Institute News

Learning from three years of "Teaching with Testimony"

Professional development program culminates in best practices workshop for teachers

From August 1-3, the USC Shoah Foundation-The Institute for Visual History and Education held a best practices workshop for graduates of the Master Teacher Program, a professional development program for educators that centers on the classroom use of Holocaust- and genocide-eyewitness testimony.

The Master Teacher Program was initiated in 2009 with a weeklong workshop, "Teaching with Testimony," for nine Southern California educators. The summer workshop prepared them to develop their own testimony-based teaching materials, such as classroom lessons and activities, which they piloted with students during the school-year. The following summer, they returned to the Institute for a follow-up workshop organized in conjunction with the USC Rossier School of Education, which awards continuing education credits to Master Teacher Program graduates. The Institute doubled enrollment in 2010, accepting applications from across the United States; the 2011 Master Teachers were selected from a pool of more than 90 highly motivated educators.

For the first time, graduates from all three years of the Master Teacher Program will convene at the Institute, along with educators from Rwanda and South Africa, for the "Teaching with Testimony" Best Practices Workshop. The Institute organized the workshop to strengthen relationships within its Teacher Innovation Network; provide support towards individual and collaborative goals; examine the Holocaust and other genocides in an international context; and deepen understanding of IWitness, the Institute's new Web resource (now in beta) for teachers and students 13 and older.

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