Since its inception, the Azrieli Foundation's Holocaust Survivor Memoirs Program has made education a central part of its mission. With this in mind, we wanted to know more about the approaches and needs of the teachers who take on the vital work of Holocaust education in their classrooms. This past summer, the Azrieli Foundation conducted a survey of educators across Canada.
A report of the survey results can be found here, but these are some of the key points:
- While 50% of those teaching about the Holocaust feel "Somewhat Confident" about taking on the topic, only 37% of respondents feel "Very Confident."
- Over half of the teachers have less than three hours to focus on the Holocaust.
- Even though teachers are using other scholarly resources, 76% of teachers still use Google and/or Youtube to advance their own understanding of the Holocaust.
- The primary learning objectives of 80% of those teaching the Holocaust are to develop social and moral values and reinforce principles of human rights and genocide prevention.
We also learned that the challenges educators face when teaching about the Holocaust include:
- Getting students to connect with the topic
- Ensuring that students could grasp the severity of what happened
- Understanding and being able to respond appropriately to the range of student reactions to the topic
- Finding age-appropriate resources
Going forward, we will use this invaluable feedback when creating new Holocaust education resources, not only for students but for educators, so they are equipped with the tools and confidence they need to teach the Holocaust.
Are you an educator who would like to share your experiences with Holocaust education and its challenges, or just have questions for us about best practices?