The Holocaust is one of the most harrowing events of the twentieth century. Over 70 years after the liberation of the Concentration Camps, the Holocaust has become common cultural property: it is taught and commemorated all over the world; it is represented in art, in literature, in visual media. A welcome development for some – the more commemoration, and the more diverse, the better – it is hotly debated by others who warn of inappropriate forms of representation. This paper focuses on the education aspect of Holocaust Commemoration: in the UK, teaching the Holocaust is part of the national curriculum, but it is not specified in which subject context and how long this topic has to be covered. As a result, Holocaust education is patchy and, in many cases, very basic, relying on pupils reading The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas instead of having detailed history lessons on the theme. As a literary academic, I have been teaching the Holocaust in a literature context for over fifteen years and have had to develop special techniques to, in the first instance, respond to my students’ diverse background knowledge and, secondly, to engage them in different ways of Holocaust commemoration. I want to share my practice of offering classes that assess historical sources, critically read literature from and about the period, discuss representations of the Holocaust in art and media. In addition to writing traditional academic essays my students are encouraged to produce creative responses to widen their own horizons and test various approaches to Holocaust studies in a meaningful context.
|Conference Proceedings. The Future of Education
|8th International Conference on The Future of Education
|28/06/18 → 29/06/18