SEPTEMBER 2009—SPLIT, CROATIA—The Croatian Education and Teacher Training Agency launched a national teacher training program on the use of testimony-based classroom resources on 2 September, in Split. More than 40 teachers of ethics, Croatian language and literature, history, religious education, and sociology, attended a one-day seminar where they learned from their peers how to use testimony to teach about the local history of World War II by using the voices of those who lived through it.
This series of four teacher training seminars is based on materials developed through a partnership between the Institute and the Croatian Ministry of Science, Education, and Sports. With guidance and support from the Institute and the Ministry, teachers from Croatia authored six testimony-based classroom lessons designed to help students learn about the history of the Holocaust and the impact of history on their own lives.
At the seminar, Loranda Miletić, Senior Advisor for History Education at the Education and Teacher Training Agency, provided an overview of the Ministry’s work with the testimonies and teachers led two workshop sessions. History teacher Darko Benčić held a workshop on his lesson “Židovi u antifašistickoj borbi” (“Jews in Antifascist Combat”), which examines Jews’ individual choices to participate in the resistance movement in Croatia during World War II. In the other session, lesson author Miroslav Šašić trained colleagues on how to use the lesson he crafted, “Kolaboracija, konformizam, konfrontacija” (“Collaboration, Conformism, Confrontation”), in which students explore the issue of responsibility and individual choice under difficult circumstances. Three more seminars are planned throughout Croatia in September and October.
All of the classroom lessons that have been developed through the program are available on the Croatian-language portal of the Institute’s website.