Centre for Holocaust Education

Why Holocaust education?

The most extensively documented genocide in a long history of atrocity, the Holocaust reveals the full range of human behaviour, from appalling acts of hatred to extraordinary courage.

It raises profound questions about the human condition, making Holocaust education ideal for stimulating independent enquiry across a whole range of key stages and subjects.

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Empowering young people

The Centre's approach makes complex issues accessible and engaging and helps teachers improve their practice in powerful and meaningful ways.

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A model of independent learning

Our lesson 'Being human?' is a perfect tool for nurturing independent learners, incorporating a variety of learning styles. It helps teachers to:

1 Take account of pupils' prior thinking

Uncover preconceptions

Individually, pupils suggest what kind of people they think were the killers and collaborators, bystanders and rescuers.

This tends to reveal a range of stereotypes and misconceptions, from mad, evil monsters to heroes.

2 Focus on evidence

Test the ideas

In small groups, the pupils test their prior thinking and expectations against a range of historical case studies, examining the situations faced by real people.

They discuss and debate the dilemmas and decisions, beliefs and motivations of people in the past.

3 Embrace complexity

Expectations versus evidence

Contrasting their research findings to their prior expectations, pupils discover that the past is far more complex, nuanced and troubling than they had imagined.

They see how easily ordinary people - not monsters or psychopaths - can become complicit in genocide.

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