University of Cambridge > > Education, Equality and Development (EED) Group Seminars > Teaching About the Holocaust in English Secondary Schools: Challenges, Complexities and Concerns

Teaching About the Holocaust in English Secondary Schools: Challenges, Complexities and Concerns

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Alexis Artaud de La Ferriere.

The Holocaust has been a compulsory topic for inclusion within the National Curriculum for history in England since 1990. Despite its mandatory status, however, teachers are offered no specific guidance on how to teach this complex, potentially contentious and often challenging subject. Furthermore, prior to 2009, no detailed national research study had been conducted which provided a comprehensive picture of how the Holocaust was taught in schools across the country. In direct response to these demands and challenges, in 2009, the IOE ’s Centre for Holocaust Education produced the first ever large-scale, national research study into teaching about the Holocaust. Based on the detailed response of more than 2,000 teachers the national study offered a rich and fascinating insight into the understandings, perspectives and practice of classroom teachers. It provided substantial answers to a range of questions such as: in what subject(s) was the Holocaust being taught? To what age groups? For how many hours? What content did teachers include? What textbooks and resources did they use? What were the aims of teachers? How was the Holocaust defined? What knowledge did teachers have? What preparation or training had teachers received? The presentation will provide an overview of some of the key findings of the national report and discuss additional findings from subsequent follow-up studies conducted between 2009 and 2013. In particular the presentation will explore some of the key challenges and concerns teachers encounter when teaching this emotive and complex subject. It will also offer critical reflection on the implication of current practice for secondary school students’ knowledge and understanding of the Holocaust.

This talk is part of the Education, Equality and Development (EED) Group Seminars series.

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