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ERIC Number: EJ971711
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Feb
Pages: 20
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0018-2745
Toward a Philosophy of Holocaust Education: Teaching Values without Imposing Agendas
Karn, Alexander
History Teacher, v45 n2 p221-240 Feb 2012
Most teachers hope to make a difference in the lives of their students, but whether they accomplish this with any regularity is often left unclear. With a topic like the Holocaust, the stakes are greatly raised. In this essay, the author discusses the place of the Holocaust in the liberal arts. He argues that the content of Holocaust education must revolve around a methodology that allows students to conjure and experiment with new and deeper self-understanding(s). Teaching the Holocaust effectively means freeing (and urging) students to ask questions about historical epistemology (i.e., the ways in which historians come to know what they do), as well as questions which speak directly to the challenges of the current moment. The idea behind this philosophy is to teach the past in a manner that equips students to see the ramifications of their choices in contrast to the Germans who, by virtue of their own choices, allowed themselves to be fastened in a system designed to achieve national revitalization and racial purification at any and all costs. He stresses that history teachers, as the most recent data show, cannot further their own agendas by using the Holocaust as an instrument for political indoctrination, but they can still lead their students toward new ways of thinking about the world and their place in it. (Contains 52 notes.)
Society for History Education. California State University, Long Beach, 1250 Bellflower Boulevard, Long Beach, CA 90840-1601. Tel: 562-985-2573; Fax: 562-985-5431; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Germany