Institute News

Los Angeles’ Windward School Partners with USC Shoah Foundation

USC Shoah Foundation has embarked on a partnership with Windward School - its first partner school in Los Angeles - to introduce Windward's teachers to the methodology of teaching with testimony and to integrate testimony-based educational activities into the school's curriculum.

Windward School is an independent, grade 7-12 day school in west Los Angeles. As part of USC Shoah Foundation’s Partner School Program, USC Shoah Foundation will provide workshops and trainings for Windward’s teachers on the methodology of teaching with testimony and its latest educational resources, including IWitness. Select staff will support the development of new testimony-based activities and their integration into Windward’s existing curriculum.

To kick off the partnership this week, USC Shoah Foundation began piloting a new IWitness video editing activity in Windward’s Global Studies Program. Following a guest lecture by Amy Carnes, Ph.D., USC Shoah Foundation’s associate director of education – evaluation and scholarship, about the history of Rwanda, students in Eryn Hoffman’s global studies class participated in the new activity “What One Voice Can Tell Us About A Genocide.” The activity is not yet available to IWitness users.

This activity draws students into an exploration of the Rwandan Tutsi Genocide from the perspective of an individual who witnessed it, asking them to consider how one person's testimony about their experience help us make sense of a global event such as the genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda.

After searching and saving clips of testimony, and doing background research of their own, students built videos that addressed the prompt “Why is it important to remember the genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda?”

Using testimony from survivors and other witnesses to the genocide in Rwanda, students interrogated the nature of testimony as a source, developed an understanding of both events as historical moments and developed video essays that answered the central question of the activity.