USC Shoah Foundation’s ITeach seminars, which introduce educators to IWitness and teaching with testimony from the Visual History Archive, have been officially accredited by Hungary’s Ministry of Human Resources, paving the way for testimony to be fully integrated into Hungarian curriculum.
The ITeach seminars join the Institute’s Master Teacher professional development program as official programs of the Education Research and Development Institute (OFI), an organization that implements on behalf of Hungary’s Undersecretariat of Education.
As integrated programs of OFI, ITeach can be offered by USC Shoah Foundation staff and its “multipliers,” or educators who have been trained by the Institute, throughout Hungary with the support of OFI’s network and resources. USC Shoah Foundation will be able to reach more educators and students than ever before.
In addition, IWitness has been integrated into the new OFI Ethics textbook, which is an official textbook for Hungary nationwide. It is used by two-thirds of all eighth graders in Hungary – more than 100,000 students.
Hungary offers some of the Institute’s most robust international educational programs. Led by regional consultant Andrea Szőnyi, teachers have a variety of opportunities to discover USC Shoah Foundation and learn to incorporate testimony into their teaching.
USC Shoah Foundation has three partner schools in Hungary: Szőnyi Benjamin Elementary and Middle School of the Reformed Church, Berzsenyi Daniel High School and István Bocskai High School. These schools host ITeach seminars for educators and agree to incorporate testimony and IWitness into their curriculum.
The Master Teacher program recently hosted its fifth annual cohort in Budapest. This two-year program introduces secondary school educators to the Visual History Archive, IWitness and methodology of teaching with testimony. Each participant pilots their own testimony-based lesson in their classroom and then they all reunite the following year to present their experiences to each other and receive feedback.
IWalk is another popular program in Hungary. IWalks are guided walks around historical sites during which participants watch testimony clips from the Visual History Archive of survivors who describe their experiences in these very locations during the Holocaust. An IWalk in Budapest is part of every Hungarian Master Teacher program, and many Master Teacher graduates have gone on to develop IWalks for their own towns, to show their students how the Holocaust happened in the very places they live.
There are also five Hungarian-language activities in IWitness. These activities cover topics including arrival at Auschwitz and the Birkenau Sonderkommando, and all address national Hungarian education standards.