Last week, the USC Shoah Foundation Institute convened the inaugural workshop of “Teaching with Testimony for the 21st Century,” a professional development program for teachers in Europe centered on the educational use of Holocaust eyewitness testimony.
The workshop took place from July 1-6 at Central European University, which provides public access to the USC Shoah Foundation Institute’s Visual History Archive, a digital repository of nearly 52,000 searchable video testimonies. “Teaching with Testimony for the 21st Century” prepares teachers to use these testimonies as a basis for classroom lessons and activities that build multi-literacies, strengthen critical thinking skills, and promote responsible participation in society.
The 20 participants included teachers of history, literature, social studies, religion, psychology, media education, and foreign languages.
The workshop drew teachers from across the country and from Hungarian-speaking regions beyond the national border. The 20 participants included teachers of history, literature, social studies, religion, psychology, media education, and foreign languages. Other workshops will take place this summer in the Czech Republic, Poland (funded by the Task Force for International Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research), and Ukraine. In each of these countries, the “Teaching with Testimony for the 21st Century” program will be tailored to meet the particular needs of local educators, and training will focus on the use of locally relevant testimony.
The summer workshops will prepare teachers to author their own classroom lessons and activities; they will pilot them with students during the school-year and present their work at follow-up workshops next summer.
“Teaching with Testimony for the 21st Century” is based on the pedagogical approach of the Master Teacher Program, the USC Shoah Foundation Institute’s professional development program for teachers in the United States. Participants will become part of an international network of educators who use survivor testimony to intersect anti-discrimination education with the development of multi-literacies.