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ERIC Number: EJ820465
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 34
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1467-9620
The March of Remembrance and Hope: Teaching and Learning about Diversity and Social Justice through the Holocaust
Spalding, Elizabeth; Savage, Todd A.; Garcia, Jesus
Teachers College Record, v109 n6 p1423-1456 2007
Background: Experiential learning has been posited as an approach to influencing preservice teachers' understanding of diversity and social justice. The research reported here examined the impact of a field-based experience in Poland focused on the Holocaust as it pertained to the beliefs and actions of 12 future education professionals. This program, the March of Remembrance and Hope (MRH), took place in Poland in May 2003; the pretrip preparation occurred in January-May 2003 at a large southeastern university. Five of the participants were preservice teachers, and 7 were graduate students in either counseling psychology or school psychology. The MRH is an international interfaith trip to Holocaust sites in Poland, sponsored by the March of the Living, Israel. The MRH educates participants, primarily Gentiles, about the Holocaust and the dangers of intolerance and racism. Purpose of Study: The authors are teacher educators committed to multicultural teacher education and teaching about social justice. Thus, we generated the following questions to guide this research: (1) How did the experience of the MRH influence participants' knowledge of, attitudes about, and actions regarding diversity? (2) How, if at all, did participants connect the MRH experience to issues of social justice? Research Design: Three case studies, exemplars of the impact of this experience, are presented and discussed in relation to the literature on effective multicultural teacher education, experiential education, and Holocaust education. Conclusions: Results indicated that the MRH had a significant effect on the thinking and actions of students related to diversity and social justice. If the goal of multicultural education is to facilitate changes in future education professionals' knowledge, beliefs, and actions, then it is important to take note of the aspects of the MRH experience that so affected Silas, Rachel, and Penny, the students described in the case studies. The literature on teacher education for diversity indicates that traditional approaches to multicultural education have minimal long-term impact. By contrast, the effects of the MRH took time to process and, as of this writing, appear not to have faded over time. And, although the academic preparation was critical to their understanding of the Holocaust, the authentic experience of the MRH had the greatest impact on these students' thinking about diversity and their willingness to take action against social injustice.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Israel; Poland