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In-Service Faculty Training / Professional Development Workshops

These workshops are designed to give educators the tools and perspectives needed to communicate the history and meaning of the Holocaust, genocide, and human rights issues.

Teaching the Holocaust: Keeping he Moral Core

Why do we need to teach the Holocaust? What moral messages do we convey? What do students actual learn? The task of educators is to make historical topics relevant to their students. How does one make the Holocaust relevant to students today? How should teachers approach this extremely difficult topic in an appropriate way? The Holocaust must be taught in a multidisciplinary way as a human story taking place in modern society - one human being to another - by neighbors, in the same civilization. This workshop explores ways to humanize the experience of the victims and perpetrators in order to motivate successive generations to recognize an ethical responsibility to respond to prejudice and hatred. This presentation illustrates how to connect students to the victims as human beings; putting people above statistics; how to explore everyday life in the ghettos; how Jews fought dehumanization by confronting moral dilemmas; the choice many survivors made to choose life and continuation over despair and violence; proper contexts; suggested appropriate lessons and use of film; and the burden and responsibility of representing trauma. Specific attention will be given to the use of imagery. What kinds of images are appropriate and in what context? A fundamental approach will be to discuss the limits and goals of teaching about the Holocaust while teaching students how to maintain a moral core. The methodological considerations can be applied to any social studies or English curriculum. Schedule Tom White

Dehumanization and Incitement: The Use and Abuse of Holocaust Photographs and Images

Photographs do not merely capture or illustrate the historical past, they interpret it. A potential pitfall in teaching about the Holocaust is using Holocaust imagery without ever teaching students how to evaluate and decode those images. As many of our students’ encounters with the Holocaust will often be visual (and a visual memory that is shaped by collective memory) it is important to recognize that the majority of images from the Holocaust have been taken and framed by the perpetrator. These images were carefully constructed and passed through censors and/or were shaped by Nazi protocols. Nazi photographers were designated as “weapons” of the Nazi effort and their images continue to have power to shape the narrative in ways that serve the perpetrator. We must recognize that the photographs are part of the process of genocide. We must critically evaluate this evidence as much as we do written or oral material. This workshop uses a series of competency expectations such as: recognizing perspective; intentionally; social, political context; elements of composition; expanding the frame; in order to apply these competencies today. Students will be able to deconstruct imagery while developing a sense of the “moral universe” perpetrators operate in. Schedule Tom White

Teaching Anne Frank: Resistance and Keeping the Moral Core

How do we “remember” and teach about Anne Frank? What are the contexts and pitfalls to be aware of? How do we keep our moral integrity when dealing with Anne as “symbol” and icon? How do we avoid teaching the diary as fairy tale or fable? The life and decisions of the Frank family (such as emigration and going into hiding) are placed within the context of the Nazi era. Otto Frank’s failed attempt to get his two children (Margot and Anne) into the United States is highlighted. This presentation also traces the family’s history after their betrayal in the Secret Annex. How can we draw on the example of the rescuers and of the Franks themselves? Schedule Tom White

Teaching Anne Frank: Resistance and Keeping the Moral Core

How do we “remember” and teach about Anne Frank? What are the contexts and pitfalls to be aware of? How do we keep our moral integrity when dealing with Anne as “symbol” and icon? How do we avoid teaching the diary as fairy tale or fable? The life and decisions of the Frank family (such as emigration and going into hiding) are placed within the context of the Nazi era. Otto Frank’s failed attempt to get his two children (Margot and Anne) into the United States is highlighted. This presentation also traces the family’s history after their betrayal in the Secret Annex. How can we draw on the example of the rescuers and of the Franks themselves? Schedule Tom White

Teaching Elie Wiesel: Trauma, Remembrance and Hope

How does one approach Elie Wiesel’s work and witness in the classroom? This workshop presents Night as a constructed memoir, a crafted testimony; a matzeva (marker/gravestone) about the limits of witnessing and “surviving survival”. We will discuss Night as the beginning, not end, of Wiesel’s encounter with the Shoah by exploring the text through his Hasidic roots and identity. And yet, by studying the Shoah and Wiesel’s writings we will encounter his hope that the spark for goodness must be ignited within us. How does Night help us to “hold” someone else’s traumatic memory? How will reading this book make me a better person? How will Night allow us “to fence with the shadows, but always have the song”? This workshop looks at the construction of Night; the questions it raises; its Hasidic framework; and how to teach it as the beginning of a journey against despair. Schedule Tom White

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Cohen Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies

Keene State College

229 Main Street

Keene, NH 03435-3201
603-358-2490

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