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ERIC Number: EJ824206
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2002
Pages: 22
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 47
ISSN: ISSN-0093-3104
Understanding Matters: Holocaust Curricula and the Social Studies Classroom
Riley, Karen L.; Totten, Samuel
Theory and Research in Social Education, v30 n4 p541-562 Fall 2002
Over the past two decades, interest in Holocaust education has grown substantially as individual states, starting in the 1980s, began to mandate and/or recommend Holocaust studies as part of the social studies curriculum. As a result, these mandates and/or interest in the Holocaust have spawned any number of curriculum products, some of which seek less to help the student of history acquire an understanding of this historical event, and more in terms of dictating to the social studies student what he or she should understand. Hence, the purpose of this paper is to critique Holocaust curricula that have been developed under the auspices of a state department of education (SDE) or endorsed by a SDE, as we believe that teachers unfamiliar with the Holocaust will turn to these products as sources of authority. We base this critique on what we refer to as three approaches or considerations to understanding history--the body of work on historical thinking which we view as the underpinning of historical empathy and positionality, historical empathy as articulated by Elizabeth Yeager, O.L. Davis, Jr., and Stuart Foster, and the guidelines on teaching the Holocaust developed for the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum by William Parsons and Samuel Totten. These three elements, each in their own way, help us to understand the challenge for teachers and students whose foundation for understanding the Holocaust may solely rest upon curriculum products whose curricular aims and/or design often obstruct the quest to "understand," e.g., lack of historical accuracy, lack of depth, and historical gaps. (Contains 1 note.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Students; Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California; Connecticut; Florida; Virginia