Institute News

Educators Learn About Testimony at Workshops in Czech Republic and United States

USC Shoah Foundation and its partner in the Czech Republic, PANT, have been busy leading workshops and seminars about the Visual History Archive and IWitness for educators.

In the month of October, two seminars were held in Czech Republic, in Budweis and Jablonec. About 40 teachers attended each half-day seminar.

Led by local educators, leaders of PANT, and Martin Smok, USC Shoah Foundation international training consultant, the seminars provide an introduction to the Visual History Archive, IWitness and using testimony in the classroom. The seminar also has a strong regional aspect – attendees watch testimony clips of local survivors and discuss the use of locally-relevant testimony for their own educational needs.

Rwandan Genocide testimony is also shown during the seminar. In places where hatred and stereotypes of Jews is strong, it can be easier to start the seminar by watching and discussing testimony clips of Rwandan Tutsi Genocide survivors instead, Smok said.

In addition to the seminars in Czech Republic, educators all over the United States have attended IWitness and Echoes and Reflections workshops this month. Brandon Haas, regional consultant in Florida, led two Echoes and Reflections sessions at the Florida Council for the Social Studies Conference in Orlando, and USC Shoah Foundation joined ADL for the annual Holocaust Education Institute on the USC campus. Lesly Culp, senior content specialist/trainer, also led IWitness/Echoes and Reflections workshops at Hutto Middle School and Hutto High School in Texas.