In July, the USC Shoah Foundation Institute held a follow-up workshop for graduates of the 2011 Master Teacher Program. Participants reconvened as a professional practice- and learning-community after using testimony in the classroom during the past school year.
The 2011 Master Teacher Program began last summer, when 18 highly motivated teachers came to the Institute to learn how to develop their own testimony-based lessons and activities, which they have since piloted with students. At the follow-up workshop, they present their pilot projects in a supportive, peer-to-peer environment; the workshop was also designed to deepen critical reading and digital literacy skills, and to support relationship-building within the Institute’s Teacher Innovation Network. In addition to the professional development training they received at the Institute, all participants received continuing education credits from the USC Rossier School of Education.
From August 1–3, the 2011 Master Teachers joined educators from across the United States at the Master Teacher Best Practices Workshop, an unprecedented gathering of all graduates of the program. Using the 1994 Tutsi genocide in Rwanda and Apartheid in South Africa as examples, participants discussed ways to interconnect Holocaust education with education about other genocides and crimes against humanity, particularly through the use of video testimony given by survivors and other witnesses. Other participants included educators from Rwanda and South Africa who attended the "Teaching, Testimony, and Transformation" international symposium at the Institute in July.