Paul Salmons

Programme Director

Paul Salmons is responsible for the development of the Centre’s educational vision and pedagogical approach. He leads our teaching team, guides the development of new learning resources, and directs our range of professional development programmes.

A consultant on numerous international projects, Paul was invited by the United Nations to create educational materials for its International Holocaust Remembrance Day. He was appointed Scholar in Residence at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and was the first overseas educator to address Yad Vashem’s national conference for Israeli teachers. Currently he serves on the Steering Committee of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), an intergovernmental body of more than 30 member states.

Paul was lead author of IHRA’s How to teach about the Holocaust, now published in ten languages and used as a foundational text by educators around the world. He has written a range of teaching and learning materials, scholarly articles, and is occasional guest editor of the journal Teaching History.

In 1998 Paul moved from classroom teaching to the Imperial War Museum (IWM) to help create the UK’s national Holocaust Exhibition. He was responsible for developing the Museum’s educational approach to this complex subject; authored its educational materials; developed its range of audio guides; and established the IWM’s Fellowship in Holocaust Education.

Formerly a secondary school Head of History, Paul’s approach to teaching is firmly grounded in how young people make sense of the past, revealing complexity and helping students to construct their own meaning.

  • ShareThis
Paul Salmons

Activities and interests

How can young people be helped to construct their own meanings of the Holocaust? Resisting the tendency to over simplify the past, Paul explores how a close reading of original artefacts, historical case studies, and authentic sites open possibilities for deeper learning and more powerful ways of thinking.

As consultant to Mauthausen Memorial in Austria, he is helping to develop new approaches to learning at historical sites. As former Chair of IHRA’s subcommittee on the Holocaust and other Genocides he is concerned with how we relate learning about the Holocaust to understanding mass violence and to strengthening efforts towards genocide prevention.

Paul wrestles with ethical dilemmas in teaching about the Holocaust, both in his role on the Advisory Board of a project collecting oral histories from former perpetrators, and (with Ruth-Anne Lenga) in the development of a new educational resource that will explore how Nazi crimes continued to impact on the life of one survivor for many years after liberation.

Paul has authored many of the Centre’s educational resources, as well as the teachers’ resource pack Reflections for the Imperial War Museum, and worked on several educational films, including the IWM’s The Way We Lived and Roots of Antisemitism, and Footprints for the United Nations.

Selected publications:

Salmons, P. and Hass, M. (2014) ‘Comparing Genocide in the Classroom: Challenges and Opportunities’ in Holocaust Education in a Global Context (Edited by Fracapane, K. and Hass, M.), Paris: UNESCO

Salmons, P. and Chapman, A. (2013) ‘Holocaust and other genocides’, Teaching History, Issue 153, London: Historical Association

Salmons, P., Andrews, K. and Chapman, A. (2010) ‘Holocaust’, Teaching History, Issue 141, London: Historical Association

Salmons, P. (2010) ‘Universal Meaning or Historical Understanding? The Holocaust in history and history in the curriculum’, in Teaching History, Issue 141, London: Historical Association

Salmons, P. (2003) ‘Teaching or Preaching? The Holocaust and intercultural education in the UK’, in Intercultural Education, Volume 14, Issue 2

Salmons, P. (2001) ‘Moral Dilemmas: history, teaching and the Holocaust’ in Teaching History, Issue 104, London: Historical Association