Summer might be a break for students, but as an educator, I know teachers are busy enhancing their skills and knowledge to improve their curriculum and students’ overall experience in their classrooms. As you contemplate lesson plans for the upcoming year, will you be planning a unit or lesson about the Holocaust? Do you feel you have enough knowledge about the topic to teach it well? How will you introduce your students to that history and experiences? What readings and resources will you use? What approach will you take with this sensitive topic?
To help answer all these questions, we invite you to participate in one of the many Echoes and Reflections online professional development opportunities. Echoes and Reflections equips teachers with the tools they need to help today’s students study the Holocaust as a significant event in human history, recognize the complexity of individual choices, and to define the role and responsibility of the individual to uphold the principles of democracy.
1. Echoes and Reflections combines the expertise, and resources of three world leaders in education.
- The Anti-Defamation League’s experience in curriculum and professional development, provides
- Access to USC Shoah Foundation’s Visual History Archive of witness and survivor testimonies and digital educational tools through IWitness
- Yad Vashem’s historical expertise and primary source materials—resulting in the most comprehensive Holocaust education program available.
2. You receive a Teacher’s Resource Guide
The Teacher’s Resource Guide is composed of 10 clear and guided lessons that go far beyond just teaching the history of the Holocaust. Lessons include:
- Interdisciplinary materials suitable for a range of disciplines including history, English/language arts, fine art, social sciences, and religion.
- Photographs, art work, diary entries, letters, government documents, maps, poems, visual history testimony, and other sources
- Strategies to encourage students to analyze a wide array of materials from many perspectives in historical context
- Tools to make complex concepts such as antisemitism, prejudice, and persecution more understandable
- Lessons on what it means to be a bystander and a perpetrator, both in the context of the Holocaust and in modern life
- Lessons on survival, resistance, trauma
3. You Learn Best practices on Teaching about the Holocaust
The program regularly gathers feedback from educators to continuously refine the program —it recently underwent a two-year evaluation initiative--over 800 teachers and 200 students gave their feedback.
4. You learn to use Audiovisual testimony & IWitness
Seeing and hearing firsthand accounts from survivors and other witnesses about the breadth of experiences and choices individuals faced during the Holocaust adds an essential human side to the study of history.
- Over two hours of visual history testimony from Holocaust survivors, rescuers, and liberators provided by USC Shoah Foundation’s Visual History Archive is seamlessly integrated into each of the ten lessons.
- During Echoes and Reflections’ online professional development you learn how to integrate USC Shoah Foundation’s educational website IWitness, which includes over 1,600 eyewitness testimonies and various multimedia activities, to extend Echoes and Reflections learning concepts and lessons.
5. It’s FREE
Echoes and Reflections and IWitness both offer free professional development. Enough said.
6. You have access to a community of educators
When you access the Echoes and Reflections resources, you’re not just accessing lesson plans, you’re accessing years of experience in teaching about the holocaust and thousands of unique educator perspectives from the 30,000 who’ve been involved with Echoes and Reflections. Connect with educators on social media!
7. You can Enhance your Learning Opportunities
After completing an Echoes and Reflections program, online or face-to-face, you will have the opportunity to enhance your knowledge of the subject and the resource skills with Enhanced Learning Opportunities online.
8. It’s a dynamic experience for your students
Echoes and Reflections has impacted 3.2 million students.
Educators report that not only do their students gain a much deeper understanding of the Holocaust, but they see the events from a much more meaningful perspective than they might otherwise experience.
9. You have access to free online resources
The Echoes and Reflections website gives educators access to tremendous resources including
- Downloadable articles, written testimonies, images, video testimonies and supplemental materials
- Resources/advice from other educators who use the program
- Ideas for projects, creative ways to utilize the material
- Articles and essays on teaching the holocaust, a wealth of teaching resources
- Educator Video Toolbox
10. And the most important reason why you should participate in a no-cost Echoes and Reflections online professional development program
You can complete the program in the comfort of your own home, even while wearing your pajamas!
We hope these 10 reasons inspire you to sign up for the upcoming Echoes and Reflections online professional development.