". . . there is a wrong way and a right way to teach the Holocaust. Successful teaching begins with educating the teacher. If not for the resources available to all teachers, such as those through St. Cloud State University Center for Holocaust and Genocide Education, I could not have done justice to this important subject. I received a grant to attend teacher training; borrowed videos, books, maps, teacher’s guides; and consulted with the Directors of the Center. These available resources proved to be absolutely essential in teaching a seven-week unit on the Holocaust--a unit that stands out as the most successful in my teaching career." (5th grade teacher)
As a non-mandated State for Holocaust and genocide education, many Central Minnesota teachers strongly wish to incorporate the study of the Holocaust and genocide into their classrooms, but lack the materials, means and information. The Center for Holocaust and Genocide Education desires funds to help train teachers, provide age appropriate materials, fund further study, provide speakers and survivors to local classrooms and schools, and act as curriculum consultants.
For the past four years, we have offered (with the assistance of an $11,000 grant from the University- which SCSU cannot continue after 2001) a two week summer workshop "Holocaust Across the Curriculum". Area teachers focus on content assignments within their teaching specialties, but take part in all lectures, activities, films. Specialists lecture and discuss topics such as: Teaching the Holocaust, Holocaust Rescue, History of the Holocaust, The Holocaust and the Visual Arts, Library & Resource Materials, Sociology of Nazi Medicine, Documentary and Theatre Films of the Holocaust, Children’s Holocaust Literature, and the appropriate pedagogy and methodology. Participants also hear from various Holocaust Survivors and two children of survivors (the first was born in Shanghai, the other recalls anti-Semitism in Apartheid South Africa.)
This past year we developed and taught a half day workshop on Holocaust Pedagogy and Methodology. Next year, we intend to expand this to a full day workshops staffed by Center Personnel (staff, faculty and friends of the Center)-- devoted to instruction on both Content, Pedagogy & Methodology. (How to teach and what to teach-- age appropriate to grades 5-12 in Social Studies and Language Arts). In addition to our own faculty, scholars and survivors, we would like to bring in master educators for 1-2 day seminars on How and What to Teach in various classrooms (5-12 and college aged.) Shulamit Imber of Yad Vashem’s International School for Holocaust Studies, and Miriam Klein Kassenoff, Holocaust Education coordinator of Miami Beach, Florida are some examples of such programs. This also includes purchasing educational resources for the Center, to be made available to teachers.
The Center would like to continue to develop more outreach to elementary, junior high and high schools in the greater St. Cloud area. We could reach younger students by bringing to them survivors, and scholars who could be in their classrooms, or speak to the school body as a whole. We also hope to use interactive TV to reach interested teachers 60 to 150 miles from the Center. This would happen in conjunction with a class that is being offered and in classrooms where materials are checked out from the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Education.
Listed below are our two current trunks (age appropriate) which can be checked out by local teachers for use in their classrooms. These resources are purchased by and housed in the Center for Holocaust and Genocide.
Other topics we would like to develop with age appropriate and subject appropriate books, films, resource guides, work books, Reference sets, CD-roms, maps, and posters are:
All trunks would be assembled with understanding and sensitivity towards students age and cultural background.
The Center would like to provide financial assistance to motivated and initiated teachers to study the Holocaust and discrimination at such programs as Facing History and Ourselves in Brookline, Massachusetts. This one week seminar is aimed at teachers of elementary and secondary age students. Study is not limited to the Holocaust, but provides numerous ways to teach tolerance in the classroom. Another program which would be of great value to dedicated teachers, is Teachers for Tolerance at the Simon Wiesenthal Museum for Tolerance in California. It should be mentioned, if funds would allow and interest was great enough, a Facing History and Ourselves workshop could be brought to the greater St. Cloud area.