Teachers across Poland traveled to Hungary last week to attend a workshop organized by USC Shoah Foundation – The Institute for Visual History and Education (the Institute). The workshop, part of the Institute’s Teaching with Testimony for the 21st Century program, took place at Central European University in Budapest from November 11 to November 16. During the workshop, the teachers learned how to use interviews with Holocaust survivors and witnesses for education.
In 2011, the Institute launched Teaching with Testimony for the 21st Century, a professional-development program for teachers in Central and Eastern Europe. Designed to introduce testimony—especially locally relevant testimony—as a resource for digital literacy development, critical thinking skills building, and anti-discrimination education, Teaching with Testimony for the 21st Century reached teachers from the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Ukraine through workshops over the summer. Last week’s workshop for Polish teachers, which brought the first year of the program to a close, was co-funded by the Task Force for International Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance, and Research; participants included teachers of history, social studies, literature, religion, media education, and foreign languages.
After participating in Teaching with Testimony for the 21st Century workshops, teachers work with the Institute to produce their own testimony-based lessons and student activities, which they pilot in the classroom during the school year. Next summer, they will present their materials at a second series of workshops.
Teaching with Testimony in the 21st Century is based on the pedagogical approach of the Institute’s professional development program for teachers in the United States. Participants become part of an international network of educators who use survivor testimony to combine anti-discrimination education with the development of digital literacy and other 21st-century competencies.