Teaching with Testimony in the Twenty-First Century

Fri, 08/24/2012 - 12:00am

Professional development seminar for Ukrainian teachers in Prague

Prague―August 24, 2012―Fifteen teachers from Ukraine completed the first master teacher course of Teaching with Testimony in the Twenty-First Century, the USC Shoah Foundation’s professional development program for educators in Europe.

The workshop took place from August 17-24 at the Malach Center for Visual History at the Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic. The Center provides public access to the Visual History Archive, the Shoah Foundation’s digital repository of nearly 52,000 searchable video testimonies. Teachers and methodology specialists from secondary schools in Vinnytsya, Poltava, Kherson, Mykolayiv, Zaporizzhya, Chernivtsi, Ternopil, Lviv, Chernygiv, and Sevastopol, as well as professors of Zhytomyr and Yalta pedagogic universities attended the workshop. They teach world history, history of Ukraine, history of the Holocaust, human rights, ethics, civic education, media literacy, and historical methodology.

Additional workshops were organized for educators from Hungary and Czech Republic; a seminar for Polish teachers, funded by the Task Force for International Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research, is scheduled for fall 2012. The program is tailored to meet country-specific educational needs through the use of locally relevant testimony.

Teaching with Testimony in the Twenty-First Century prepares educators to use testimony in the classroom. Based on the testimonies identified during the working sessions, participants will author their own educational resources to strengthen students’ critical thinking skills and promote responsible participation in society. These resources will meet Ukrainian history and civic education state standards; participants will pilot them in schools, in-service teacher training institutes, and teaching associations.

Teaching with Testimony in the Twenty-First Century  is based on the pedagogical approach of the Master Teacher Program, the Shoah Foundation’s professional development program for teachers in the United States. Participants from Ukraine will become part of an international network of educators who use survivor testimony to combine anti-discrimination education with the development of multi-literacies.

For more information about USC Shoah Foundation, visit sfi.usc.edu.