conversation: Preventing Genocide - Why Now?
Join us on April 15, 2021 as we explore the recent history of anti-genocide and anti-atrocity activism. We will discuss genocide education in our classrooms, what our students need to know about it, and how young people can get involved in the struggle to prevent genocide. John Prendergast is a human rights and anti-corruption activist as well as a New York Times best-selling author. John is the Co-Founder with George Clooney of The Sentry, an investigative initiative chasing the assets of war criminals and their international collaborators, the Strategic Director of the Clooney Foundation for Justice, and was the Founding Director of the Enough Project.

Holocaust and Human Behavior
This facilitated online course will be held July 1 through August 11, 2021 and features our seminal Holocaust and Human Behavior case study. Educators will: 

    • Examine current scholarship on the history of the Holocaust and new research focused on human behavior, group dynamics, and bias
    • Increase your ability to facilitate respectful classroom discussions on difficult issues such as racism, antisemitism, and other forms of exclusion in a way that invites personal reflection and critical analysis
    • Learn a new way of structuring curriculum to help students connect history to their own lives and the choices they make
    • Engage with classroom-ready multimedia resources and learn how to build a customized unit that meets your curriculum objectives
    • Discover new teaching strategies that help students interrogate texts, write, and think critically, as well as discuss controversial issues respectfully

Getting Started with Holocaust and Human Behavior
This self-paced workshop introduces Facing History and Ourselves’ case study, Holocaust and Human Behavior, through multimedia resources, readings, and teaching strategies that engage students in this powerful history and the themes of decision making, ethics, and responsibility. This workshop provides lesson ideas and support to teachers who may have a limited amount of class time to teach about the history of Nazi Germany and the Holocaust. Participants will develop a customized teaching plan informed by Facing History’s approach and the Holocaust and Human Behavior one-week outline.

2021 Arthur and Rochelle Belfer National Conference for Educators
This conference, held in July and August, is offered by the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, is free to middle and high school educators interested in teaching about the Holocaust. While the conference is designed for educators with less than five years of experience teaching about the Holocaust, educators with more experience are also invited to attend. 

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Facing History and Ourselves invites educators to use our Teaching Idea, Responding with Humanity: Helping Students Raise Their Voices Against Genocide.

Access Resources

Topics: Armenian Genocide, genocide, Holocaust and Human Behaviour

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