Date of Award

12-2007

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Major

Instructional Technology and Educational Studies

Major Professor

Diana Moyer

Committee Members

Barbara Thayer-Bacon, Janice Harper

Abstract

Each year, we move away from the Holocaust as active history. On each subsequent anniversary, we carefully repackage this atrocity in history with claims of ‘never again’ or ‘remember.’ The focus on this past should be crucial to our actions in the present and important to our future. One of the biggest questions asked has been ‘what have we learned?’

As students today grow further and further away from the Holocaust era, it remains to be seen if these lessons in humanity and inhumanity will simply fade away. With the danger of the Holocaust falling solely into history textbooks, Poland has instituted compulsory Holocaust Education to promote the teaching of this material. Yet, the lessons from this period in history extend beyond a glance into the past into an understanding of changing human obligations. The hope is that Poland’s efforts in Holocaust Education will build upon values and ideas that seek to integrate human beings on similar, simpler levels. Ultimately, the goal of Holocaust Education is not to teach about the period of history from 1933 to 1945. The aim is to instruct and critically examine the implications of hate and intolerance.

Based on fieldwork in Poland, this research explores the current teaching strategies and attitudes toward Holocaust Education. This thesis will discuss aspects of the educational evolution of Holocaust Education with a special emphasis on how teachers are teaching the subject. Using a survey of 155 Polish teachers, this project looks at what teachers are teaching about the Holocaust, what they hope students gain from learning about the subject, and why they teach it.

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