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Making Holocaust and Genocide Education Relevant Through Inquiry and Classroom Application


The Holocaust, Genocide and Human Rights Education Initiative at Penn State will lead Making Holocaust and Genocide Education Relevant Through Inquiry and Classroom Application, a professional learning program for teachers made possible through a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The program will convene 30 teachers from across the United States to study the Holocaust, make connections to other genocides and human rights topics, and plan for inquiry-based classroom instruction of the Holocaust or another difficult topic. 

Teachers who apply and are selected to participate in this prestigious Institute will gather on the Penn State campus in State College, PA, for a residency spanning June 25 – 30, 2023. Working elbow-to-elbow with scholars of the Holocaust, social studies education, and teacher education, they will investigate compelling questions such as: 

  • How did the concepts of genocide and human rights develop out of the Holocaust?  
  • What makes the Holocaust, genocide, and human rights uniquely difficult to teach? 
  • What constitutes responsible classroom inquiry into difficult topics? 

The residency will culminate in a field trip to Philadelphia, PA, where teachers will take guided tours of the Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History and the Horwitz-Wasserman Holocaust Memorial Plaza, critically evaluate inquiry-based instructional materials for Holocaust education, and begin to outline an instructional unit for 2023-24. 

Teachers will continue to collaborate and receive sustained pedagogical support through virtual sessions spanning Fall 2023. Virtual session topics will include trauma-informed practices for classroom application, responsible use of media in Holocaust education, inquiry-based instructional design, and more.  

Applications are being accepted online through March 3, 2023. Notifications of acceptances will be sent April 3. 

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